I can highly recommend Tanque Verde for a family vacation. We were there the last week of March 2007. What really struck us was how many "return" guests we met. As first timers, we were definitely in the minority.
As for things to do, my family enjoys horse back riding so we took advantage of the lessons and rides that are included in the price. The place was at full capacity while we there, but we had no problem doing what we wanted to do and found the classes and rides to still be personal enough as they had a lot of wranglers on hand. AND the wranglers were really great.
The management also seems to be flexible in changing around activities each day to meet the interests of the guests so no one felt shortchanged. However, it was impossible to ask for a specific horse which was disappointing, so if this is really important to you, then don't go during spring break. I personally always seemed to get the horses that required more encouragement to get into a trot or canter and would have liked ones more eager to go fast. (I also think it may have helped to have on hard heeled shoes since I think these horses may respond better to this.)
This is primarily a family place with all the conveniences...so I would suggest going somewhere else if you want the intimate romantic getaway or really want to rough it. One day they did have a "dudeo" where you can try your hand at herding some cows if you had passed the loping test. Otherwise, it's really geared to trail or loping rides rather than cowboy or rodeo type activities. There is also a lot to do even if you aren't a rider, including the pool, hot tub, tennis (I think price includes group lessons by a pro), nature walks, and mountain biking. Most of the rooms have a fireplace so it was enjoyable to just build a fire and curl up with a good book. There were also evening lectures and entertainment...I really didn't get to attend all the ones I wanted to because I also wanted some down time.
There is a kid's club for younger kids which seemed to be well attended and enjoyed. Our 14-year old son easily found some other teens with whom to play basketball, watch the communal TV and hang out at the hot tub...they started their own teen table at dinner time within a few days.
The room was very roomy (I think we had a Deluxe 2) and well maintained and the included meals were also okay. The food seemed fresh and provided enough variety to meet different tastes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tanque Verde Ranch Resort was named "Best Dude Ranch in Arizona" by Dude Republic in 2012, as well as a "Top Ten Family Resort" by the Travel Channel since 2007, and a "Top Five Ranch" by Conde Nast in 2008. Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America’s old time cattle and guest ranches. Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson’s most breathtaking desert landscapes, nestled amongst the Rincon Mountains and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest. Established in 1868, the superb guest ranch is recognized as the last luxurious outpost of the old west providing guests with plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities and a vast array of exciting activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and hiking. La Sonora Spa is the perfect place for a bit of quiet relaxation, and the kids will love all the supervised children's programs! Don't hesitate – getaway at one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranches in the country. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson