The Red Cliffs Lodge is a peaceful 14-15 miles away from the heart of Moab and Arches National Park, down a long and winding two-lane highway that skirts along the Colorado River. The lodge itself is nestled beneath the red cliffs of Arches just on the other side of that beautiful meandering river. This location information is very important if you are considering a stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge if you intend on going to Moab or Arches (or Canyonlands National Park) because it WILL take you 15 to 20 minutes each way to get to those places (Canyonlands NP is even farther). As long as you know this when you reserve a room, then there is no reason to complain about the lodge's location because you are staying there because of -- or despite of -- its location.
While my travel companion thought it was a bit far from Moab, we both enjoyed the tranquility of the location. Our River King Mini Suite (Room 408) was ideally situated by the river for an excellent view of two sets of cliffs and far enough away from the main lodge for extra quiet privacy. Each morning of our stay we were visited by a passing family of geese and their tiny goslings who strolled along the pathway by the river. At other points in the day we also enjoyed watching river rafters float or paddle by.
The room itself was spacious and we enjoyed the convenience of the kitchenette which was equipped with sink, mini fridge and microwave. There was no stove, oven or dishwasher, though flatware, plates, mugs, cups and bowls were provided, as was some dishwashing liquid and a dishtowel and rag.
The bathroom was adequate in size and was divided so the sink, counter and closet space were separate from the toilet and shower/tub. There were enough towels for our stay and, as an extra convenience, there was a fairly large (comparatively speaking) in-room safe that my travel companion was especially appreciative of.
The lodge is careful to note the presence of additional blue faucets in both the kitchenette and bathroom sinks; these faucets are for drinking water. The lodge is dependent on on their own well water, which apparently has very hard water that isn't so pleasant to consume. I took their word for it, as I noticed the hard water stains that appeared daily around the sink tiles. (My travel companion always wants to try things for himself, and he confirmed that the well water was not tasty and was "very salty.")
We enjoyed strolling the lodge grounds, including the movie "museum" and the Castle Creek Winery. We checked out the laundry facilities, exercise room and the pool, though we didn't use those services. We did dine at the on-site restaurant; the manager/hostess was pleasant and very friendly, though our waitress left much to be desired (look for a separate restaurant review).
The next time we are in Moab, we would gladly stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge provided we could get a good rate. (For this visit, we made use of AAA rates and the $20 "Bailout Bucks" from their brochure.) For it to be a better value or worthy of its higher rates, the Red Cliffs Lodge should consider addressing some of its downsides:
1.) Housekeeping. First of all, our room's cleanliness was okay. They cleaned the water stains from around the bathroom and kitchen sinks daily and one morning when we ran out of time to wash a cereal bowl and spoon, the housekeeper handwashed those dishes. Overall, housekeeping was inconsistent and sometimes sloppy. Towels were not replenished and we had to ask for a bar of soap and then never got any more, yet on other days they provided multiple shampoos and body lotions that we weren't using. But, worst of all was the mopping -- not that the housekeeping mopped, but that they slopped on so much water that it took hours (if not longer) for the floors to dry! In my opinion, the point of mopping is to remove the dirt from the floor, not leave it to soak in mildy soapy water. I've included a photo of part of the swamp by the patio door; it was taken after more than an hour of letting it dry with the door open to the warm, dry air (taken at about 2:30 p.m.). By the next morning, there were still areas of puddled water! It would be one thing if this happened only once; however, this was a daily occurance and the puddles were not confined to this one area of the kitchen. Puddles were over all of the tiled floor surfaces!
2.) Front Desk Staff. In general, I'm never fond of hotels that are large enough to accommodate tour groups. They tend to treat all guests as cattle, accomodating to "the masses" rather than providing more personalized service. Due to its size, I thought that the Red Cliffs Lodge would be more personalized, but we found the front desk service to be on the "cold" side -- better suited to a Best Western or Motel 8. They appeared they could "care less" when we checked in, as if they were just going through the motions.
3.) Private cemetary. There is a private cemetary with the graves of some of the previous owners' family members and pets. It's not part of the lodge, per se. While it's not truly a "downside," its presence is just a little... unusual.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.