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“Horse Lovers Dream” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Cross Ranch

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Southern Cross Ranch
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   1670 Bethany Church Rd., Madison, GA 30650   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 6 Madison B&B and Inns
Macon, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Horse Lovers Dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

My husband and I spent several days here. I love horseback riding and got my fill twice a day. The ranch guides were fabulous! The ranch is beautiful and there are horses everywhere. The room was top notch. I cannot brag enough about the meals-huge breakfast and two other meals were like having Thanksgiving.So relaxing, too. A must for the horse-lover or anyone who wants a peaceful vacation.

Room Tip: The level 3+ was tops. We stayed in the Southern Belle.
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  • Stayed May 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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101 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ocean City, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

Stayed here with my sister and sister-in-law for three days in May. It was absolutely wonderful. The staff, beginning with Jim, the first person you meet when you arrive at the ranch, to the barn staff, especially loved Big Dave, our trail guide, to the kitchen staff, who cook some of the most delightful concoctions - it is all better than I anticipated. Our room was fit for princesses. The view of horses from every window. All of it was great. If I had to complain, it would be that they feed you too well. You can walk down to the dining room in the middle of the night for a glass of sweet tea and a cookie. One of the things we noticed is that there were several people there who have stayed there before. I think that says it much better than I can.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This is the place to come rest, play and eat! Southern Cross has got it all and they know how to do it right! Staying in an old southern home turned into an all inclusive horse ranch with a five star dinning hall, pool, hot tub and more, there is something for everyone. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was always full of families, couples young and old and single grown ups, full of conversations and laughter. At night after all the dust from the trail riders had settled and the pool lights were turned off you could close your eyes and listen to the horses whinny and gallop past the home and feel like this was your home with your family tired and happy from a day full of good eats and adventures. "Kudos" to you Southern Cross Great Job, Well Done!!

Room Tip: Call and talk to the staff. They have so many different types of rooms, some are part of the origina...
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  • Stayed May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

My wife had seen this wonderful ranch on the Internet long ago. After we were married one of our goals was to visit just to see if it was as nice as we hoped.

It was more and my only regret is that we only stayed two nights. The horses are beautiful and the barn staff is friendly and helpful. The food at the B&B was the great and there was never a shortage. The friendly atmosphere helped open the way for friendships to be made. What a treat this has been and we look forward to our next trip.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Go, go, go to this hidden gem. I have been around the world, from Cambodia to Chile, from France to Ecuador, and Southern Cross Ranch stands out as wonderful in every way. I’m dying to go back. In other words, GO (unless you're an uptight jerk, in which case please leave this lovely place to those of us who want to keep it tranquil and happy). :)
Key points: A vacation at SCR would be ideal for horse lovers (obviously), people who love animals, golfers (world-renowned courses in the area, including Augusta), city mice who don't get to be in the country much, families who wants lots of options outside in the fresh air, Europeans who want to ride and relax in a picturesque part of the US South, etc etc. I really can't imagine who wouldn't like it here.
- I got a cheap flight from NYC to ATL and spent 5 days there in April (spring had just sprung and it was gorgeous weather: horses were foaling every night and I got to meet several adorable babies!) on the all-inclusive riding plan.
-The food is good and plentiful, with A LOT of hot options at every meal. There were American, Mexican, and German options pretty much at every meal (reflecting the kitchen staff and management), which made for interesting and delicious combinations. If you're riding, the meal schedule (you must eat at 8:15 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm or very shortly thereafter) will seem totally natural and not at all a hindrance. If you're not riding and you think it might be irritating to follow their schedule, you can always eat certain meals there and other ones in Madison a few minutes away. They made it very clear that they will happily accommodate any special dietary needs. One of the most amazing things I've ever experienced on any vacation was that you have access to a soda fountain and other beverages 24 hours a day!! It seems like a little thing, but imagine being in 75+ degree weather and having unlimited access to cold water, lemonade, sweet tea, Dr Pepper, coke, diet coke, coffee, tea, etc ANYTIME you desire it (you don’t even have to ask someone to pour it for you: you use the machines yourself)! There are also snacks out for people who are hungry outside of the dining times. Their cookies are to die for.
-The riding program is by far the best tourist riding experience I have ever had. In the world. I could write hundreds of words on this, but I’ll try to sum it up by saying that SCR puts a lot of trust in their guests, giving us tons of flexibility and chances to be with the gorgeous, well-cared-for horses as much as we could desire. You can visit them in the barn anytime; you can hang out in their pastures, the largest of which circles the B&B (providing views of grazing horses from every window!). You can get up close and personal with the horses, making friends and observing animal behavior. The horses themselves are as happy as I’ve ever seen at a large-scale operation, particularly given that the guest horses are trained to give rides to everyone from total newbies (I saw lots of people get on horses for the first time and look very happy and safe) to the expert trainers and guides. Some horses are there for riding: the others are there for the extensive quality horse breeding program (hence the adorable foals). As a rider, I was impressed with how well trained the horses were without being barn sour, stubborn (unless you gave up control to the horse, in which case the guides are always there to help you get control, but I really didn’t see this happen), or boring. I tried a couple horses until I found one that I really clicked with (they were all great, I just was looking for one where we communicated well). They are all given a couple weeks off in the pasture interspersed with their weeks being ridden, which is a sure sign of how much the management cares for the horses and their health at SCR. Several guests (and I) commented on how special it was to see horses truly “living” – running around the pastures at a gallop just to have fun, play-fighting with one another, making noise, caring for their young, etc. Coming from the Northeast, that is not something I’ve gotten to experience before. It felt as close as you could get to being around wild horses.
-Another major point, which is covered in several reviews here, is that if you’re comfortable at the walk, trot, and canter, the staff will let you and your friends go trail riding on your own, because the trails are all safe and you won’t run into roads, etc. You can’t go entirely solo, but if you’re at SCR alone you can hook up with guests there and ride with them, with or without a guide. The guides ranged from completely wonderful, with interesting stories and great horsemanship, to quite young (college or right after) and therefore a little inexperienced in hospitality. I never had a bad guide, just one or 2 who were a little less invested in the experience.  The barn staff, housekeeping staff, and office staff are all excellent too.
- I stayed in the Magnolia room (Category 3, out of 5), which has the benefit of being one of only 2 rooms in the 2nd building of the B&B, with the sun-drenched dining rooms on the 1st floor. At first I thought that sleeping above the dining room would be loud and unappealing, but it was very quiet and I had a lot of privacy. The room was spacious, clean, with a very nice leather sofa, flat-screen tv, little balcony, nice bathroom, and HEAVENLY bed. SCR does a very good job of offering rooms at different rates for those with different budgets: everything from $80/night Cat 1 rooms to luxurious Cat 5 rooms. They could upgrade their toiletry options (they have dispensers for liquid soap and shampoo in the showers, but considering how dirty you're liable to get at the ranch, it would be nice to have individual soaps, shampoos, and hair conditioner). The only other suggestion I just have to make is that they should get rid of the fake flowers in guest rooms and common areas (there are lots of nice common areas, like a game room, tv room, living room, patios, swings, and a pool/hot tub). They are just outdated.

I’ve written too much, but suffice it to say, this is an EXTRAORDINARY getaway in the lush, tranquil Georgia countryside, but only 1 hour to Atlanta. You’ll meet interesting people from all over the world, you’ll relax in nature, you’ll soak in the hot tub to soften sore muscles, you’ll make friends with 1500-pound sweethearts, you’ll eat well and sleep like the dead. Just don’t make it impossible to book a room, because I need to go back!

Room Tip: Category 3 Magnolia room was excellent. One of only 2 rooms in the 2nd building of the B&B, it w...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Wellington, FL
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

My daughter and I are planning our 5th trip to Southern Cross Guest Ranch next week. We both share a love for animals of all kinds, especially horses. We started going there when my daughter was 6 and now she is 15. From the second you arrive at the ranch you are greeted by the warm friendly staff (Jim is always helpful as well as all the kitchen and barn staff). We have stayed in several other rooms but prefer the cozy Cattle Baron room with cowhide rug and fireplace. After a 3 meals, 2 horse rides, we get to the favorite time of the day when the horses go out to pasture we spend hours with them giving them carrots and other treats. We make a fire out in the pasture and toast marshmellows and chat with other guests.By the time we leave the ranch we are already planning our date of return. Last spring we had the opportunity to witness the birth of 3 horses! This place is a Gem!.

Room Tip: Cattle Barron is at the top of the main house and a personal favorite. There is a room that fits jus...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Had a friend recommend This place for it's dining.
The food was exceptionally good. A bountiful buffet of down-home cooking.
The filet of beef and gravy was to die for, with fresh veggies galore. The place was explicitly clean and the staff is friendly and happy.
I am definitely returning.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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 Southern Cross Ranch

Also Known As:
Southern Cross Ranch Hotel
Southern Cross Ranch Hotel Madison
Address: 1670 Bethany Church Rd., Madison, GA 30650
Location: United States > Georgia > Madison
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Madison
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Southern Cross Ranch 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern Cross Ranch is a new breed of dude-ranch experience that combines a working ranch with the comfort of a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn. ... more   less 

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