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“A "Don't Miss" Opportunity of a lifetime!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elk Mountain Ranch

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Elk Mountain Ranch
13000 CR 185B, Buena Vista, CO 81211   |  
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Save $300 per adult
Palm Harbor, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A "Don't Miss" Opportunity of a lifetime!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2010

I know this sounds like a cliche', but you'd be making a tremendous mistake to pass on this trip. My family and I have been on numerous familiy vacations over the years, including Hawaii and Alaska, and this was our very favorite one! Elk Mountain Ranch has everything a family could possibly want. The owners have thought of it all!
Treat yourself to one whole week without the worries of the real world. You'll find that old fashioned bonding with your family and new found friends is truly FUN while you engage in white water rafting along the beautiful Arkansas River, numerous hours of horseback riding in the San Isabel National Forest (a true treat for the eyes, with pristine views of the Rockies), fishing in the river (we caught rainbow trout and the cooks cooked it up for us for dinner that night- you cannot get any fresher than that), marksmanship, trap shooting, hay rides with smores, cookouts and hiking. You can do as little or as much as you like (nobody is judging). At nightime, there's unique local entertainers, such as a cowboy poet and a gentleman who plays the dulcimer, guitar, harmonica players, and I cannot forget about the wonderful square dancing we did together. There's also a hot tub, archery, foosball, volleyball, tetherball, pool and air hockey. There's fun every minute of the day. As if all of this wasn't enough, what really cemented our feeling that this was the very best trip we had ever had were the owners (Tom and Sue) and their family and staff. Tom and Sue's ranch really is a beautiful rustic retreat with 5 star service. They were so gracious, accommodating, and professsional the entire week. Every time we tried something new, such as trapshooting, you knew that the instructors knew what they were doing, and they were so patient in their instruction. The food was great, as were the accommodations. Everything from the log cabin to the wranglers is authentic. Our family trip to Elk Mountain Ranch far surpassed every expectation we had of how wonderful our trip to Buena Vista, Colorado could be. I am recommending this ranch to all of our family and friends, and I am sure we will return in the future! You should go!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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102 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2010

This was the best vacation we've ever taken! The staff and owners bent over backwards to make sure every need was met, the scenery was beautiful and peaceful, the food was incredibly good and the activities were really fun. It was nice to get to know the other guests during the meals and rides, and the staff couldn't have been more pleasant to us. My husband even learned to ride and is already wanting to go back. This was truly a stress-free vacation. Wish we never had to leave!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaneohe Hawaii
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

Other reviews have already covered in detail the activities and general ambiance. I wholeheartedly agree with all the superlatives written and want to add this: I am two days back from Elk Mountain Ranch and I am simply HOMESICK to return there. And I live in Hawaii, so it's not like I had to return to some awful, drab existence!

"Homesick" is the best way to describe it. Everyone at the Ranch, beginning with Tom and Sue and down to every last staff member, make you feel at home. They pamper you and cater to you, but--much more than that--they make you feel like they truly enjoy your company and are glad to have you there. Lots of places provide impeccable service. Many less provide the kind of service where you want to cry upon departure because you'll miss the PEOPLE who work there.

The food is hearty and delicious. The horses are well trained and delightful. The activities are fun and varied. Tom is always gracious and patient, while at the same time brooking no compromise when it comes to the safety of his horses and his guests. All of these attributes make Elk Mountain Ranch a special vacation destination. But Tom and Sue and their marvelous staff are what make Elk Mountain Ranch an unforgettable one.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peabody, MA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2008

My husband and I went here with his parents, college age brother and teenage brother for a family vacation. We had an amazing time. Elk Mtn Ranch is tucked away in the mountains just far enough to give it that private feel - but still convenient enough to get to main roads for the day trips. The Ranch and surrounding area is beautiful.
There is never a dull moment here. There is always something you can take part in - or you can just relax in your room or in the main lodge if you want a slower pace. The owners, Tom and Sue, are amazing and they hire the best staff! They are always willing to go the extra mile. Do not hesitate to try this Ranch if you are looking to ride horses a lot. There are daily trail rides, sometimes in the morning and the afternoon, and all the horses are well trained. Groups are kept small so you can feel more comfortable.
Meals are family-style with the other guests and that is a great touch. We made some great friends here and look forward to keeping in contact with them. The food is amazing - there is never a shortage and they will cater to special requests.
I just can't say enough good things about this place. It has that rustic feel - but you are not without any luxury, no "roughing it."
The ranch is run on generators so from 11pm - 6am there is no electricity, but there are flashlights in the rooms and propane lamps available. It was amazing waking up in the to TOTAL darkness. Most of us city people wish for it to be this dark at night!
Do yourself a favor and give Elk Mtn Ranch a try! You will not regret it!

  • Liked — People
  • Disliked — NOTHING!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelham, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2008

I LOVED THIS! We stayed for the week, and did the horseback riding. Everyone is nice, and funny, and the horses are great. I loved it! The lodging is great too. I would defintely recommend going! IT GAVE ME ONE OF THE BEST WEEKS OF MY LIFE! You can choose to ride everyday, which we did, and recommend. All the trails are great. Or, you can sit back and relax, do shoot two different types of guns, shoot clay pigeons, whitewater raft, or do archery. I also recommend the horse Buddy, Jasper, or Latifah. You get a horse for the week, and these horses are great. You are allowed to request a horse.

  • Liked — The horseback riding, and amazing wranglers.
  • Disliked — I liked everything!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
qhcowboy
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2008

All we can really say is that the Elk Mountain Ranch is a wonderful place to spend your vacation. Not only is the staff well trained, but the staff goes beyond the normal expectations of a five star hotel. We went to the ranch on our honeymoon in May of 1999, and went back in 2004 for our 5 year anniversary, and plan to go back on our 10 year anniversary in 2009. We cannot begin to describe how relaxing as well as exciting this place was, except to say that we love the entire Murphy Family, and I know that we both gained 10lbs from the amazing home cooking we had. We Highly Recommend visiting the Elk Mountain Ranch if you are seeking a truly stress-free, but exciting vacation!!!

Jason and Carol Campbell
Villa Ridge, Missouri

  • Liked — The setting, food, staff, horseback riding, Murphy family, oh did I say the food!!!
  • Disliked — We only had 1 week to stay there; it went by too fast and we would have stayed a month if we could have!!!
  • Stayed May 2004, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Radnor, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2007

On arriving at the Elk Mountain Ranch, Tom Murphy thanked his guests for allowing the opportunity to take responsibility for our special vacation time. Tom and Sue clearly take this responsibility seriously and it shows from start to finish. My wife and I and our two boys (ages 9 and 12) can safely say that this was one of our best vacations ever (if not the best). The Murphys have succeeded in creating a very special place in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. We will undoubtedly return soon!

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Elk Mountain Ranch

Address: 13000 CR 185B, Buena Vista, CO 81211
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Buena Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 Specialty lodging in Buena Vista
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colorado's highest guest ranch at 9600 feet. Weekly package includes meals, lodging and activities - horseback riding, white water rafting, shooting sports, van trip to Aspen, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hayride, square dance, childrens' program and more. Massage and overnight pack trip extra. 35 pampered guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elk Mountain Ranch Hotel Buena Vista

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