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Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
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Reviews (274)
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192 - 197 of 274 reviews
Reviewed 5 November 2012

First of all, in spite of the high tariff, this is not the Ritz. If you want big TVs and lavish accommodations, you're in the wrong place. The ranch decor pervades with big furniture and Indian blankets. The rooms are spacious (ours was near the Library, a location I like very much because it's close to everything) and the bathrooms were very clean with ample toiletries. Plenty of closet and drawer space as many people stay for several days. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price. While lunch isn't all that necessary, I ordered a picnic basket just to see what it was like. What arrived was an old fashioned charming basket filled with a generous lunch that included a sandwich, fruit salad, cole slaw, olives, peppers, and a giant cookie for each person. I ordered 2 lunches to feed four adults and it was more than enough.We did not go horseback riding, but we did go over to the barn area where there are animals to pet and very friendly staff to chat with. We also took the minibus to the lake where one can fish, boat, or just relax. There is also archery available. Each activity has a fee unless you have a special package so you can rack up charges fairly easily. There is a spacious pool area but it was not being used during our rather chilly, windy, stay. Because of the season, there was a corn maze in the garden as well as a pumpkin patch along with other vegetables. There are also some hiking trails though most of the ranch is not open to walkers because it is a working cattle ranch. This was our second visit to Alisal and will not be our last.

Room Tip: Rooms near the library are close to dining, the comfortable library, and the main office building.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank pelerine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2012

Three far-flung family members met up with their families for a wonderful five days at Alisal Ranch. It is a fabulous setting for family reunions; everyone gets their own space, there are plenty of activities to satisfy divergent tastes, and we all met for meals at the big round table in the dining room.
We loved the horseback riding and rode every day. The wranglers were great and we all improved our horsemanship during our stay. The horses were top-notch, not your usual rental nags that are often offered up at riding stables.
Other family members enjoyed the golfing and said that the courses were beautiful.
We had a great half-day at the lake. We worked on our archery and rifle skills. The lake is stocked with very hungry fish. Fun!
But the best part was watching the cousins who don't often see each other having a great time together! Who knew that shuffleboard could be a contact sport?
Overall, a fun and memorable trip. Hope that we can make Alisal a family tradition as so many other families have done through the years.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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Thank cathtrac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

We spent three nights over the Labor Day weekend at Alisal Ranch, and found it to be a tranquil, extraordinarily friendly place where our family could get away and spend some wonderful time together. Lots of activities available, as well as plenty of opportunities to veg and let the kids run around the property & hang loose. Room is not updated, but very clean and comfortable, and quite suitable for a ranch getaway. Details follow:

Property grounds: The grounds are quite nice and tranquil, marked by very large grassy areas that the cabin porches spill out onto. Our particular room was well located - off the main area, and next to a much smaller, enclosed "quad" area, which included two comfy table & chair sets under a lovely pergola. Our boys - 7 and 4 years old - took great pleasure in the wide open grass spaces, by far their favorite aspect of the trip. After you check in, you walk across a bridge spanning a dry river bed, and enter into the big grassy area - you can feel the calm air and atmosphere the minute you arrive. There's a shady corner to sit and lounge in, and beautiful landscaping everywhere. I could just sit on the grounds all day.

Room: we stayed in a one bedroom suite, comfortable bed, lots of windows. With two little boys, two bathrooms is a wonderful thing to have. There's two couch/lounges in the main room that the staff converts to beds in the evening, the kids slept fine there. A full wood burning fireplace (restocked with wood and fire starters daily) is a terrific touch to take the edge off of the cool mornings. Bathrooms are standard fare, very clean; not updated. No TV. Coffee maker in the room (yay). Wi-Fi is on the property, but generally need to be near the library or other areas of the property to get good reception.

Activities: We stayed three nights and got in horseback rides for the kids, a hay wagon breakfast ride, a separate horseback ride for my wife and me. We also went swimming, the pool has a very shallow end (2.5 feet), and the hot tub is popular. There's a farm where kids can interact with horses, ponies, cattle, tortoises, goats, gather chicken eggs, feed rabbits, and hold all kinds of critters and reptiles. Lots of loafing around time and time to run around the property. I would have loved to take advantage of the horseback ride to breakfast, and we didn't have enough time to take the shuttle to the lake, where they have boating & fishing activities. Another day probably would have been sufficient, and if we were to play golf on one of the two gorgeous courses, we would have needed a day on top of that. I should note most of the activities - horses, lake, golf, etc. are not included in the price of the room. Also a spa and fitness center are onsite, neither of which we made it to.

Dining: Breakfast and Dinner are included with the room, and both are served in the main dining area - breakfast being wonderful, consisting of hearty biscuits, hash browns, sausages, pancakes, waffles, eggs, etc. Plenty of fresh fruit & cereals too. Dinners are a more formal affair, where jackets (not ties) are required for men, which lends a distinctly pleasant old school feel. There's optional kids' activities (also for an extra charge) that we took advantage of, which enabled my wife and I to have lovely dinners together. On Saturdays in the summer there's a ranch-wide BBQ dinner, with country music and dancing, and hay bales for kids to jump around on. Ribs, shrimp, brisket, corn, etc etc., with this humongous tub of peach cobbler (among other things) for dessert. Wine, etc. not included with any of the meals. For lunch there's an onsite grill, which is not included in the price of the room. Standard fare, burgers, quesadillas, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, etc. Burger is quite good. Avg. cost for lunch for two adults and two kids ran to about $55 per meal. Overall happy with the food.

One other thing to note - many families have been coming to the ranch for many many years, and it was very nice that we already knew a family that was staying at the same time as we were. However I must say that the regulars were very curious about us, and welcomed us warmly to the ranch. It's interesting - everyone seems to give each other plenty of space, but it also is an intimate and pleasant atmosphere. We've already booked our trip for next year.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank TeamJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2012

I had a fabulous time at the Alisal. Amazing rooms, food, golf course, and kids activities. I especially love the babysitting services provided by The Little Guest. Our family had a very memorable experience.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank corey j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2012

We travelled from England and stayed at Alisal as part of a California road trip with a 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. Yes, it is expensive but we found it to be such a memorable friendly place where kids ditch the gadgets for once and are free to make new friends and roam around in a safe environment. Horses are said to have special spiritual qualities and watching them graze or gazing across the landscape from horseback was mesmerising. The food was superb and the service excellent. It is true that it is dominated by lots of repeat visiting families, but all I know is as I write this from my home in London, I have such special memories of our romantic cowboy experience that you can't put a price on. If we lived closer, I'd sure as hell be staying every year. My only weeny criticism is the lodgings are all semi-detached or attached properties and there is only a flimsy door between you and the neighbours. However overall Alisal will stay in my heart for a long time to come, and other Brits will head that way from my recommendation no doubt.

Room Tip: go for the semi-detached rather than attached to several others
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Louise H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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