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“Come for the cabooses - stay for the railroading” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop

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Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop
2.5 of 5 Motel   |   312 Paradise Lane, Ronks, PA 17572   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 14 hotels in Ronks
West Grove, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Come for the cabooses - stay for the railroading”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

My family took advantage of a Groupon for the Red Caboose. I'd always heard of the place and had been curious about it, but had never stayed before. We stayed here the weekend after Labor Day 2013, after the holiday rush. It was a great experience for both me (I'm a big railroad fan) and our daughter, who has taken after me.

The Red Caboose is located smack dab in that interesting place in Lancaster County where Amish and Mennonite cultures meet with hard-core railroading. That makes this area interesting for everybody.

We stayed in the Lehigh Valley caboose, which seemed to have been updated with new windows and fixtures - contrary to some of the reviews here which describe old, beat-up interiors. Our caboose had a bunk bed and a queen bed with a new flat-screen TV with cable. My wife chose to sleep in one of the bunks the first night so our daughter could sleep with me, which she regretted later (more below). The second night we both slept in the queen bed.

There's a petting zoo on the grounds with goats, sheep, and lots of chickens and roosters. You can buy an ice cream cone full of feed for 50 cents in the hotel "lobby", but beware - those animals eat fast!

Speaking of roosters, our first night we had the air conditioner off because it was cool outside, and got up extra early thanks to said roosters. The second night we had the A/C on and couldn't hear the roosters in the morning.

Buggy rides are offered on the premises, and the hotel "lobby" (which is a separate arcade) has a gift shop and an arcade. Local pretzels and potato chips are also sold there, which is a nice little extra. Complimentary coffee with liquid creamer is also available in the lobby. (I hate powdered creamer - this is a huge thing for me when a hotel offers liquid creamer.)

We had breakfast in the "dining car" attached to the lobby, which rocks back and forth at times to imitate a real dining car ont he rails. It offered simple, filling food, what you'd expect in Amish country.

The highlight of the Red Caboose for me is that the Strasburg RR mainline runs about 10 feet from the end of the property, so you can sit on a bench or picnic table and watch #90 steam by several times a day. And, the SRR and Railroad Museum of PA are just down the road (almost, but not quite, within walking distance) so the Red Caboose is obviously the perfect place to stay if you're planning a visit there.

PROS: Stay in a caboose! I mean, how many places can you do that? Feed and pet the animals, talk to some Amish and Mennonite folks, enjoy the beautiful countryside. Movie nights on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer months - great for the kids. Friendly and helpful lobby and restaurant staff. So close to Strasburg RR you will feel the train go by. Close to SRR and RR Museum of PA. Constant stream of buggies going by on nearby roads if you like seeing them to confirm you're in Amish country.

CONS: Bunk bed mattresses were hard and uncomfortable. My wife had a hard time getting restful sleep the first night. Unusual check-out policy: You get charged $25 for each 15 minutes you stay in your caboose beyond your 11am checkout time. Gives a lot of incentive to get out on time. Vending machines not working (but money they stole from me was cheerfully refunded to me by the lobby staff).

Room Tip: Try to ask for a newly remodeled caboose.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
train312, Manager at Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop, responded to this review, November 29, 2013
Thank you for taking time to post your experience aboard the Red Caboose Motel. Glad you had a great time. The check out policy is in place and we try to honor any request depending on accommodation demands. The vending machines to get a lot of use and we are happy to return any and all money that is lost. Again thank you again.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Went on a 2 day trip with my 3 year old son and sister to the Red Caboose. We had such a great experience. The rooms were clean and neat, the motel grounds were great. My son loved looking at all the trains, the petting zoo and the little park in the back. Loved hearing the sound of the train as it passed by!! The staff were all very friendly and helpfull. Motel is located right in the middle of all the attractions which was a big plus!!! would definetly go back.

Room Tip: Any room you stay in is a great experience!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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train312, Manager at Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and giving us your positive feed back!
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Red Caboose Motel is very unique. They are real rail cars, mostly cabooses, sitting on tracks. They are painted like the different rail road companies outside & are clean motel rooms inside (not the fanciest but clean). They have air conditioning ,TVs, refrigerators & microwaves. The restaurant is a old dining car. It is right next to the Strasburg Railroad tracks (You can watch them pass) & close to the depo for the Strasburg Train. IT IS A MUST DO FOR PEOPLE WITH KIDS THAT LIKE TRAINS.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
train312, Manager at Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
We appreciate the positive feed back and your time for posting your experience. We enjoyed having you aboard with us!
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Great place to take the little ones to stay in an honest-to-goodness caboose. The caboose was clean and comfortable. Ours had a queen size bed with a flat screen tv. It also had bunk beds (which were separated from the main bedroom by a divider wall). On the property was a barn with farm animals so you can get up close and enjoy them. Did not eat at the motel. The Strasberg railroad runs in front of the property. Not a five star property, but, then, no one would expect that from a converted caboose. Very enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This is probably the greatest motel in the world. every room is a caboose. I felt like a kid again climbing on all the trains. rooms were clean. bed was big and comfortable. we had to family rooms and as they are train they were the biggest as regular hotels but definitely more fun. the staff was great.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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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train312, Manager at Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
Thank you for the "GREATEST" review. Glad to hear that you enjoyed staying in a caboose! ALL ABOARD!
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

I was very hesitant to stay here after reading some reviews, but I am happy to say that the Red Caboose Motel was delightful and fun. Our five year old is a rail fan, so sleeping in and climbing on a real caboose was amazing to him. We bought a Groupon for our stay cutting the nightly rate in half. It was worth it at that price, but I don't think I'd pay more than that for a stay here. It is rustic and reminded me of camping in a cabin. Basic amenities, including private bath, AC and a micro fridge. The most updated thing was the wall mounted flat screen tv. Our room was clean and cute, although dated. We had a smaller caboose with one double bed and a set of bunk beds. My only real criticism was that the entrance door was badly warped and difficult to open/close.

The grounds of the motel really made a decent stay great. The Strasburg RR runs right in front of the property so we had fun watching the steam trains ride by. There is a lookout tower/silo that we climbed at sunset, giving beautiful views of the area as well as a view of the passing train. There are two play areas that kept the kids busy for hours. There is a small petting zoo area filled with some farm animals. We enjoyed walking around and checking out all the different cabooses there, as well as catching glimpses of Amish folk in their buggies.

While we did not use one, I noticed that there were a few charcoal grills on the grounds near picnic benches that guests could use to cook a meal.

There is a train car restaurant on premise that is very much like a family diner. We had a great breakfast there. The staff were very friendly, as were all the other guests.

My five year old LOVED staying here. If they had a pool he'd be even more in love. It was a bit rustic for me, but even I had a fun time.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

A fun night with our two grandsons. 6 and 3 1/2, in a very clean caboose. Bunk beds for the boys and a bed for us with a divider wall between. Two TVs, so that the boys could watch a little TV before bed. A nice playground, but a bit muddy when we were there. The boys spent a lot of time feeding grass/weeds to the sheep and goats and trying to feed the chickens. We ate dinner and breakfast in the train restaurant, which was perfect for what we needed for the boys and good country cooking for us, and not over salted. After breakfast, we took a buggy ride with Miss Jane, who was friendly and informative and the boys were able to sit up front with her. A fun time!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop

Address: 312 Paradise Lane, Ronks, PA 17572
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Lancaster County > Ronks
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 hotels in Ronks
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Red Caboose offers a unique Strasburg, PA lodging experience for families, couples, or train history enthusiasts. The Red Caboose Motel is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We are surrounded by Amish Farms, The Strasburg Railroad, The Railroad Museum and many more Lancaster County attractions. The Red Caboose Motel features 46 rooms consisting of cabooses, a baggage car, and a post office car (many newly restored). Try our PA Dutch menu in one of our two authentic dining cars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant And Gift Shop
Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop Hotel Strasburg
Red Caboose Strasburg
Red Caboose Hotel
Red Caboose Motel, Restaurant & Gift Shop Ronks, PA - Lancaster County

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