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“Wild Setting in the Wild West”
Review of Ten Bits Ranch

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Ten Bits Ranch
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Wild Setting in the Wild West”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

When we mentioned to a friend that we were headed for the Big Bend National Park in West Texas, he urged us to stay at the Ten Bits Ranch. It is located a few miles north of Terlinqua Texas on highway 118 and just west of the Madison Park Enterance. We took his advice and were very pleased with our stay. When we arrived in mid afternoon, Jennifer had left a note pinned to the office door directing us to our lodging in the "school house", where we found everything in readiness. When we returned from visiting the park that evening, she was waiting to greet us and make sure everything was to our satisfaction.

The Ranch is layed out like an old western town, with each of the room in a separate wild west themed building. The light breakfast (breakfast tacos one day, french toast another) is served in the cantina. Our room was attractively furnished with a veranda and rocking chair on the back porch overlooking Hens Egg Peak and a whole host of West Texas scenery. It included a propane gas fireplace and a water cooler for drinking water. Electricity is from solar power in the daytime and batteries at night.

The ranch is reached by a hard-packed dirt road, which should be navigable by any car. Jennifer provided detailed instructions on how to find the entrance off 118, and in case of inclement weather, she or her husband, Steve, can meet you there.

The Ranch is very convenient to the western entrance to the park and to many good and quaint restaurants and cafes in Terlingua (including LaKiva - don't miss the BBQ!).

Each

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad room in the place - the views are spectacular. We stayed in the sc...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank James595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
321 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

If you ever were out in the desert and saw a cabin in the distance and wished you could stay there and watch the stars some night, this is just the place.
We expected to arrive early in the day and arranged a tour with Jennifer (who with her husband Steve owns ten bits). We were unavoidably late but we still managed to make the tour work. Jim, our tourguide, spent three hours driving us in an air conditioned suburban to see some of the National Park as he provided information on the plants and history of the park. In addition he suggested some things to do - such as enjoying a beer on the porch of the terlingua trading company while watching the sun set illuminating the Chisos mountains in color. We wondered if we missed something since some others go by jeep - but we later decided all we missed was getting windblown and sandy.
The rooms were comfortable and modern - although no phones or TV in the room, which was fine with us. Cell service is sporatic at best - but the owners have a phone available for emergencies. The facility is on solar power but we hardly knew it. Water is from rain collection and a deep well and is described officially as non-potable - but with bottled water provided in the room for drinking that also is fine.
Jennifer prepared a good breakfast of breakfast taco's with salsa, juice and hot coffee.
With our visit in Feburary, the days were warm and the nights cool/cold. We even lit the gas logs in the room one morning to warm the room.
We enjoyed sitting outside after dark and watching the stars in the darkest sky you will ever see. In only a few minutes we saw several shooting stars. If you live in the city and have not experienced a really quiet location - this is the place to learn about that! The view in every direction from the ranch is beautiful.
We had the pleasure of meeting Steve who works for the park service as a palentologist. In the common room, he has prepared a display of artifacts he has collected from the ranch which is quite interesting.
Here are some things you may want to consider for your visit. The road to the site is gravel/sand and having a car with a low clearance and no four wheel drive I worried about how it would be in the rain - but on their web site they have a contingency plan for that. We purchased a small cooler and brought ice with us since there is none available at the site. Also it is a good idea to bring cokes or other drinks/snacks you may want since it is a long way to a store. Binoculars or a small telescope would be handy for stargazing - although you can see more than you would imagine even with the naked eye. Bring your star book.
If you arrive at night you may have trouble finding the road to ten bits. Best to arrive during daylight if possible.
We (two couples) enjoyed our stay and would recommend this to others. Good accommodations in a beautiful setting in the big bend.

Room Tip: The "bank" room has two queen beds and a great view.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank CrankyOldGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
181 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2012

Jennifer and Steve run a unique operation that our family enjoyed between Christmas and New Year's Day. What is most impressive to me is that they have managed to extract the best parts of camping (the stars, the campfire, the wilderness) while at the same time providing the civilized luxuries that my wife demands and I appreciate (warm comfortable bed, hot shower, modern dining facility). Icing on the cake is Steve's telescope, his help with our telescope that we brought along, and his knowledge of local dinosaur bones and Indian ruins. We would repeat our experience at Ten Bits any time.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank TexasTravel59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2011

This is my first Tripadvisor review but I had such an unpleasant experience after booking at Ten Bits Ranch that I wanted to record it here.

I booked (about two mths in advance) for 2 nights during the Thanksgiving week for my family - my husband and I and our three small children (aged 6, 4 and 2). I was told we had to take two rooms, meaning the total per night was $450 and on booking, I had to pay for the first night. I thought this was expensive at the time, but stupidly went ahead and booked without researching the alternatives.

About one month before our stay, our financial circumstances had changed, meaning that $900 for a two night stay at this hotel now seemed a ridiculous amount of money. I emailed the owner, Jennifer, and asked if we could a) all share one room, b) only stay one night, or c) she could try and re-sell the rooms. Unfortunately I had just missed the 30 cancellation policy.

She would not let us share one room or only stay one night but agreed (rather grudgingly, it seemed) to try and re-sell the rooms.

We waited until the last few days before the booking hoping that someone would book the rooms, and told her that we would come if not (as we did not want to waste the $450 already paid). We also researched other hotels in the area and realised how much better value they were for us, especially given that we could all share one room.

We continued with our trip down to Big Bend (staying in the wonderful Indian Lodge on the way) but received extremely unfriendly emails from Jennifer, when I tried to enquire about whether the rooms had been taken, and if not, about us coming as planned. I was worried about staying in a place where the owner was being so hostile to me.

However, staggeringly, I received an email the day before our original arrival date saying simply 'your reservation is considered cancelled', on the basis that when we asked her to try and re-sell the rooms, we then had no right to them if they were not resold.

My husband and I have made numerous trips to all corners of the world but have never experienced such an unreasonable attitude.

Luckily we were able to book at last minute into the Lajitas Resort near Terlingua, which was absolutely wonderful and at $199 for a superior room, was far better value than $450 at Ten Bits. And the service there was friendly and accommodating - highly welcome after such an unpleasant experience dealing with Ten Bits.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tenbitsranch, Owner at Ten Bits Ranch, responded to this review, 30 November 2011
First off, we have a strict cancellation policy because we are a small inn (4 rooms total), not a corporate property. When we take a booking we are committed to honoring it. In fact, just after taking this reviewer’s high-season reservation, another larger party wanted to book our entire facility, however we turned them down (as well as a lot more money) because we already had this guest's reservation on the books (and we will not unfairly cancel a reservation simply to make more money from a bigger group). We simply ask our guests to make a similar commitment to us.

The reviewer was informed of the cancellation policy when making the reservation and was asked for the final payment 30 days before their stay. The reviewer neglected to get back with us until within the 30 day time frame, when they chose to cancel their reservations. Again, they were informed of the cancellation policy. At this point we made the offer of a full refund IF we could rebook the rooms. In an email dated October 28th, 2011 this guest responded to our offer as follows...

"That sounds completely reasonable! Many thanks indeed, and have a great weekend".

Well...we were unable to re-book the rooms. The larger party had made reservations elsewhere so...we informed the guest that the cancellation policy would apply (at which point they became unhappy). So... why is our policy not reasonable now if it was completely reasonable just a couple weeks before?

Regarding our booking policy, the reviewer was never told they had to take two rooms. The reviewer was given the choice of paying for two rooms or paying an additional fee for putting 5 people in one room. They elected to take the two rooms. When we asked for the final payment, they decided to cancel not wanting to pay any additional amount.

Within 24 hours of their now cancelled reservation date, we received an email from them stating they were coming to stay in one room (and not pay any additional amount for the two nights they booked and then cancelled). At this point we had not bought food and supplies for 5 people we did not expect to show up so we informed them that we considered the reservation to be cancelled. Not knowing if they were coming or not, we went to Alpine (60 miles away) to buy additional food and supplies just in case. Well, they never showed up. Very confusing.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Conroe, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2011

The Ten Bits Ranch was a perfect place to stay while on vacation in a place like the Big Bend. The service provided by Jennifer was excellent. She was available when needed and in the back ground when not. The knowledge and experience that Jennifer and Steve can offer about the area is worth the price. Thanks for a great time.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Ed D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
43 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

I'll agree with the vast majority of the other reviewers that TBR is a terrific place to stay - unforgettably beautiful setting, caring owners, very comfortable atmosphere. The 2.5 mi drive from the "highway" sets the mood, and the last turn into the "ranch" made my wife and me both smile with ear-to-ear grins. The buildings themselves were both whimsical and completely appropriate for the setting - our Schoolhouse was spotless, smelled fresh and clean, had a big, comfortable bed, and windows that let us see sunrises AND sunsets. Our early-September timing meant we had some heat to deal with, and the combination of a ceiling fan and 2 small desk fans did the trick (although my wife thinks she'd have preferred a hammock on the back porch to capture the night breezes). Jennifer did a great job coordinating our Rio Grande canoe trip, and our afternoon SUV tour ("Double Duece") which gave us access to private property not available to most tourists. We appreciated the variety at breakfast - fresh fruit, strong coffee, cereals, bread, warm quiche, yogurt. Overall, we very much enjoyed our stay and look forward to visiting next time we're near Big Bend!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NRoePDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wimborne Minster, UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2011

We spent two nights here. Ten bits is off the beaten track and completely peaceful. The cabins are really well made and quirky. Rooms were comfortable and well equipped. The owner was really friendly and Sophie the dog was a real character. Only one down side was the food was out of date but as we were there off season I understand how this can happen.

Room Tip: We stayed in the school house
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ivan-and-Ellen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ten Bits Ranch

Property: Ten Bits Ranch
Address: 6000 North County Rd, P.O. Box 293, Terlingua, TX 79852
Region: United States > Texas > Terlingua
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Terlingua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ten Bits Ranch is situated within the spectacular landscape of Texas' Big Bend country, only 20 minutes north of Big Bend National Park and Terlingua. Our secluded, desert setting feature gorgeous views and an enchanting atmosphere for travelers who value individual attention and a unique vacation experience. Guest rooms are themed around our Old West town of "Chimney Rock". All rooms feature a fireplace, private deck, private bath and authentic decor. Fascinating archeological and geological tours are available at the Ranch and in Big Bend National Park. All rooms are non-smoking. Nightly entertainment around a campfire. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ten Bits Ranch Hotel Terlingua
10 Bits Ranch
Ten Bits Ranch Terlingua, Texas

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