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“Great place for a change of scenery”

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Mountain Home Ranch
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Calistoga
Livermore, California
1 review
“Great place for a change of scenery”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

I visited Mountain Home Ranch for many summers as a child and had the best time. It's in a secluded area in the country where us city folk could get away from it all. Well, I admit back then they had an area with arcade machines and candy - which I loved! One of my favorite parts about my stay was the comfort food they served. On my last visit I discovered the place had changed in recent years to be more of a retreat center so you won't find a bar, arcade machines, or candy around. I'm sure this works better for consistent business. It's much more focused on the nature aspect of the property. Miss the old times with arcades, candy, more meals but still love the place and the memories I had running around the place. I'm sure it would make a great spot for a group retreat where it's all about a change of environment from our busy lives. Expect very rustic accommodations...this place is old with a lot of history! They have nice trails with pretty scenery too.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this review, 9 January 2014
We are happy to see some "old timers" return. We, too, have fond memories of the way the Ranch once was with the "kids bar" with its candy and games. Times change, and the Ranch has had to change too in order to make it to our Centennial. Now, kids have more games on their phones than we ever had in the "kids bar", and we are happy when they are lured away from those electronics to feed real carrots to real animals! We still are the best place for children, as well as groups, and the 100 year tradition of good, healthy comfort food remains. Breakfast is always provided, and when a group is in, there is the possibility of lunch and dinner that rival those served by Grandma and Grandpa.
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Brought 2 kids, 4.5 and 3 years old to Mountain Home Ranch and stayed in Grandpa's (which had a stove, fridge, bathroom, other modern conveniences). We fed the cows and goats carrots, ate pancakes and waffles for breakfast, swam in the pool, made fires, played tennis, looked for bugs, blew huge bubbles and saw the Milky Way at night. The owners are as welcoming as they come, and do everything to share the magic with you. As other reviewers note it is rustic (polar opposite of the also-amazing Calistoga Ranch, which we love for different reasons), it is off the beaten path (but a quick drive to Calistoga) and it is glorious. Great jumping-off point for Safari West. If you want a weekend away I can't recommend it more highly. Dog-friendly.

Room Tip: Read the web site (or talk to the owners) - there is a wide range of price/comfort level
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bjs921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Payette, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Recently I passed a four day retreat at Mountain Home Ranch. For this purpose, the place is tops. We were a large group, about fifty people, and were able to meet for classes in the classroom, then congregate in the spacious diningroom, the benches outside or wander about the beautiful acreage. I did choose to walk some of the trails, up to a viewpoint and down a cool canyon path, and saw deer every day. The animals beside the classroom brought their own touch of welcome. The meals were fine and ample and the host accomodating to our groups' tastes. The nights were quiet and restful. I shared space in the cabin Madrone, it was very nice and well appointed with views of the wooded hillside and a porch. All in all, a wonderful place for a retreat.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank valleycat635
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this review, 19 October 2013
Thank you for this lovely review. As a family, we try hard to make everyone feel at home here, and are gratified when we see we have succeeded. We appreciate the feedback when a critique points out something that needs improvement, but getting a pat on the back is helpful as well. We hope that some of you who come with a group will come back as individuals whenever you are in the area.
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Level Contributor
88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

The ranch is celebrating its hundred year anniversary, and unfortunately, time has taken its toll upon the property. So I do tend to agree that it was a little too rustic for my tastes even though I have stayed in a quite a few less desirable places in our travels and am willing to bend for the surroundings. If you are a nature lover, this place is fantastic if you are willing to hike the many trails through the canyon. There are things to discover and maps to find them.

If you are a city slicker wanting or accustomed to Hyatt accommodations, this is not the place to come. The WIFI did not work the whole time we were there. There was no TV in the rooms or operating anywhere else although in the game room there was a TV with a VCR and a bunch of older movies. The TV did not have live stations...maybe one Direct TV is in order for this place to get the weather news if nothing else.

Our room (Mars) at the lodge was sparsely furnished and could have used a decent vanity or writing surface instead of a small wobbly table. The bedspreads were worn and the whole place had a tired appearance. The bed was up against the windows and there were no blinds so the curtains had to be closed even though we needed the breeze as there is no air-conditioning either. It was quite warm on Labor Day weekend and noisy with the pool and many children nearby.

They advertised coffee 24 hours a day but the first morning, at 7:30 the kitchen was still dark. Suzanne the owner graciously brought us a pot upstairs after I called and complained. Early risers have to have their morning joe! This could be simply fixed by a Mr. Coffee down in the dining room for early risers to do it yourself!

The ranch is reached by a rather long, winding road and is 7-10 miles from services so if you do a lot of wine-tasting down in the valley, be aware that there is a drive back up the mountain. We suggest that you bring your own groceries with you...wine, cheese, crackers, etc as there are no places other than down in Calistoga to get them. There was an ice machine and we took advantage of that to drink a lot of ice water. There are a lot of restaurants in Calistoga. We ate at a bbq place on the corner of the main highway and also at the Chinese restaurant in the middle of town.

The Breakfast was very good. Homemade French toast and a variety of nice fruits were available as well as eggs and bacon.

We stayed two nights, and even though we are seniors, we did go on a rather strenuous hike that proved delightful. There is a grove of nice redwoods down at the bottom of the canyon along a small creek. There are two swimming pools also but we did not use them. This place is ideal for families and also for family reunions where the kids can run free. The owners told us that they have lots of them there. The place is fairly secluded and private.

Room Tip: Lodge-choose rooms away from the pool if you don't want noise. Don't know about the cabins...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Flyinggal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this review, 5 October 2013
While we are disappointed in the low rating given, this review should be helpful for people considering coming to the Ranch. We usually screen people with tastes like this reviewer to stay in one of the high-priced options in town. When people are disappointed by the lack of TV, we know they need to stay elsewhere. While we are steadily purchasing new bedspreads, and upgrading our Wi-Fi, we do not want TV, and do not even have it in our own houses. We want people to get out and hike our beautiful trails, feed the animals and play games with their children. Mars is one of our less expensive, smaller rooms. We have larger rooms with tables and chairs, even fireplaces. The scenery is gorgeous, the breakfasts scrumptious, but do not expect TV; you will not find it here.
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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

We knew from the reviews to expect simple accommodations in a beautiful setting. But honestly, even considering the very cheap price, sometimes rustic can be just a little too rustic. For us it meant having bats in our cottage. The doors didn't close completely, so when going to bed we found two bats hanging from the ceiling. Considering bats can carry rabies, we were not thrilled. If it hadn't been the fact that indeed food there was healthy and delicious, we would not have stayed for another night. Management was fortunately understanding of our situation and reluctance to stay in the rustic cabin and we were able to switch to a slightly better one.

Owners were lovely people and mountains truly beautiful and like I said, food was a pleasant surprise, healthy, delicious and home-cooked. But to be honest I would not recommend this place or at least not the rustic cabins. Even if there were no bats, I'd say only the cheap price justifies the condition of those rustic cabins.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank honeychile_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this review, 20 September 2013
We are sorry for your bad experience and tried to make it up to you. We do advertise our rustics as "one step above camping", and price them to provide an inexpensive alternative to wine country chic. At a higher price, we have some lovely cabins. We love our bats, and try to get them to stay in the bat houses we provide them, but sometimes they are hard to train and must be removed to more appropriate locations. They earn their keep by eating tons of mosquitos, making the Ranch relatively insect-free. Many mammals carry rabies, but this has not been a problem in this area. Bats just have bad public relations, what with Dracula and all.
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Yorkville
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 September 2013

My family has been coming up to Mountain Home Ranch since I was a child as my Oma and Opa enjoyed the German food and ambiance. In the 1940’s and 1950’s German was a language you heard as much as English. I have many memories of horse riding, swimming in Lake Orth and sharing big family dinners in the dining room. Many great evenings were spent laughing and singing in the common rooms. Mountain Home Ranch still has the feel of a that sort of family resort.
I recently returned with my grown children and a granddaughter: Five adults and a baby in “Grandpa’s House”. It was very roomy with two Kings and a pull out, and a generous kitchen. We had the best location for enjoying the pool with a deck for relaxing outside, and we were close enough to walk to the corrals – a favorite place for our two year old to enjoy the chickens, sheep, goats, and cows. John and Suzanne feed you authentic breakfasts made from scratch in a buffet style. Lots to choose from and make everyone happy. You can't beat the serve yourself coffee no matter how early your toddler gets you up and John's scones and cinnamon rolls are out of this world.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Valerie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this review, 14 September 2013
Thank you for the lovely recommendation. As the third generation operators, we love seeing third and fourth generation guests! There is a wonderful feeling of continuity and connection to the land and each other. We hope that your great grandchildren come visit the Ranch.
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Oakland, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2013

If you want a place that's beautiful in the country and has great homemade healthy food, places to walk, places to meditate and relax among beautiful scenery, quiet but yet full of nature's sounds, swim, hike, fish, boat... you name it and this atmosphere is for you. MHR is an older retreat, inexpensive and rustic but yet full of beauty and managed under loving care. Pets are welcomed too. These places are hard to find these days but yet so much better than a square box hotel room with traffic noise outside your window. We love it and will go back many times again. The buffet breakfast is delicious and made with all the good stuff we should be eating. John and Suzanne will work with you to provide for your dietary needs and have lots of knowledge about foods and cooking. It's great for children too. All the farm animals are a big hit as they allow the kids to feed them carrots from the basket full of them in the dining room. Kids will get lots of opportunity to run, play and swim... enjoying life in the country. If you've got a group, like a family reunion, or a group of friends, or an educational retreat to put on then this place is perfect!!!! We gathered lots of our family there this past weekend and had a very special time together that we'll never forget. (Ages 1 yr. - 93 yrs) There's something for everyone! We actually ran out of time to see some of the other attractions of the area as once you get settled in it's hard to leave to go into town. Still Calistoga, the valley, the wines and attractions are available and not too far away. Sonoma, Russian River and the road to the west are also close by and available to explore. This ranch is right on the boundry of the best wine regions in the world!! We've also met lots of interesting people that stay here from other places in the world. We'll be back.

Room Tip: There are different rooms available according to your needs of comfort. Check out the website or ca...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kristi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mountain Home Ranch

Property: Mountain Home Ranch
Address: 3400 Mountain Home Ranch Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515-9524
Region: United States > California > Napa Valley > Calistoga
Amenities:
Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Calistoga
#5 Business Hotel in Calistoga
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Calistoga
#14 Romantic Hotel in Calistoga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A rustic family-oriented, pet-friendly resort on 340 acres of beautiful mountainside nestled between the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Swimming, hiking, fishing, bird-watching, tennis, volleyball, croquet, horseshoes, ping-pong and pool. No phones or tvs, but lots of board games and books and animals to feed. Various accommodations and price ranges from rustic cabins [one step up from camping] to suites with kitchens and fireplaces. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mountain Home Ranch Hotel Calistoga
Mountain Home Hotel
Mountain Home Resort

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