We just returned from a three night stay at Tanque Verde Ranch. As we live in Phoenix it was an easy drive for a short stay. We were first time guests at Tanque Verde so I didn't know what to expect. We had previously spent time at a smaller dude ranch in Arizona and loved it. I enjoy riding but my wife doesn't so the various activities at Tanque Verde appealed to us.
My main issue with Tanque Verde is the number of guests. The ranch holds 250 guests at it's peak. The property is very expansive, with rooms scattered around the property. We stayed in a "salas" room with two queen beds, their lowest priced room (at $595 per night-all inclusive). The room was very clean and comfortable but it was dated, particularly the bathroom and the cabinetry. There is a difference between "rustic" and just old. The beds were comfortable but there was a lot of noise from the courtyard and the kids in the adjoining rooms. Which brings me to my next observation-this place would be terrific for families with kids, even younger kids. they offer a daily "Buckaroo camp" where kids are entertained all day while their parents ride or play tennis or whatever they feel like doing. The kids can join their parents on adult/kid rides and almost always join their parents for lunch. The activities for and attention to the children was impressive. We have no kids but what I observed was excellent care and attention by the kids counselors. Watching the kids learn to ride was fun, too.
The riding program is varied for beginners to experienced riders. There are rides from one hour to all day, walking to loping. This was one area I had a problem with, there are so many people riding it gets very crowded at the barn and on the trails. If you like solitude, this is not the place for you. The horses here are well cared for and healthy and vary in size from small "ponies" to their Percheron draft horses, beautiful, enormous and gentle beasts. I had a different horse for every ride, although you can request a specific horse for a ride, if it hasn't already gone out. The wranglers are very helpful , although sometimes a bit stern in their directions. I understand guest safety is important but a few of them could afford to lighten up a bit.
The ranch also has some very nice tennis courts, pickleball, volleyball, horseshoe and other activities. There are also hiking and mountain biking activities every day. My wife went on a hike and enjoyed it very much. There are also indoor and outdoor pools (both very nice) and a spa on site. I didn't use the spa services so I can't offer any comment on them.
The best part of Tanque Verde was the food . Three meals a day are included in the all inclusive room rate. The offerings at each meal are widely varied and very tasty. Dinner always had a beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian entrée. Even at the cookouts, fish or chicken was offered with the usual hamburgers and hot dogs. I can't say enough positive things about the food and the dining room/catering staff.
When I was checking out I asked about leaving a gratuity for all of the staff. The way it is done here is you can get cash from the front desk (added to your bill, if you like) then you are given envelopes to distribute the cash gratuities as you see fit (housekeeping, dining room staff, wranglers, or a specific employee if you so choose. A bit awkward, but much like some cruise lines.
Overall I recommend Tanque Verde. Although it not an small, intimate setting like some ranches, it is a terrific place for families with kids or groups like family reunions or friends who want to get together.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson
- Tanque Verde Ranch Tucson, Arizona