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“Quiet, rustic, high quality mountain comfort.”

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The Cataloochee Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 September 2012

This was our first time to visit the ranch, and we were very pleased. The employees are very helpful and attentive, the food service was above and beyond our expectations. Many settings were beyond what we had assumed might be offered. Great place for children, many horses and cows around. Nice peaceful getaway, would definitely come back! Give it a try.

Room Tip: Many different sized rooms to fit any need or family. Nice and cool year round, so no need for air...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Toadbite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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84 - 90 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2012

My 9 year old daughter wanted to ride horses for her birthday and one of my dear friends suggested Cataloochee Ranch. And thank goodness for the suggestion. We had an outstanding couple of days. Relaxed and unplugged. The accomodations in the Pond House were wonderful. The food was excellent. The scenery was beautiful. The atmosphere was so very family friendly. One of our best vacations ever. And the horseback riding was much more than even expected. I am 54 years old and hadn't been on a horse since high school...but it was a fun and memorable experience. And of course our 9 year old had the time of her life. We've already booked for a return visit next year. Very highly recommend!!!

Room Tip: You can't go wrong with any of their accomodations.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank BuckHarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2012

Catalooochee is a wonderful family-run, family-friendly place. The place is decidedly casual yet exceptionally warm and personal, causing a devote loyalty in its guests who return year after year. A father-daughter trio had been coming every year for fifteen years, a grandmother "steals" her grandchildren for a week every year (leading the staff to comment on the new color of the t-shirt she crafts for the occasion), and an elderly couple first came on their honeymoon. Pretty impressive. In fact, many of the folks may have been a little alarmed at us, a young couple- and we heard more than a few times that they're trying to strike a balance of keeping the place a secret and attracting new clientele. There's a lot to do on the ranch, including wonderful horse back rides that can be tailored to suit your needs- more advanced riders get to canter. People who have never been on a horse will be gently guided by Judy, who takes great pride in her animals. As she should- they were wonderfully gentle yet spunky enough to climb the mountain trails to provide us beautiful views. The same trails are available for hiking, and some lead to waterfalls. There's also a trout pond (stocked with fish), grassy lawns for lawn games (including horseshoes), and a swimming pool with a view to a butterfly garden and the mountains beyond. At night, there's a bonfire to relax around, while inside there might be storytelling or music. You could easily spend 4-5 days here. Nearby, there are also attractions like Smoky Mountain National Park, and I heard that the expedition led by the grandmother was headed to Dollywood over the border in Tennessee. Asheville and the Biltmore are also easy drives. Dinner and breakfast are included with the room, and are served either buffet or family-style. The food may not be gourmet, but it's good mountain comfort food and there's plenty of it. The jams are crafted on-site and are available at the gift shop to take home, as are other souvenirs. At the end of the day, it was a wonderful escape and a terrific value, and we wish we could have stayed longer. Couples may want to stay in a cabin or at the Silverbelle lodge (the patios are great for relaxing). The cabins are well-equipped for families and large groups. The rooms in the main guest house, where we stayed, were charming but the walls are a little thin. The main guest house feels more like a mountain escape experience while the rooms in the Silverbelle had more updated and modern bathrooms/showers. When we go back, we'll probably shoot for May or September for the flowers/fall colors- but the cool temps at that altitude were also a nice break from the summer heat.

Room Tip: Silverbelle lodge rooms are more modern and have patios, while rooms in the main lodge are more rust...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NavyCJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2012

We went with a group of 20 for the steak cookout on Wednrsday. The ranch is at 5000 feet elevation, fabulous views, cool temperatures. We ate outside at picnic tables under a large covered patio, though inside seating was available as well. Steaks and chicken were grilled beside the patio while we had cocktails purchased from their bar, with a good selection of beer and wine, some liquors. Hot artichoke dip served during this time. Dinner was buffet style, and included corn on the cob, baked white and sweet potatoes, green beans, mixed green salad, two other salads, hot rolls, steak and chicken from the grill. Deserts included fresh sliced peaches, home made blackberry pie, blackberry cobbler, and several cakes. The food was good, not great, copious quantities. Go for the whole experience, relaxed, casual, country style, open air, lots of good food and drink, wonderful location, and you won't be disappointed.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
Thank g0lfntravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary C, Manager at The Cataloochee Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2012

Thank you so much for your review, I am glad you had a good time and look forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed 19 July 2012

There must be something special about a place you return to year after year for decades, a place you bring your children to, and then your grandchildren to. The Cataloochee Ranch is just such a place. We have stayed in nearly all the cabins, Silverbell lodge and many of the rooms in the ranch house. We have visited in different seasons. We have ridden the trails and hiked the mountain paths (into adjacent Smoky Mountain National Park). We have never been anything but completely satisfied with our stay. As others have written, the scenery is simply outstanding - some of the best mountain views anywhere. Once you arrive you feel no need to leave and do other things - though there are ample opportunities in nearby Maggie Valley or Waynesville on those rainy days. We have stayed at guest ranches all over the US, and the Cataloochee Ranch remains our favorite.

Room Tip: Chestnut Cabin is our favorite for a family of four.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2012

We snuck out of town to the Cataloochee Ranch to enjoy the beautiful scenery and some quiet time. We didn't expect it to be this fantastic! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming!! The food was fantastic; home cooked dinner and breakfast did not leave you hungry. Forget about saving room for dessert, the stomach stretch will be worth it. Music with Jeanie was such a treat! We went horseback riding and Alex was awesome. The view is unbeatable and the quality time spent together will have us coming back soon!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank italstal222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2012

We almost didn’t stay here due to a couple older bad reviews. That would have been a mistake. My daughter wanted to ride for the whole weekend and fortunately Chattahoochee had an opening. We rode two mornings and one afternoon. We did the Navitat zipline the day before (way worth the time and money) and went whitewater rafting the day after we left Cattahoochee.

1 - the views are SPECTACULAR; if your soul needs to get recharged by being reminded how beautiful the great outdoors is then this is a great place to go.

2 – these are the best overall “publically available” horses we’ve ever seen (my daughter is a big rider/jumper so she knows good horses when she sees them). They had horses for the beginner through advanced. On one trip we discovered that one group of riders was with us who classified themselves as better riders than they should have which normally would have meant limited trotting and no cantering, so one of the two guides with us said “let’s break off and go another route where we can let them run a bit” How AWESOME is that?

3 – rooms/cabins. We stayed in the Silver bell lodge and the room was attractive, spacious and clean with all expected amenities and the best views ever.

4 – food – OK I’m a bit of a spoiled snob as I travel the world with a very generous expense account so I get to eat very well. The first night was terrific with BBQ ribs and Chicken, excellent salads and casseroles with an extensive and tasty selection of deserts. Breakfast both days where typical: lots of fresh fruits, oatmeal/grits, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, juices and coffee. Lunch was grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, beans, etc.+ many deserts. Dinner the second night was steaks, salads, potatoes, etc. {while not Ruth’s Chris they were tasty} + multi-deserts and all served with some of the best views ever. Yes; it’s true this is not the place to go if you’re solely going there to eat, in which case might I recommend almost anywhere in Italy or France, but the food quality ranged from good to most excellent which is more than I can say for the great nation of England :>) {sorry about that mate – no offense to your mum}

5 – wine – the selection was very good AND the pour was almost to the rim so for $8 I got what a typical restaurant would charge $15-$20.

6 – fishing – the pond was full of fish and in 90 minutes we had caught 6 nice trout. They’ll actually let you take them to the kitchen, if you like, then serve them to you for lunch or dinner. We did catch and release however.

7 – nice – the staff ranged from very nice to exceptionally helpful.

8 – did I mention the views yet? Again hiking and riding their trails is fabulous as is simply sitting in a chair looking out across the mountains.

I wrote this review because I didn’t want anyone to miss out on a great time. If another ranch had been available we would have gone there based on the couple older, poor reviews we saw. There’s no accounting for personal taste or demeanor so I always try to determine how the reviewer might be biased as I read both glowing and scathing reviews as should you.

All that said, I’m glad we went and we’ll be back. BTW, it seemed that 2/3’s of the people there had previously been there and I can see why they have a large amount of repeat clientele.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Cataloochee Ranch

Address: 119 Ranch Dr, Maggie Valley, NC 28751-8509
Phone Number:
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Maggie Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Maggie Valley
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
The Cataloochee Ranch Hotel Maggie Valley

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