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“Wouldn't go there again”

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Dawn Ranch Lodge Resort
Reviewed 29 July 2012

A group of my girlfriends and I stayed at Dawn Ranch recently, we stayed in the two room cabin at the very end of the property. The room smelled musty and was nothing to write home about. Which I thought was rather sad because from outside it looks so cute and charming. The bathroom was the culprit for the musty smell, the shower curtain didn't cover the entrance to the shower and the whole room was covered in water after even the shortest of showers. There are no hair dryers in the room you need to ask at the main office if you want one or forgot yours. They do give you small soaps and shampoos. There is no coffee pot, which was a major downside to the cabin. The restaurant on the property is rather over priced for what it is. The bar makes decent drinks but is not opened till I believe 4 or 5 which was a downside when you are wanting to lounge by the pool with drinks or snacks. the pool is really nice with comfy chair - it was an old cool streak when we were there and the pool was rather cold.
The property itself is really cute and the lights they have hanging between the cabins have a really romantic feel but the cabins themselves are dingy and old. I wouldn't say they were dirty, but they were not updated by any means. We also thought the "river access" was laughable it is nothing more than what looks like a goat path down a hill to a small space that would hold one chair. Not really even worth the walk down the hill. If anything it made matters worse because you can see other resorts/hotels that look newer and more updated with better beach access. Another real bummer for me was that their is poor cellular service as well as poor Internet access, some people like to travel and unplug, but I found this to be stressful to keep in contact with my family back home. I would urge people to look for another place to stay as this place seems to have passed its prime.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank TheTravelingStaggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 53 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2012

We always go up for the 4th of July, and enjoy getting away from it all in these cute 14x14 one room cabins. No TV's, no electronics, just quiet. They're old, and as most people say…RUSTIC. But the pool area is charming, the place is ON the river, the cabins around the pool have flower boxes and cute striped blinds…

This is a no frills place. But if you like the outdoors and don't quite want to be in a tent, this is the next best thing.

Room Tip: Go for the Redwood cabins unless you like to people watch…in that case, do the poolside. Or, move up...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AndrewCA94920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2012

Way way too expensive for the poorly maintained cabins. Rustic with an emphasis on the "ic". We stayed here for several nights for an event and tried to go elsewhere after the first night but all was booked in town. Hot night when we arrived. No air-conditioning and no screens on the windows. The adjoining cabin proved to have paper-thin walls in which we could hear everything our neighbors said and did. We whispered in our cabin. The person next door took a shower and we had no hot water at all after that. The dry rot on the lower part of the door didn't help keep out critters. Bed was very lumpy and uncomfortable.We woke to flea bites all over our ankles. Couldn't wait to leave!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank a_toute_allure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

My husband was a groomsman in a wedding on 6/16/12 and we could honestly not believe how horrible our friends- the bride and groom and especially the bride- were treated by the owner. The lodge was FILLED with wedding guests, many whom had traveled far and wide to attend, including my husband and I and still this man- and I use that term very loosely, as a real man would not do what he did- treated the bride and groom with such utter disrespect everyone was in shock.

To begin, the cabin that my husband and I stayed at faced the pool and while it was clean and comfortable, it wasn't worth $170 a night (after tax). There was no AC available so if you're looking for a place that will be cool during the day during the summer months, this place is not for you. The towels were nice and absorbent and the bed and pillows comfortable; we didn't miss having a television at all and we didn't care that there wasn't a phone, as everyone has cell phones these days. The grounds of the lodge are very beautiful and serene, with several different meadows and pockets where events could be set up. Being surrounded by so much greenery and trees was wonderful, so that part of the weekend was not marred.

On to the less wonderful parts. There was an unruly guest, as previously reviewed, and while the situation was not something that anyone wants to see happen at such an event (and I know what happened because I was right there and witnessed everything) it was taken care of and the guests who were still awake turned in for the night, peacefully, I might add. We all hoped and thought that the event would not stain the wedding the next day and that it could all be forgotten and we could focus on the wedding itself and our friend's who were having the most important day in their lives.

We were wrong. While the guests of the wedding were more than happy to forget about what had occurred the night before with the unruly guest, the owner of the lodge was not ready to let it go. He threatened to cancel the wedding altogether and got in the face of the bride several times to SCREAM at her. Take a moment, readers, and really get a picture of that. You're about to walk down the aisle in a matter of hours, have planned and slaved and spent for more than a year to make your wedding perfect and you are getting screamed at by an irate man right before it's all actually happening. It was more than unnecessary- it was CRUEL.

Did the wedding still take place? Yes. Was it beautiful? Absolutely! But you know who made it all wonderful and beautiful? The bride and her bridesmaids and the groom and all of their family- they all handled themselves with dignity and grace, which is something that the owner of the lodge couldn't manage to do. I, along with plenty of others, hope that people will read these reviews and know that we are not exaggerating and will go somewhere else for their events because the owner of this place deserves to lose business over HIS unruly behavior.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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17  Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2012

What a great find! We stayed in a two bedroom cottage steps away from a small private beach on the river. It was great to be able to bring our dog too! The cottages, being roughly 100 yrs old, ARE rustic, but clean, quiet, and comfortable - NO, it's NOT FANCY, it is RUSTIC. Having spent too much time in the sun in the river, we didn't even get to enjoy their beautiful pool. The restaurant was quite good, and the grounds are magnificent. I plan to make this a regular hangout, as it is only an hour and a half from SF.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the road are obviously quieter. Check their website.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Eiming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2012

Unpleasant Mold like odor in the rooms.
Restaurant has good food, would recommend , but not a good place to stay. Cabins are smelly.Exceptionally bad.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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7  Thank zurish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We just spent an enjoyable Mother's Day weekend at Dawn Ranch Lodge. My granddaughter spent a lot of time in the pool. We walked through their extensive acreage to the river and watched leaves float into the river from a little creek, and into town to check out the flea market and 5&10 store's supply of toys. The family gathered in the lounge in the evening where there is a fireplace and piano. The cottages are small, but newly renovated with spa-like towels and amenities. The restaurant serves delicious and imaginative breakfasts on the weekend, and the chef specially made hot chocolate for my granddaughter at the request of our server who had three kid of her own. Dinner was even better -- goat cheese pasta with hen-of-the-wood mushrooms and broccoli rabe; a generous portion of honey-glazed barbecue ribs; and pulled pork raviolis with apples and almonds in a brown buttter sauce. The setting is peaceful and the people are extraordinarily friendly.

Room Tip: Roadside rooms are somewhat noisy, depending on the amount of traffic.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank DansMarin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dawn Ranch Lodge Resort

Address: 16467 River Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446-9654 (Formerly Fife's)
Region: United States > California > Sonoma County > Guerneville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Guerneville
Price Range: £129 - £173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dawn Ranch Lodge Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled riverside in Sonoma's wine rich Russian River Valley, Dawn Ranch Resort is a virtual natural preserve. Sited on 15 lush acres of ancient giant Redwoods, vintage apple trees, native meadows and our own kitchen garden; this Sonoma Wine Country oasis is a precious escape. Historic, simple renovated for comfort 1905 cabins and cottages cluster about the landscape but leave ample room to wander peacefully amid nature. Amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast, pool and seasonal pool bar, popular and well reviewed onsite restaurant Agriculture Public House. In room guests will find super comfy beds and linens, baths with showers, Aveda amenities, fire stoves to warm the cool mornings and wherever possible outdoor seating to enjoy the pristine setting. Dog friendly cabins are available. For the health of all our guests Dawn Ranch Resort is a non smoking property. Due to the historic nature of the property and cabins, we are an unplugged retreat with no in room TV or phones. Wifi works in some cabins and in the common areas. Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, world class wine tasting and lovely country roads await. Come relax with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dawn Ranch Hotel Guerneville
Dawn Ranch Lodge Resort Guerneville, Sonoma County, CA

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