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“Expensive, dark, dusty, dated, not impressed...”

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Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch and Trail Head
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Expensive, dark, dusty, dated, not impressed...”
Reviewed 13 June 2013

I thought that this would be a great option for a mid-trip stopover on our way to Yellowstone. I should have known that this was going to be an "interesting" place to stay when we had to check in at a bar, complete with buzzed patrons using all sorts of colorful language (was glad I'd left my kids in the car with their mom). The website shows a quaint little mom and pop guest ranch with quilts on the beds in bright cabin-like rooms. The room we were given was dark, curtains were thin as cheesecloth, bathroom had a heavily mildewed shower curtain and missing light cover. We were afraid to take our shoes off as the carpet looked pretty old. The quilts on the beds were replaced by what looked to be discards from another hotel (along with most of the furniture in the room). Outside was dusty, junk was lying everywhere, lumber lay in the middle of the driveway, etc. At some point during the LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG night, our rowdy "neighbors" returned from a night in Medora and spent a half hour talking outside our hotel room door. As I lie in bed, I could hear every word as the doors are apparently paper-thin. I woke up at 4 a.m. when the rising sun came in through the cheesecloth-like curtain on the back door.

This all being said, I will say that things were relatively clean in the room. We did not find any evidence of bed bugs and I did not witness some of the bathroom problems reported by others (with exception of the mildewed shower curtain).

I am disappointed that the price that I saw on the web apparently changed between when I made my reservation and when I checked in. The website also makes it seem like children are included with the price of one or two adults - nope, every extra person is another ten bucks. My family of 5 could have stayed in the Medora AmericInn for about $40 more (TOTAL!) and had an indoor pool, remodeled room and hot breakfast. Gosh, I wish I had known this much better quality option was right in Medora. Next time I stay in the area, we will stay there.

We were glad to see the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch in our rear-view mirror when we left in the morning. I would not rank this as a very relaxing night.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Eric C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2013

I had to attend a conference in nearby Medora, and chose to stay at this rustic location because it is pet friendly and I needed to bring my dog. The ranch is unique and in a beautiful location. Convenient access to the trail is just steps from the restaurant/office/bar. I enjoyed hiking on it with my dog on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The wifi and Direct TV also worked great.

If you are looking for top notch service with frills, bells and whistles, this is not the place to stay. The rooms are decorated with cute western themes and mine was generally comfortable. However, certain elements of it left a little to be desired. Take for instance the grubby, formerly white shower curtain that was recycled from another hotel had turned grey/black on the bottom from years of use. The bathroom wasn't entirely clean either when I arrived. These little details didn't bother me that much, but others may not appreciate it. The ranch appears to be family owned and I found it difficult to track people down when I needed to check out. Also the staff didn't seem overly friendly or enthusiastic about providing service. This was true with the interactions regarding the room and in the restaurant on site. The food was mediocre at best, but edible and convenient. Breakfast in the restaurant did not start until between 7:30-8:00 a.m. which was inconvenient for me because my morning meetings began at 8:00 a.m. in town.

I will most likely have to stay at this place again for business, since I frequently travel that area with my dog and don't want to drive to Dickinson for pet-friendly lodging. It worked for my purposes, but travelers beware if you are looking for retreat, luxury, comfort, fluff, or great service; you won't find it at the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Breckenridge
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2013

My husband, myself and two dogs recently spent two long creepy nights at this "Guest Ranch". Granted it was in the off-season, but the place was spooky. When we woke up the first morning there was not a SOUL on the property except my husband and myself.

The room was THE MOST FILTHY I have ever seen. The floor was concrete and had not been cleaned in months -- maybe ever. The stench was as if we were staying in the barn -- a nice touch at a Dude Ranch, and the lighting was awful -- we only noticed the throw rugs that had years of accumulation of pet hair and filth in the morning. It really gave me the creeps! The ONLY reason we stayed the second night was because all the dog friendly hotels (nearest was in Dickinson) were so either booked or outrageously expensive -- supply and demand with all the oil work going on up there.

I was amazed they actually "up-charged" us to stay in the dog-friendly room! I didn't even like my dogs playing on the floor it was so bad!

Ick,Ick, Ick -- stay away!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Judi L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Medora hotels

Morocco, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We stayed here for a week last fall on a working trip. Stayed in the new cabins and they were nice, clean and well equipped for this part of the country. Did not stay in the rooms and cant comment on them. Owner was very nice and always there. It looked like they could throw a pretty good party . The food was good and reasonably priced. We are not picky so if you are looking for 4 star accommodations you will need to look elsewhere. We enjoyed the deck and the privacy of having a cabin away from the motel. We will be staying there this fall for 4 weeks.

Room Tip: Stay in a cabin if they are available
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tankerman32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bismarck, North Dakota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2012

My wife and I have been coming to the guest ranch for the past four years, this time we brought our infant daughter.

I remember the first time we came out, we thought we were on the wrong dirt road when we stumbled upon a classic guest ranch. We enjoyed cocktails and a great steak dinner in a rustic setting dinning room overlooking the badlands. Then a old fashioned country band showed up much to our surprise! We were hooked.

To be clear, this is a guest ranch, not a Hilton. If you want fancy you might as well read no further. That's why we enjoy it so much.

Dining: Always have had the steak dinner, why eat anything else when your at a ranch of all places?! The cuts are good, tender and you get the classic beans, roll, baked potato and salad bar for under $20. Yes the plates are hard plastic, do I need to remind you your at a ranch?
Breakfast buffet always has great eggs, potato, sausage, biscuits etc. They've always made some fresh for me as well, perfect to load up on pre-hike.
Lets talk about the flies since it seems everybody has. Yes, you are on a ranch and there are flies everywhere, they come in when people come in. I'd rather shoo them then eat with fly tape hanging over my table.

Cabin:

This was our first time staying in the "lodge", we normally camp. We stayed in the new section, and frankly were shocked at how nice it was! Two fullsize beds, bunkbeds, comfy mattress, microwave, fridge, great heating/a/c units and a flat screen with more channels than most hotels(not like you come out here to watch TV anyways). This made our trip that much easier with our little one. The walls are comparable to every other hotel you stay at, I stay at way more hotels than I wish to for work.

Service:

Always has had staff that was very friendly and enjoyable, they try hard to make sure your happy. Sometimes there is a small language barrier but that helps add to the charm of the place. The owner and his wife are often on site and we have always found them enjoyable and helpful.

Summary:

The uniqueness and location of this ranch has kept and will keep us returning.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Outdoorsfamily1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2012

My husband and I stayed at the ranch for our date night.We absolutely loved our experience, the cabins were booked with Hunters so we were going to pitch a tent that night. They have wonderful food, great service with a live band outside, everything that we were looking for hiding in the hills.very peaceful and private!! We can't wait to go back and visit again.it was everything you would expect to find at a good ole ranch!

  • Stayed September 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank chrisamy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashtabula, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2012

If I had checked for motel reservations earlier before our planned trip we would not have stayed here. Fortunately it was just a place to sleep and we were gone during the day to Medora. Thankfully there were no bed bugs and the sheets were clean. Room was spacious and we had a microwave and refrigerator. Bathroom needed cleaning. Hair etc. around the base of the toilet. Shower curtain was apparently a hand-me-down from Americinn and was dirty along the bottom. We asked about laundry facilities there and were directed to the on-site laundry. One of the washers was broken and the other was dirty when I lifted the lid. Decided not to do laundry there so drove into Dickinson to a laundromat. Didn't think the food was real tasty and ordered pie and server came back to table and said "I won't even serve it to you". meaning it was spoiled. Smoking is allowed in bar area but door between bar and restaurant is open so you smell some smoke while eating. Owner did sit at the bar and smoke. Last night ate in dining room and the A/C stopped working. Owner opened doors to outside and of course there were flies buzzing around our food. The foreign students there on a work study program for the summer provided good service in the restaurant.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Onthelake_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch and Trail Head

Property: Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch and Trail Head
Address: 3100 Buffalo Gap Road, Medora, ND 58645
Region: United States > North Dakota > Medora
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Medora
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch And Trail Head Hotel Medora

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