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“Bad Weather in November”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
Forest City, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Bad Weather in November”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Our family planned on staying at Rancho Cortez for 3 days and 2 nights for the dude ranch experience but the weather did not cooperate. We had heavy rains and cold temperatures throughout our stay with the temperature failing to get out of the 30’s. As one would expect the dude ranch experience focuses on outside activities and with the bad weather the outside activities were not an option. They did not offer any alternative activities to compensate for the bad weather.

So our stay turned into hanging out in the room until it was time to eat again. I am all about a dude ranch experience being a place free from distractions such as cell phones, televisions and computers. However with no activities being offered it would have been nice to be able to have the kids watch a little tv or have access the to Wi-Fi in a weather controlled environment. As a professional business executive, it would have also been nice just to be able to check my cellphone messages and emails every several hours in the event of an emergency. There is no Verizon cell service and only a limited Wi-Fi spot open weather conditions to access the Internet at very, very, very slow Internet speeds.

Our room was as one would expect when staying at a dude ranch. Don’t expect 5 star accommodations. Our room had a king sized bed and bunk beds.

Based upon our experience, I would not recommend extended stay at Rancho Cortez. For us a 3-day and 2-night visit would have been more than enough for the experience.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank AppStateJay
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
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Fort Worth, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 May 2014

In looking for a ranch to spend our annual girls trip on, we decided on Rancho Cortez as the best choice for the money. We booked in January for a trip on Memorial Day weekend and at that time I did not read the reviews. As the trip got closer, I started to read reviews and was really concerned about what we had signed ourselves up for. Our trip was great. Rain and all. The staff were all super nice. Food was ok. Not gourmet by any means, but good none the less. Being a horse owner myself, the first thing I was concerned about was the condition of the horses. I was pleasantly surprised. All their hooves were trimmed and taken care of. They looked well fed and happy. 2 of the girls on our trip had never been on horses and had a great time. The staff checked our saddles as they loaded everyone on their horses, and checked them again before we went out on each of our 4 rides. The ranch had lots of things to do..hiking, hot tub, outdoor swimming pool, etc. The rides and breakfast, lunch and dinner were at scheduled times, but the rest of the day was up to us, which was nice. Cabins were nice and clean and had plenty of room for all of us. The owner tried to get to know everyone that was there for the weekend and I was surprised how he remembered little details we had talked about the day before. I would definitely stay here again and plan on bringing my 7 year old with me.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank JRB497
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I had originally booked my 2 week stay with out reading any reviews, so when I read them I was discouraged and wondered what I got myself into. However after spending 2 weeks there, I am thrilled to say I had an amazing experience with not only getting onto a path of better health, I achieved a level of peace that as a fast paced working professional have not had for many decades. I left Rancho Cortez 14.5 inches smaller plus enriched by new friendships, It is an honest , no frills approach to fitness. IT WORKS. If you do decide to go. Larry the owner is an amazing story teller, do not forget to go sit by the camp fire and ask for a story. THANK YOU RANCHO CORTEZ , I WILL BE BACK IN NOVEMBER.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank Cetty W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

We really enjoyed the stay at Rancho Cortez.
Everything we did was great fun! Feeding the horses, donkey, cattle and longhorns, horseback riding, Lassoing, cooldown in the pool, campfire...
The animals are in a good condition and for all kind of riders. For the first time on a horseback or experienced riders.
The whole Ranch is well kept with nice accomodations.
We enjoyed the time with the employees. They took care for everything that happened on the Ranch and were allways willing to give you good ideas what else you can experience.

So a big Thanks to Irene, Chris and Dalton and the whole Staff!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JKK1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

We loved our time at this dude ranch in April! From reading previous reviews here I had low expectations regarding the accommodation but we got a lovely surprise. The room was spacious with a king size bed (two bunks also but we didn't need these) and it had a real rustic feel. Two days prior to our arrival we asked for a fridge in our room and that was supplied.
Food was fine,edible nothing fancy but plenty available. We went for seconds most days.
The rides were great, scenery was fab! As I have a lot of experience I thought I'd be bored but I rather liked the slow pace and chats with others on the ride. I was given a chance to trot/canter in arena at other times which was great! So ask if you have experience. I was thrown of at one stage, stubborn pony and Larry blamed ME for causing the pony to start bucking. I really didn't appreciate that. He said I kicked it in the flank!! If I was riding poorly then surely Larry shouldn't have encouraged me to canter. While we had a fantastic time overall the reaction to this incident really annoyed me. Eileen and Chris were super!! If you can stay for two nights, we were reluctant given the price but for us it was the experience of a lifetime :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Strawgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limousin, France
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

We originally wanted to stay a few days but our itinerary was such that we could only do a day trip. So glad we did. Our first trail ride was relaxing and quiet and thoroughly enjoyable, the horses are in beautiful condition, we got back just in time for lunch and were pleasantly surprised by the food. They have a 'boot camp' here so all the food is labelled for nutritional value etc but is very tasty and plentiful. After lunch we had a wander round the camp. Lovely outdoor pool, there is a hot tub and an indoor pool too. We watched the farrier shoeing a horse, found the games lounge with a pool table and table tennis. Some of the equipment in there could do with an update but its a nice little place to go to get out of the sun. After lunch we went out on another trail ride and were out for nearly two hours. Beautiful countryside. Eileen took us out on the hay wagon to feed the gorgeous longhorn cattle which was an experience! I think the only concern I have for the whole day is that the wagon horses seemed to be hitched up for quite a long time before we actually went out. I would have preferred them to be hitched up nearer the time. However, they seemed happy enough. Dinner was again very good and after that we managed to learn to lasso a steer (a wooden one)! The campfire was lit, we made smores and had campfire stories and songs. We loved the whole day even though we very stupidly didn't wear long sleeved shirts and ended up with sunburnt arms. Be warned it gets very hot there in April! There are quite a few activities during the day, some are scheduled and some, like the steer roping and horseshoe throwing etc, you just find a wrangler and ask them to show you. A party of high school kids turned up while we were there and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves! Can't praise the staff enough, Cheryl was great, we felt like members of the family with Eileen and Garrett especially, Michael the fitness instructor was lovely to talk to and Larry told a great cowboy story. No idea what the accommodation was like but the families there who were staying seemed quite happy. We didn't hear any complaints. We were quite sad to leave during the campfire but had to drive back to San Antonio. We'll definitely go for a few days next time. Highly recommend this for anyone, kids especially will enjoy it. Great place for relaxing and doing as much or as little as you like.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Yvonne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Worst trip ever! Will post details upon return from vacation including video and photos to prove it!! Otherwise, it is probably too bad to even be believed.
SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT!
Employees: GREAT, but SO overworked and exhausted.
Owner: "Larry," Mean, abusive, apparently extremely prejudiced.
DON'T GO HERE! There are PLENTY of horse ranches on the way to Rancho Cortez with much better service for the price..
I have nothing against smoking but when another parent goes over and moves my kid away from Larry Cortez because he's blowing so much cigarette smoke directly into my little one's face for an hour during his bonfire story...well, that's pretty bad....especially since the mom who moved my child is a smoker herself!! But a considerate one..BIG difference.
Should I mention the 8 yr old who went flying off a horse up a rocky trail because her saddle hadn't been cinched tight and came loose and turned completely on its side? Or the mom who was told to go back to "Los Angeleezz" by Mr. Cortez simply because she pointed out that the horse pulling dozens of people in a wagon was raw and bloody under his nose lead (YES! I have photos of this, as well, for my updated review upon return home.)
As far as I could tell, the only people who liked this place were the daytrippers or the folks lucky enough to have little contact with the owner. The whole time we were there every family that was supposed to stay for several days (or more) suddenly changed their plans and left early.....
Hoping all of the families that literally booked out of there in the time we stayed will also take the time to post their horror stories....
More later....
We escaped Rancho Cortez...are still in Texas and loving it, by the way :-)

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank annall_13
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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