My husband, myself and my six year old daughter stayed here for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. We booked through the internet from the UK from reading all the good reviews online. Getting there from the UK was much better than I thought. Fly from Heathrow to Houston and connect to San Antonio. Took us 20 hours door to door from Gloucester. Better than some trips to Europe.
We hired a Jeep which is to be recommended (Alamo through Ebookers) as the ranch is off the beaten track and everyone drives those enormous trucks in Texas - intimidating if you're in a small car on the highway!
We were welcomed with open arms from the moment we arrived. The whole place is like one big family which we felt part of from the word go. My husband did the fitness programme and my daughter and I did the horsey thing so we got a good feel for both sides of the ranch.
The fitness programme was varied and the food was good and healthly. My husband lost 3 inches round his waist in the first 10 days! Some of the other guests who were there for longer stays had lost amazing amounts of weight and in just a few days you could see the difference in the way the fitness guests looked.
My daughter got to join in the girls horse camp for the first week which was fantastic. The other girls,who were all older and local, took her under their wings and we didn't see her except at mealtimes and bedtime. The wranglers, camp counsellor and Cortez family all are fantastic with children and will look out for them if you are off doing hiking, riding etc. My daughter took part in a rodeo fed and looked after the horses, went on hayrides, learnt to lassoo, climbed trees etc etc...
I also had a wonderful relaxing time, rode on the trail, did a bit of arena work, managed some shopping and sight seeing in San Antonio (about an hour and half away) plus got a night out to remember in Bandera with the wranglers on New Years Eve. And no my two step is not up to it but I can do a mean waltz!
The food is good plain Texas fayre and there's plenty of it. BYO alcohol and stock up with juices, fruit and snacks to keep the kids going from the store in Bandera. We stayed in a family cabin which was exactly what you would expect for a log cabin. There is a heater/aircon unit and a decent bathroom, huge bed and bunks for the kids.
In the evening there is campfire with stories, music and s'mores. We were very lucky to have some excellent singers and musicians staying at the time so got some great impromtu concerts. I am now a bit more of a fan of country music than I was.
Altogether this was our best family holiday so far and highly recommended. I have travelled and lived around the world and this is a VERY special place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Rancho Cortez! Located in the cowboy capital of the world, Rancho Cortez is a Texas Dude Ranch and Cowboy Fitness Farm offering horseback riding, lodging, day trips, hiking, and more! Saddle up and live your dreams at the Texas Dude Ranch! Cowboys, cowgirls, and experienced riders will enjoy horseback riding with expert cowboy, Larry Cortez. We offer plenty of Texas-style fun with hayrides, campfires, cattle roundups, lasso lessons, swimming in our pool, or soaking in our hot tub. With a broad array of wildlife species and ruggedly beautiful landscape as far as the eye can see, the ranch is the perfect escape from urban life. Lost weight and get fit on the Cowboy Fitness Farm! Fitness and weight loss visitors will work with personal trainers under the direction of Mary Cortez. Come for our popular 30 day weight loss camp or spend just a few days or weeks. Guided hikes, water aerobics, yoga, weight training, aerobics, pilates, and horseback riding - along with classes in the air-conditioned gym - will help you meet your weight loss goals. We can get you started on the road to a healthier life and teach you new skills to take home! Come to the beautiful Texas Hill Country for the getaway of a lifetime at Rancho Cortez! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Cortez Hotel Bandera
- Rancho Cortez Texas/Bandera