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Dawn Ranch Resort
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Reviews (118)
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Reviewed 15 October 2006

I had stayed a Fife's several times over the years and was surprised to see that they have now changed their name to Dawn Ranch. This once gay resort along the Russian River is now catering more to the straight community and has forsaken the gay community that made it such a great place to visit. I won't be going again.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank peeryapartments
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2006

The famous gay resort "Fife's" that used to be full every weekend is now a shell of its former self. There is absolutely nothing going on. It is mostly straight (they will tell you its gay to get your money) with some overpriced run down cottages. The metalic water that comes out of the showers was a turn off! The pool is unheated and COLD! Only the most hardcore outdoorest would enjoy this place. And way too expensive for what it is. The one thing I liked was the continental breakfast.

Stayed: August 2006
5  Thank Jarvisjn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed 22 August 2006

During the hottest week in July, my company had a sales meeting at Dawn Ranch. I have to say that I was very apprehensive after reading the descriptions on the internet. However, I was pleasantly surprised and would not hesitate to return for another event. Luckily, I called ahead and found out what to expect – so I took a fan, hair dryer, etc. There are no alarm clocks or phones, and many cell phones do not work in the area.
My room was on the pool side – a newly renovated small cabin, with a bed, chair, and two night stands. If this is what you expect, you will not be disappointed. Not camping, but a camp like atmosphere – with an excellent restaurant. We ate there two dinners and four lunches – and were pleased not only with the quality of the food – but with the staff, who was excellent. They learned everyone’s name and were very accommodating. They also hosted an evening cocktail hour and provided background music.
Many enjoyed the pool, which had new chaise lounges and chairs surrounding it – enough for each of us to have a place to relax. The “meeting room” was the old barn –questionable at first but it worked out fine. In fact I found it a nice change from the usual hotel sales meeting atmosphere.
If, like me, you consider camping not being upgraded in a five star hotel – then just make sure you know what to expect. Bring those things that you might want or need, such as an ice chest, alarm clock, etc., and check with them if you have questions. My cabin was spotless, the bed was comfy, and the week certainly exceeded my expectations. They were busy refurbishing other cabins when we were there. I would recommend Dawn Ranch for those who don’t want to actually camp – but want the rustic campground atmosphere with your own cabin, a pool and a very nice restaurant with a most comfortable outdoor deck. (Check restaurant opening days – weekends only when we were there)

7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2006

we were in sonoma from chicago last weekend staying at the dawn ranch...the room was okay but definitely not worth the $350 per night cost. the path to our cottage was so poorly lit that you couldn't see in front of your face at night...bring a flashlight if you're in the back.

re: the roadhouse restaurant. we were looking forward to dining at this restaurant. they were out of the fish special they were advertising on the specials menu so our non-meat eating folks were stuck with shrimp or nothing. i ordered the steak special (medium) and it came out cold and rare...i sent it back when the waiter finally came back to the table (10 minutes later)...they took the same steak, threw it back on the grill, and cooked it a bit more. very poor.

the chef came out to check on us...we told him there was a problem with the steak...he sent out some desserts to apologize....but then when i checked my credit card statement, i was double charged for the meal and now have to dispute the charge with the restaurant or credit card company.

won't be going back the next time we're in the area...atmosphere is great at the restaurant, food and service is very disappointing.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank nujazzsoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2006

Let's just say they hired a really good photographer for their website.

The cabins are quite small. In the regular cabin that sleeps two, there is one queen bed, two small nightstands, and on wicker chair in the corner by the window. No side table, though. Amenities were fine. The carpet must have just been washed because it was still damp. My friends rented a slightly larger cabin across from us that slept 4 people. Their carpet smelled like cleaning fluid, they also had no table by the chairs and their pull-out futon came with no bedding. When they finally received it from housekeeping, we saw that there was dog hair all over the blanket. Two of us are allergic to dogs, but I don't think that's where our sneezing bouts started. When I took a shower and looked up, there was mold all over the ceiling, plus the floor was really warped. In my friend's cabin, in the shower, the paint (or plastic?) was peeling away from the siding. There is also no decorations anywhere, all walls are white, chairs are wicker. It's like a rustic cabin, but more expensive.

The pool was fine, needed a cleaning, but that's to be expected I guess?

The hotel's restaurant - The Roadhouse - was quite good for dinner, although expensive. The chef came out and asked how we were enjoying dinner, which was nice. For the complimentary breakfast, however, the muffins, croissants and banana bread were all either super dry or flat and tasteless. They offered butter and no jam. Coffee was good. The people working there were very nice, as well.

The grounds were pleasant. Two decent sized grassy areas to play croquet or frisbee, and also a grove with apple and plum trees, as well as lots of blackberry bushes. The "beach access" wasn't what you would think - there was a sandy trail down to the river, no beach - but we heard from a passerby that it was because the rains had heightened the river.

I think that's all. I don't think I'd stay here again unless the prices came down or the shacks were renovated.

Stayed: June 2006
4  Thank SeisOjos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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