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“A Unique Southern Arizona Getaway”

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D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Portal B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Unique Southern Arizona Getaway”
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Our family had a wonderful time at the DD Gamble Guest Lodge. Tom and Alicia are top quality people and we really enjoyed visiting with them. My 9 year old daughter loved the miniature horses and my wife and I had a blast on our carriage rides. Additionally Tom took the time to work with my daughter and a full size horse, teaching her about brushing, saddling and riding one morning. Tom also gave us instructions and stories to help us with our exploration of Horseshoe Canyon. The food was first rate and sharing a bottle of wine over dinner and conversation was definitely one of the many highlights of our stay. This Lodge is a Southern Arizona gem made even more precious by the hosts. I would highly recommend anyone with a sense of adventure give this place a try.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Bob K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom D, Owner at D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Bob and Family, Thank you for the kind words. We also enjoyed your visit. Teaching young children the joys of caring for miniature and full size horses is one of the benefits that Alicia and I enjoy tremendously.

Tom and Alicia
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53 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

My friend and I booked a trip to the ranch because we found a Groupon. Not long after I confirmed the purchase, did I receive a call from Mrs. Davidson, the owner of the ranch. She thanked me for my purchase and wanted to make sure that I had precise directions (GPS and cell-phone service do not work when you get closer to Portal). She also advised me to call her BEFORE we lost cell-phone connection and advised me to get gas before leaving the interstate, since there is no filling station close by. We left Phoenix late on a Friday evening, drove thru a sandstorm but when we called the ranch as instructed, Alicia informed us that they will meet us at the gate to their property. Not only did Alicia and Tom meet us, so did a few of their regular sized horses, two miniature horses and a mule! They had kept dinner warm for us but it was so late, we just wanted to go to bed.
The next day, Tom and Alicia cooked us a scrumptious breakfast, that we consumed with another couple on the big community table in the dining area. We spend the day meeting all 47 miniature horses, Alicia amazed us by knowing each horses name and their stories. Tom taught us how to drive a carriage and let us loose after we seemed to have caught on. We spend the rest of the day hiking a beautiful canyon and enjoyed a delicious dinner with our fellow guests.
The rooms, I forgot to mention, are theme rooms, we slept in the music room. The beds are comfortable and we didn't mind sharing a bath-room with a couple that arrived Saturday evening.
Since DD Gamble is pet-friendly, Tom and Alicia made sure we knew that the other couples had dogs too, we kept ours separate from two very energetic dogs, since Daisy is a retired gray-hound and doesn't care for wrestling...but she loved the German sheperd that arrived a day after us.
There is not enough room on TripAdvisor to keep on going, this trip felt like a visit with friends, not a stay at a B&B. Tom organized a riding gig for one of the other visitors, we are "inexperienced" horsemen and declined the offer. If you want to get away from the city, your cell-phone, computer and other electronic trappings, book DD Gamble. We decided we will be back with a group of friends and rent the entire guesthouse for a weekend.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Veronica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom D, Owner at D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Veronica and Sam, it's so enjoyable spending time with such delightful friends! Your experiences shared with everyone here made for truly exciting days and evenings. We are definitely looking forward to seeing you again and seeing what new discoveries we can all come up with. We are extremely delighted you had such a wonderful time here.
Your friends, Alicia and Tom
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Tucson
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We can't say enough positive words about our stay at the DD Gamble Guest Lodge. Tom and Alicia are wonderful hosts. During our stay we enjoyed feeding the miniature horses and partaking in a bit of carriage driving. Both supper and breakfast were extraordinary. The meat and vegetables were fresh and delightful. Tom is an excellent cook. We had great conversation around the table about the history of the area and were greatly impressed when Tom and Alicia told us how they established the DD Gamble Guest Lodge.
The room was comfortable and the decor was classic western. When you visit the ranch, this is big sky country at its best. We recommend a visit any time of the year. This is classic Arizona Chihuahuan Desert. Cool in the summer though not terribly cold in the winter. Our hosts showed us the conference building .This would be a great place to have a conference far away from the distraction of the city. When we visited the water was running in Horseshoe Canyon. Tom was kind enough to motor us over in his ATV to see the site and then on to the miniature horses. When you visit, remember your camera. We guarantee you will see Arizona at its best.

Sincerely,
Will & Lorie Ascarza

Green Features: Excellent! Lots of native vegetation and organic food.
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank William A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom D, Owner at D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge, responded to this review, 20 October 2013
What a fantastic shot of Horseshoe Creek!!!!!!! Thanks for the great review Will and Lorie. Just so you know the mountains are still green because we had a fantastic rainy season!! Next year the Arizona poppies should be bountiful.

Tom and Alicia
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Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

The DD Gamble Guest Lodge is a newly-opened facility in the Portal area of southern Arizona owned by retirees Tom and Alicia Davidson. Tom and Alicia retired to the country to follow their passion of raising miniature horses on their nearby farm and recently developed the guest lodge when a neighboring property became available.

My wife Anne and I got the opportunity to spend a weekend there in early August and, although mid–summer, the weather was noticeably cooler than Tucson. We like to stay in bed and breakfasts rather than hotels as we enjoy meeting the owners, who are often well-traveled characters with lots of stories to tell. Tom and Alicia are no exception and we enjoyed our stay with them very much. They take note of food preferences and allergies and you will not be underfed! They welcome guests to bring their own horses, with boarding facilities available and, unusually for B&Bs, dogs are also welcome.

The lodge is situated in a quiet rural area of dark skies just east of the Chiricahua mountains south-east of Portal, about a three-hour drive from Tucson. The quickest route there is along I10 east into New Mexico and then south on route 80 (watch for speed traps). We returned by following the route 80 loop south through Douglas, Bisbee and Benson. This is a prettier and easier route to drive, avoiding the 18-wheelers on the interstate, but perhaps a half-hour longer.

On our first morning, Tom took me on a 2-hour horse ride to the nearby canyon, where we had an unsuccessful attempt to round up some loose cattle – definitely a first for me! In the afternoon, my wife and I visited the nearby Chiricahua Desert Museum (http://www.chiricahuadesertmuseum.com/). This privately-owned museum has an astonishingly large selection of desert critters – snakes, lizards, turtles, scorpions and other assorted bugs – in a well-designed facility. They also have a museum of snake and desert memorabilia – more than you would expect. We also took a drive through the Portal area and up into the spectacular mountains – just a short drive from the lodge.

The following day, Tom taught my wife and me to drive carriages with the miniature horses, which was an absolute blast. Miniature horses (don’t call them ponies – they really are tiny horses!) have a delightful nature, are good around people and the ones we drove obviously enjoyed it too. In addition to raising them, Tom and Alicia support a number of groups by visiting them with several of their miniature horses as therapy animals.

Recommended!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom D, Owner at D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge, responded to this review, 12 September 2013
Thanks, Mike.

Alicia and I appreciate your kind words. Just to let you know, the rancher and I got the cattle the Wednesday after you and Anne left.

We look forward to seeing you both again.

Tom and Alicia
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Tucson, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2013

If you want to feel as if you're visiting a plain old bed and breakfast, look elsewhere. Tom and Alicia made us feel as if we were visiting with old friends. Old friends who just happened to prepare absolutely delicious, fresh food and live in the foothills of the Chiricahua mountains. The carriage rides with the miniature horses was fun, plus we got to meet (and hold) an hours-old foal that was born during a monsoon! The scenery was breathtaking, and watching storms and lightning in the evening with some stargazing once the skies cleared was fantastic! The ride through Horseshoe Canyon in the Ranger was a blast! We can't recommend them highly enough!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay of several days. The scenery was breathtaking. The night sky was gorgeous and the hosts were wonderful. Out of the way, but well worth it. I would highly recommend this place; as a matter of fact, this is the one and only place I have ever posted to my Facebook account to recommend my friends.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2013

DD Gamble was the best place to go to get away from the city! I was tired of my children watching t.v, playing video games all weekend, saying they are bored and have nothing to do. The hosts Tom and Alicia are wonderful people! They always had smiles on their faces and kept my children captivated with stories of the wildlife they have seen around the Gamble. Tom's cooking is PHENOMENAL! (even my picky eater licked his plate after every meal) Alicia was kind and had everything we could think of available for us!(even ideas for the kids to keep them busy) The carriage rides were so fun and cute!!! The children LOVED the mini horses!! My son loved rock climbing and hiking. The adventure through horse shoe canyon is an experience we will never forget!! It is so beautiful it felt like we were in a whole different world. Oh and that is not all we went shooting, saw snakes, and the mini cows CUTE!!! The best thing was at night. We sat outside turned off all the lights and just looked up and star gazed. It was so beautiful it made me tear up! Never can you do or see ANY of this in the city! We will definitely be coming back!!
Thank you Tom and Alicia for a time well spent and memories galore

Veronica Virgen
Tucson, AZ

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank verovirg74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge

Property: D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge
Address: 8374 E Rocksprings Rd, Portal, AZ 85632-8028
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Portal
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Portal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Davidson's Dream Gamble Guest Lodge's 325 acres against the mountains offer some of the most picturesque areas for your Arizona retreat for corporations and vacations for families to experience life as Geronimo did… to drive miniature horse carriages along desert trails, to catch a shooting star in the darkest skies in the country, to bird watch, to take a trail ride on horseback into canyons where Cochise roamed, to devote uninterrupted planning time with your colleagues, to rock climb, to hike, to dream by the campfire, to play with miniature horses, or………..to do nothing! Bring your own horses or we can provide them for you. We have both miniatures and full size horses available. (and miniature cattle, too)ALL MEALS INCLUDEDThe Main House is a stone house with wood and Saltillo tile floors, central air and heat, free Wi-Fi, four bedrooms, and two full baths. We can provide all meals or a full kitchen is available if you desire to prepare your own meals (we cook-we clean; you cook-you clean). All bed and bath linens are provided. Daily housekeeping service is included. A number of horseback, hiking, and vehicle tours are available. All tours can be conducted by the local historical expert (extra fee) or we can provide you with maps (no charge). If you use our horses, you must use our trail boss (extra fee). - Participate in Cattle Week. Experience the full Round Up experience of finding the cattle in the mountains and canyon; herding them to a central location; separating the calves from their mothers for branding, neutering, and health check; and loading cattle in the trailers for transport to market. (Extra Fee) - Ride horses through the Chiricahua and Peloncillo Mountains and canyons. Visit the Chiricahua National Monument. See the battlefields from the Indian wars (1860's through 1890's). See Geronimo's surrender site. And many more natural and historical wonders. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
D.D. Gamble Guest Lodge Portal, Arizona

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