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“Servant's Quarters” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Flying L Guest Ranch

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Flying L Guest Ranch
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   566 Flying L Dr, Hwy 173 S & Wharton Dock Rd, Bandera, TX 78003   |  
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Ranked #10 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Bandera
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Servant's Quarters”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2008

Was granted this "vacation" by enduring a "Star Vacations" sales promotion in Arizona. We could stay at 600 hundred locations all over the country, but were at their mercy for exactly where, once you named the city. We picked San Antonio, and were assigned this resort. We got an extra day if we agreed to sit through a time share proposal at the Ranch. After checking out the Flying L website, we looked forward to the visit. What we read:

Most suites come equipped with:
· Richly appointed full bath and separate shower
a combined tub/shower from Psyco built for midgets

· Fully-equipped kitchen with range, oven, microwave, refrigerator and full-sized appliances
Dorm fridge that sounded haunted, a small microwave and a coffee pot

· Over-sized cable TV in living area and master bedroom
a 20" CRT TV with fuzzy picture in the living room and a dirty window with insulation flapping in the breeze in the bedroom

· Entertainment center
A DVD palyer with no remote that froze up often

· Stone fireplace
Must have missed that, there was an ashtray though

· Private patio/balcony
Two old Adirondack chairs on the front "lawn" overgrown with weeds

· Designer, Texas-styled furnishings and custom fabrics
Denim bed spread and couch cover and rummage sale cowboy accents

The place was designated as "hotel space", but was Bates Motel quality. Dirty, spiders everywhere, poor locks on the door. The walls were so thin we could here our neighbors brushing their teeth. No pets were allowed, but we had to endure the owners next door 3 barking dogs. We did not buy the buffet meals as they were overly expensive for Old Country Buffet fair. We did go into town to eat at the World Famous Busbys Barbeque, which we found tasteless, and overly fat for the rip off pricing. It was nice to spend the day at San Antonio's riverwalk for some real food and decent acomodations. The time share places were very nice, but they nned to tear down the old dump we stayed in and clean up their advertising.

  • Liked — Free parking
  • Disliked — everthing else
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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171 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, TX
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2008

We received a timeshare offer and decided to try it after checking the price at nearby dude ranches.
As another reviewer mentioned they did place us in an older unit (built 40 years ago but updated pretty well). We had a 2 bedroom/1 bath so it was a nice size for the 4 of us. There was a dorm size refrigerator and a microwave and a coffee pot. We were there in Jan so ceiling fans were not needed but I would think in the summer a fan would be nice (but I guess they haven't thought of that). Our biggest complaint about the room was the tile floor made our feet so DIRTY within a few minutes. I don't know why but it did.
The package included golf and that was nice. We dropped off the kids at the free kids' club and we headed off for a nice round. The course is not like a big city fancy country club place but it was just fine for us. The carts have GPS and that was a nice feature. We grabbed lunch in the golf clubhouse afterwards and it was fine. You can play again for about $30 each.
Breakfast and Lunch are buffet style and are included. All 4 meals that we ate had a nice selection and we found plenty to eat. The kids enjoyed the ice cream sundae bar each evening and the cook cut up apples for the kids to feed to the pony each morning. I enjoyed the omelets each day.
The kids' club was adequate. Our kids were a little bored because there was only 1 other kid there. They did seem to enjoy the pony ride and the nice playground. In the summer there is a new water park that will delight the kids. It was closed since it was Jan but it looked very nice.
Each night there was entertainment. The first night had Cowboy Lee singing songs by the campfire and then smores were had by all. The second night Cowboy Buck took us on the wagon ride to look for stars and he used a highbeam to point out all the wildlife on the ranch. The Ranch has lots of white-tailed deer, axis deer and gazelles. Then Buck sang and we ate more smores by the fire.
Don't miss the saloon (Bar) and the $2 Shiner Beer. You might think you have to drink Lone Star since you are in Texas but we recommend Shiner.
I also enjoyed a trail ride the next day. Joe Bob was a nice wrangler and I enjoyed the stories of Bandera while we rode all over their 800 acres for an hour. Rides are about $30.
On a down note there are homes all along the golf course so it is shaping up to look like a subdivision. But for anyone who knows about the growth explosion of central Texas this is to be expected. It seems everyone wants to live in the Texas Hill Country. I think the friendliness of the staff and the waterpark will make up for the homes that you do see.
Overall, it was a fun 2 night trip, but I don't think we would stay longer than 2 nights.
P.S. I bought cap guns and cowboy hats for the kids at Wal-Mart and they wore them the whole time we were there. It was really a fun addition to the trip.

  • Liked — friendly staff and lots of stars (no light pollution)
  • Disliked — tile floors made our feet dirty in the older units (new units are probably fine)
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2007

We went there on a sales weekend. You know. Where you get the great deal, listen to their 90 minute presentation and tour the new facilities. Most places that do this, will put you up in the new facility to show you that you can't miss out. But instead, we were put in these little OLD duplex cabins, which were ok. We got either a free round of golf or a horse back ride, well, I don't golf and my husband doesn't ride and the family can only do one or the other for this. It was very boring. There was not anything to do. We thought that the only thing going for it was the food, it did have excellent food. The water park should have been built, but to much rain delayed it. We were to check in Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday, but we checked out first thing Saturday morning.

  • Liked — The food
  • Disliked — no variety of entertainment
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
Valdez, Alaska
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2007

Our family just held a reunion at the Flying L Ranch and most felt it was a very enjoyable stay. There were a few problems with room reservations at first, but Jean T. straightened those out to our satisfaction.
All of our families, but two, felt the rooms were very spacious, clean & and nicely decorated. One family was placed in room 14, but there was mold in the shower, so they were given a different one. Once the room problems were solved...we all had a great time.
We were provided a room for our private family gatherings and also a DVD player and other supplies needed for our reunion activities. We didn't get the room on the first night, as we had requested, but we had it for the remainder of our stay, and it was large enough for our group of 50 people.
Several of us were disappointed that the waterslide park had not been completed before our arrival; the kids would have especially enjoyed that. However, there were plenty of other activities to keep us busy.
The horseback riding wranglers were fantastic! My daughter was nervous about her first experience on a horse, but Dennis "I Love It !" and Tawney from Alaska went out of their way to make her and all riders feel comfortable & safe. The trails we took were varied each day, and my daughter came away with a new passion for riding. She signed up for the early morning rides each day. On the 3rd day, there were only three in her group, so Dennis gave them a private lesson--instructing them on how to gallop, etc.
Poolside was a great place for us to sit & chat, and the water was clean. The hayrides and s'more were a relaxing way to end the evenings, and the entertainment added a lot to our reunion. The kids especially enjoyed the roping demonstration. Line dancing was fun and Joni was a lively instructor. Even our 82-yr-old great-grandma learned the Electric Slide. Buck has an excellent voice and an entertaining selection of cowboy & country songs. Several in our group played golf on three days and seemed very satisfied with the course.
Good, old-fashioned comfort food was on the buffet-style menu each morning & night and some of us probably gained several pounds. Mark, the cook, even served up some of his mother's delicious recipes. The bar was open for Happy Hour each day, and Kym, the barmaid has to be commended for her ever present smile & patience with our large group.
A trip into the tiny town of Banderas was well worth it. The shops are quaint, and our favorite was Sassafraz & All that Jazz--on a side street. Lunch was excellent at the Fool Moon Cafe; the owners were very friendy & the Chicken Salad Sandwich was delicious.
When we checked out of the Flying L, there were some concerns about a $90. charge that was added to our bills. Jean explained that those were bed taxes, etc., but some in our group would have appreciated knowing about the charge prior to making reservations.
Overall, the Flying L was a great place for our family reunion. We enjoyed making connections with each other again in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.

Stayed June 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pontoon Beach, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2007

My family just got back from the Flying L Guest Ranch and had a great time. We stayed in the Sibley House condos, and we believe that we were among the first to stay there. The Goodnight House is also newer. We had every kitchen appliance we needed, a washer/dryer, and a beautifully tiled bathroom. Some units even have a bunk room. We used the ranch as a "stopping ground" for our vacation so we did not participate in all the activities. Those that we did - we had fun: horseback riding, children's archery, family slingshot contest, bingo, and evening entertainment. We also enjoyed the nightly s'mores and hay rides. My husband played golf on property twice and enjoyed it - the carts are equipped with GPS. The ranch is working on a small waterpark right now which looks like the children will love when completed. The staff was very nice. I was even allowed to use their computer/printer to get my bording passes for my airline flight the day before we left. My children 9 and 11 said they had a great time, and would go back again if they had the chance.

  • Liked — new and clean
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
League City, Texas
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2007

We just came back from the Flying L. The main problem was the room, it was very old and dark, the pull out bed was very uncomfortable, it was clean, but could be better. The walls are paper thin and could hear all the noise from the room next door. The food was expensive so we never ate there. The water park wasn't completed, but they gave us free children's activities to make up for it. The pony rides for under 5's is a joke, only one silly little lap once a day, one little pony and 10 children in line; not impressed. Now, the horseback riding is great, the wranglers are the best, I loved that. The ranch has hundreds of wild deer, the staff are very friendly and helpful, we loved the hayrides to ghost town and the evening entertaining. All in all it was ok, but we won't make it a yearly vacation there for sure.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2007

My husband planned this weekend romantic getaway to visit the Bandera area, to do some golf, dining and hiking. Needless to say, one of the low lights was the accomodations and service at the Flying L Guest Ranch.

Upon arrival, the reception desk ladies appeared to be more concerned about just processing our paperwork rather than asking our questions about activities, etc.

More importantly, for the room rate of $159 per night we were given a suite that left much to be desired. The paint was peeling/cracking in the bathroom; rust stains were evident in the shower; the carpet was threadbare; bedside reading lamp was insufficient; and most importantly, the bed sagged in the middle.

Lastly, as someone who does work a lot and appreciates staying connected via the internet, the only connection available in the room was dial up and this was in the bedroom where my husband was sleeping.

My husband & I are pretty laid back and tolerant folks, but we do appreciate value for our hard earned dollars. Compared to other accomodations at this price point, this resort fall woefully short in many areas.

Thanks for reading.

  • Liked — Proximity to town
  • Disliked — Accomodatons
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Flying L Guest Ranch

Address: 566 Flying L Dr, Hwy 173 S & Wharton Dock Rd, Bandera, TX 78003
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Bandera
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Bandera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Flying L Guest Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Texas Hill Country! Grab your jeans, boots and hat! The Flying L Guest Ranch is THE place to reconnect with friends and family. Take a horseback trail ride that tread through mile after mile of natural Hill Country woodlands replete with White-tailed Deer and Armadillos! You can splash the day away at the Lone Star Lagoon, our full size water park. Or tee up a round of golf on our 18-hole championship golf course. Enjoy western entertainment, have some country cookin'... And then enjoy our fabulous accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flying l Guest Ranch Hotel Bandera
Flying l Ranch Hotel Bandera
Flying L Guest Ranch Bandera, Texas

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