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“Short stays recommended” 4 of 5 stars
Review of WorldMark Bison Ranch

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WorldMark Bison Ranch
2341 Quarter Horse Trail, P.O. Box 2365, Overgaard, AZ 85933   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Overgaard
GreenLeadersBronze level
Austell, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Short stays recommended”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

First, this is a highly seasonal resort. During the winter, the sidewalks are poorly maintained and become icy death-traps. I almost killed myself on an ice covered ramp at night. Further, activities like horsebacking and hiking become far less pleasurable in the dead of winter and (like many worldmark resorts) the local towns have next to no tourism value. The nearest movie theater is 40 minutes away, there are only 2 or 3 restaurants nearby...etc.

Secondly, but not entirely unrelated to my first point: shopping and local patronage, hiking, fishing, etc. Will only entertain you for so long. You will need some age appropriate entertainment for your guests.

Worldmark resorts don't compare to other hotels as a general rule. All (Most) of them have full kitchens, 3 and 4 bedroom units aren't un-common. If I were to book a best western or doubletree therefore, and receive the room I did, it would be a five. As an owner though, I have to compare this property against the others and I was a little unhappy with the room I received.

The knives were dull, there were really bad hard-water build-up in the sinks and showers, poor water-pressure besides, the furniture was oddly laid out, as were the rooms, there was no tub in the master suite. Some of these things (like dull knives and hard-water, not to mention a poorly maintained public space in the winter) speak to bad management.

On the other hand, the unit did have 2 balconies including a private one in the master. The decorations were nice, the hand-carved dining room set was a nice touch and the boardwalk area was generally delightful, although it suffers from abandoned storefronts and over-priced specialty shops that seem out of place, like a soap boutique and a Christmas store that also sells 50 dollar handbags for 150.

In my opinion you should plan no more than 7 days here, even during the spring and probably no more than 4-5 here during the off season.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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20 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

We live south of Tucson and try to escape the heat several times during the summer months. Last year we went to Pinetop, this year we decided to give Bison Ranch Resort a try. We were both very pleased with the accommodations and the friendly staff. The unit is fully furnished including a washer and dryer. There are 2 decks and you own gas grill. The resort provided coffee, tea and dish detergent, but remember to bring your own shampoo and conditioner (they do not provide this). We were in a bottom floor unit which avoids the steps, but you do have the noise from the unit above. The resort is located by a western town with shops and restaurants within walking distance. There is a well stocked IGA store about 5 miles away. If you want to venture farther, Show Low and Pinetop are about 30 minutes away. Darby's in Pinetop is great place to eat. We also ate at the Red Onion which was very good. The resort provides information on multiple day trips and the staff provides local flavor of the area. There is a charge for wireless in the room, but you can use their PC or wireless in the lobby free of charge. It was a very good place for a quiet vacation

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I stayed at this World Mark Resort for an overnighterr stay on my way home. Wish my stay would have been longer to have time to explorer the resort and city.
While driving through town seeking for Bison Ranch, Overgaard seemed quite peaceful....compared to the large city that I reside in. The most vehicles that I saw that evening was at the local American Legion parking.
Once I arrived at the resort, I entered the wrong building. Luckily I saw an announcement on a bulletin board explaining World Mark check-in was at a different building. I didn't mind walking to the correct building that does have a large sign stating " World Mark" on the front doors.
When I entered my room, I was very pleased....felt like home. After a few minutes, the front desk called to do a "follow-up". I appreciated that!
I didn't want to go out of the area to purchase dinner, therefore, I decided to order pizza from the resort. Sadly, it was after 9 p.m. and I was unable to place an order...they were closed by 8:30 p.m. It was then that I realized that many local restraunts close early in Overgaard. I settled with a candy bar from the vending machine located in the game room. The facilities in the resort close at 10 pm (swimming pool and game room) Didn't get the opportunity to seek for a gym at the resort.
Although I was at Bison Ranch for a few hours, I definately enjoyed my stay. I really hope I get another opportunity to stay at this location in the future.

Room Tip: I did not have an elevator to second floor. Not sure if all rooms are in second floor.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clara, Utah
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

We live in the SW corner of Utah where it gets really hot during the summer so we use our timeshares to try to escape the heat by going up in elevation. We had never been to the Mogollon (pronounced Moe-ge-own) Rim area so decided to try a four night stay at the Worldmark Bison Ranch timeshare. We booked this using our Wyndham points during the third week of August. We figured this should give us a good idea of the weather during the summer.

The Mogollon Rim is a steep escarpment (elevation about 7000’) dividing the northern plateau region from the lower central and southern areas. The rim offers a trails as well as lakes for recreation. Time wise the Rim Country is about three hours from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. While we were there Phoenix was 115 during the day but we had temperatures in the mid 80s. It was “monsoon” season for AZ, so it would be clear in the morning, clouds start building mid-morning and by 1-3pm thunderheads with lighting/thunder. Rain came during the rest of the afternoon, but it was spotty. It did this every day we were there, but it didn’t interfere with our activities too much.

This area of AZ isn’t really near any major attractions. Most things require a 1.5 to 2 hours of driving (Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, etc.). The closest towns are Payson and Show Low. Most people that stay in the area are from the valley (Phoenix) and are getting out of the heat and to relax. All the resorts are family oriented. There is fishing, hiking, and horseback riding nearby. During the winter there is skiing near the Pinetop resorts. Now that you have an idea of the area, in addition to staying at Bison Ranch, we also visited Kohl’s Ranch, Worldmark Pinetop and the two timeshares at the Roundhouse Resort in Pinetop. An advantage of staying at the Pinetop resorts is that you are closer to a town and groceries.

Worldmark Bison Ranch is in Overgaard (elevation 6500’) and was built in 2001, designed to look like a western town from the 1800’s. The units are either up or downstairs with windows on both sides so you get good ventilation through the unit. This resort does have air conditioning, although we only used it one day for a couple of hours. We stayed in #112 which was on the end of one of the buildings. It was a two bed-two bath unit of just under 1100 sq. ft. As you entered, the fully stocked kitchen was ahead with the dining on the left, then the living area. Worldmarks have a Murphy bed and this unit had plenty of space behind the couch to bring the bed down. There was a gas fireplace and entertainment unit. Besides the couch there were two club chairs, both quite comfortable. Besides the coffee table in front of the couch, there was a sofa table behind it. We used it and the dining table for working puzzles. There was an eating counter with two bar stools facing the kitchen (we used the coffee table when the puzzles were out). The TV had a limited selection of channels. Although they had satellite, to keep costs down they didn’t have the “big” package. You had 10-12 channels, but something for everyone – sports, kids, news, and regular. You had the Today show but no GMA in the morning. The weather channel was pretty useless as the “Weather on the Eights” didn’t cover the area, not even Phoenix. Going down the hall there was a closet for the washer/dryer combo and the second bathroom. It had a single sink with a tub/shower combination. At the end of the hall was the second bedroom. It had two twin beds, small chest of drawers but no TV. To the left at the end of the hall was the master bedroom. It had a king bed, chair, two night stands and a small chest with a flat screen TV. The attached bathroom was a single sink with a step-in shower. Be aware that Worldmark doesn’t supply shampoo, etc.

The resort has an outdoor pool and hot tub as well as a kiddie pool. There is also an area for horse shoes and a small playground with a slide/jungle gym combo. In the main building there is one computer/printer, arcade games, two pool tables, air hockey table and a ping pong table. There is a nice workout room that has a treadmill, recumbent bike and a universal gym that shows how to work most muscle groups. Two people can use the space at once, but it gets crowded quickly (we took turns). There is a schedule of limited activities that is given to you at check-in. There is a take-one/leave-one library as well as videos to rent. The staff is very friendly and willing to help.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hartford, CT
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We had a great time spending 7 days at Bison Ranch in early July. We chose this resort because it looked fun for our kids, and it was. The staff was helpful and friendly. Our children really loved fishing (we brought our own poles instead of renting from the resort). The caught & released so many fish that we lost count and stopped taking pictures. Of course, the fish they caught were pretty small, but they were fine for the kids.

The unit was nice, and the kids love the murphy bed. One warning: Our unit also had a sofa bed, but we couldn't get it to fold out. We learned from the front desk that they've locked the old sofa beds so they won't open. Would have been nice if they'd put a sticker or some kind of warning there so we hadn't wasted time trying to get it to open.

It wasn't perfect, though. They clean the pool early each morning. We wished they'd clean it more than once a day given the amount of users and the number of insects that wound up in the water by 4:00 in the afternoon. Also, we put in a lot of driving time going to the Grand Canyon (twice), the 4 Corners (a fun trip for us where we took a lot of pictures), and to Tuba City to visit the Navajo Museum, but we knew we'd be hitting the road a lot when we planned the vacation. Thanks for the unlimited mileage, Enterprise!

Cell phone service was spotty at the resort, but we enjoyed being unplugged for the week. They have wireless available for a fee. We found the occasional trip to the computer in the lobby was enough for us.

Had fun tye-dying T-shirts at a resort activity. There's also a good running path outside the resort.

Overall, a nice, quiet vacation. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Book early
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2008

When driving up, it looks and feels out-of-place. Looks like they meant for a 'wild west' theme but it comes off more like a cheesy amusement park. I'm talking about the shops and hotel, which do not offer anything other than a restaurant and coffee/icecream shop. That's it. There are several other local accommodations that offer a more authentic cabin or rustic alternative, if that's what you are looking for.

I really do enjoy the outdoors so if you come to Overgaard or Show Low for that, you will enjoy the Rim Country immensly!

  • Liked — location
  • Stayed May 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Tempe, AZ
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2008

Next time you're travelling through Rim Country, be sure to stop at the Bison Ranch. They have great little shops and resturants to explore and enjoy. There are even bison available for viewing. If you plan on being in the area for more than one day the Bison Ranch Resort would be an excellent choice for home base. They have suites available for nightly rentals with prices that are competetive with many of the local hotels. The rooms are large, comfortable and nicely furnished. Each room has a kitchenette complete with dishes, pots, pans, coffee maker, refrigerator (full size), stove/oven & dishwasher. They even offer free DVD rental and popcorn! The setting is beautiful, close to a golf course (Pine Meadows - nice course to play), hiking and more. Best of all, you'll never know that you have neighbors in the room next door - this place is very sound proof.

A couple of things to note - the front desk hours are 9:00am - 9:00pm, so if you arrive late do not be shocked. You will still be able to get into your room, you'll just have to do the checking in part first thing in the morning.

Also beware of the homemade fresh baked cinnamon rolls baked in one of the buildings across the way - you'll gain 5 pounds just smelling them. YUM!

  • Liked — Comfortable rooms and easy check-in
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about WorldMark Bison Ranch

Address: 2341 Quarter Horse Trail, P.O. Box 2365, Overgaard, AZ 85933
Location: United States > Arizona > Overgaard
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Overgaard
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Bison Ranch Hotel Overgaard

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