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“Didn't want to leave”
Review of Tanque Verde Ranch

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Tanque Verde Ranch
Ranked #24 of 129 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 July 2010

This is our second visit in a row to this wonderful ranch and it was even better than the first!! You really are treated as family and the staff are all so warm and friendly. What's more, it was nice to see the same people working there from last year. I really don't have a single negative comment to make - everything was wonderful, the horses, rides, wranglers, food, rooms, activities, etc. All I can say it that we'll be back again, hopefully next year!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank cristofle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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546 - 552 of 688 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2010

The most wonderful thing about this ranch is its location. Set at the foot of the Rincorn Mountains with views going on for ever of beautiful cacti and other vegetation, you feel completely cut off from the world and don't ever want to go back to reality.
Its not cheap but you get what you pay for and the facilities are impressive. Lazy days by the beautiful pool are a must, although one critisism is that the pool needs cleaning a few times a day from the insects who also want to escape from the heat!
The food is to die for and the sheer amount of choice in salads, fruit and entrees and what seems to be a 3ft long sweet counter at lunch is impressive. Dinner is waitress served and I must recommend the fish dishes - trout stuffed with fresh crab being one of the memorable ones.
The cabins are clean and very comfortable with every facility you could wish for and you don't miss television. You are too busy and too tired at night!
The breakfast rides and barbeques are great fun and it is good to relax in the evening with a drink in the welcoming bar presided over by the girl with a big personality - Lisa!( and great cocktails!) In fact the staff are all very good - Graham and his team in the restaurant are to be congratulated on their expertise.
Although the riding side of the ranch is perhaps one of the more important aspects it is that side which lets the ranch down. The organisation of the rides needs some work. My husband rode twice a day and found that even though we were there for a week, the wranglers were only interested in the riders, l who had visited the ranch before. They did not even ask my husbands name but were quite happy to flirt with the other returning male guests(no, not sour grapes!!)
One wrangler, Karen, really tore a strip off a trainee wrangler in front of the guests. This should have been done in private.
And a couple of days before we left, my husbands horse threw him, he fell and badly cut his hand. There were no medical supplies in the saddlebags, no Bandaid and he finished the ride with a dirty bandana tied round his hand. There was then no followup to it beyond having the incident in the first aid book - noone came afterwards to see if he was ok. I find this quite disturbing as it could have been a serious accident and we were to embark on a long journey to Monument Valley when leaving the ranch. Disturbing given the number of children who go out riding.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. Not necessarily the best ranch we have been on as far as the riding, although the terrain was amazing, but as for views, activities and food it is a great experience.
Also, the rides need to be more categorised so that riders like my husband who do not want to lope but are experienced riders, do not go out with a train of novice riders.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Monica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2010

This was my third trip to TVGR. And if you had been there during my stay you'd know that, lol! They posted the guests' names, city/state they were from, and number of trips to the ranch. More than a third just said "numerous" - one woman I talked to had been coming every spring for over 10 years, first w/ her family (as a child), and this time with her fiance.

I was there with my niece - for her 10th birthday. She has been talking about this trip since I brought her brother (for his 10th b-day) 3 years earlier. And I think it was better than even she expected. We had a lovely room, even though we mostly just slept, showered, and changed there. It was spacious with a large bathroom, big walk-in closet (with 4 ft fridge), dining table, fireplace (with leather chairs), large private patio, and lots of storage space. She was disappointed (at first) that she didn't get to ride Flocko, one of the horses her brother talked about, but she was even happier with "her" horse, which she rode exclusively for the whole stay.

One thing about the kids rides - they are required to take a lesson before they can go out on the trail, so if they want to go on a morning ride on your first full day (for some this is the breakfast ride), they need to take the afternoon lesson (~1:15) the day before. Don't worry about check-in - if your room isn't ready, they'll hold your stuff for you in the office. (But your room will probably be ready.) Also, after you check out, you are welcome to stay for lunch and even the afternoon ride! (And w/ my nephew an additional dip in the pool.)

Adults are welcome to ride with the kids on the trail (I usually did). These rides are the same as the walk rides, but can be much less crowded. You load up at the usual place (for adult rides) and a wrangler (or experienced guest) takes you down to the kids corral, and will also bring you back up after the ride. I added the "or experienced guest" because it was me a couple times - when they needed all the wranglers to handle the kids after their ride, or there were so many adults waiting to be mounted before the ride.

This is also the place to add something about experienced vs. inexperienced riders. You will all have an enjoyable ride! I have been riding about 10 years (but not western), and at many trail/dude places the only choice of mount is the type who will follow the tail (yes, tail not trail, lol) in front of him - and refuse to do anything else. Unless you let him get away with eating on the way. The only enjoyment I get out of that is watching my niece/nephew learn to handle the horse. At TVGR, this was not the case. Yes, they had several VERY laid back horses, but I rode 2 who were very perky (w/out being "wild") and interested in everything around them. I found out later they were young. In fact I had a lesson on one (Frodo - an awesome little buckskin Indian pony) over the obstacle course - which he had never seen before. He also alerted me (by being interested, not by being spooky in any way) to the presence of a couple mule deer - they walked out of the brush about 20 feet away. I believe my niece and I were the only ones who saw them - we were at the end of the line of the kids ride to breakfast. And Joker was a nice responsive little Paint colt that I rode for the lope ride, and the "Fun-khana" - basically 3 different races in the arena. Between trail rides and lessons, I rode at least 3-4 hours each day.

One of the few things I didn't like, is that they don't post the schedules online - I only knew the schedule from previous experience. Be sure to ask about any things that are important to you when you book. The breakfast ride is Thursday (and I think the other day is Monday?) and the dinner in the Cottonwood Grove is Wednesday (and I think Saturday). There was also a lunch in the grove (which you can ride to - kids took a hayride there) on Friday. The same thing was the case for specific hiking and biking activities - if there's something you don't want to miss, be sure toask which day(s) it happens. Although if you stay for an entire week (too $$ for me), you will probably hit everything but the special stuff (like the Poker Rides and Harmony with Horses). I'm a little iffy about the exact days, because you lose track of things like the day of the week while you are there - it is so much it's own world.

The only other sad note was hearing that they no longer use the Bellota (sister ranch an hour's drive up into the Coronado Nat'l Forest) for Women of the West. They do have an occasional "adventure ride" up to the Bellota - and maybe a roundup. That place was even more remote and special.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank SHRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2010

Not the best ranch experience in comparison to others we have enjoyed. Don't expect service during spring break week - far too crowded. If you or your children under 11 are experienced riders, expect a hassle as they will not test kids prior to a lesson. Lessons contained as many as 15-20 kids. We were excited about the breakfast ride - great pancakes, btw - but you could barely call it a ride. 20 min with a line on 25 of us...stop and go. Other rides were much better and I was later warned that returning guests don't even consider the bfast ride a 'ride."
Wranglers great overall. Kids club lacked organization....approx 70 kids the week we were there and 30min+ just to load the kids on horses....a mess!
Food average....hope you like buffets.
Ranch needs to spiffing up in comparison to others at the same cost.
Beautiful area - great riding (when you finally got on the trail - but would not consider returning on one of their busy weeks - needs organization and management.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank giddyupp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2010

Thanks for your input on our kids program. We are revamping our childrens schedule, and also enhancing our riding space for the kids so our childrens program is always very enjoyable and organized, even during the peak weeks. As a Top Ten Family Resort for the past 3 years, we place a high priority on the quality of our children's program, and can assure you the changes we are making will be noticeable improvements in our kids program for those peak weeks. Thanks again for your comments!
Sincerely,
Gus

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Reviewed 11 April 2010

We had an excellent vacation. My young girls horseback rode for hours each day. That allowed my wife and I to enjoy the hiking department. Wonderful guides in Rich and Virginia and Ron. Great mountain biking as well. The setting could not be more beautiful. You are tucked away in the mountains and it is just gorgeous. The pool was warm and inviting as was the jacuzzi.

If you go, go for the family adventures and activities. Do not go for the food. Breakfast was great but after that the food was very average. They LOVE cream sauces and cream soups. Most people loved the food, but if you are a vegetarian or healthy eater, you will be eating a lot of salad. Great deserts. Sparkling water, pop and beer and other drinks other than water and lemonade are extra. Bottled water is extra. They put out nice smoothies at 5:00 for the kids, but they are extra too.

Wi-fi is only available in the lodge and bar area and pool area. This did not bother us at all. No TV's other than one in the dining building. The only frustrating thing was trying to watch the Masters but some adults wanted to watch reruns of CSI. We did not mind no TV's in the rooms.

This is a true adventure vacation. We found a rattlesnake on our porch and a taranchala near by. This didn't bother us and just reminded us we were totally in nature. You have to feel like a cowboy/cowgirl. No help carrying bags to rooms either. Also the "spa" is a misnomer as well. No real spa here. No spa food either. small work out room and I never saw a massage therapist or other "spa" type activity going on.

We may be back as we spent a ton of time doing our own thing while the kids were very happy.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank familyguyDetroit_MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2010

We are glad your kids had such a great time! That is one of our primary goals, to offer a vacation where families really connect, but also have the opportunity to enjoy any of our wide variety of activities on their own or with their significant other. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. Thanks for the feedback!
Sincerely,
Gus

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Reviewed 3 April 2010

My horse riding wife had a great time. I spent time with other activities. The water coloring activity was overbooked, but the instructor made space. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to spend more time with their children and/or spouse.

No WiFi in the rooms. These days, many, many folks work virtually, and the WiFi is a necessity. The various hot spots are generally crowded with electrical outlets. This alone would keep me from returning.

Unexpected charges on bill. At checkout, we were charged $99 for the service fee. This is noted on the "Reservations" page, but not in the email confirmations, so we missed this. HIgher end facilities should include all expenses in their quotes and confirmations. Fee unbundling should be unnecessary.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2010

Thanks so much for your input, and we agree wholeheartedly. We are in the process of making wireless available in all our rooms. This is an important amenity and one that our guests have requested. We do not have an exact timeline at this point, but it is one of our top priorities and we have already started the process in motion. Thanks for coming to visit and we hope to see yo in the future!
Sincerely,
Gus

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Reviewed 23 March 2010

My family voted this "the best vacation ever" and have decided to cancel a Disney trip to return to the ranch. My kids are 5 and 11 and they both loved the kids activities. My husband enjoyed biking and riding and best of all were the variety of activities. The food and service were great. All around excellent family vacation!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank creedAz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#10 Family Hotel in Tucson
#12 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#25 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range: £90 - £700 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson
Tanque Verde Ranch Tucson, Arizona

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