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“Texans in a Georgia Dude Ranch”

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Southern Cross Ranch
Ranked #1 of 7 Madison B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
San Antonio
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Texans in a Georgia Dude Ranch”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Ok, we're Texans, so when KY cousins suggested we meet them in Georgia to ride horses for 5 days, we thought they were a little daft. WE WERE SO WRONG! We can't say enough about every aspect of this beautiful ranch. Your first indication that this is not your average B&B is the office staff. Jim and Midge are friendly, efficient, and go out of their way to find just the right accommodation to fit your needs.Their service begins with you initial contact and continue till you "settle up" on the last day of your adventure! And the Ranch - WOW! Over 200 hundred acres of shaded trails and pastures provide a varied riding experience for every class of rider, "first-ever-on-a-horse" to very experienced. Everyone at the stable is exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable!! The room accommodations are beautifully decorated, and overlook either green tree-lined pastures where some of their 220 horses roam, or a lovely stock tank (do you call them ponds?) where the geese swim and horses water and roll. The housekeeping staff is exception, keeping everything shiny and fresh while you are out and about! And the food -- OH MY! Three full meals a day of the best home-cooked buffets you'll ever eat with a huge variety of foods. All are cooked in small batches so things are fresh -- the meals taste more like single servings than what you think of as buffet foods - wonderful! By the way, if you don't ride horses, there are plenty of things for you to do like ride bikes, swim, take in the historic town of Madison, or just sit on one of the many decks and enjoy quiet. Can't really describe it -- you must experience it!

Room Tip: Be sure to ask about the number of steps you'll need to climb before deciding on your bedroom. D...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank NormaMorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
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English first
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We stayed at the Southern Cross Ranch and the trip was wonderful. They provided horse back riding 2 Hours in the morning and afternoon. They have Guides and riding is for novice and advanced. They even give lessons. We did not need any lesson at the 3 meals they offer at a buffet style meals. The food was wonderful and a welcome surprise. They have unlimited deserts and coffee and drinks (non Alcoholic) 24 hours a day. So between meals there is always something to be found. Now for the horses they have 200 and 225 acres to ride on. It is also a bread and breakfast if you wish not to ride. The rooms where clean and safe and accommodations where above average for sure. Imagine a glass of wine as you look from the upper deck to watch 30 plus horses running across the back pasture. When you ride be it the pasture or trails in the woods they take care of you. Guides and all hands are very helpful. We saddled and brushed and prepped or horses for the rides and bonded with them. After a week you would not want to leave. They have a web site that shows videos of what is there and lots of other info. It is one of are spots to visit once a year from now on. They have a pool and hot tub. The views are unbelievable and the people are great to the guests. Jim in the office helped us book it. Yavonna's cooking put a few pounds on me. The guides at the stable answer all are questions and made us feel very relaxed. Ye Ha !

Room Tip: They have rooms of all levels depends on how many and what accommodations you want. We stayed in the...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank perrymrmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liskeard, Cornwall
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

What a fantastic week we had in May this year. Nora was my favourite and ballerina was Dave's. The horses were lovely, food, all home cooked and plenty of varieties for everyone. Our room was spotless and really comfy bed. All the staff were so helpfull and made our stay feel like home from home. Definitely a place for all ages to visit for a ride or to stay in one of their beautiful rooms

Room Tip: You need comfortable footwear and plenty to drink.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nicki L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarkesville, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

Southern Cross Ranch gave us a relaxing stay beyond any expectations and we shall go back again as soon as we can, even though we don't ride horses!

We booked a night here with full meal package for 6 of us in 2 rooms. Two of our family had riding packages. The rest of us rode bikes, strolled around the barns and paddocks to look at the horses, sat by the pool or in the hot tub, played croquet and pool or read books in one of the many relaxing spaces around the property.

Food is buffet and very tasty with lots of choice. The dining area is open 24/7 with help yourself hot and cold drinks and snacks for middle of the night forays. No alcohol served, so bring your own or drive the 15 minutes or so back to "civilization" and the nearest supermarket.

Our rooms were decorated in western theme - the king plus single for our young family of 4 even had a covered wagon as the single! They also supplied a rollaway to make it a room for 4. The ranch is not about glamorous - no fancy-schmancy bathroom fittings or high end furnishings, but everything comfortable, attractive, thoughtfully designed, welcoming and clean and appropriate for a very comfortable stay on a ranch that takes you away from all the everyday stresses and just makes you feel good.

Highlights for us were spending time after dusk walking around the barn to see the horses and getting an impromptu tour from the owner, then later sitting under the stars by the pool feeling relaxed and miles away from anywhere.

The staff are all lovely and everyone makes you welcome, from the moment you step through the door.

Go! It will make you feel wonderful and want to return again, soon.

Room Tip: Call and ask - we got a lot of personal care on the phone when we booked to make sure we had rooms t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Foodlovingbrits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

After a wonderful afternoon of the Spring House & Garden Tour in Madison, Georgia, we stayed at an official Dude Ranch on Saturday night. It was definitely worth it. With the horses roaming the grounds and the live band playing music for the guests, it was beyond charming. After a good night's rest, we were welcomed by a Sunday buffet of true Southern breakfast foods. My husband, Steve, even rode a horse after breakfast on Sunday morning. There is something about the country air in a small town. Madison has it all. It is only 30 minutes away from The University of Georgia in Athens. We will be returning soon for another trip.

Room Tip: It is a Bed & Breakfast, so talk to the staff to see what will meet your needs.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Slough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Your main problem and only complaint will be you wished you booked a longer stay here with the staff and Horses at this Dude Ranch.
Lets start with the accommodation...
Our room was perfect with views across the paddocks and woodlands. Extremely clean, furnished nicely with plenty of storage ( important when you've packed for a 2 week US trip ). The food was very good and served buffet style with a few options and excellent salads. Cakes, biscuits and soft drinks are available 24 hours a day if you really needed a midnight snack. There's a non heated Pool plus, and more importantly, a hot tub always welcome after up to 4 hours in the saddle. The staff are very helpful and the building tour along with Jim was a little treat just to get you feeling " at home ". Jim's late night camp fire / singsong shouldn't be missed. Now the resort does not have a alcohol selling licence so if you need a beer etc, there is a guest fridge you can use to chill down you favourite tipple so bring your own. The main town, if you need to stock up, is only 30mins down a road and also well worth a drive just to have a drive around and look at some of the houses in Madison.
Now the main purpose of you trip / visit will be riding the Horses. Now I'm told this was a Dude ranch which simply means you are hands on, collecting the Horses from the paddock / grooming / tacking up and not just "Riding " which was great. A bit of bonding with you allocated Horse ( Horses are allocated each morning / afternoon so you can swoop and change if you want to ) a short walk out to the mounting out area and you are set to go. The first ride will be with a guide ( This is over 200 acres of farm and wood lane so you would get lost within 10 minutes un-guided ) but if you are confident you can go off in pairs and explore. The guides will take you at walking pace but there are sections where you are allowed to pick up the pace so it's not all walking pace hacking and fast trotting on trails through woodland shouldn't be missed, Take time to walk around the barns and stables, play with the dogs and dogs, take out a mounting bike if you have the energy, relax in the hot tub and look forward to the following days little Horse adventure or start planning you next visit.
We will be back...
Thanks to everyone there and we hope all the mares have had their foal's by now

Room Tip: We had a room above the Kitchen / Dinning area with you'd think might be a problem with cooking...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

This was the first time we have visited the ranch and had the most amazing time if only for one night. The staff were really friendly and gave us a really warm welcome. The food was good and to have the drink station open 24 seven was really great for the kids.
It was really great to be able to walk around the stables and fields with no limitations. The riding experience was really enjoyable and my daughter enjoyed the hands on with the horses before and after the ride. Even if you don't ride you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere, take bikes out, swim or even have a game of basketball which my son had his dad doing for most of our stay.
Thank you Southern Cross Ranch.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Nikki W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Cross Ranch

Property: Southern Cross Ranch
Address: 1670 Bethany Church Rd, Madison, GA 30650-5012
Region: United States > Georgia > Madison
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Southern Cross Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern Cross Ranch is a new breed of dude-ranch experience that combines a working ranch with the comfort of a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Southern Cross Ranch Hotel Madison

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