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“Unique and fun, but in desperate need of updates”

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Mountain Home Ranch
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Calistoga
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Overall: This place is unique, interesting, and fun, but could desperately use some serious improvements. We probably won't go back. We knew it would be rustic but were still not really impressed.

Pros:
- Beautiful grounds. You can hike on the trails and see some great views. It's fun to feed the cows and goats and visit the chickens. If you follow the trail to the sulfur springs you'll see redwoods and other interesting sights (pack shoes that you don't mind getting dirty!).
- Homey feel. The dining hall and common spaces were cozy. They had a bunch of board games available, which we did one night.
- Breakfast included. Good thing, because there are really no other options in the area. The food was fine; we especially loved the fresh fruit.
- Unique experience. This feels SO far away from the rest of Calistoga and Napa Valley. You will have a very different experience. I could see it being great for a family that wants to get away and have lots of open space for their kids to run around. Despite the cons (below), we did have a fun time exploring and walking around.
- Nice location. Close enough to the town of Calistoga and to many wineries, plus close to the Petrified Forest and the Geyser. But still you feel way out in the country and it's super quiet and relaxing.

Cons:
- Not very comfortable. Our beds were pretty terrible (I think I can say, without exaggeration, that these were actually the worst real beds I've ever slept on, though a step up from camping I guess). The sheets were worn thin with no elastic left. The pillows were terrible. Everything is OLD.
- Very run-down. Every single building could use updating. There are too many things to list. Tennis net was sagging, pools were disgustingly dirty, trails are not marked, cabins let bugs in, furniture in common areas looks like it belongs in a frat house, etc.
- Unreasonable rates. The rates listed on the website, even for a 2-bedroom cabin, are only for two people. Then they add $20 per person per night for every additional person! Who would book a cabin with four beds for just 2 people? Sorry, but the breakfast was not worth an extra $20 per person per day, and there is no maid service. Where is that money going? These prices would really only be reasonable if they did the updates that the camp really needs.
- Unfriendly "customer service." We had 5 people staying in our cabin, but the 5th bed (a fold-out chair! ha!) was not folded out and had no sheets or pillows. We arrived pretty late, so we didn't want to disturb the owners, and waited until the next day to ask. They were not apologetic at all, and of course did not offer to refund us the extra $20 we paid for that person. I think just some sympathy/appreciation for not waking them up and a measly $20 would have made us feel a lot better about the situation. Instead they made us feel bad for asking for bedding! And tried to claim that we made a reservation for 4 (we checked in our email after we got home--nope, the reservation was for 5 all along). Friendliness goes a long way with customer satisfaction.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mountainsancturay, Owner at Mountain Home Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2014

We are terribly sorry for the bad experience, and would be happy to make amends. This was unfortunate. The cabin they stayed in is our oldest. We put a limit of four people on the cabin, but rarely allow more than three. We did not know there were to be five people coming, and they arrived late, picking up an envelope with the keys and directions, with no one awake to check them in. The pool they used was not yet open for the season; we have another pool [clean] available. When we learned there were five people, we brought in the only roll-away bed we had available, designed for a child and I can imagine was not comfortable for an adult. We are pleased that they enjoyed the grounds and the hiking trails. We have 340 acres of unspoiled wilderness with redwood forests, a lake, mineral springs and wonderful views, yet as noted we are still convenient to the developed attractions of the wine country. We invite the reviewer to come back, try one of our less rustic cabins and would comp them a night for their trouble.

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30 - 36 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2014

I just finished my first visit to Mountain Home Ranch, and it will definitely not be my last. I will go back often and take friends with me. is unique. It is located on over 300 acres, with a main house, lovely victorian like rooms, as well as cabins and family suites. The food is fabulous and I love being cooked for. There is a pool that I swam in yesterday, surrounded by green, and walking trails with views. Best of all there is a lake blessed by dragonflies skimming and hovering over the paddle boats and canoe that sit waiting for your pleasure. This property was purchased by they owners grandparents in 1913 as a homestead, and it has been nurtured and expanded by the generations that followed. I love it already, and I am sure that you will too.

Room Tip: I loved the room I stayed in upstairs (Neptune), but I also recommend Sunrise and Sunset if you want...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Venus M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

If you are wanting a "down to earth" experience after being in La La land in the Napa Valley this is the place. Emphasis is on being around natural beauty not landscaped gardens. our room was Grandpa's and it was clean and the king size bed was very comfortable. It was very quiet at night and the birds singing in the morning was wonderful. We took our bikes in to ride two days and then did the hike on the property the last day. It was a strenuous hike but very beautiful. The views at the outlook were awesome and we would take a glass of great wine up to it in the evening.
The breakfast was good, plenty of food to choose from and of course John would always bake some muffins or scones. Susan and John were very helpful and pleasant to talk to. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: We prefer having a kitchen so Grandmas was fine.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank costaricaconnections
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

Mountain home ranch is not fancy, but it is very beautiful and John is a great host. I felt relaxed the moment I got there. We stayed in a cabin (Willows). The beds were good, the cabin was clean and well stocked. The kitchen area was very small with a tiny table, but we moved the table in the other room and fit five people around it to play games and eat. The lodge area and library also had large tables we could have used.

We took several long hikes around the property and it was amazingly green. There were redwoods, a stream, flowers, newts, lots of moss and nice views. It was nice just to hang around the ranch, read and drink tea.

In addition, the ranch is reasonably close to Napa and Sonoma, so it was easy to get to vineyards during the day.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank EBWard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014

During 2013 and early 2014, I spent four weeks at the Ranch and each time my feet touched the ground, I felt like I had returned to my safe place. My room was comfortable in all seasons. The food was fresh, bountiful and healthy and most of all made with love. John's bread is worth coming back for. Suzanne and John clearly love the land that they are tending and that love is shared with the guests. This is not a glittery place but if you want peace, comfort and magic, I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: I always stay in the main house. For families though, I think the cabins would be far more fun.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Smartinellicpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

I had been looking for a place to stay near Calistoga for some friends and I on a weekend motorcycle trip. Many hotels, etc. are extremely pricey but I found Mountain Home Ranch via a Google maps search and voila! This was the place for us! It is a beautiful property and John and Suzanne, the owners, are fantastic hosts. We opted to have dinner there and the cook is amazing and presented fresh and delicious meals - the rhubarb pie for dessert was over the top! Breakfast in the morning is also fresh and hearty - no flimsy continental breakfast!

The cabins are rustic but comfortable - we were in the Love cabin and it fit four ladies quite comfortably. Lots of blooming flowers and the wisteria trellis smelled heavenly. They have some farm animals onsite and families with children were having a fun time feeding them fresh carrots provided by the ranch. Lots of room to run around and play or just relax too.

We enjoyed it so much that as soon as we got back, we were already planning a return visit to share with more friends in September. It's the type of place that's like the summer home that you return to every year with great fondness. :)

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Tyler R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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: £44 - £112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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