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“Great place to have fun”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great place to have fun”
Reviewed 26 May 2010

This was my second day trip to the ranch and it was as enjoyable as the first. Larry, the owner/entertainer, really tries to get people to do a little more than they are comfortable with but he also knows the limits. This is the only ranch I have found in the area that allows for so much riding at such a low price. I will definitely make a third trip and probably stay a few days.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jc60752
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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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
Orange, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 20 May 2010

My grilfriend and I just left the Rancho Cortez Ranch in Bandera Texas yesterday, 05/15/10, after a 4day 3night stay. It was a great trip! Larry (the owner) greeted us shortly after our arrival, along with some of his staff. The views from horseback riding are priceless. The horses are very well trained. The food is awesome. Larry and his ranch hands, Rusty and Cody, did everything possible to make it an enjoyable stay, which it was. Pictures and talk do not do the Ranch justice, you just have to go and see it for yourself, but it’s worth it. From TX to AR, and over to OK, this is the best Ranch for hands on training, lessons, and services for the price you pay. You will not get the service and treatment anywhere else as you do here. Thanks again guys, see you again in the Fall or Winter.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DB842
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2010

The trip was too expensive for what we expected. If you like to ride horse, maybe it is a good location but if you want to spend a good week end with friends it is not a good idea. The food was horrible. It was child food. There is nothing in the kitchen: no glasses, no plates. The swimming pool was too small.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank laurenceHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Commerce, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2010

If you are looking for a five star spa and resort where people fall over you to serve you, this is not the place. But if you are looking for a classic Texas experience that brings calm to your soul and adventure to your spirit...this is the perfect place for you. I visited for 2 whole months as part of the Rancho Cortez Fitness Program. While I was there I lost 28 pounds and 32 1/4 inches, but this was the least of what I benefited while I was there. A rustic place where you challenge yourself and are responsible for self awareness and self motivation..a place like this attracts real and dynamic people. I met some of the most intersting and genuine people that inspired and challenged me in new ways. If you would like to see more about specific events I participated in, you can read about them at www.mbilow.wordpress.com.

The owner of the fitness program, Mary Cortez, taught me key skills that I have been able to bring home with me. This includes safe and effective hiking skills that have strengthened my core, the tendons around my ankles and knees, and my love for the outdoors. She also taught me a new weight lifting discipline that I have been able to continue in front of my tv set at home several times a week. Propbably the most important lessons she taught me is portion control and how to give myself a break eery now and then...a little grace can inspire a lot of self motinvation.

The cabins are not the highlite..they are utilitarian. But that is all you need because you are there for the incredible Hill Country which you can enjoy anywhere on the campus including the hot tub. There is a rutic gym and pool that were useful for taking classes I had never tried before like kickboxing, pilates, total body conditioning, and ciruit training. We used the pool everyday for water aerobics in the afternoon. The water aerobics and the nightly stretch classes kept us limber and amazingly not soar for the next days routine. I loved the fact that half of the days activities were outside hiking and not confined to a gym. We would hike in the local state park that bumped up against the campus (has over 20 trails) or we would get in the van and travel to another state park like Enchanted Rock (1 milw up, 1 mile down, and 5 miles around) or Garner State Park (interesting trails through the cliffs), Lost Maples (includes a 2,200 ft elevation and then the most beautiful trail through the trees and water), and my favorite the Mission Trail (approximately 12 mile walk in San Antonio from mission to mission ending up at the Alamo right downtown).

I participated in the work program so it would be more affordable. Compared to the 5 other fitness camps I was considering, this was by far the best value. I was able to stay for 2 months at the ranch for what one month at the other camps would have cost me. The staff was attentive and tried to respond to the guests requests. The food was a good example of how to eat on a budget and still lose weight. We had 3 meals a day in the dining hall (unless it was long hike day and then we had a wrap in the park) and then 2 snacks (usually fruit, cheese stick, or trail mix). To my surprise, food became less and less important to me as I became more and more active and interested in the people and location. I left there having more control over my food, and as a result able to transition back into the real world where my food is not made for me everyday.

I have been home a little more than 2 weeks, and I have continued to lose 14 more pounds since my return. I have more energy than I have ever possessed. I am more flexible and can move quickly. I feel great and feel like I have the whole world ahead of me. This was NOT my state of mind and body when I arrived to the ranch. I was sad, lathargic, and had trouble breathing when I walked up a hill. The Ranch helped me change my body and my mind so now I am on a path to a FUN and EXCITING life. Thanks Rancho Cortez!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank mbilow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jensen Beach,Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2010

My 12 year old son who loves riding horses researched and found Rancho Cortez. We (myself, husband, 16 year old son, and my father) thought this would be a vacation only he would enjoy. Boy, were we wrong!! To start I cannot say enough about the hospitality we were shown! Larry is a consummate host and his staff is wonderful from the cooks to the housekeeping!! The ranchers Cody, Rusty, and Josh were great!! Rusty spent alot of time with with my son and he learned more about horses from he and Larry, than in the year he has been taking lessons! We all enjoyed the trail rides, what breathtaking views and great horses to ride on. The campfires were a blast, Larry tells great stories, one night we enjoyed a country singer, and making smores over the fire was fun. It was great not having T.V., and limited phone, this made us all enjoy each others company and get to know the other wonderful people staying at the ranch! I cannot say enough, when it was time to go none of us was ready to leave!! Will defnitely go back , my son is already planning to go to Cowboy Camp.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank floridagirl68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales, UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2010

Rancho Cortez is a great experience for all, non riders, experienced riders, children and adults alike. Larry is a great host and takes time with all ranch guests to ensure they have a great time. Rusty is particularly good with young children, our 7 year old was put on "Biggun" the biggest horse, and Rusty gave her the confidence to trail ride immediately. My husband had never even been near a horse due to a life long allergy, however, Larry kitted him out and gave him the confirdence not only go near the horses but ride on every trail ride over our three days stay. All the staff are very friendly, we ladies enjoyed the "horseback yoga" class, the nightly campfires are great fun for all. Special mention for "Gunner" the ranch dog who welcomes everyone, (we wanted to bring him home with us!) and Otis the mule! Couple of tips, take snacks and drinks, (beer, soft drinks), with you and dont wait for the activities to come to you........go down to the stables after checking in and everyone will let you know what is on offer that day and you will be asked what you would like to do and they will work around you. INot essential, but take a cowboy hat and boots, (gloves and boots essential if you have an allergy to horses). If you want a theme park ranch experience, go somewhere else! Rancho Cortez is the real deal!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Taffsontour2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 26 March 2010

We took six city grandkids for a weekend in the spring. The staff is customer-service oriented from top to bottom. Courtesy to the guests prevails overwhelmingly, and the wrangler team and owner Larry Cortez go out of their way to make sure every kid has an encouraging, safe, and fun experience on horseback. Only one of our six had ridden before. My wife and I had each ridden once over 50 years ago. Larry plays the Marine DI role well with the kids, but is full of kindness at the same time, and he's a great storyteller around the nightly campfires. We couldn't recommend it more highly. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Helpful?
Thank grandpakit
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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