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“Don't set them free with your VISA card........” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rafter Six Ranch Resort

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Rafter Six Ranch Resort
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3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   81130 South Ranch Road East | P.O. Box 100, Exshaw, Alberta T0L 2C0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Edmonton, Alberta
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Don't set them free with your VISA card........”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2007

Our family spent Christmas at the Rafters 6 last year. It was expensive - and not something my family can generally afford - we are not wealthy people.

There were some wonderful parts:

1. The food was excellent - especially the Xmas eve dinner. All meals were above average and nicely prepared.

2. We took a Christmas Day trail ride that we will remember forever - it was a lovely day with those great big flakes of snow falling - amazing. The trail ride leader was excellent - she did a great job.

3. We went on a wagon ride - again - very well done - fun!

4. They made a Xmas stocking for each room with some treats in them and hung them on the door knobs - what a nice touch that was!

But, the experience left us with a bad taste in our mouths. We realized that we had forgotten to leave a tip for the staff when we left and called them to let them know that we really appreciated the service from the food service and trail ride/wagon ride staff and wanted to leave a tip. I told them to use my VISA to take an appropriate amount.

So, they took 15% of the entire tab - which included 15% of the room charges, cabin rental charge - everything - far and above the general services that are tipped. I don't leave 15% of my room bill when I leave a hotel - does anyone else? Our rooms were not cleaned during the day - so it isn't like it went to the cleaning staff.

I found that action to be quite greedy and we won't be returning - we can't afford it!!

  • Liked — Food & Horses
  • Disliked — Over priced
  • Stayed December 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
29
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5
6
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Alberta
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2007

We had originally booked and confirmed a cabin for one night but upon arrival were told there had been a "problem" with our reservation and they now had us in a room (of the same standard as the cabin) in the main lodge. As we had booked the cabin to have more privacy we were quite disappointed. Polly was very apologetic and did offer us a complimentary brunch for two and a checkout time of our choosing. This worked well for us as were attending the Calgary Philharmonic's concert on site. Our room was rustic, which we had expected, but very worn and dated. The rooms in the main lodge are not up to the standard we would expect when paying what they charge. The staff were very pleasant and the food was acceptable.

  • Liked — setting - in the Rockies
  • Disliked — dated decor, not all that clean
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Exshaw hotels

Houston, TX
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

Rafters 6 Guest Ranch, Exshaw, Alberta Canada

Rafters 6 is a “No Score” at in the Guest Ranch Rodeo.
This guest ranch located between Calgary and Banff offers horseback riding and Whitewater Rafting. We purchased an “all inclusive” package for meals, lodging and horseback riding.
“All inclusive” in Canadian English does not translate to the United States understanding. The term “nickel and dimed to the poor house” adequately defines the Ranch’s exclusive costs such as $3 for a helmet, $5 for a rain slicker, $5 to tour the barn museum, all gratuities are paid separately. The horseback riding is limited to a 2 hour head to butt ride, 2 (1 hr) head to butt rides or an intermediate 1 ½ hr ride. The horses I rode (Honey, Cruise and Snickers) were adequate but not very responsive.
The ranch boasts of “adventure filled days” which I soon learned meant the adventure was in finding something to fill your day. The swimming pool was closed. The hot tub is only accessible during limited hours. The Country Church is locked andOne can pet only so many animals before wanting something else to do. The Ropes course and Rafting are exclusive of the “all inclusive.” An activity Director is certainly in order. What about a game of bingo, a treasure hunt, an amazing race, evening entertainment, aerobics, pilates or even a egg on the spoon obstacle course. We were lucky enough to participate in the Funtyme Rodeo ($775) on the 1st evening but happened upon this because it was staff appreciation and not a regular guest amenity. The Rodeo was fun!
The attention to guest and the feeling of importance and appreciation of presence is minimally conveyed to the Ranch Guests because the Ranch is too focused on the tour vans and buses, the weddings at the Church and the Rafting Day business.
Mr. Cowley, Ranch proprietor, never introduced himself to my family nor welcomed us to his lodge despite seeing us numerous times. His only comment was to my daughter and it was to tell her not t0 sit too close to the TV.
During our visit we would have loved to watch 1 of the several movies that have been filmed at the Ranch. These films are not even available to the Guests.
The restaurant wait staff keeps you waiting, not waiting on you. The food was good; when it was available. The service was inconsistent. On our 3rd night there, I ordered a Rib Eye. I received a T Bone. When questioned about this, I was informed the chef was out of Rib Eye and substituted the T bone which “is a better cut of meat.” Being from Texas and owning cattle, I disagree.
The Chalets are dark, have mice and limited to no storage space. There are a few drawers in the night stands but no chest of drawers or luggage racks.
I have stayed at 12 Dude/Guest/Resort Ranches over the last several years. The Rafters 6 Ranch does not even “get out of the chute” in this Rodeo.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nutwood
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2006

After looking forward to our rafter six ranch stay we were very disappointed. We found the ranch to be extremely overpriced, even paying to use the pool table.
our list of complaints ;
-There was no rodeo as advertised on the internet and no sunset rides as we were told you needed 10 or more people, but they did'nt tell us this before we booked.
-There was a charge to hire riding hats
-The wagon ride was £165 for half an hour
-No Canoeing as advertised
-No clothing shop as advertised
-A large amount of flies in dining room
-No cows so obviously not a proper ranch, though they said it was a resort and not a working ranch it didn't feel like a resort as everything was closed at 10pm.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

  • Liked — horse
  • Disliked — flies
  • Tips/Secrets — dont go
  • Stayed August 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2006

We booked well in advance and took one of the inclusive packages. The inclusive packages which should have provided a worry free vacation became a hassle with more restrictions than anticipated. After a long flight and drive in, we checked in at around four and were provided with a cabin and meal vouchers. The staff consisted of college students working for the summer, who tried to be very pleasant and accomodating. The cabin was sparse with no tv and soft older beds, but afterall it is a ranch and you were in the country.

A major disappointment came when we went to dinner using our voucher. The waitress informed us that we were allowed a thirty dollar credit only. That was basically an entree and a beveridge since the prices were in the $25 range. Also, only one refill was allowed on your iced tea or soda. Any additional would be charged to the room. The quality of the food was terrible. Small but adequate portions, Dried out ribs, watery vegetables and poor quality desserts. Breakfast buffet and breakfast sit down was their best meal. My omelette was only charred on one side. Horseback riding was fun and enjoyable. The pool was closed.

I would not return to Rafter Six. Too overpriced and not relaxing.
To save a bundle, I would recommend you stay in Canmore AB nearby and use the riding and rafting services offered in the area.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Purley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2006

My wife and I stayed here for two nights as part of Jonview's fly drive package tour of Canada's western lodges and ranches. We therefore stayed in many lodges/ranches and this one was not amongst the best.

It is set in a lovely location with excellent views mountains. We stayed in the main lodge and it is very impressive. However the room was small and basic. The beds were meant to be doubles but one was but the other was a child's single and both were soft and extremely uncomfortable.

The food was basic and on our first night, a Saturday, most items were off the menu. The second night was a carvery and was reasonable. Breakfasts were fair, the first day was help yourself but the second was served. The pool was not open even though it was late June, however it is small. We didn't take part in any activities but explored the surrounding scenery, which was stunning.

The staff were friendly and helpful but it is not a place we will be rushing back to.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2005

Please be advised this ranch is one disappointment after another, and thankfully we only stayed one night! We had friends visiting from England, we wanted to go rafting. For convience sake we stayed a night in a Chalet supposed to sleep six adults! The beds were horrible and no one slept well. The chalet was extrememly cramped, not to mention one night accomodation was over five hundred dollars. Worst of all was the staff, the ones we encountered were of course reservation/ guest registry staff. I was embarassed to say these were fellow canadians, not a friendly smile, or effort to make your stay pleasant! Knowing the rivers were high, I called ahead to confirm we could still raft. I told the clerk we did not want easy river tour, we wanted White Water! "Yes of course come" ..... one more disapointment! We also talked at reservation time about a BBQ dinner, which I understood I paid $10 a person extra for - We had pork schnitzle and probably the worst spazela I ever tasted! ..."Disappointing" is probably too nice of a word for this place!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rafter Six Ranch Resort

Address: 81130 South Ranch Road East | P.O. Box 100, Exshaw, Alberta T0L 2C0, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Kananaskis Country > Exshaw
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Exshaw
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Rafter Six Ranch Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafter Six Ranch Resort is a resort ranch with full facilities on site including horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and an adventure ropes course. Rafter Six Ranch Resort is located along the Kananaskis River nestled at the base of the Canadian Rockies. Located 2km from the Trans Canada Highway – we are 45 minutes west of Calgary and 20 minutes east of Canmore. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rafter 6 Ranch Resort
Rafter Six Ranch Hotel Exshaw
Rafter Six Ranch Resort Canmore, Canada - Alberta

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