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“Wide open spaces, great company”

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Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jesmond
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Wide open spaces, great company”
Reviewed 6 August 2007

We are just back from four nights at Echo Valley Ranch, which fell at the end of our two weeks self drive holiday in Canada.

We found ourselves (unknowingly, until we arrived) slap bang in the middle of family fortnight, so there were families with young children there during our stay. This was not a problem with most of the children, some of whom were delightful, but for two nights of our stay we shared ‘Lookout Lodge’ with a very noisy party of two families who didn’t seem to mind that their kids banged doors all afternoon and were very ill mannered, when we were trying to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the place.

The directions to the property were good, but make sure that when you have travelled the 33k up Jesmond Road, that you turn left when you see the wooden sign for the ranch! We assumed it heralded the beginning of the property and drove straight one -we were wrong!

On arrival at the ranch it was difficult to find reception (officially they don’t have one ‘just a welcome mat’ over the door), but improved signage would relieve the frustration after what could have been a long drive! When we did eventually find the main lodge, we were given a very warm welcome and a tour of the place, which was really handy.

Our room was fine – average really. They are spacey enough, and there is a fridge, hairdryer, and we had a small balcony, looking out over the pastures and the mountains. The view really was quite unrivalled. The bed linen, curtains, etc are in definite need of updating, the furniture drawers stick, there was a leak in the bathroom, but the location of the hotel, oops sorry, ranch, means that these things take on lesser importance than might otherwise be the case. We had a king size bed, and there was space in a loft area with an additional bed. If I stayed here again, I would ask for a cabin – more privacy and less noisy. Pine is beautiful – but even bare feet make a loud noise on it!

I found it odd that there were no ‘do not disturb’ signs for the doors, especially as the doors are not locked generally speaking. (there is a latch on the inside).We went for a nap one afternoon and the cleaner burst in. She was, of course, full of apologies, but a simple sign would have prevented any embarrassment.

There is no doubt that the location of the ranch is second to none. The wide open spaces, glorious views of the mountains, huge skies and stunning sunsets, all help to make this a very memorable experience.

We went specifically to ride, and mostly I was satisfied with that. However, like the previous reviewer, we did not get an all day ride which was what I really, really wanted to do. I am a reasonably experienced rider (a bit rusty perhaps) and this would have been the pinnacle for me. Despite promises that our ‘Riding Experience Package’ gave us guaranteed choice of experiences, this was not the case – so for me this tainted our stay. The riding that we did do was great, (although we repeated one trail) and the wranglers were wonderful –Julie, Brooke, Cheryl all work really hard. I thought that the horses were great, well schooled and well behaved. If you stay in Lookout Lodge be prepared to walk through their paddock in the morning after breakfast, when they have been brought up from the field.
Mealtimes at the ranch are an enjoyable affair if you are in the right company – and we were! One of the highlights of Echo Valley for me was actually the other guests. We met people of many nationalities and had a great time. I particularly enjoyed the two barbecue nights, one with a First Nation drummer, and one with two folk singers, guitar players. The last was our final night in Canada and I will treasure the memories of it always, singing round the campfire, toasting marshmallows and generally having a laugh!

Thursdays are Thai nights, and I don’t eat Thai food, but to be fair, I think if I’d told them then it wouldn’t have been a problem for them to make me something else. The kitchen staff work very hard. The food was great in parts (the apple pie and lemon meringue – WOW!!!) and average in others, but then I never did like hot dogs!

Don’t expect a wide choice of drinks – juices, coffee and tea are available all the time. Red and white wine (usual served at the same cold temperature, strangely) are sold at $4.75 CD per glass and are drinkable. There were some bottles on display for you to buy but no one did. Take a couple with you (plus corkscrew!!!) if you think it’s going to bother you. I was rather pining for a gin and tonic towards the end of our stay!

What else to say? We did some of the unguided trails ourselves, watched Brian with the falcons, sympathised with the turkeys in the pen (who regularly appear on the menu) and walked down to visit the retired horses and donkeys. We didn’t try the spa treatments – to be honest with you, I was put off by the prices, which I found prohibitive, especially as we were at the end of our holiday. I was told by other guests that they were very good.

To finish with I feel I must mention the dogs! I arrived at Echo Valley rather worried about this aspect as I am (was) nervous of dogs. I now want one! There are seven resident collies, and various other dogs whose ownership I never quite established, and they will all go for a walk with you if you want. (in fact, it became a source of rivalry – how many dogs can you get on your walk?) They are gentle and great fun, and I miss them!

I agree with the comments of the reviewer below about Echo Valley resting on its laurels but all in all, I think it would be really difficult to have a bad time at this place, just join in and go for it!



  • Liked — The location and the views and the horses!
  • Disliked — not getting my all day ride!
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank toptourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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393 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kirkland, WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2007

My wife and I spent a week at EVR and what an incredible time! The spa is out of this world, we've never had Thai massages before and we felt like brand new peope afterwards. Question: have you ever traveled and had a hard time finding good food everyday? Well don't worry about that at the EVR, Chef Kim is AWESOME! The food and the way he prepares is incredibly healthy and tastes extrodinary. Be sure to ask for his special cheese cake, it alone is an experience. Horseback riding was lots of fun. My wife is an avid rider but I am a beginner. The wranglers at EVR took me out for 2hrs on a group trail ride and I had a wonderful time, they always looked out for me and it was so nice seeing the scenery through the woods. Lastly if you have ever wanted to see a falcon hand feed and trained you'll be amazed. Check out the photo of Brian (breeder/trainer) and one of his birds. It is a site to behold. We will definitely be returning next year.
Thanks, Rob &Chris (Seattle, Washington)

  • Liked — The people
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rbarker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2006

We took our 4 and 7 year old daugthers here for 5 days in August and it was wonderful. It was nice for all of us to escape our urban lives and sink into the joy that is EVR.

Breakfast is at 8:30, Lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 6:30 offering perfectly servicable food right on schedule eliminating any need to think or plan for meals--always a plus for a parent. There is a Thai food night once a week and a barbecue/cookout night twice a week to break things up.

The Thai massage was excellent. The horseback riding fun (we even took a private lesson). The staff was attentive and kind. The cabins were great. The dogs were wonderful (very fun to take on hikes on the multitutde of well-marked trails on the property). The pool and work out area are fab. It's just a gem.

The kids programs were wonderful and they will pretty much keep your kid active all day and into the evening, except for meals. Thankfully, they were flexible on this and we could spend most of the day with the girls and then drop them into the program for some horseback riding or horse grooming while we got a massage or went on a trail ride.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MichRee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
47 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2006

We stayed at this remote ranch/resort/spa for three nights in a standard room. In no apparent order:
Rooms - we looked at several - all are comfortable and clean. This is ranch country so don't expect marble bathroom countertops and flat screen t.v. (there is no t.v., and you're out of cell phone range). That said, the rooms all have great scenic views, are quiet, and have everything you'd need for a relaxing stay.
Dining - Superb - breakfast and lunch are served buffet style in the lodge with all guests sitting down together. There's a wide variety for every taste and "Chef" obviously takes pride in serving the guests. Dietary restrictions are taken care of just by asking. This is comfort food, ranch cooking, and spa cuisine all rolled into one delicious meal after another.
Facilities - there's a somewhat smaller indoor pool and a decent although not gigantic gym. A shared hot tub and sauna are at the main lodge along with a giant screen sattelite t.v. and games room. Most guests opted for hiking (wonderful), mountain biking, horseback riding and the spa. Other excursions can be arranged.
Spa Facilities - first rate and reasonable - there's a beautiful Thai spa building as well as a western facility. The treatments are all administered by Thai staff who are extremely gracious and know their stuff.
Riding - We aren't experienced riders and only went on one ride. Even so, we had a great time and spoke to several people who ride frequently. All said that various skill levels were easily handled. Several commented that the horses were well taken care of resulting in a good riding experience.
Staff/Atmosphere - this is what made the place for us. The whole place is infused with a laid back take it easy feel. This is one of those spots where you instantly sense that the staff really take care to ensure you enjoy your stay. The owners are constantly on hand and everyone involved treats you like family from the moment you arrive until you're dragged kicking and screaming to your car because you don't want to leave. We'll definitely go back.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank seikokai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2005

As part of our 5 week honeymoon in Canada, we spent 4 nights at EVR. With hindsight we wished we could have spent a week here.

Location - out of the way, peaceful, tranquil.

Atmosphere -friendly. laid back.

Accommodation - honeymoon cabin beautiful, great view of horses in the fields and sunset. Own Jacuzzi pool to sit in while sipping wine! Other rooms (standard) were excellent too -we'd be happy in any of them.

Food - gournet and fantastic choice and quantity (buffet style). Fantastic Thai night and BBQ another night.

Staff - Norma and Nan and the team at EVR are fabulous.

Service is exceptional. Staff ratio really is about one to one -certainly felt that way. Wranglers went out of their way to show us how to lassoo and throw horseshoes. First name terms with staff by the end - always professional, but at the same time felt like staying with family.

Activities - horses galore, plus amazing flight seeing trip. Guided walks in the morning, Thai yoga classes if you want an early start, walking, fishing etc. Didn't have time for last two. Rides were great -fantastic views and scenery.

If you like dogs -you'll especially love "adopting" one of the 8 collies they have (they come and sit on your cabin porch if you want)

Treatments -Thai massage and facials were fantastic -as good as any top london spa, with benefit of fantastic setting to not spoil the moment when you leave.

If anyone is planning a special holiday/honeymoon in Canada and any of the above appeals, I would absolutely recommend EVR.

We shall definitely be going back for an anniversary.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank jackelliemolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Property: Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
Address: 10635 Jesmond Road, Jesmond, British Columbia V0K 1K0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Jesmond
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jesmond
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Echo Valley Ranch & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in 'cowboy country' above the Fraser River in BC's scenic Cariboo Region, Echo Valley Ranch & Spa entices those seeking a restorative sojourn, as well as those looking for a higher-octane activity. Whether your idea of heaven is a trail ride through rolling hills, a 4x4 wildlife safari, or a day at the spa, at Echo Valley guests find harmony and rejuvenation. The fusion of eastern and western influences is best seen at the spa, where both western massage and Thai treatments soothe muscles and mind; while dining options encompass dishes from east and west, fuelled by produce from the ranch livestock and kitchen garden. Activities also include hiking, bird watching and fly-fishing, as well as trips to white water rafting. Winter options range from snowshoeing to ice fishing and snowmobiling. Echo Valley is an idyllic spot for weddings and elopements, and caters to meetings and retreats for corporate groups. Flying into the ranch's private runway is one way to arrive; the ranch is also accessible with a scenic five hour drive from Vancouver. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Echo Valley Ranch And Spa
Echo Valley Ranch Hotel Jesmond
Echo Valley Hotel
Echo Valley Resort

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