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“Furnace Creek Ranch Friendly & Helpful Staff”

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The Oasis at Death Valley
Reviewed 31 May 2005

Stayed overnight at the Ranch as the Hotel was closed for the Summer

A very cheerful, friendly and easy check-in at Reception.

Our bedroom which we were able to park the car right outside off, was rather colourless but comfortable and clean, with a good size bathroom.
The in room fridge was not working properly on arrrival but within 5 minutes of reporting it, two members of Staff came along and "problem solved" Offered to supply a replacement if there was any further problem.There was a nice Terrace overlooking the garden and pool with two chairs but it was far to hot to venture outside having done some of the sight on the way (115 degrees)!! Phew!!
Ate in the Restaurant in the evening and had a good meal, highly recommend the steaks. Our waiter was friendly, patient and courteous, even though the Restaurant was very busy as it was the only one open at the time of our stay.
A good nights sleep although the air conditioning was rather noisy. Having experienced that in other Hotels when touring, earplugs helped the matter!
In the morning an excellent buffet breakfast with a choice of everything you could want, once again busy with other tourists.
The On site Shop offered a good choice of souvenirs, and a large food section offering a wide and varied choice of snacks right up to ingredients for a banquet!!
All in all a comfortable stay enhanced by the excellent and friendly Staff.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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10  Thank Valjf5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 May 2005

I invited a friend to go with me on a trip to Death Valley. He responded: "Why should I go to Death Valley when I can stay at home and sit in my oven?"

Actually, the heat isn't all that bad once you get used to it. I visited Death Valley in May when temperatures were nearing their annual highs. The hotter of the two days of my stay was 115 degrees, and though it wasn't unbearable, the amenities at the Furnace Creek Ranch were a welcome oasis after a day in the sun.

Furnace Creek Ranch is a family oriented resort facility featuring a motel, cabins, three restaurants, general store/gift shop, laundry facilities, golf course, tennis courts and swimming pool. The accommodations are adequate in all respects, and because the Ranch is really the only game in town -- aside from Stovepipe Wells (a property twenty-five miles from Furnace Creek, not as well equipped) and Panamint Springs (a couple of gas pumps and a diner at the opposite end of Highway 190) -- it reserves the right to be drastically overpriced at $140 per night (double occupancy). The elegant, upscale, four-diamond facility down the road, Furnace Creek Inn, was already closed for the summer, prices there averaging in the $300-$350 per night range at peak season.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, I had a "deluxe" second-story room with small balcony overlooking the golf course. I opted for the deluxe because after reading reviews that mentioned uninvited guests such as beetles and frogs, it afforded me the opportunity to be above ground level. (I had no unwanted visitors.) "Parkside" rooms are at ground level, as are the cabins, and each has a small, private patio. The grounds are well maintained and quiet, and rooms come equipped with cable t.v. and little extras like hair dryer, coffee maker and refrigerator. There are no individuated controls for the air conditioning, however, and though the system is noisy, the room temperature is clearly regulated to correspond to outdoor temperatures. This made the room fairly comfortable at all times, though the irony of 'the noisy indoors' juxtaposed against 'the silent outdoors' did not go unnoticed! Bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper.

As to the amenities, there are no pay-as-you-go computer facilities for you email addicts, so bring a wireless, internet-ready laptop if you must. Prices at the general store are high, and the gift shop contains the usual generic souvenirs and trinkets. There is little here that is unique, but if you're a woman who likes silver jewelry, you may find a decent piece or two in one of the locked cases at the front of the store. The steaks at the Forty-Niner restaurant are just fine but pricey, along with the usual fare of salads and burgers, averaging between $20 and $30 per entrée. Just a few steps (literally) down the road you’ll find a gas station, and the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Museum. Rangers at the Center were helpful and informative, and the Visitor Center gift section is a cut above the one at the Ranch.

A word of warning: do your research before you arrive! There are many resources available outlining the lay of the land which will prove an invaluable investment of your time and/or money. Go to any internet search engine, type in "Death Valley National Park" and have a go! One of the biggest disappointments I experienced was that as of this writing, many of the sites I longed to see were still closed due to damage incurred during the 8/15/04 flood. A violent summer rainstorm destroyed part of Highway 190 and roads adjacent to Zabriskie Point, Dante’s View and Artists’ Palate, to name a few. On the bright side, rains from the long, soggy winter made for the miraculous reappearance of Lake Manly which, with a bit of luck and the wondrous forces of nature, reconstitutes two to three times per decade. The 25 to 30-foot deep lake in the Badwater basin will have completely evaporated and reverted to its normally dry salt bed state soon, so get there now if you can. The winter rains also afforded a dearth of wildflowers in the surrounding area, replete with greenery on the nearby mountains. While I was gratefully prepared for this mixed bag, I was not prepared for how much I would miss simply because I came by passenger car! The park has its share of paved roads, but many of the more interesting, hard-to-reach places are accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicle. Navigating dirt and gravel roads in a passenger car can be dangerous and damaging and hence, they are allowed only in certain areas.

One final warning: drivers beware! The only truly negative experience I had was a $103 citation issued by a surly ranger for not lowering my high beams quickly enough to suit him.

All told, Death Valley is a profoundly beautiful, albeit eerily silent natural phenomenon. It is particularly beautiful in the early morning and late afternoon when the light plays on the mountains, accentuating a palate of colors visible only in the Southwest United States. If you've come for quiet introspection, it may be the place for you. From moonlight on the dunes to the breathtaking wonder of Ubehebe Crater, there is bound to be at least one thing for everyone. If you want to be pampered in the lap of four-star luxury, wait for the Furnace Creek Inn to reopen in October. But if you’re a true nature lover and simply need a place to rest your weary bones, the Furnace Creek Ranch will do.

29  Thank harrma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2005

We stayed at the Ranch, which was a bit pricey for what it was. We had a better (i.e. more expensive) room with sliding glass doors on to the lawned area in front of the pool. The area is a green oasis in the desert and has nice palm trees around. It is reasonably well kept and the rooms were clean, if basic with a small fridge.

The pool complex is OK and the pool is a good size with space and plenty of loungers for sunbathing - what is really nice is that the water is very warm (84 degrees) because it is fed by the hot springs

The food at the restauarnt (the cafe was closed when we were there) is a bit expensive for what it is and it gets very busy, so the staff are a bit rushed off their feet. We were lucky and got in OK but there were lines waiting when we left.

Has a small free museum attached to the complex with some interesting outdoor exhibits (old stage coaches and a turn of the century train). Also has a golf course attached - I don't play but imagine it would be too hot for much of the year.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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6  Thank peterc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2005

We stayed at the Ranch for 2 nights during our cross country trip. It's a basic hotel room which would cost $75 elsewhere - but there is no other elsewhere around so they can charge $150. It's a great location and worth the extra money not to drive so far. It has a nice pool, tennis courts, outdoor play area for the kids, etc. There's a stream nearby and the kids loved looking for frogs. We even found one in our room! It's a green oasis in the desert. The food was OK. Maybe next time we would splurge for the inn - but we don't spend too much time in the room.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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6  Thank traveling_mom-Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2005

We stayed for 1 night at the ranch in April.

Good points - location inside the park is great, very close to the visitor centre. Reasonable selection of restaurants / eateries, gift shop available.

Not so good points - we booked one of the cheaper rooms (prices were expensive and we were only staying one night) and found that the room was run-down and a bit dirty. The worst thing was that we discovered a cockroach in the bathroom. When I complained to reception, they said it was quite normal and sent a guy over to spray it. This had no effect and we discovered more of them in the bathroom, so decided to leave. It was then that reception ungraded us to a better, more newly furnished room. It did seem as though they were used to this type of complaint and it was not totally unexpected.

Death Valley itself was stunning, fantastic scenery and well worth a visit, but I would recommend either staying at the Inn or book one of the more expensive rooms at the ranch to be sure of a more recently refurnished room.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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9  Thank Charlie262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Castrolandia, TX
Reviewed 2 May 2005

If you're thinking DEATH VALLEY hold your breath and spend the extra $$ for the FURNACE CREEK INN. The ranch down below is adequate, but the INN is sublime with a thermal pool, fabulous vistas, and an peaceful oasis.
CAREFUL, ask for rooms overlooking the oasis, as you can get stuck overlooking a parking lot for the same price!

10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2005

We paid $150 a night for a fairly basic room that would be maybe $75 somewhere else, but there aren't a lot of choices since the next town is 40 or 50 miles away (except for Stovepipe Wells which like Furnace Creek gets booked up well in advance). The pool was nice because it didn't smell chlorinated and is fed from the local spring. Not a lot of choices if you want to stay in a central area inside the park.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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11  Thank bgriffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Oasis at Death Valley

Address: Highway 190, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328 (Formerly Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort)
Region: United States > California > Death Valley National Park
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Death Valley National Park
Price Range: £135 - £344 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Oasis at Death Valley 2.5*
Number of rooms: 290
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Oasis at Death, situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park, California is just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. This property hosts two hotels - the historic, 4-diamond, 66 room Inn at Death Valley and the more family oriented 224 room Ranch at Death Valley. The Inn at Death Valley offers guests elegant accommodations in the heart of Death Valley. This 4-diamond resort has operated for more than 86 years, and still pampers every guest. The Ranch at Death Valley has been welcoming guests since 1933 and offers a casual, family-like setting - the perfect complement to the classic elegance of the Inn at Death Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Furnace Creek Inn And Ranch Hotel Death Valley National Park
Furnace Creek Resort
Furnace Creek Hotel
Furnace Creek Ranch
Furnace Creek Inn Death Valley

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