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Mayan Dude Ranch
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Reviews (394)
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Reviewed 2 August 2009

This was our 4th trip to the Mayan Ranch, twice we have brought our grandaughter to the ranch and all 4 times we had a wonderful time. The Hicks family welcomes you into their extended family with every visit, The food is GREAT, we especially love the cowby breakfast out on the ranch property. THe horses are a lot of fun, we never miss our rides. We have spoken to so many people from other countries at the ranch who also keep returning year after year, it truely is a hidden treasure. I tip my hat to the entire Hicks family for a job well done.
We will see you again soon
Diane & Dave

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Ballroomdancer3810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2009

We had a great time!! My husband and I took our children ages 9 and 13 and we had a wonderful time. We stayed 3 nights and I do feel like the accomodations could have been a little more updated and they were not as clean as I expected but we had an awesome experience. I read a lot of reviews and did a lot of research before choosing this ranch. I was surprised at how spread out it was and I think the cabins must vary quite a bit from reading the reviews and talking to other guests I think some of them may be a little nicer than others, I think some of them may pick up more television channels or be a little bigger or more "cowboy" themed. There were so many families that had returned for a second or third time. The snakes/bugs that are mentioned in other reviews are really an expected part of an experience such as this. It is very dry in the summer and these types of critters are hard to control! Welcome to Texas!!! The river that is on the property was very refreshing and cool very shaded and relaxing. We spent the whole day there. The Hick's family was awesome. The hospitality is the best part. They make a point to talk to you and are always smiling interacting with guests. They are truly concerned about your happiness while at the ranch.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank trdojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2009

Where do I start? We loved everything about this place!
My husband had visited the ranch with his family for many summers as a child and decided that it was time to share that experience with our kids(Ages 8 & 5).We stayed Sunday- Sunday July 5th-12th. I would highly recommend staying a whole week if you can. They have different themes and activities each day and I would not want to miss any of it!

Rooms
We checked into our cabin(65 & 66) upon arrival. They were very nice and roomy- comfortable beds, cold a/c, mini refrigerator, front and back porch, and tv with digital cable.The cleaning staff did a wonderful job each day- clean towels, refreshed beds, emptying trash and cleaning the bathroom.

Breakfast-
We were awakened with fresh coffee and orange juice delivered to our door by Deputy Doug -7:15ish. This is optional and if you wish to sleep in you may do so as well. My husband, kids and grandma chose to take the hayride to cowboy breakfast(you can also take a horse ride there), while my mom and I opted to eat breakfast in the dining room. They had a wide array of breakfast choices- fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal bar, eggs, omelets made to order by Tracy, toast, hash browns, sausage, pancakes, waffles, many kinds of fruit juice, coffee and most importantly-bacon. A little note about the bacon- I have been on a strict diet for the past few months and was bound and determined not to go crazy with the eating. I did fairly well with that but COULD NOT resist the bacon- it was delicious! The cowboy breakfast was not to be missed- the atmosphere is perfect, the food delicious and music by Reuben completes the experience.

Daily Activities-
My husband, daughter and I went on a morning horse back ride almost everyday- you can also take an afternoon ride. My son, who is not quite 6 ,was unable to participate in the trail rides but did not feel left out by any means. Each day Wrangler Ryan or the Pony Lady brought a horse up to the pavilion for the younger kids to safely ride. Other activities-fishing in the Medina River,bb gun shooting, bull-whip lessons, roping lessons, dance lessons, archery lessons, basketball, tennis, ping pong, shuffle board, horseshoes, washers, pool table, arcade games, swimming races, dart game, egg toss and hiking- there is a organized hike for the children to see the dinosaur tracks by Judy-the kids loved this! Most afternoons you could find us in the pool-Nice!

Lunchs- Served daily in the pavilion with LOTS of choices! Some of our favorites- bbq chicken, chicken fried chicken, chicken strips, pizza, hamburgers and salads.They also have free wine and beer served from 11-10.

Dinners
Sunday
Luau at the Pavilion- complimentary Mai Tais( delicious- great job Tracy) and Kowgirl Kel led us in some pre dinner games- great for breaking the ice and meeting other guests. Next the Hawaiian feast was served- Salmon, 7-Spice Ribs,Shish Kabobs, Ham and an array of salads and sides followed by desert and more entertainment.
Monday-
That evening we were treated to a performance by a trick roper-excellent and dinner at Hicksville- mouth-watering steaks, sauteed mushrooms,fried fish,potatoes, vegetables, salad, homemade bread and desert with live music. They also had a kid's talent show before dinner and an adults talent show after dinner.
Tuesday-
Adults dinner was served in the dining room- Ribs(fav.), huge boiled shrimp,potatoes, corn, sausage, salad, rolls, chocolate pie. After dinner we were treated to a wonderful show"Phantom of the Opry" put on by the Hicks family- watch for Lore- he steals the show and had our whole table doubled over in laughter!
Kid's dinner- My kids thought that it was the greatest thing ever to go to their own "adult free" dinner(they were well supervised by the staff). They took a hayride to Hicksville and were treated to their own kid cuisine, hayride around the ranch to see wildlife and a magician show @ the pavilion.
Wednesday
Hicksville/Cowboy & Indian Theme- Baby buffalo/history show before dinner. Smoked turkey, beef fajitas, Indian tacos, grilled corn, salad and pumpkin pie with live music after dinner we headed back to the pavilion for a family d-jay dance.
Thursday
Fiesta at the pavilion- complimentary margaritas, enchiladas, fajitas, tamales(fav),beans, rice, salad and a banana split buffet with a mariachi band. The kids also enjoyed a hayride to see wildlife and pinata.
Friday
Riverside BBQ- Sliced beef, ribs, sausage, beans, potato salad, salad ,homemade bread and blondies w/ live music. After dinner we were treated to an impressive fireworks show.
Saturday
Adults dinner in the dining room-Steak,fried shrimp,sweet potato stuffed potato(fabulous), green beans,gazpacho soup and a blueberry and cream desert.
Kid's dinner- Kid cuisine at the Pavilion w/ staff supervision. After dinner the kids joined us in the dining room for an excellent musical variety show by the Hicks Family plus Doug and Lulu- watch for Tommy- Hilarious!!!!

We absolutely loved this vacation! My kids even said that it was better than Disneyworld! We cannot wait to come back next summer.

The Hicks Family make this place special, making up the majority of the staff- with the exception of Doug, Lulu, David and Reuben- who seem just as much a part of the family as anyone else. You can tell that they love what they do and do what they love! They work very hard from sun up to sun down to make sure that the guests are happy- no request goes unanswered.

What a wonderful place to make memories with your family!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank MelAnn376
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2009

This was certainly an experience not to be missed by anyone travelling in the area and wanting to experience a taste of the cowboy ranch life. We had a wonderful time but the accommodation let it down. We booked two lodges (not cheap), one was ok but the other one (Lodge No. 3) was a disappointment. It was so dirty that even a cowboy would have a problem staying there. It was dingy and dark with curtains pulled over the windows that covered a multitude of sins. When I tried to open one of the curtains the whole rail fell down! The cover on the bed looked uninviting; and although the sheets seemed clean the towels had seen much better days. I made the mistake of peering down the back of the bed to find more cobwebs and dirt than you would think possible after 20 years! After that, we stayed awake all night wondering what might crawl up from under the bed. On our first night, I wandered into the bathroom and was confronted with a scorpion. Well, ok we're British, and the worst thing that we encounter is the odd over large spider or bumble bee, so we are a bit wimpey I guess. Anyway, sleep was impossible on that night as we didn't know how dangerous or how many scorpions were going to invade. Pity really because it was so quiet and peaceful on a night time. We got another shock the next day when we were confronted with a snake curled up on the front door. Now there are no phones in these lodges so you can't just ring reception and ask what do we do you just have to sit it out. Maybe the ranch should advise on such things? This particular lodge just needed a serious clean as the other lodge was not wonderful but ok and what you would probably expect from a dude ranch.

Now that I've got the down side off my chest I'll focus on the pluses (and there were many). The family run ranch provided great food and entertainment and nothing was too much trouble. Randy (The CEO) was a great guy and made us feel so welcome that we felt part of the family. Cold beer flowed continuously throughout the day and night (all part of the package). We enjoyed a Mexican night but even more so enjoyed the Wild West evening and the dancing. The food is lovingly prepared and presented by the family but as most of the eating is outdoors there was lots of flies which did put me off a bit (hazard of cowboy life). The riding was a great experience but don't get any ideas that you are going to ride off into the sunset like Butch Cassidy - it's all very restricted, regulated and slow. Mind you, in temperatures of over 100 degrees you wouldn't want to go at a racing pace let alone push the horses any faster than a dobin speed. The breakfast horse ride or the hayride (for those who don't want to ride horseback) was fab leading to breakfast cooking away on an open grill, enjoying the passing deer and the cowboy countryside.

The pool back at the ranch is a good size and there's always something going on so you won't be bored. You just need to remember that this is cowboy Texas, dusty and raw. Don't take any decent clothing with you because it will just be ruined. Trainers/boots, shorts and jeans that's all. Be prepared to rough-it and get your shoes dirty!

The weather was so hot that the river had dried up so there was not chance of tubbing down the river but that would have been fun had it been possible.

It’s such a pity the lodge let it down for us but we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank FizzUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2009

I took my husband here on the weekend of June 5-7, 2009 for a getaway and to celebrate his birthday. My husband had not ridden a horse in years and I wanted to surprise him with an outdoor adventure.

Our overall experience at the Mayan Dude Ranch was disappointing especially for the cost: $150 per adult per night.

Positives:
1. Pool - Large and well kept. Sparking blue water.
2. Horses - They seem to be treated very well and are very gentle. While the rides are single file and slow, it was fun.
3. Hayride - Taking the hayride to breakfast gives you a nice tour of the property and a chance to view some of the wildlife.
4. Food - While not 4 star quality, I thought the meals were of good variety and substance.

Negatives:
1. Room - We stayed in Unit 9. While clean, the room left a lot to be desired - especially in the bathroom. Uncomfortable bed, thin small towels, no light in the shower, low water pressure, no shampoo or conditioner left for guests, TV only got 1 English speaking channel.
2. Staff - Hit or miss. We had some staff that acted like it was a hassle to answer our questions or were bothered when we asked for ice (although we were told in our welcome letter we could get it anytime from 2 different locations)
3. Daily Itinerary - Every morning we were given a sheet with meal and activity times. But good luck reading it - it is jam packed with details. Too many! In fact my husband and I missed that there was a afternoon horse ride as we couldn't digest all the information. Talk about a bummer as that was the main reason I chose this place!
4. Entertainment - The last night they put on a 'show' in the lodge. While some of the acts were entertaining it was extremely long.
5. Professionalism - While the older generation of the Hicks family seem keen on operating a good business, their youth do not. On the last night we were there after the 'big' show, most of the grandchildren were getting drinks from the saloon and drinking/ smoking on the front porch in front of guests:
1. Some of them were underage
2. Some of them were arguing
3. Most of them left in their cars to continue drinking at a local bar in their cars (drinking + driving).
While maybe some folks don't mind this behavior, I found it extremely unprofessional and a mockery to advertise the ranch as 'family friendly' and then allow their own children to drink/smoke/air personal laundry in front of guests. It left a 'trashy' taste in my mouth.

I really don't know that I would ever visit this place again. I feel like there are many other places I would rather spend my time and money on.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank melsadieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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