We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“We can't wait to go back!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hill Country Equestrian Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Bandera
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Hill Country Equestrian Lodge
Save
You added Hill Country Equestrian Lodge to your Saves list
1580 Hay Hollar Road, Bandera, TX 78003   |  
Hotel amenities
US
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“We can't wait to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

My husband and I went to the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge for a week of riding. What we got was a quiet, relaxing week away from it all and great riding experience.

We enjoyed our cabin with its view out to the hills. It was quiet and remote, which is just what we like. There was plenty of space in the cabin for us to relax, and when we needed something, all we had to do was ask. Breakfast foods were provided, and Dianne and Peter supplied what we requested. (we don't eat sweet breakfasts). We brought a lot of food with us from Whole Foods in San Antonio, and prepared our lunches and some dinners in our cabin. A couple more hooks to hang things on might have been useful, but honestly, we didn't want for anything. There were plenty of clean towels and dishes.

Most days we took riding lessons with Dianne, and we both learned a lot. We enjoyed our time grooming and tacking our horses, and talking to Dianne about the horses, the ranch, the Hill Country, etc. We found her to be extremely knowledgeable. The facilities - the barn, the tack room, arena etc. were very well-organized and well-kept.

Dianne's lessons were well-paced and progressed in difficulty and in a logical skill sequence. We also thoroughly enjoyed our trail rides through the park lands surrounding the ranch. The rides were relaxed, but offered plenty of opportunities for trotting and cantering.

My horse was excellent - she was very responsive and easy to work with in every respect. My husband's horse could be a bit reluctant at times, but he was patient with a new rider - exactly what was needed. Dianne did a good job matching horses to each of our experience levels. And she was great to work with, as she was patient and flexible with us.

Fly-fishing - though there was not fishing available on the ranch, Dianne was extremely helpful in arranging for my husband to fish nearby. Next time we go, we plan to do some hiking, and more exploring off the ranch. And spend a bit more time just sitting on our cabin porch, enjoying the view.

We did not eat dinner at HCEC, but Dianne did provide us with an excellent recommendation for a restaurant, which turned out to be my favorite meal out. Peter recommended a great spot for drinks and live music, which we both enjoyed as well.

We spent a couple of hours walking around in Bandera, and found everyone there to be as friendly and helpful as our hosts.

In summary, we highly recommend Dianne and Peter's ranch for an equestrian vacation. If you are looking for knowledgeable instruction, good horses, and a quiet, beautiful spot, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

132 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    119
    10
    0
    2
    1
See reviews for
32
42
25
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Austin
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

I stayed for a week and thoroughly enjoyed lessons with Dianne Tobin in the Whole Horsemanship Clinic. Dianne has since sent me the DVD recording of my lessons and I've really enjoyed re-living the week and learning by watching the DVD. Afternoons included trail rides through the beautiful property of HCEL and the neighboring park. I rode Buck that week and he is a great horse! The cabin was perfect--comfortable and the kitchen had everything I needed. I especially loved in the mornings when the horses would come in from the pasture, running right in front of my cabin. Beautiful views from the front porch and it was so peaceful there in the evenings. The hot tub was perfect after hours of riding. I recommend to anyone who enjoys horses and the outdoors.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Motherwell, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2008

Well living in Scotland I wanted to surprise my wife for our wedding anniversary, so one airmile redemption later we find ourselves with Peter and Diane (owners), horses, hills and of course; sunshine in Bandera, Texas.

We spent 3 days and loved every second. The lodges are very clean and tidy, we lacked nothing! The bed was soooooo comfy too, which was welcome after the horserides!!

Diane was very patient with us (we had ridden a little but were no cowboys!), she gave us an hours tuition and then we took a 2 hour ride into the hills - wonderful! We rode 3 times, and each time took a different route.

The horses are well looked after - you can help clean them before and after you ride, which we did - and are willing to obey the rider. So when you get to an open stretch Diane will let you trot or canter with them - not like some other places I have been where the horses just plod along! No this is real horse riding, in the beautiful Texas countryside.

Meals were great (you get breakfast supplied in cabin, more than ample), then lunch and evening meals are provided by Diane and Peter (for a small fee). It was nice to sit and talk to them over a meal - they made us feel really welcome. (You can go to Bandera town about 10-15mins where there are restaurants.)

If you're looking to learn a little about and ride horses in stunning scenery, make new friends and stay in super accommodation then you gotta book here - I promise: YOU'LL LOVE IT!

  • Liked — The comfy bed!!
  • Disliked — Nothing it was ideallic!
  • Stayed September 2008, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2008

We planned to stay at HCEL (Hill country equestrian lodge) for three nights during our vacation this month. We ended up staying seven nights because we enjoyed it so much...

If you are looking for nature and real horsemanship this is the right place to go. When we arrived we found a very nice, comfortable and clean suite, the kitchen already stuffed with our breakfast (broad variety of items) for the next couple of days. We spent hours on the porch watching either the wildlife or the starry sky - gorgeous. I have been riding English style my life long and started taking lessons western style at HCEL. It was so much fun. Dianne is an excellent teacher as well for beginners as for advanced riders. Knowing a lot about the English style as well she was able to give very good pointers on how to adapt to the new riding style. The horses are well trained and very friendly. Dianne and Peter take very good care of them, they are almost like family to them. Trailrides to the Hill country natural area were very special and a lot of fun.

Bandara is situated 10miles from HCEL and offers good food and night entertainment. Interesting trips to Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Rio Frio, Lost Maples State Natural Area are possible.

Dianne and Peter made us feel like family, we already miss them, the horses, the ranch and for sure we will be back.

Sabine&Matthias from Germany

  • Liked — very friendly atmosphere
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2008

Date: August 17, 2008
Reviewer: Anjo

My husband and I recently spent three wonderful days at the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge. To say I was very pleased with our stay is an understatement. Our cabin was very clean and well stocked. Everything we needed (including microwavable popcorn) was provided without asking.

Our horses were boarded at the lodge. The barn and surrounding areas were also very clean and organized. Though we did not ride the horses owned by Hill Country, we saw other people from the lodge on the trails riding. All horses seemed to be very well disciplined and very well cared for.

If you love horses, this is a WONDERFUL place to vacation. We are already planning our next trip in a few months.

  • Liked — Privacy
  • Stayed August 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2008

I am a novice rider who has been riding consistently for 1 year. Over this past year I have taken several "bad" falls, with which each instilled alittle more fear. I am, and have always been a horse lover, and have dreamed of becoming a good enough horseman to have the honor to eventually own my own horse. After hearing about Hill Country from a friend who had recently been there I decided that I need to make the trip in order to face some of these fears and breakthrough this "wall" I had hit. I came to Hill Country feeling insecure about my riding abilties and whether I would truly be able to continue to participate in this sport I love so intensely. Having said all that, I will try my best to summarize and experience that really goes beyond words. I arrived to two very friendly hosts, Dianne and Peter, and of course their dog Maggie. I was very impressed with my cabin, and have no complaints regarding its' cleanliness or condition. The property was scenic, graceful and authentic; fresh air, rolling hills and open pastures-and horses, not stabled but wandering freely about the pastures. For the first time in a long time, I was alone on a trip without husband or kids, and didn't want to be anywhere but sitting on the front porch of my cabin....over the next week I learned more about myself and my relationship to horses than I could have ever dreamed. Dianne is an amazing trainer and has created an environment for her horses and riders that bares no comparision. I left a changed rider and person, and continue to hold a piece of the ranch and my experience close to my heart. I have travelled all over the world and stayed in everything from Motel 6 to the Four Seasons, and this by far is one of the best vacations I have ever had (and extremely affordable at that)! In fact, it made such an impression that I am actually returning in July to ride for another week. Lastly, I would just like to make a comment regarding "verynellie's" review because it seemed extremely off-base, esp. based on my and the other reviewers experiences....if you are looking for medocrity, turn down service and a mint on your pillow, then go stay in a Marriott and take a trail ride at a local barn; but if you love the outdoors, and truly want to learn the meaning of natural horsemanship with a wonderful woman and incredible horses-'THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!!

  • Liked — the scenic property, the horses and the hosts
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2008

I'd never been to Texas, but wanted some warm weather and riding (with instruction) so I signed up for a week-long clinic. Diane is a thoughtful and patient teacher with an amazing eye for detail. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, she would have something for you. Her horses are incredibly well cared for and suitable for all levels.

Diane and Peter run the show and are very accommodating. They were able to feed me a vegetarian diet for a week. The food was simple and diverse. The lodging was also perfect. The site is dotted with small cabins, but they're tucked in between trees, so nature is all you see beside the pretty barn. Lots of windows to let in the constant breeze. No TV or phone (or cell phone reception) but a porch with chairs to relax in and plenty of stars at night. Breakfast is on-your-own in your cabin, which is stocked with everything from juice to oatmeal to brownies.

I went by myself and was always able to talk to Diane or her assistant Cora and didn't find myself lonesome. Kitties also keep you company whether you're at the house or at the barn. And Maggie, the dog, accompanied us on rides in the park and announced lunch at the end of our lessons. Vroof, vroof and a wag means pizza is on!

No regrets on this week of vacation!

  • Liked — I felt like I was sleeping outdoors with all those windows!
  • Disliked — The fan unit would blow cold air into the bathroom, I hate to be cold!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hill Country Equestrian Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hill Country Equestrian Lodge

Address: 1580 Hay Hollar Road, Bandera, TX 78003
Location: United States > Texas > Bandera
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Bandera
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Hill Country Equestrian Hotel Bandera
Hill Country Equestrian Lodge Bandera, Texas

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.