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“Worst Management EVER!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lodge at Canyon River Ranch

Lodge at Canyon River Ranch
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Lodge at Canyon River Ranch
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14700 Canyon Rd, Ellensburg, WA   |  
Hotel amenities
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Worst Management EVER!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Last month, I got married at Canyon River Ranch. The way they work that is you have to rent out the entire facility for 48 hours at a price of $11,000 ($6000 for the 10 suites for 2 nights, and $5000 for the facility). In our case, we were supposed to have the place completely reserved from 1pm Friday through 1pm Sunday, as specified in the signed, written contract.

When we arrived on Friday and finished unloading our vehicles, it was close to 2pm. It was about 90 degrees and it would have been nice to hang out at the pool and relax for a little while (since we paid $5k to have the whole place to ourselves), but there wasn't a single pool chair available. I guess the lodge is so hard up for money now that they've started selling "lodge memberships" for $150/month plus a hefty initiation fee, so the pool was full of people we didn't know who hadn't been informed that the lodge was reserved for a private event. My fiance approached the lodge manager at least 3 or 4 times over the course of several hours before he finally rolled his eyes and begrudgingly agreed to clear the pool. Granted, those people did nothing wrong by being there, but that wasn't my problem. Communication fail for the manager.

Two of the suites, including mine, had problems with the door hardware sticking and failing to latch. This meant if you didn't remember to either check the latch or deadbolt the door, it would swing open in the slightest breeze. In the other suite, they had the safety chain secured, but hadn't deadbolted the door and also hadn't noticed the latch problem, and a gust of wind caught the door and pulled the door trim off the wall. Two people saw it happen and I know for a fact that it wasn't a story to cover up some sort of drunken shenanigans. The safety chain had only been screwed into the trim, not the door frame. Construction fail. We informed both the manager and one of the owners about this incident the next morning and were told not to worry and they would take care of it. More on that later...

So Sunday rolls around and we're supposed to be checked out of the rooms by noon, but we still have the facility until 1pm and we had already cleaned up the grounds, so a few of us decide to hang out at the pool for a while until it's time to leave. What seemed odd was that other people started showing up at the lodge well before that time. It turns out they had another event scheduled that actually overlapped with ours. One of their "Tight Lines and Fine Wines" events was taking place Sunday-Monday. Here's a schedule for that event taken from their website:

Day 1:
11 AM: Arrive at CRR Lodge
12 PM: Lunch at CRR
1 - 4 PM: Introduction to Fly Fishing and Fly Casting Lessons
5:00 PM: - Wine tasting and appetizers
6:30 PM: - Fabulous Wine Dinner (bring several of your favorite bottles of wine!)

Day 2:
8 AM: Breakfast Served at CRR
9 AM - 3 PM: Guided Drift Boat Fishing on the Yakima River

So we're paying thousands of dollars for reserved use of the common areas of the lodge and they're double-booking events!

Anyway, we didn't make a big deal about any of that stuff and instead spent the next 2 weeks on our honeymoon in the Caribbean. About a week into it, the manager sends an email to my wife that outlines the final invoice summary. The tone of the email was completely condescending, mentioning how "We were delayed by 3 hours in turning the Suites and Lodge over to the next event" and "some your guests did not see the value in this amazing facility". How he thought he could turn over the facility to the next event on time when he had them overlapping by 2 hours, I have no idea. In addition, without providing any specific details, he levied $720 in additional charges for cleaning and damages. Some of those were legitimate, as a few wine glasses were broken and someone smoked in one of the suites, but others were not. He charged us $100 for the door trim mentioned above, as well as $25 for a supposed broken outlet cover in the Bride & Groom suite (that we definitely didn't break). I could buy 50 outlet covers at the hardware store for $25, and that trim could have been put back up with 4 or 5 nails. There was also 3 hours of excess cleaning at $50/hour. I know what cleaners are paid and it's nowhere near $50/hour.

When we got back home, my wife emailed the manager asking for details on what exactly the cleaning entailed and why we were charged for the door trim that we had already explained was due to faulty construction rather than any fault of our guests.

Two weeks go by...

Still no response from the manager, so I email one of the owners and explain that after spending around $12k at his facility, I'd expect to at least be provided the courtesy of a response. The next day, the manager emails us back and copies all the owners with another condescending email where he didn't answer any of our questions and just said that the charges were "not only justifiable but fair."

Since he still hadn't answered any of our questions about the specifics, I sent him a very professional response and highlighted the original questions that he still needed to answer. I also pointed out that he had breached our contract by failing to provide the facility for the full 48 hours we had it reserved and that I expected to be reimbursed at a prorated hourly amount. Another week went by with no response, so I contacted the owner again. That was last Thursday and now I'm getting the cold shoulder from both of them.

It's really disappointing because I used to really like that place and wish this could have been settled professionally.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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21 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kent, WA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Very disappointed with recent dealings with this hotel. Spent two weeks talking with two very helpful reservationists making arrangements to book a block of rooms & the kitchen for Thanksgiving. Reservationists re-assured me multiple times that the rooms were available, however, when I went to book, I received an email from the General Manager stating that MULTIPLE owners had requested ALL rooms & the kitchen for not only Thanksgiving day, but the day before & the day after. Hmmmm - something doesn't sound right here. Appears to be a big break down in communication between the reservationists who are committing rooms to people & the General Manager.

Very disappointed to receive this news after getting entire family all excited & committed to Thanksgiving at the lodge. Now, I have to tell them it's all off!! I look like an idiot! When I expressed my disappointment & dis-satisfaction to the General Manager, I received nothing in response. He could care less. Beware! I recommend booking your rooms & waiting for your confirmation before coordinating with any other friends or family. If it turns out they can't go - you can always cancel later. Seems like a much safer approach.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

We were impressed by all the positive reviews about CRR on the Yakima River. We just spent several days there. We understand and respect guest management, and wilderness development and accommodations, but we do NOT recommend this place. Of course, there are very few "lodge" options in this region, but our *personal experience* was negative, and we’re not going back.

Yes the building is impressive lodge beam construction, and the overall condo was comfortable. But here are the facts. First, the gas grill was filthy beyond disgusting, and no gas in the tank. [We finally located a different grill unit (also filthy beyond science fiction), and used that tank.] Food, grease, and scum was encrusted all over the grill, the burners, and thick layers of grease was plastered inside the hood, across the controls, and beneath into the cabinets below. The burners were so clogged with epoxified grease and food, only part of the burners would light fire. Second, the TV/DVD equipment was a disaster; the right channel speaker was broken; the satellite receiver would not receive, and the DVD player had no audio out to the speakers. We wasted an hour trying to get this mess to function. Third, the toilets backed up, and with no service on site, we did our own "plumbing" services. Fourth, the dishwasher did not rinse cycle; instead we hand rinsed the soap from the dishes (no problem). Fifth, the coffee maker is a joke; small 3 cup cheap junk machine. Sixth, the construction is lame; we could easily hear neighbors next door –and above us- tromping around, and making noise. Seventh, you cannot find any living soul on premise after 5pm. The only staff is there from 9-5, and they left no service phone or contact info for after 5pm to offer minimal guest service. There is NO one there. Hey, it’s just like Camping!!

When we finally did reach someone - she was rude, defensive, and told us that she "does not do customer service". (doh!) Lastly, it's total BS that CRR shoved their lodge development smack up to the river edge, creating a massive ugly infected eyesore in the gorgeous beauty of the Yakima River Canyon. Had we known the developer had made such arrogant choices to build smack into the canyon area – we would never pay or support any such accommodation. Smart development is easy, but this place is obnoxious and pretentious. This Lodge and Red’s Fly shop are just another tired faux “destination lodge” with obvious failings and poor service, catering to mindless urban snobs who need over-rated Cabernet and invasive presence to preen their Land-Rover sensibilities to be "in the wilderness". Barf. We will not return. Please seek out other options, and support those many great lodges who support smart development in wilderness regions.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

This might be a nice place when all the facilities are open and the kinks are worked out. Yes the rooms are nice. But - the email that would have told us that their full service cafe will open next October and in the interim their restaurant (which has not yet received a liquor license) is only open for lunch and dinner on Thursday to Sunday) was sent to a misspelled email address - so we could not plan to bring food. There is no market or other restaurant anywhere closer than twenty minutes drive away. We will have to checkout early just to get breakfast. We also recommended that they get more than four lounge chairs and two umbrellas for the pool. Guests had "reserved" all the chairs and yet there were only two people in the pool. And when it is hot - many people do not want to sit in full sun. I spent most of my visit in the room as a result. Also note that they shut and lock the lobby and all the public interior lounge space at five! Might be a good idea to find out how to check in if you plan to arrive later.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

Canyon River Ranch is an amazing get away only 1 hour 45 minutes from Seattle. Great rooms, very comfortable beds, and all of the amenities to make an amazing trip-river, pool, hot tub, main loge and idylic location.

Top notch guide service and fly shop onsite. Incredible trout fishing on Yakima River out the door and many other rivers nearby. Sporting Clays, wild bird hunting, and released pheasant available through fly shop.

We have stayed many times and have used all of the amenities.....5 star.

Room Tip: Book a fly fishing trip with Reds Fly Shop.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2012

I am not a fly fisher but after staying here I am tempted to return for lessons! I hear they will be offering wine tasting/fly fishing events soon - sounds like a great combination to me - with yoga and spa weekends to follow. The lodge is stunning, located right on the river. And you get to enjoy those brilliant blue skies and crisp clear mornings, while pretending to be "roughing it" in a 5 star room that is bigger than a lot of NYC apartments...

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

The lodge is beautiful. Our condo was super clean and spacious. The beds were comfortable and I loved the big picture windows. It made for a nice Sunday morning to get up and watch the river. We had our son and his wife with us and we had plenty of room. The condo was a perfect find while we were wine tasting in the Yakima Valley. It's located a ways away from the wineries but it's worth the drive. They are also in the process of building a restaurant on the property. Another nice treat was looking at the animals in the canyon. Big horn sheep, deer, eagles. Be sure to bring your binoculars! We'll be back again to stay @ the lodge.

Room Tip: All the condos face the river
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 Lodge at Canyon River Ranch

Address: 14700 Canyon Rd, Ellensburg, WA
Location: United States > Washington > Ellensburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ellensburg
Number of rooms: 5

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