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“Shockingly Bad Food Served in a Glorious Place” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort

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Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Highway 190, PO Box 187, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328   |  
Hotel amenities
Los Angeles, CA
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Shockingly Bad Food Served in a Glorious Place”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

This is about the Inn. It's a love letter to Death Valley and a warning to wayfarers. We have been coming to Death Valley over the past 46 years before our wedding. We've stayed in tents, the Ranch, and countless times the Furnace Creek Inn. It has always been on the high end of affordability--rooms are now pushing $500 with taxes--but we stretch ourselves annually because we love Death Valley with its eternal hiking and the Inn has an unmatched pool, huge and hot-springs fed and kept at a constant 84 degrees. Of course the property is old, but adequately maintained; if it's luxe, it is certainly not luxury at the contemporary standard. But the rooms are spaceous, moderately quiet, and have good beds. If it weren't for the kitchen/dining room experience, the Inn would be worth its cost.

The dining at the Inn changes over the years--apparently with regeimes of chefs. It's always been expensive, but the physical room is pleasant and the service is typically very attentive. They had a pretty good chef for the last two years--Chef Mike. She oversaw meals that had a flair, even though I felt she tended to be too partial to salt and fats/oils. Chef Mike is gone this season and in her place is a named Chef who should be nameless: This was the worst food in recent memory at Funace Creek Inn. We had dinner there three nights in a row, and basically, nothing was particularly good (FrenchToast in the morning and Flat Bread Pizza at noon made the grade). Indulge my rant a tad more, while I give you the low down: the menu itself is uninspiring; but the worst is that the food is served as if the kitchen staff doesn't care and/or is untrained. I was shocked that vegetables and rice sides were almost room temperature by the time they were served (one night the rice was lumpy as well, see unappetizing picture, attached). I could go on with my complaints, but let me make my point with a shocker: order a glass of wine each, and dinner for two--not much better than a good coffee shop--will cost you over $125. And this happens to be the first year they have eliminated the traditional date bread from the dinner bread plate. Quelle dommage!

To close on the positive side: Go take a hike. Glorious! Today we did the loop from Golden Canyon up towards Zabrinski Point, and out Gower Gulch. It took exactly 3 hours and was strenuous at a low intensity. Out of this world!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

or is it "coolest" spot? We visit this hotel with groups of 20 people for 10 years now, living up the warm(!) hospitality of the Furnace Creek Ranch. First of all the booking is easy: Sharon Sheppard, the manager of the place is so nice and helpful. We just love this lady. Then: The place is so clean and the restaurants on the hotel area are all real good.
Our guests have always been happy with this choice. And don´t forget the pool. You´ll need it when you arrive on your harley ( obviously without a.c. ): It´s large and clean - they will probably never need a pool heating system... . We´ll be back. Good job Sharon!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Broxbourne, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

This was a good place to stay considering where it is. The main issue with this place was the air con. It's the one place you need it when in furnace creek (the name says it all!). It was SO noisy...and I'm not just talking a gentle whir. It would 'rev up' and then wind down and I can only compare it to sounding like the engine when you're on an aeroplane and it's starting up for take off. There was no option to turn it off as we would have just melted. But having to stuff rolled up toilet paper in my eyes and sleep with a pillow held over my head (by myself, not my husband!) was not ideal. Especially as we had just spent 8 hours driving through Yosemite to Death Valley, and had the trip to Vegas the next day. We left feeling exhausted. The bathroom was a bit dingy and the whole room could do with a refresh and smartening up.

Saying that, the pool was big and the shop onsite was well stocked and staff were friendly. We ate in the bar eatery and not the steakhouse restaurant. The food was okay - not great for the price and portions were on the small side, which is most unlike America and some of the other places we stayed at during our honeymoon.

This place is okay and because of where it is it doesn't really need to do much, it's not like there are hotels everywhere in the middle of Death Valley and I think it really cashes in on this fact so cuts corners when it shouldn't.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cary, North Carolina
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed in a Furnace Creek Ranch 2 bed cabin, which is really 1/2 of a small building. The room had a good amount of space. The bathroom was well furnished. The cabins are very quiet. You have parking next to your cabin except for the one we had, which had a sidewalk and the ice machine where our parking would have been. The cabins are located just across the parking lot from the general store, saloon, and restaurant. We were there in February so we were not using the pool - but the pool would be a little walk. The gold course is very close. We did spend our last night, which we added, in a 1 queen bed cabin. It was fine also, but the bathroom was pretty small and there was no closet. This is a great area in Death Valley - all services including gasoline are available there. The 49er Cafe is definitely the place to eat - very good food at reasonable prices for Death Valley. Centrally located to points of interest in the Valley.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

There are very few choices of accommodation in Death Valley but this is a reasonable one ...
the Ranch cabins are least expensive but my unit was badly in need of serious renovation. The floor tiles in the bathroom were cracked, curled and dirty ... carpeting in the bedroom was soiled and old. That said, it offered a comfortable bed and free internet in a resort complex that includes several dining locations with good food and an accommodating saloon. The Inn is a separate high end property ... beautifully furnished, exceptional dining room and gardens with expansive desert views ... simply stunning!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

This is a great place to stay. The facilities are good - the rooms are large and well furnished and the staff helpful. There is a lively pub with music and good bar food. The pool is open until 11.00 (mountain time) and is a good way to unwind after a long drive! Don't forget to check your watches as the time changes to "mountain time" which means you can lose/gain an hour - very confusing!!
The store sells a good range of food - necessary as breakfast is not included - and some lovely original gifts. There is also a small outdoor museum of farming machinery which is worth a look.
Don't forget to take drinks for the next part of the journey and everywhere is so far apart .....

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

This facility fulfilled all my expectations and then some. It is well located, nicely maintained, and attractive. Above and beyond all that is the attitude of each and every employee I dealt with. From the cleaning staff to the dining staff to the front desk, they all made every effort to please and accommodate. I was pleased. Honorable mention to Dawn at the front office for volunteering to help with the printing of the boarding passes for the next day without our asking. All this bodes well for the top management that sets the tone. Bravo!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort

Address: Highway 190, PO Box 187, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
Location: United States > California > Death Valley National Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Death Valley National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Furnace Creek Inn And Ranch Hotel Death Valley National Park
Furnace Creek Resort
Furnace Creek Hotel
Furnace Creek Ranch
Furnace Creek Inn Death Valley

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