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“Kids loved it” 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
Clarence Center, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Kids loved it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed at the Red Caboose a couple of nights in November 2013. We were in the B and O caboose with our 2 boys - 6 and 3. It was very cold outside but we were able to stay warm inside with the heaters. The caboose had a full size bed in the front room and twin bunk beds in the back. The bathroom was small - to be expected in a caboose - and was comparable to an RV bathroom. The caboose was very clean.

Our sons loved staying in a caboose and said it was the best hotel ever. I would equate it with staying in a RV. Neat experience and something you do for the kids. We also found the roosters crowing and chickens charming and part of the fun and ambiance of staying in Amish Country.

Stayed November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

I read some of the other reviews which highlighted problems management will need to address.

As for my own experience, we had a comfortable stay in a well heated, well insulated caboose (#23 Reading RR) where the interior smelled of fresh spruce. The interior of our room was done in an arts/crafts motive to mimic the interior of a log cabin.

The constraints of the caboose footprint don't allow for a lot of space; however, the bathroom was roomy and the main area cozy. The cupola area of the caboose was a loft that a single child would take over and have fun with a sleeping area with their own TV.

This place is convenient to the Strasburg RR and the PA RR Museum. It is in the heart of Lancaster's Amish Country. We could hear horses pulling Amish Buggies by the place.

My only complaint was that the place has free-ranging roosters and chickens, some of whom liked to crow well before sunrise. I get it that this is the country. Nonetheless, we paid money to get a good nights sleep and the stupid chickens cut that short.

If you have pre-teen kids who are train buffs, this will be an experience they will not forget. If you have a chance, try to check out the caboose to make sure it meets your standards.

Room Tip: Ask to inspect your caboose if you have a chance. Some are apparently nicer than others.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Park, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

We stayed for three nights in mid-November in caboose #30, which was decorated inside like a log cabin. There was the bed, a writing desk, and a chair, plus a microwave and refrigerator and a small storage cabinet that the appliances sat on.

We had no trouble with the heat. There was a heater in the bedroom and a baseboard heater in the bathroom that was ample to keep us warm. On the plus side, the caboose had its own hot water heater and the water was HOT. No need to wait for warm water to arrive at the sink!

The biggest problem for us was the lack of closet space. We were attending the Steampunk Unlimited event at Strasburg Railroad, so we had lots of clothes with us that needed to be hung up. There were two hooks on the bathroom door on the bedroom side and two hooks inside the bathroom. Other than that, we kept folded clothes in our luggage which is what we usually do when we travel anyway.

The setting for the motel is quite a change from our usual suburban haunts. There is a petting zoo and the roosters crowed at all hours, but I can't say it was awfully loud. It's much better than the road noise I usually have to put up with. The nice part about our caboose is that we never heard our neighbors: no one stomping overhead in the middle of the night; no TV blaring on the other side of the wall.

The restaurant serves comfort food: meatloaf, chicken, etc., and there is a small gift shop.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKeesport, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

My family only stayed for one night and the place is so exciting for kids. They will love it. But,we were very dissatisfied with the motel charging our credit card without our authorization. We used a credit card as required when we checked in. It was requested at check-in to keep on file and I wanted to pay cash or check there. The office said we were to pay at check out time. When we went to turn in the key and pay they said our card was already charged NO AUTHORIZATION was given at any point in time. PLEASE,BE CAREFUL

Room Tip: They all appeared good
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

My family and I just got back from a one night stay at the Red Caboose Motel, we went for the Day Out With Thomas. Everything about the hotel truly was perfect if you have a little one obsessed with trains except that overnight we had absolutely no heat. We nearly froze to death in our room, #9 Alaska (appropriately named, I assure you) The hotel literally would have been a 5 star rating from me because all though the room was incredibly old and run down, it was perfect for my son who was so happy to be there. The theming was great, the gift shop and on site restaurant adorable and very tasty and Thomas and all the other trains pass by the hotel all day long so you get to see them all day long. However when we told the staff about the lack of heat they indicated that people often complain about that room in particular not having heat. I am sorry, but you can not KNOWINGLY put people in rooms without heat. It was 20 degrees, and we had a toddler with us for crying out loud. We shivered through the entire night, his nose and ears were frozen. It wasn't just our room either, I asked our neighbors if they had heat and they said no as well. That to me is unacceptable. I realize some of the other cabooses are updated and may be better, but there is no way to know which you are going to get.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Parsippany, New Jersey
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

This is a great central location from which to explore and enjoy Amish country. Don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. How many people can say they slept in a caboose and ate in a dining car? I felt we received what we paid for. The caboose was comfortable and the bathroom adequate. The portions in the dining car were large and the food hearty. Kids will love the Red Caboose. There's a petting zoo and a train museum on site. Other museums and the Strasburg train are down the road. In season, you will see Amish farmers working their fields behind equipment pulled by teams of horses and the ubiquitous black carriages along the roadways. Take the kids and have a good weekend.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mays Landing, New Jersey
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

My kids are 1, 3, and 5 and we were really happy with our choice of staying here. It was something really different and out of the ordinary. The surrounding area of just pure farmland and wide open sky as well as perfect view of the Strasburg railroad was really satisfying. It was cold when we were there but we still explored outside and I could imagine really letting the kids run around and play on a warm day. It did smell bad, like horse poop, when we first arrived but we laughed about it. The second day I think the wind must have been blowing a different way and it was much better. We were in car #8 and it was nice b/c it was on the outside loop that is on the road and had an unobstructed view and you could hear the pitter patter of the horse hoofs pulling the buggy for the amish people, which were plentiful abound. so it truly was the experience we were looking for. I do not think car #8 is the best car. apparently each one is decorated differently and I would really have liked to peek in to each one. I asked one young guy that worked there which cars were his favorite and he said 21 and 30 b/c they are decorated like log cabins inside (but they did not have that great view). the view is limited though b/c the windows are small but still nice. the draft inside of our room was severe though. we stayed in a family car, which is really nice if you have 3 or 4 kids b/c there are 4 bunks and a double bed. where the double bed was the temp was great but back where the bunks were for the kids was freezing but we bundled them up and jacked up the heat. So for me this was a great experience and the kids liked it. I would do as we did. stay here for one night and stay at a nice hotel one night. get the best of both worlds.one farm that I found out about too late as we were leaving is verdant farm nearby. they let your kids milk cows and feed baby calves bottles and visit a real working farm. you can just visit for a day but the feedings and milkings are really early or 4pm. I would've liked to do this. we ate at plain and fancy which was a family style meal, true Pennsylvania dutch style. this restaurant was featured on travel channels 'Man vs. Food' which my husband always watches. Good food. recommend this over a chain restaurant you've probably eaten at a dozen times. We of course went to Strasburg railroad and I was surprised just how close the red caboose motel is to the railroad.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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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