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“Perfect for toddlers” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Exotic Resort Zoo

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Exotic Resort Zoo
235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 8 Johnson City B&B and Inns
bastrop, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Perfect for toddlers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

At the time of our visit our children had just turned two and four. I found this place online after doing some research for a weekend getaway, (we live in Bastrop, TX). We stayed the night here, they were very friendly and accommodating. We showed up just after hours so they left us all of the info for check-in at the front door. I wouldn't really call their place a "resort" but more of a cabin setting. If you are looking for a little peace and quiet, some pool time with the kiddos, hot tub, private petting zoo, and maybe a friendly conversation with other guests around the campfire, this is perfect. The next morning we woke up and took the tour (which was included in the price of the stay). A school bus of kids showed up and I got a little nervous that we'd be grouped with a BUNCH of kids...but they ended up taking us on our own trailer by ourselves. It is a covered trailer, with bench type seating, pulled by a large tractor. They give you buckets of food to feed the animals, are very informative, and you will be amazed at how close some of the animals will get. I looked up at one point to realize I had an Ostrich sticking it's head in the trailer just above mine. The kids LOVED every minute of it. Afterwards we went to the Pedernales river about 8 or so miles down the road and lounged in the river with perfect weather. It was by far our favorite vacation with our two toddlers. It is almost a year later and our kids still talk about going back. (Which we will be).

Room Tip: They are all nice.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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25 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cibolo, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

We come out to the exotic zoo resort every new years eve. We try to rent all the cabins out. Great place to have fun and not worry about driving. Bon Fire at night is awesome. Kids have fun durig the day and adults have fun at night around the camp fire. It's been a tradition of ours for 4 years now. This year should be just as fun. This place is a rustic camping environment place. If you want egyption cotten sheets then this may not be the place for you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
515 reviews 515 reviews
336 hotel reviews
Reviews in 336 cities Reviews in 336 cities
664 helpful votes 664 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

I reviewed this place a few years ago and probably would not have written a new review, except that I see a previous reviewer gave it only 1-star and said some things that are simply not very accurate.

We also just stayed in Cabin 2, as we have in the past. The cabin is fairly basic, but fine. The sheets and towels are not "threadbare" -- they're not new, but reasonable. The shower does not leak all over the bathroom floor if you deploy the shower curtain in a normal manner. There is a burnt out bulb in the overhead light fixture. The window AC is normal in sound. The hot tub worked. There was no broken furniture by the pool. The tram vehicle is basic and old fashioned, but that's part of the charm of the place.

All this said, the place could use a little more TLC and I thought of giving them only 3-stars. I think this place is really only worth the money if you have kids -- who will love the animals -- or if you're an animal-lover yourself. Otherwise, the cabins are only OK. The correct name for the property would be the "Exotic Ranch and Cabins." For a zoo, the animals are only OK -- no lions, tigers and bears, just kid-friendly creatures that you can hand feed.

I was also somewhat annoyed by the critters that seemed to keep coming into my cabin. A fly-swatter was helpfully supplied (and utilized), but I even found a very small scorpion in my bed. Not sure if he was big enough to sting me, but I don't usually give 4-stars to properties with in-bed scorpions! I guess that's just part of "ranch life" in this part of the world, and I'm guessing it was just bad luck to find a scorpion in the bed this time.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Wallabee Way
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We recently stayed -- for one night -- in Cabin 2. It was bad. The sheets and towels were threadbare. Both the beds smelled bad as did the recliner. The shower leaked water all over the bathroom floor, and the door to the bathroom offered no privacy whatsoever. The overhead light fixture had three bulbs in it. One worked all the time; one sputtered off and on; and one never worked. The window unit air conditioner was really, really loud; it was loud enough to keep me awake most of the night. The hot tub was broken (Another guest, someone staying in another cabin, said of the hot tub, "It smells like something died in here.") And there was broken furniture by the pool, a pool that looked a lot bigger in the pictures than it did in person.

Many of the swings in the play area were broken, The tram we rode on for the animal tour had trash in it and the canopy was torn.

I, too, complained about our room, and whoever returned my call was really defensive and rude about the whole situation. We paid for two nights at this place and left after one and did not receive a refund. This place charges $130 a night for Cabin 4, which is about $80 too much. If your kids want to go on the animal tour, stay somewhere else and pay for the tour. It's a little expensive for what you get, but the young ones will enjoy it.

And, this cabin is advertised as handicapped accessible. In my opinion, it is NOT handicapped accessible. Yes, there is a wheelchair ramp leading up to the porch, but just in front of the start of the ramp is a large tree root, thus making it practically impossible to actually get a wheelchair onto the ramp. There is a small ledge in the doorway leading from the porch into the cabin as well.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
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Houston, Texas, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We just got back from a two night stay and our experience was second to none! I will say though that if you are planning on petting animals by day and laying in the lap of luxury by night, you will be disappointed (and overlooking the whole point of this amazing place!).
I will start with the tour, which we took twice - once the first day and once the second. It is sooo much fun! We bought two buckets of feed and had a great time hand-feeding and petting all of the animals. There are many varieties of deer, elk, zebras, buffalo, camels, emus, ostriches, rheas and MANY others. None of the animals disappoint! When they hear the tractor coming, they typically swarm the trailer and are eager to let you feed them and pet them. The deer and elk even allow you to pet their antlers. My 5 year old and I were able to get up close and personal with the bison and camels and gently scratch zebras behind their ears while they munched on the food...Amazing!!! And the tour lasts for about 30-45 mins, maybe a bit longer (I was too busy enjoying myself to time it, so that is just an estimate). Word to the wise, take lots of sani wipes or baby wipes for your hands! Feeding and petting the animals is too much fun to pass up and you won't want to let the possibility of dirty sticky hands to hold you back from the experience!
Now the room and campground area for cabin guests...We stayed two nights in Cabin 3, Catfish Hole. It was much larger than I had envisioned which was a pleasant surprise. This cabin has two queen beds (one in the living area and one in a separate bedroom) and two fully-enclosed bathrooms (if you read some of the other reviews, you will note that at least one of the cabins has a bathroom that does not have a ceiling and has saloon style doors so there is a lack of privacy). The separate bedroom and en suite look fairly new. The en suite is really quite large and has a full bath/shower combo and single vanity. THe other bathroom that is off of the living area is quite small and has a shower, sink and toilet. It would be a good size bathroom for young children to use. The cabin was overall, fairly clean but more in the way like if you were going to stay at your family's house for a few nights, not cleaned as though you were staying at a Westin or Hilton. The kitchen in this cabin was great for our family needs. This one has a 4-burner gas cooktop, plenty of cabinets, and a small fridge with a freezer. It also contained a toaster and coffee maker. The cabin was fully stocked with dishes, pots/pans, and even utensils for using on the grill (each cabin has its own charcoal grill). For me, the only real downside to the cabin was the bed. It is kinda saggy and (based on the squeaking I heard every time my husband moved), I can only assume it is a well-loved spring mattress. The sheets and comforter are also well-loved and a little nubby, so if you are particular about having high-thread count sheets, you would be best served to bring some with you. The cabin also had two tv's and I think both of them had DirecTV service. We never turned them on though so I could not confirm. And for those of us who have trouble putting down our smart phones long enough to commune nature (guilty!), know that our ATT 3G network and the Verizon 4G/LTE network worked for us and we were still able to check our emails...and post on FB about what a great time we were having! lol Another important thing to know with this TX heat, the cabin is cooled with window units and they worked GREAT! They are the type of units that allow you to actually set a temperature. We were there June 30-Jul 2 and never had a single complaint about being too hot (a rare occurrence in TX).
All of the actual sleeping aside, by far, the BEST PART ABOUT staying in the cabins is that you have unlimited access to the KANGAROO exhibit (you can only see them from the tour itself), the "petting zoo" which is really a much more natural fenced in pasture area between the cabins and the pond, and all of the animals that flock to the perimeter fence in the morning for some early morning attention from cabin guests. My son and I probably spent an hour or more hanging out at the kangaroo exhibit the first night we were there. We just sat and fed them grass through the fence. They are very friendly and we were able to pet them as well. How many times in your life will you have the opportunity to hand feed and pet kangaroos?!?!? The morning we were leaving, we spent some time feeding grass over the fence to the zoo's 3000-lb male buffalo, Sitting Bull. When you go, and you meet Sitting Bull face to face, know that he is happy to stand and eat grass from you for as long as you are willing to stand there and feed it to him and also that he enjoys being petted and will gladly let you sneak in a few scratched behind the ear while he is chewing on his grass.
We did make use of the pool and playground area while we were there but we did not spend an entire day just hanging out at the resort, so I could not say if someone might get a little bored if you were to actually stay on the premises all day long...Johnson City is right in the thick of many beautiful hill country towns so there really is no shortage of things to do within a one hour radius.
Needless to say, we will definitely be going back!!!

Room Tip: Another perk to Cabin 3 is that it is in the shadiest spot of all of the cabins
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Burkburnett, Texas
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We just returned from a family weekend at the Exotic Resort Zoo. We had the best time even though the weather didn't cooperate.
The cabins are rustic but clean. The staff are super upbeat people and eager to attend to any request.
We were super close to animals and a petting area. Catch and release fishing is steps away. And there's a playground area, kiddie pool and adult pool just steps away from the cabins.
We will go back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

The zoo is a neat place to visit -- we've been here three times. Feeding the animals is always fun - especially for children (or those young in heart). This time we stayed in a cabin, which is within the zoo property yet in view of the visitors area. The cabin was clean and was as described on the web site: www.zooexotics.com. The downside to the cabin was that the ceiling fans in both rooms need to be tighened so they do not click all night long. Oh, the bathroom shares an open ceiling area with the second bed, TV, and table area so keep that in mind. The floors creak when you walk too. There is a petting zoo area special for the cabin guest and that is very nice too -- watch your step. The animals outside the fence hang around until you stop feeding them, then they wander off. It was nice waking up seeing the animals roaming and we made one final visit to the petting zoo area before we left. We enjoyed watching the sun set from our porch and sitting on the porch drinking coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, our stay was spoiled by RUDE neighbors. The people in cabin 2 allowed their children to run about and yell until just after 1 AM. The zoo had no "quiet time" policy in their rules so I suggested a policy be established. These neighbors ignored the rule prohibiting chidren in the hot tub to further explain the type people they were. This can be a unique and pleasant experience IF a quiet time policy is set up and enforced and you don't have rude neighbors.

Room Tip: Cabins 4 and 5 are further away from the pool, which can be a noisy area.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.

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Additional Information about Exotic Resort Zoo

Address: 235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636
Location: United States > Texas > Johnson City
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Johnson City
Also Known As:
Exotic Resort Zoo Hotel Johnson City

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