The Hobbit House of Monatana, located in a man-made shire built by LOTR enthusiast Steve Michaels and his wife Christine, is a must-see attraction for any self-respecting Tolkien fan.
This isn’t the first time someone builds a real-life hobbit house, but this particular house situated in the hillsides of northwest Montana is actually a tourist guesthouse available for only $245 a night. So if you’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to live as a hobbit, now’s your chance. But unlike the simple homes featured in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, the Hobbit House of Montana comes with a modern king-size bedroom, designer kitchen with customized granite counters, HD Blu-Ray television set, XM Radio, three phones and WiFi. The LOTR theme, however, is everywhere, from the little rock handles on the drawers, to the Gandalf stained glass doors, or The One Ring dangling from the loft.
But while it looks like it was built by long-life fans of the Lord of the Rings, Steve and Christine Michaels’s shire started out as just a normal underground guest home that would provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. It was only after the contractor’s son said “oh, it looks like a hobbit house” that Steve’s imagination started running wild. He and his wife watched the movies, read the books and decided they had to have a real hobbit house on their property. While working on the abode, they found a 700 year old cedar stump with a roof and door up in Kalispell and decided to make it a Troll House. According to the official website of the Hobbit House in Montana, the rest of the shire was constructed by real hobbits, at night. This magical place imagined by the Michaels features familiar sights like Frodo’s house, the party abode of Bilbo Baggins, a troll mine, haunted forest and many other magical attractions.
The Hobbit shire of Montana was completed last fall, but believe it or not, Tolkien fans haven’t exactly been lining up to book the real-life hobbit house. So far the guest book only shows 14 entries, not nearly enough to justify the $410,000 that went into building this place, but luckily the Michaels have their own marketing business and don’t rely on this little piece of paradise to support themselves. They don’t make any compromises for financial purposes, so guests aren’t allowed to bring pets when they visit the shire, and they’ve only just started accepting children, but only well-behaved ones. Steve and Christine just don’t want to risk anyone damaging their expensive furnishings.
Photos by Hobbit House of Montana