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“Fantastic Family Fun”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic Family Fun”
Reviewed 22 January 2012

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.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brittens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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323 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
ND
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2012

We have always wanted to go to a "dude ranch". Yes to ride horse, feed the horses and help where ever we could. We were not disappointed. It was eveything we were looking for and it was the best part of our trip to Texas.

Larry, Claire and Jim took care of us and let us help them feed, clean and ride all we wanted. They are a fantastic group of people and very knowledgeable about horses.

We were able to ride both horses and a draft horse, drove the belgians on a hay ride and hand fed Texas Longhorns.

What a fantastic 2 days. We would highly recommend this very Rustic Real Dude Ranch, where duding is fun!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Kickapoo Unit - very large with separate room with bunch beds for extra people.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cowgirlnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 January 2012

If you're looking for a Texas getaway, Rancho Cortez will provide you with plenty of fun. We spent 3 nights there between Christmas and New Year's Eve to get our city kids into the country. Just a few minutes after our afternoon arrival we piled into a wagon behind the stately Belgian horses for a hayride, a good kick-off to our stay. Larry let each kid on board have a turn driving the horses and joked with the passengers the whole ride. After that he invited us into the arena where he taught us basics about how to handle and ride horses before Mike and Bill led us off on a trail ride in the beautiful, spare Texas Hill Country.

Larry is a born teacher and if you're a novice he will have you (and your kids if you have 'em) up on a horse riding no time. Even the experienced riders were picking up tips. The horses themselves are wonderful animals, clearly well-cared-for and trained.

The accommodations met our expectations. We stayed warm in the chilly December nights in the Tecumseh suite. Our beds were comfortable and the room clean. The food was all tasty, especially the enchiladas, meatloaf, soup, and cakes. Family-style dining meant we met other ranch guests and enjoyed conversations with people from as far away as the U.K. and Germany.

The nightly campfire was a hit with everyone. Guitar playing, singing, and s'mores under a star-lit Texas sky--what's not to love?

The owners and staff treated everyone with warmth. They love to tease and joke, but they are serious about taking good care of their guests. They genuinely want each guest to have a great time and they work hard to provide an entertaining experience. Never a dull moment, lots of horseback riding, cozy accommodations and tasty food mean Rancho Cortez gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EMandEK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
College Station
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

The staff are very professional and really make you feel among friends. Their horses are very well trained so it is a joy to ride them, specially in the arena, where they encourage you to ride faster. The overall trip was great and the prices are more than fair: you really get a whole day plenty of activities and fun.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rodrigo V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We spent a day at the Ranch with our 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren, one of the best
experiences ever. All the employees have an excellent interaction with the guests. Larry
was wonderful with the kids and the arena riding
Could not have picked a more perfect Ranch in the Bandera area

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank RSONO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

The whole experience (we went for a day, and were there from 10am to 9pm) exceeded all our expectations, and we are already talking about going back. The staff are fantastic and went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed everything, whether it be riding, eating, listening to the professional country singers around the campfire or using the gym. Cowboy Larry is a gentleman, and Chris, Claire, Mike and everyone else were fantastic. We travelled to 20 states and did all sorts of things in 2011, and this was by far our best full day experience.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

My family spent Dec 27 (daytrip) at Rancho Cortez, and I now completely understand why this family owned ranch is rated #1 by TripAdvisor reviews. My young boys (9 and 11) were in cowboy heaven. They can’t wait to go back, and I plan to bring more family members (cousins) the next time I come. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel like family. The owner and his staff did everything possible to ensure the children were entertained—they enjoyed two trail rides, they learned a few riding tricks in the corral, they climbed trees, they played with goats, they fed horses, they roasted marshmallows, etc. It was a fantastic day! Thank you Cowboy Larry, Chris, and Mike for a wonderful and memorable experience.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SanchezFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rancho Cortez

Property: Rancho Cortez
Address: 872 Hay Holler Rd, Bandera, TX 78003-4364
Region: United States > Texas > Bandera County > Bandera
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Bandera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 23
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

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