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“Ranch is a Solid Choice”

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Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort
Atlanta, GA
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Ranch is a Solid Choice”
Reviewed 27 February 2007

This review is about the Furnace Creek Ranch. We never set foot on the grounds of the Inn. We stayed in the least expensive room, the cabin. There was a queen bed and a small bathroom. The room was not dirty, but not exactly clean either. The small bathroom without a tub would probably be the biggest problem for people choosing the least expensive route.

You are in a National Park. You just won't find many choices or great rates. We paid $135 for a night in February. Really, the room was just we we expected. It is an older set of buildings near the front of the "ranch." It was quiet and comfortable.

Food wise, we say go to the buffet for breakfast and lunch instead of the cafe. Both are close together in the food and shopping part of the ranch and only a hundred yards or so from the cabins. The food at the buffet was quite good really and a great value.

Go enjoy Death Valley!

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank chheal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Covina, California
Level 6 Contributor
252 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2007

Our bus tour stopped at the ranch for lunch, and my friend and I went to the 49er Cafe. It was busy but we got right in. Very friendly servers and cashiers. Soup was probably from a can, but the turkey sandwich and big steak fries were delightful. We also ordered chocolate ice cream and the most fabulous lemon chiffon cake for dessert! The cake portion was a big wedge with four dollops of whipped cream on the side and berry sauce drizzled on the plate. Mmmmmm!

  • Liked — Good food, friendly staff
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed February 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank caltravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anaheim
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2007

Accomodations - just ok. Food at the family ranch steakhouse was everybit as good as at the Inn Creek Restaurant for 1/2 the price.

Biggest issue is that we booked the Scotties Castle package. To our surprise, the price was over $7 higher than if we booked only the room and got our tickets for the Scotties Castle tour on our own. There were no lines as described on the web site. No price discounts by booking them together. Do yourself a favor and book the tour separately. I approached the hotel clerk about this and the lady played with the numbers so that if appeared I was getting a great deal.

  • Liked — It was the only lodging available
  • Disliked — Overcharging per pricing scheme
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Anaheim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco Bay Area
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2007

The Furnace Creek Inn is a beautiful, old (1927), hacienda adobe hotel set into a hillside overlooking the stark magnificence of Death Valley, one of America’s most beautiful national parks. Here, the climate can be severely hot, and the terrain is austere ----- it has proven to be brutal, even fatal, to the uninformed or incautious traveler. Nevertheless, the beauty of the place is breathtaking. As the light changes throughout the day, the colors and shadows of the landscape shift and alter along with it, creating stunning arrays of shapes, textures, and hues.

In our many trips to the area, we have found the Inn to be the most satisfactory place to stay in Death Valley. The rooms are nicely appointed, the staff is friendly and attentive, the naturally-heated pool is spring fed and unchlorinated, and the hillside-oasis garden provides a romantic place for a shaded stroll among murmuring brooks, desert palms, limpid pools, and flowering bushes. Only the restaurant provides a consistently unpleasant contrast to an otherwise delightful stay.

I should say at the outset of these remarks that we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where opportunities for fine dining abound, so we have a point of comparison when it comes to food quality. It should also be said that on our most recent visit the waiters were in good form and the service was perfectly adequate. However, if I were the chef at the Inn, there are a number of things I would do to improve the dining experience:

I WOULD ONLY WORK WITH THE BEST INGREDIENTS. You simply can’t make great food if you don’t start out with the best possible materials. This means the highest-quality fresh, seasonal, (ideally, organic and sustainably-grown) raw ingredients.

The vegetables in salads and side dishes were obviously inferior --- tough, tasteless, and either undercooked or overcooked.

Fresh fish should not smell “fishy.” Someone had fish while we were there, and we could smell the unpleasant odor of old fish from far across the dining room.

Why were unseasonal fruits, like strawberries and raspberries on the menu in January?

I WOULD SERVE EVERYTHING FRESHLY PREPARED.
Why do people insist on using bagged salad mixes? They always seem to need further inspection to remove bad bits that have been overlooked. We had to leave much of our salad behind for just this reason.

Vegetables should not be stored in water (particularly chlorinated water) for long periods of time prior to use as they lose any inherent flavor they might have had and take on the flavor of the water in which they have been stored.

Salad dressings should be freshly prepared daily using first-rate vinegars, olive oils, fresh garlic, herbs, etc.

Breads should be prepared freshly each day, and from a recipe that puts it on a par with the best artisan breads. It should not be thick and doughy.

Desserts should be made daily from scratch, again using the freshest, best ingredients in recipes that emphasize flavor and finesse rather than density and blandness.

If I were going to persist with the ubiquitous “TRIO OF BUTTERS,” as an accompaniment to the breads, I would start with the highest quality butter (like Strauss Family Creamery Butter) and add only the finest ingredients. In fact, a plain, unflavored, high-quality butter would be a welcome addition and go a long way toward the improvement of a number of menu items.

In short, the food should not resemble institutional food, especially when the prices compare with those charged by finer restaurants that actually deserve the higher tab due to their more extensive care and expertise.

Perhaps transport is a problem in securing great ingredients. However, Las Vegas, which is roughly 200 miles distant from the Inn seems to have no problem in acquiring ingredients for the cuisine upon which the better hotels currently pride themselves. Certainly more resourcefulness is needed in this area.

For those who are accustomed to and content with the kind of food they might find at chain restaurants like Denny’s or Applebee’s, the current status of the food at the Furnace Creek Inn might prove altogether satisfactory. However, for those of us who recognize that a higher standard of dining would better compliment the satisfactory experience provided by the rest of the Inn, we will watch, wait, and hope for positive changes in the future.

  • Stayed January 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Discriminating_Trav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
las vegas
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2007

People where very friendly at the Ranch we really enjoyed that the best. The bathtub was dirty, other than that the room was great. We stopped at Stovepipe Wells, which we had considered staying at. Very rude and unprofessional, we where glad we were not staying there. They only have food and drinks at certain times. I had called ahead of time they told me they where always open, not the truth. Death Valley is very beautilful you will not be disappointed. Scottys Castle is a must see. The tour would be better with less talking of fantasy ,and more focus on the castle and interior items that guests come to see. You can read all the tales you want of Scotty in a library, if thats your interest. You should let guests have their own experiences and thoughts while they view the castle. Repeating the same stories over and over were very distracting. To much negative talk about people that are dead, what they thought or did?

  • Liked — Friendly Staff
  • Disliked — dirty bathtub #725
  • Tips/Secrets — Do not stay at Stovepipe wells --Rude
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank homesbuydonna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2007

Me and my family stayed here one night whilst on our annual road trip acorss the states - we are from England and loved it.

We went in September 2006, when the weather was alot cooler yet still comfortably warm and stayed here as we were visiting Death Valley.

The rooms-
Comfortable, moderate in size, clean, with the standard aminities inside and its lovely as we had 2 together so we all sat out at night, as did other people which did create a nice atmosphere!

The Resturant-
Was nice, no problems and there was a good choice of food

Swimming pool- Was warm, deep and well sized. My friend and i spend most of the early evening in there relaxing and having a laugh.

The other facilities-
Although we didnt use them, the place was really nice , well maintained and you saw a few Cyotes about on the out side, didnt see any about moaping by your room, they kept well away.

The Shop-
Stocked lots of food, drinks and snacks and bits and bobs, just like any usa 7/11.

At Night!!!!!-
Make sure you go out of the resort away from the lights and you will see the Milky Way and amazing, un polluted view of the stars, amazing!!!!!!!

All in all a really lovely place to stay, would definately go back!!!!

  • Stayed December 2006
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
19 Thank sammysyrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2007

Think about it. You're the biggest, oldest, fanciest place in a very remote location with no competitors. You'd think you'd let yourself go a bit, but Furnace Creek Inn apparently doesn't agree.

The public areas of this hotel are so thoughtfully maintained and the place is just wonderful. We didn't love the first room we got, so they changed us to a room more to our taste (my mother got a room comparable to our first room and thought it was great, so I think it was just a personal taste thing).

In the room we ended up in there was a beautiful old hexagon tile bathroom floor, perfectly patinaed old brass bathroom fixtures, lots of grand old hotel character but a cozy modern bed and tv.

The pool (heated by a hot spring) is absolutely lovely, the grounds are very well kept and some huge wood burning fireplaces are kept stoked into the night so it's a great place to hang out after dinner.

We ate at the Ranch one night but mainly at the Inn and never had a bad meal (but nothing to speak of really either).

The hotel is old, so old hotel stuff happened, like there was no hot water for a couple hours and our door lock was sticky, but we had a huge beautiful old bathroom and a giant closet, and a HUGE shared balcony overlooking the most unique landscape I've ever beheld. But it is an old hotel in the middle of Death Valley, so don't expect the Marriott. But if you love old hotels like we do you'll love it. The work that went into it, and the tunnel that leads to the parking and the tile and the perfectly desert appropriate chandeliers are all SO good, and it's very appropraitely decorated too. Very romantic.

This next comment is realitive because as one would imagine in Death Valley things are quite spread out, but it was right in the middle of the spread out stuff.

The staff was very helpful and met all our needs (directions, info on points of interest etc) the store was good and the prices were alright, they have to import everything so you can imagine it's not particularly cheap for them.

We'd brought a couple bags of little groceries (breakfast bars, deit coke, bottled water, cheese and crackers and wine for watching the sun cast the long sunset shadows on the aforementioned huge patio) so we weren't totally dependant on the local merchants, I imagine that if you were things could get expensive kind of quick. But the Ranch has a grocery store for anything you don't want to lug in.

The fish that live in Death Valley are highly publicized but not really described, I was surprised that they were tadpole size. It is amazing that they live there but I might've done just as well knowing that they existed but not going to see them specifically.

The golf course is worth playing if for no other reason than to be engulfed in the serenity and to see coyotes drinking from the puddles.

We went on a totally worth it two hour horseback ride from the ranch- we booked the one that is first thing in the morning and were glad we did it that way- it got too hot later, we would've been miserable I think.

The trip was amazing and I think it's because we had luxe accomodations at Furnace Creek Inn in the middle of the most indescribable scenery. We loved it here and hope you choose to go! Be safe when you explore Death Valley.

  • Liked — grand old hotel in the middle of nowhere
  • Disliked — the small room we were almost in
  • Tips/Secrets — pack some little groceries to keep costs down, if you don't like your room ask for another, they are nice.
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank samoanfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort

Property: Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort
Address: Highway 190, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
Region: United States > California > Death Valley National Park
Amenities:
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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 290
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Furnace Creek Resort, 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 Furnace Creek and the more family oriented 224 room Ranch at Furnace Creek. The Inn at Furnace Creek 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 Furnace Creek has been welcoming guests since 1933 and offers a casual, family-like setting - the perfect complement to the classic elegance of the Inn at Furnace Creek. ... 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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