Just back from a wonderful seven days in beautiful Red River with husband, daughter, and grandchildren. We have been to Red River numerous times, (my first time was about 50 years ago) but this is my first time to post a report....so here it is!
We stayed at the Lifts West (for a more complete review, google in "Lifts West" in the Search area or find it under Red River Hotels) where we decided to stay despite some of the negative reviews I found on this site. We talked extensively to Billy, the new manager, who assured us that almost all the hotel had been recently renovated. We stayed in C2, and I'd guess it was 95% brand, sparkling new! The lobby also was clearly refurbished. Billy can tell you about every single condo in Lifts Wests and what's been done to it, the decor etc. and is most willing to help. He's a very nice man! I'd definitely stay here again! Lifts West is right in the middle of town so it's a great location if you have kids. They should love being able to go places on their own.
My grandkids loved all the kid-friendly activities---go carts, rock wall climbing, riding the bull, inflatable slide, minature golf and roller skating at The Playhouse, etc. Red River is such a kid-friendly town and is so safe! I doubt they even have a crime rate ...unless it's the occasional shopping lifting by the tourists. It is very safe for you to let your children go places on their own (if they are in upper grade school or older, that is!) We all loved the Red River Community Center....it's a trip back to the past and such fun. We especially love the Family Night with dancing, games, etc. We also love going to church there on Sunday morning. My daughter enjoyed the aerobic exercise class one morning. We also too a 2nd time repeat hike with Dr. and Mrs. Rush Pierce....you go on this free hike from the Community Center---these are great people who love to share their passion for Red River and the outdoors...very easy hike! I believe they are in Red River during the entire summer, not sure how late they stay in the fall, but go on this hike and met this lovely couple! We also enjoyed Red River's Bingo in the Park evenings as well as the various places to go for horseback riding. Red River has great fishing for the avid fisherman or just the novice. They have a fishing lake right in the middle of town for kids (no license required)and the handicapped There are several lakes around Red River as well as fishing in the stream that runs through the town. Watch for wildlife---there are places you can go in Red River, like various condos/hotels, etc. where they feed the deer, andyou can just sit and watch them----kids love this! We loved the Cowboy Dinner---Moreno Valley Cowboy Supper (505-754-2769) and have been there at least 6 times---kid-friendly activities there (horse shoes, roping the "bull", petting the horses, etc---great food (absolutely delicious and juicy steaks, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade biscuits, cinnamon rolls, etc.) and a great show filled with songs, jokes, games, etc. The background is beautiful with the mountains behind...the couple who runs this are such a delight---very friendly as are all the staff....they make you feel as if you are their special guests in their own personal home...kids and single couples alike would love this place. My grandtaughter absolutely loves the Gun Fight at Frye's Old Town----call for the times...I think it's 2 or 3 times a week during the summer. She would go to this every sigle town if she could (she is in the 1st grade.) And last but definitely not least) was the llama trek my daughter and granddaughter took with Stewart of Wild Earth llama adventures (1-800-758-5262/www.llamaadventures.com) . LIsa has been on this hike twice now and says it is the highlight of her vacation. She went on the "Take a Llama to Lunch" trek---cost this year is around $89 for an adult and $59 for a child---small kids get to go free I believe---it's just about 10 minutes outside of Red River on the road to Questa and is about 5 or 6 hours long...not a difficult hike....will put a separate entry about this later on. We usually goto Red River in the summer so no skiing report....but when we have gone in the past, it has been wonderful and a fabulous place for first time skiiers and especially for children and youngsters. This is where my own two children learned to ski...and where I plan to take my grandkids in a year or so. Also, Red River has two really good massage places. My daughter and husband had excellent masssages at the Candy Crate (505-754-2925)---one with Brandon and the other with Amber. She has had CAthleen before, but she was out-of-town this time. Both daughter and husband report their massages to be a real success. Also, my daughter found a new masseuse in Red River... Darcy's Mobile Services (505-770-0698)... and had a hot rocks massage...she reports that this was the best massage she's ever had before and that Darcy also does all kinds of facials, foot massages, etc. She has a mobile service and comes to your hot,l or you can go to her home right there in Red River...My daughter says both places are excellent.
One thing you need to know before you go----There is no place in Red River to rent DVD's or VCR's any more.....and most places have a VCR or a DVD player in their units....so don't be disappointed and take anything you want to watch...if this is important to you. However, surely, someone will reopen a video store in the near future.
Note: Red River is not known for its restaurants! People don't go there to eat...they go there because of the gorgeous mountain scenery, the wonderful skiing, the family-oriented activities,...not the fine food! Also, know that almost all restaurants roll up the carpets fairly early...I wouldn't count on eating much after 8:00, regardless of the times they advertise....maybe they are open later on during the ski season though (just don't remember!)
1) Sundance is hands down the very best place to eat in Red River...it's more of Tex-Mex than New Mexico Mexican----wonderful, friendly service and owners...warning: Make reservations or you'll be sorry! Even then, expect to experience a wait---but it will be worth it. The food is fantastic!
2) Shotgun Willie's----great "fast food" place with great variety...anything you could possibly want! Excellent food---can eat inside or outside, weather permitting
3) Texas Red's---The "old" Texas Red's burned down a couple of years ago; the "new" one is much smaller but the same great food----we thought the steaks were really good, very juicy and tender---and the service was exceptional, very friendly and warm place---we'll be back there for sure!
4) Old Timers----we had breakfast there, and it was extremely good----loved our waiter (worked for the national firefighting service and had great stories)---good service and atmosphere
5) The little bakery next to Capo's---not sure of the name---this little place has great coffees, a good variety, and breakfast items...it also has a nice lunch---wraps, soups, sandwiches, that type of thing. It is nice to eat out on their patio, and the owner is very nice, friendly, and helpful.
1) Capo's----nice Italian place near the ski lift----food is all right---service is usually not too swift---even when there is no crowd, the service is still not up to par---I always get the "feeling" that my dish was frozen and just sapped in the microwave---not really a very friendly place from either the waitresses or the owner...not sure why...one good point is that it is usually open just a bit longer than the other places in town. I usually eat here at least once when I go to Red River and will probably eat there again when I crave italian food. I just wish there were a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere.
2) The Lodge----There are negative reviews on The Lodge on Trip Advisor----we have eaten there many times, and I do understand what the reviewers are saying---maybe it's just the same waitress----we just had her and have had her before! She is abrupt and borderline rude and acts as if you are a real pain to wait on! I also think the prices are exceptionally high here, especially for dinner, especially for what you get-----their breakfasts are good...so are their hamburgers. I may or may not eat here again. It certainly wouldn't be my first choice.
1) Roberto's Fiesta----nope, not going to give this guy even one more chance! We've tried him enough times to know that something is seriously wrong here. Roberto's has the worst service I think I've ever seen. On top of that, their food is very mediocre. They seem to have one main waitress. When you walk in, you just stand there as she rushes around ignoring you. When you finally almost stand in her way, she seats you in an angry manner. You sit and wait and wait and wait until you finally get a menu. If you have a question, you wait and wait and wait again....and it is like this throughout the evening. You must ask repeatedly for ayou need. Catsup? Expect a long wait. Water? You may need to ask three or four times. Dropped your fork? Wait some more. And when you do flag her down and ask, "Could you please bring me another napkin?" she just glares, says nothing, and stalks off. Eventually, she "may' bring you another napkin...or not...you may have to ask several times. This last time, my grandson spilled a glass of water. We did have to ask several times for napkins to clean the water up...all requests met with silence. (This seems to be a characteristic of hers---answer a customer's question with silence and walking away so you never really know if she understood you or not....and so you have to ask her again, making matters even worst!) Then finally one napkin was brought and thrown down on the table....most waitresses would have brought over a discloth and cleaned it up themselves, not that I minded doing so myself. We asked about dessert...you would have thought there was a fire in there .and we were causing them to delay getting out by our request! We could not read the bill as she makes her 4's and 9's in an odd manner (think she is from another country so it's probably common wherever she is from)...but when asked her to give us the amount, she glared and snapped out the answer. Another thing, Roberto's has a huge sign posted saying their hours are 7:00 to 9:00 EVERYDAY---God help you if you get in the door as I did once at 8:01...they rush over and show you out the door abruptly. Even when you mention that it is an hour before closing, they give you no excuse, just point you to the door. I was there for 7 straight days....and walked past this place every night well before 9:00. it was closed all 7 nights by 8:00. If this report seems harsh, I guess it is....but I've given them so many chances....just warning you about their service...maybe you'll have better luck, but I doubt it unless the owner is reading this and cares to remedy the problem!
2) Timbers---This is almost as bad as Roberto's! The food is all right, but the service is pitiful. If you eat there at a busy time, you will wait and wait and wait. We watch people leaving over and over when they get tired of waiting. We have left on two occasions after waiting over an hour for our food to be brought. I feel sorry for the waitresses as it's not their fault, and they just keep apologizing. in embarrassment. This last time we went there, it was almost empty. "Aha," we thought, as we entered Timbers, "no wait tonight!" We wanted one of the big booths downstairs....they were all empty so we told the hostess we wanted any of the large booths. She then informed us that we would be seated upstairs. We told her that would not be agreeable as we had a handicapped person in our group (could not go up the stairs) and that we wanted one of the emtpy big booths downstairs. She then informed us that we would be seated upstairs. After a tug of war, she flounced out, telling us she had to speak to the manager. After waiting for quite a while, she marched out and grimly led us over to the big booth we asked for. When i asked her why in the world there was such a tussle, she just said she was trying to spread customers out among all the waiters. Well, I understand this, but in our situation we had clearly told her why that wouldn't work for us. So there really should not have been the problem. Eating at Timbers used to be a nice experience, but the old owner sold out, and the new Timbers just has a customer service problem. I will not try them again unless there is an owner change.
That's it for our Red River trip. I hope some of you go there and love this little mountain town as much as we do. It's a magical experience...especially is you have children. Let me know if you like it! Ski season is just around the corner...