We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Disappointing horse riding experience”
Review of Tanque Verde Ranch

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Tanque Verde Ranch
Ranked #30 of 130 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointing horse riding experience”
Reviewed 16 March 2014 via mobile

If you want to ride faster than a walk, do not choose this guest ranch. I visited TVR on a girls getaway, we chose a guest ranch so that we could all ride together. I ride, lesson and compete on my own horse at home and was looking forward to sharing a riding experience with my girlfriends. We paid for the all inclusive package prior to arriving, and had discussed our riding schedule with the staff. We were not advised about the difficulty of the lope check at any time prior to arrival. I failed the first time and was made to take a lesson, which was ridiculous because I lesson weekly at home with a real trainer and the riding I do is at a much higher level and very fast paced. The reason I failed I was told is that I " don't know their horses." Who does upon arrival? At the lope check there was no warm up and no guidelines as to what they were looking for. My friends took lessons and repeated the experience 3 times. I watched them ride and finally on the last check the wrangler laid out the guidelines on friend passed and the other failed. While my girlfriends were lessoning I did go on a lope ride and it was not a big deal. I observed that there were others on the ride, who were at the same level as my friends who had not passed the lope check. The worst thing that happened, is that on our last day, one of the wranglers refused to let my friend ride the same horse she lessoned on, for the lope check, again she failed and never got to ride outside of the property. Besides the riding, the property is nice. We did enjoy the food, pool and massages. Lisa who bartends at the Saloon was kind and competent. Unfortunately, the poor experience with the riding overshadowed the positive aspects. I have vacationed at other guest ranches and Tanque Verde Ranch fails in comparison, from a horse rider's perspective.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Rnoring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

649 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    465
    97
    39
    24
    24
See reviews for
290
146
23
41
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2014

We visited Tanque Verde ranch with our thirteen year old son and another couple who had a thirteen year old daughter. It was spring break and we wanted to do something different. None of us had recent horseback riding experience but we were attracted by the variety of activities. After a colder than normal winter, we also looked forward to warmer weather. The ranch was at capacity and we had the smaller rooms. The room had two queen beds, table, comfortable chair, walk-in closet with small refrigerator and small bath. The room was in the Quail Hollow section which was a u shaped cluster of rooms with a lovely courtyard, fountain and lounge chairs which was unique among the other units. With no televisions and all the things to do don't get more room than you need because you won't be spending a lot of time there.

The food was wonderful. Well prepared and a nice variety. The Sunday lunch was exceptional with oysters on the half shell, shrimp and salmon along with hot entrees. The outdoor cookouts at the cottonwood were lots of fun and don't miss the breakfast ride even if you walk to the serving area.

I must commend the ranch on the quality of horses and the care taken to assess skill levels before permitting you to participate in trotting and loping. Even walking rides travelled rough trails that provided beautiful scenery and thrills. Each day you could choose a variety of riding activities, hiking, mountain biking or tennis. A nice pool, spa and fitness center were also available. Many learning opportunities about the area and wildlife were also offered. The wranglers and staff were friendly and helpful. We shared a special bond with Jake and Kathy as she was from Tennessee. Jake led several of our rides and was a great guide. Juan, the dining room supervisor, was pressed into transportation the day we arrived and his pleasant welcome set the tone for the entire stay. Our children loved the place and never missed television or video games. We can see why many guests are return customers.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frank A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014

Do not be fooled: this is not a ranch, this is a hotel and spa for people who want the illusion they went on a ranch. In other words there's horse back riding and they call it a 'ranch', They treat people like they're 6 year olds that need to be corralled. I really have a hard time being patronized sorry. If you are a rider you are going to hate this. If you know nothing about horses or riding or the cow-boy life you're going to love it and be lulled into thinking you were 'on a ranch'... it's perfect for people who just don't want the workout, just the impression of it.

Watered down experience ruined it. Sad. There's NOTHING genuine about this place.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank veroniquebb9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
74 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

We left in the snow and arrived to gorgeous 80 degree sunshine. Don picked us up at the airport and showed us the highlights of the Tucson area on the way to the ranch. Check in at the front desk provided us with everything we needed to know about the ranch. We were driven to our beautiful casita with a fireplace and a view of the Saguro National forest. That night there was a BBQ in the Cottonwood Grove. I was told the ribs were excellent but there were plenty of vegetarian choices too. Had my first prickly pear margarita, many more as the week progressed. There was a Western singer who took requests. As darkness fell the javelinas gathered, ready to clean up the area after all the people departed. We lit a fire and relaxed in two comfy leather chairs until we went to bed.

The next morning we rode to a pancake breakfast. Lunch was a buffet in the dining room. The choices changed daily, everything was fresh and there are plenty of healthy options. We took our first riding lesson that afternoon to get ready for our walk/trot ride the next day. Dinner is order off the menu, you can sit family style or have your own table. I was amazed to see mussels and clams as an entree; they were delicious. It was like a cruise, in a good way, the wonderful meals were the one constant in our day. We spent the evening with Lisa, the wonderful bartendar at the Dog Hose Saloon.

The next day we took a three hour hike with Janice through the desert. She kept a good pace, reminded us to stay hydrate, informed us about the flora and fauna and suggested the best angle to shoot our pictures. We ate a picnic lunch in the Cottonwood Grove, we rode, we ate (yellow fin tuna), we went to the bar. The previous evening I told Lisa that I enjoyed chasing my tequila with sangrita and to my amazement she had made some for me. Every evening she had a different version of sangrita for me to try. We were looking for the perfect recipe to add to the menu.

Even a rainy day is fun when you are at TVGR. I was able to take another lesson and another ride. By this time I was getting to know the wranglers and the horses. The wranglers are very hard working and really helped me improve my riding skills. I learned to lope, much more comfortable than trotting. My friend had a horse she really liked the previous day and was able to request it for her ride. Since the rain was coming down harder, my friend went to the spa( she said it was nice) while I sat in from of the fire and read a book. Great dinner, off to the bar. we have to leave tomorrow.

Phone call at 5 am, Dallas is iced-in, our connecting flight is cancelled. What to do? Call the front desk, can we stay another night? Of course, no problem- extraordinary customer service! Best ride of the trip through the gulleys that were swollen by the rains. Ate, rode, ate, bar; am I bored? No way, I'm ready to move there.

There are other things you could have done- tennis, pickle ball, volleyball, pools, hot tubs, photography hikes, bird watching hikes, lectures about the history of the ranch... but I was there to ride. And ride I did.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 0106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

Let me start by saying that my wife and I LOVED the ranch very much. Everything was wonderful. Our Casita was nice, the staff were excellent and the food was tasty and plentiful.

I am not a horse rider, but my wife is. For our 27th wedding anniversary we spent 5 nights at Tanque Verde. Even though riding is not my thing, the lessons were useful, the rides were enjoyable and exciting. The mountain ride was especially challenging and you finish with a sense of accomplishment. We cannot think of a single thing we didn't like. The fellow guests were wonderful and came from many walks of life. We spent many hours telling stories with our new friends. Of course, you will find the occasional poser, with the fancy outfits and designer western wear, but they were few and far between.

Before going to the ranch and again before writing this, I reviewed all the negative reviews. It's funny how people can view the same place differently. If you do your research ahead of time, then most of the bad reviews could have been avoided.

First of all, this is a RANCH. Not so much a resort or hotel. If no one in your group like horses, don't go there. The scenery is Arizona. Desert like with hills, sand and cacti. Very different from Ohio, with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. There is no TV in the rooms. GOOD. Getting away from the screaming commercials for a few days is a good thing. If you MUST sit brain dead in front of the TV, there is one in the main lodge. I saw it on a couple times, but no one was watching it. If you do half the activities they offer here, you will be asleep by 10pm anyway. We didn't try the spa, but it looked nice. All the facilities we used were great. Pool, hot tub, Tennis, Pickleball, Volleyball and Horse Shoes.
The food way very good. The BBQ was great, and the picnic style breakfast and lunch were also excellent. If you don't like eating great food outside in gorgeous weather with nice people, maybe you should stick to the happy meal in front of your tv.

Tanque Verde is not for everyone. Read the reviews. Get a feel for what they have there. Call them and ask questions.

We had a wonderful time, and no matter how tired and sore I was every night, I looked forward to the next days activities. We hope to return to Tanque Verde next year.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Zebedee-Original
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014 via mobile

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch (TVGR) Is a place out of a John Wayne movie. The grounds are well kept and the staff is exceptionally friendly. We arrived not knowing what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. Whether horse back riding or hiking is your pleasure, TVGR will not disappoint! Oh...did I mention great food... In selection, taste and quantity. We will visit again- next time longer

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank dlemicetic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staten Island, NY
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I hate to give this ranch a 4 star rating when I had a 5 star stay but I have to drop it down a star for the horses. I am a veterinarian and addressed some issues with the ranch staff and they did seem genuinely concerned. They are in the process of making some improvements soon and I hope next year I can give them the 5 star rating they deserve. Don't get me wrong, the horses are well taken care of but some situations need to be be improved to get us to 2014 standards.
I stayed for 4 days in late Jan with 4 friends and the ranch was at low capacity yet all activities were still available. The food was magnificent and there were many healthy options available at every meal.
The riding is varied and despite the lope test requirement, I felt this was a necessary evil for everyones safety. If you do not pass, then a lesson is the best bargain at the ranch and the wranglers were very knowledgeable about western riding. Everyone should do some of the horsemanship lessons that are all included in the price of your stay. I went on a different horse almost every ride and they were all very well trained.
I can not comment on the spa but heard it is very good.
Lisa makes some great drinks at the saloon every night.
Overall this is an excellent ranch with friendly staff, excellent food,clean rooms and a fantastic setting. I have been to many ranches so I can make a fair comparison. I was here years ago with my family and 4 kids and we all had great time then too.
I am looking forward to seeing the improvements for the horses next year.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Hacienda and the Murphy beds are great as they can be folded up in the day leaving yo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pmklbj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew_F_TVGR, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 7 March 2014
Thanks for posting to Tripadvisor and for your related email regarding your stay and our horses. We are in the process of implementing some of your suggestions under the guidance of our vet that does a monthly check of the horses. Our horses are the tools of our trade so our goal is to continue to keep them happy and healthy.

Happy Trails and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Jim Bankson
GM
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Tucson hotels
29.5 mi away
White Stallion Ranch
White Stallion Ranch
#1 of 130 in Tucson
772 reviews
13.2 mi away
Lodge on the Desert
Lodge on the Desert
#23 of 130 in Tucson
951 reviews
14.9 mi away
Arizona Inn
Arizona Inn
#4 of 130 in Tucson
681 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.2 mi away
Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
11.4 mi away
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
14.5 mi away
Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Tanque Verde Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Tanque Verde Ranch

Property: Tanque Verde Ranch
Address: 14301 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85748-7138
Region: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#13 Family Hotel in Tucson
#25 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tanque Verde Ranch 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tanque Verde Ranch Resort was named "Best Dude Ranch in Arizona" by Dude Republic in 2012, as well as a "Top Ten Family Resort" by the Travel Channel since 2007, and a "Top Five Ranch" by Conde Nast in 2008. Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America’s old time cattle and guest ranches. Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson’s most breathtaking desert landscapes, nestled amongst the Rincon Mountains and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest. Established in 1868, the superb guest ranch is recognized as the last luxurious outpost of the old west providing guests with plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities and a vast array of exciting activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and hiking. La Sonora Spa is the perfect place for a bit of quiet relaxation, and the kids will love all the supervised children's programs! Don't hesitate – getaway at one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranches in the country. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Agoda, Booking.com, Odigeo, Priceline, Evoline ltd, getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Tanque Verde Ranch reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson
Tanque Verde Ranch Tucson, Arizona

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing