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“A completely wonderful experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Dixie Dude Ranch

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Dixie Dude Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A completely wonderful experience.”
Reviewed 10 May 2012

I had no idea what a dude ranch was and stumbled across the Dixie Dude Ranch when doing internet searches for Texas. So glad I found it.

I have never felt so at home, so far from home.

The ranch is set in the most beautiful country, rolling hills, wildflowers, magnificent sunsets. From the moment you arrive you feel welcome, everyone says hi and introduces themselves.

The cabins are basic, no tv's, no mod cons - but that's what you're here for. Each cabin has a rustic feel, with a porch and a rocker - they all look homely and welcoming.

The main lodge has a tv (which was never turned on while we were there - kind of cool), it's decorated with photo's of guests from over the years, it's been welcoming visitors for over 60 years. The lodge also has the dining room, where all you meals are served, which by the way are awesome - all good home cooking and plenty of it. We never went hungry.

You can do two horse rides a day, the wranglers take the time to choose the right horse and to make you feel comfortable (I hadn't ridden since a child - now 40 and was very nervous). They also ensure that you don't go on the same trail twice. The views along the trails are unbeatable, such a beautiful peaceful place.

For the more experienced riders, you can also request extra horse time in the arena, where you can put one of the horses and you skills through their paces, a wrangler will be there to watch over you.

You can also do hikes of the property, we asked at the front desk and we were told to grab a map, a stick and a dog... we mentioned 'hike' to one of the friendly labradors on the front porch and she was away.... no leash required... off we went, the dog lead us all the way.

They also have various entertainment after dinner - while we were there, we had a cowboy come and sing for us around the campfire - may sound a little cheesy - but as the sun was setting, he told us stories and sang songs - it was awesome (and I don't even like country/cowboy music).

It's a great way to spend time with your family and also meet fellow travellers. I would go back in a heartbeat, it's a truly magical place.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Reggae_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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220 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
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English first
United States
Level Contributor
123 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Our family loved our stay here. We are city folks and weren't sure what to expect. We stayed three nights and felt that was just the right amount. Here are our thoughts.

1. This has been a dude ranch for over 50 years and I'm guessing not much has changed in those 50 years. Same rooms, same menus, same activities. That being said, it's a classic, wonderful way to get away from it all. But, it comes with a trade-off. For examle, there were very few outlets in our room. None in the bathroom. So, to use a blow-dryer, I had to do it outside the bathroom. We had to take turns with the outlet and things we needed to plug in, because we only had one usable outlet. The other ones had lamps or room AC units plugged into it and we needed the light and AC and didn't want to unplug them. The toilet flushes with very low water pressure. Even just pee took two flushes to get down. The shower was small, but functional and water pressure didn't seem to be a problem there.

2. Meals are plentiful. The food is delicious, but again, it seems like it's the 50 year old menu. We loved it, but you need to be aware of it when booking. Pickled beets, potato salad, roast beef, cold cut sandwiches, fried chicken, etc. I don't think my kids at a vegetable during our stay. Not that the ranch didn't serve vegetables, but they were served in a way that my kids didn't like. My kid aren't overly picky, and I didn't ask for special arrangements. My suggestion would be for the ranch to offer some more healthy meals. But then again, maybe that's what they are going for....good down-home cookin'. Sausage was served at every breakfast. Refills and seconds were never a problem. But don't be late for meals!

3. The evening entertainment was wonderful. The trail rides were great. Not much instruction or safety emphasis was given. I've been on other rides where much more safety was visible and instructed. Kids don't need to wear helmets. They don't even offer them. Keep in mind that these horses know the way and you really don't have to do much to guide them. It's a very calm, slow ride. No worries about a camera banging around your neck or anything like that. Our ride groups ranged in size from 4 guests to I bet over 15. They put the kids in the front of the line, so on the large groups, I was quite far from my kids. It was OK, but I would have liked to be able to interact with my family more during the rides. It's a nose to tail ride. No allowance to get off and take pictures during the ride. The rides all were different with great scenery. The wranglers were all friendly and accommodating. Just wished I could have chatted with my own family a bit more. Two rides day. One in the AM and one in the PM. The owner told us at mealtime what time our ride would leave.

4. The pool was the worst thing. If you read this Dixie Dude Ranch staff, please cleean up the baby pool. It was downright gross. The big pool was nice and inviting. But the baby pool sort of turned my stomach; it was that dirty. If I had seen that on my first day, I would have been so wary the entire trip. Thankfully, I saw it on our 2nd to last day, and I had already fallen in love with the ranch, so I could overlook it it.

5. Other thoughts: bonfires at night. great gift shop on site. cold water and soda always available (for a nominal fee....the honor system). tether ball, swingsets, lots of dogs and cats around. helpful staff. wonderful interaction with other guests. no tv in the rooms. no cell signal. calm horses (we each had our favorite)

We would definitely go back to Dixie Dude Ranch. Though I said some negative things here, it was more of a "know what you're in for" kind of review. We loved it and could overlook everything that wasn't 5 star. But those who only want high-end should probably look elsewhere. This is a charming, classic ranch with caring, loving staff. We highly recommend them, as long as you know that you're sort of stepping back in time when you step on the ranch property.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Thyme8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton
Level Contributor
46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2012

A wonderful rustic setting. Really well behaved horses wonderful trail rides. Helpful experience wranglers. Great food lots of it and very friendly staff.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GillySouthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2012

We stayed 2 nights at Dixie Dude with our 2 year old. It really is a great place and if you know what to expect you can get even more out of your stay. Here are a few comments and tips:

- The accommodation is decent but don't expect 5 star luxury. Some of the rooms are duplex and in particular the one we were in just had an ill-fitting door to the neighboring room (light even filtered through at night). That meant it was very noisy, especially if they have kids. When you make a reservation I'd suggest to ask for a room without a neighbor if youre a light sleeper.

- The food is decent and plentiful. Again though don't expect fine cuisine and if youre a fussy eater you may struggle as the choice is not large. Its may be worth bringing some of your own supplies for if you get hungry

- The horse rides are great for beginners (me) and we had no trouble with our 2 year old. All the horses were very well behaved and I only saw the odd very minor incident where they got a little ruffled. The trail rides do vary in terms of quality / interest. There are also options available for more advanced riders but these are somewhat ad hoc and not operated by Dixie Dude (although they are on site)

- There are other activites on the ranch and for a day or 2 you should be ok. The pool was closed as we were there in winter but there was plenty of room for the kids to run around and it was safe with few vehicles. Unfortunately there was no fishing as the pond / lake has dried up due to the drought. There is also basically little or no TV and no cell covereage, although the main lodge had good wireless coverage

- Bandera town is only a short drive away and has all the basic facilities. Dont plan on many dinners out here though as the restaurant choice is limited

- On the whole the staff were extremely friendly although we did see a few disagreements with other guests. Its also worth bearing in mind that I suspect it goes from very busy at peak times (it was sold out when we were there) to quite quiet at others and your experience might well vary depending on what its like when you go

All in all its a great ranch to visit to get a real feel of cowboy living. It is a little basic but if you come with the right expectations you should have a great time!

Room Tip: Suggest to ask what sort of room it is when you make a reservation - duplex can be noisy
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank jawsie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seabrook, TX
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2011

This was our 7th time at the ranch and our 6th Thanksgiving stay. Wouldn't think of staying anywhere else for Thanksgiving! Food was wonderful as usual (if you go away hungry, you might want to take your temperature) and the staff are very friendly! I love the wranglers and amazingly you get attached to the horses year after year! My favorite is Ruthie!

Thanks Mr. Clay and Mrs. Dianne for another GREAT year!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank minyonbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

We spent 2 nights at the Dixie Dude Ranch and it was 2 of the very best nights I have ever had on vacation. As a city girl it was a world apart from what I know so I was a little hesitant about the whole idea. Well it was spectacular. The ranch is like a movie set, the cowboys and cowgirls are so friendly and reassuring you feel like you have known them forever. The staff will bend over backwards to make sure you have everything you may need and the food was plenty and delicious. If I could have stayed there forever and become a Ranch girl myself I would have. Thank you all for a memorable utterly relaxing stay. We will be back as soon as possible!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ClaireTuesday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Level Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2011

I had a great time at the Dixie Dude Ranch. The atmosphere makes you feel like you are back in the old times: antique and western-related furniture and decoration is very well done. The staff and owners were very nice and the food abundant and delicious! The wranglers were super nice and so were the horses. The scenery is amazing and there are endless possibilities for hiking around and see interesting wildlife (from scorpions to jackrabbits and armadillos!). I was there without a car and never felt the need to get to the town of Bandera, which is some 8 miles away. The hot tub offers great views of the starry night...

Room Tip: I had the "stirrup" room, which is perfect for a solo traveler or a couple. It is really c...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank sabrinarosa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dixie Dude Ranch

Property: Dixie Dude Ranch
Address: 833 Dixie Dude Ranch Road, Bandera, TX 78003
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > Bandera County > Bandera
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Bandera
Hotel Class:3 star — Dixie Dude Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dixie Dude Ranch has been showing people all over the world true Texas hospitality for over 75 years. Our all-inclusive package is perfect for people of all ages, solo travelers, couples, and families alike. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dixie Dude Ranch Hotel Bandera
Dixie Dude Ranch Texas/Bandera

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