The SpaceIn a remote valley in Northwest Montana stands a jewel right out of the Tolkien novel - the Hobbit House of Montana. More than a bed to sleep in or a stove to cook on, the Shire offers visitors an enchanted lodging experience full of imagination, magic and yes, a truly unique retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
“I love the whole ambiance from the mushroom lined Hobbit Lane to the small hand-crafted Hobbit & Fairy Homes which inhabit the Shire”, states Steve Michaels, owner of this Hobbit House tourist home. The location couldn’t be more stunning with views of Cougar Peak on one side and the backdrop of his 100 acre ranch on the other. Peaking through the tall standing pines is a magnificent view of a crystal clear trout pond filled with cutthroat trout and with alpacas grazing in the meadow completely enclosed on its own 20 acres of privacy.
The Shire was completed in 2010 with its first’s guest in October of that year. The Hobbit idea didn’t initially occur to the owner as he was building an underground structure that was safe from wildfires and also eco-friendly with temperatures always hovering around 55 – 65 degrees. Steve's projects have always won public admiration, but this one seemed to lack a bit of luster in his mind until the light bulb finally lit up when the son of his contractor, Stan Hamm said that this underground structure resembled a Hobbit House. This is when Steve and his wife Christine began incorporating the images and characters found in JRR Tolkien’s books “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” in earnest. The idea and building transformed and the project took on a new life(URL HIDDEN)
This luxurious under ground villa is approximately a 1000 sq. ft. and is completely dug out of the mountainside. It comes complete with one master bedroom with king size bed and a small, hobbit guest bedroom. The dwelling can accommodate up to 3 people. Also included is an XM Radio, Wi-Fi, HD-Satellite flat screen TV, a Blu-Ray CD player with a library of books and CDs. Phone service is available since there is NO cell service in and among the Hobbits as it disrupts their ability to ponder and relax. Some of our guests find this “no cell service” an enjoyable feature as they can turn off their phones and simply relax. There’s even an indoor wood burning stove for those rare chilly nights; however the cottage stays a constant 55 – 70 degrees because it’s entirely underground.
This world famous bass fishing area in Trout Creek, Montana is situated within a few miles of the Shire. This quaint area without any (mass) tourism has escaped the busy-ness of Flathead Valley and is known to only a few as one of the “Best Kept Secrets in Montana”. It is by no means just another stay at a fancy hotel or resort, but is something right out of the mind of JRR Tolkien. The intricate details throughout the Hobbit House including the village are outstanding, giving the guests a small-scale picture of real life among the Hobbits, Trolls, fairies and elves.
“If you are into Hobbits then the Shire of Montana is a place for you,” says Steve. “At the time I built this cozy Hobbit Hole, I had no idea there were Hobbit clubs and loyal followers (like Trekies from Star Trek), who live and breathe Hobbit and intimately know these stories inside and out.” The project progressed using detail oriented research, enabling the structures and characters to materialize into a magical story land although Steve has added some of his own creativity such as the giggling fairies under the troll bridge. Out of respect to many followers, the lovable characters of Frodo®, Bilbo Baggins® and Gandalf the Wizard® have been incorporated into this overnight getaway.
From time to time we are asked about our “No children” policy. Steve says that there needs to be a place where adults can get away from the kids and let their “Inner Child” out. No worries, no hassles, no cell phone and no children. Our resort was built with this idea in mind using only the finest, quality material, furnishings and craftsmanship. When our guests leave, they leave glowing tributes in our guest book marveling at all of the intricate details and can understand how the “no kids” policy is in place. “Sometimes couples just need several days to themselves to be bathed in the lap of luxury, re-confirm their relationship, reconnect with nature or meditate on their spirituality while being surrounded with magic and fantasy”, says Steve. Allowing children makes it both difficult for the parents who are ever watchful of their children to really enjoy themselves and for the children who cannot just be kids because they are not allowed to touch. We as the caretakers of the Shire are protecting it and its integrity for the many other guests who wish to experience this magical get-away.
Surrounding the hobbit home is a village that comes to life at night with a magical display of lights including the cavalcade of mushrooms that line Hobbit Lane to the lighted mural of The Shire. From the fairylike Elven village where the tiny houses light up to over 200 dragonflies throughout the Shire that emerge at dusk. If you are really lucky...and quiet, you may even see the shadow of Bilbo Baggins or catch a glimpse of him at home as he likes to stay up late, drinking his favorite ale and entertaining his friends.
“We have had guests visit from all over the world,” says Steve, who not only was interviewed live on the BBC in London but also was featured in the NY Times. We’ve even had TV production companies from the Discovery Channel, MTV & HGTV visit our little Shire.
Christine Michaels, Steve’s wife is more grounded than her husband and oversees the gardens and affairs of the Sprites and Fairies in the area. And since hobbits like to eat at least six times a day, Chris has made it a point to share a special treat with each guest upon their arrival - a very yummy and distinctive Troll house cookie made with special fairy dust and hobbit ingredients! Chris also made sure that the kitchen is well equipped with every kitchen utensil including a barbeque grill and picnic table located on the deck outside. The deck overlooks their scenic Whitepine Alpaca Ranch which boasts an old fashioned, red barn built in 1918 and a pond that brings in a myriad of waterfowl including Baldwin the resident Bald Eagle, blue herons and many diving osprey who dine on the Cutthroat trout living in the pond. Guests might also see deer, elk, and moose swimming in the pond, coyotes, and mountain lions along with the occasional bear.
The Shire of Montana is available from May 1st till October 31st or until the first snow flies. The rate is $295 per night, $50 for a third guest which includes a gift basket filled with all sorts of goodies including your very own “Troll House” cookie. This romantic hide-away is a must visit destination on your “Never Been There – Bucket List” of adventures. This cozy “Hobbit Hole” has a two night minimum on weekends and holidays and must be guaranteed with a major credit card. Because of the intimate details and hand crafted displays, no pets or children are allowed. Advance reservations are required and the experience could be Hobbit Forming.
The Shire of Montana’s web site is (URL HIDDEN) You can make your reservations online or by calling them at ((PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN). Email address is (EMAIL HIDDEN) Guest AccessThe entire 20 acres plus visit our pond and pet feed the alpacas Interaction with GuestsWe live right across the property in an old farmhouse built in 1918 with an old red barn and 80 acres of wildlife. The NeighborhoodWe are in a part of Montana where the county has no stop lights and up in Whitepine Valley that is very pristine and full of wildlife from "Baldwin" our resident bald eagle to moose, deer, elk, bears and even wolves. Getting AroundWe are so far out that a car is absolutely necessary. Other Things to NoteMany or our guests like to take a trip to Glacier National Park or roam the woods of hundred year old redwoods at the Ross cedars.