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“Shangri-La Just Outside of Tucson” 5 of 5 stars
Review of White Stallion Ranch

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White Stallion Ranch
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   9251 W Twin Peaks Rd, Tucson, AZ 85743   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Shangri-La Just Outside of Tucson”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

Great news! You don't have to trek to the Himalayas to find paradise. Instead, book a stay at WSR, which is only a 40 minute drive from Tucson's airport. Despite its close proximity to Tucson, WSR feels like a distant hideaway because it's a 3000 acre ranch that's adjacent to the Saguaro National Park. Its location, including access to the National Park, enables all who visit to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Arizona desert and surrounding low mountains. In addition to the incredibly varied rides and hikes for all abilities, a person will be able to enjoy this beauty and an incredible peacefulness simply while sitting in any one of the many welcoming places on the ranch grounds. Enhancing this feeling of utopia is the unparalleled hospitality of the True family and WSR's staff. From the moment you arrive, you're treated in all aspects of your stay as if you're the most honored guest of the WSR family. And, they endeavor to make every single person feel this way in such a natural and unobtrusive manner. I've just returned from my third trip to WSR. The first week-long visit was in Spring 2009 with my 14 year old daughter. The second week-long visit was in November 2009 with my daughter and my (then) 67 year old mother and 85 year old father. During those trips, my daughter enjoyed the freedom of a (safe) ranch environment by roaming the grounds and enjoying its facilities and nightly programs with her newly-made friends, riding for hours each day in the desert and mountains, and even being granted her request to wash and groom her horse after her daily rides. As for my parents, they not only enjoyed the calm and relaxation that comes with WSR, but also rode despite not having been on a horse for decades. To this day, although being world-travelled, they tell me WSR has been their favorite vacation. This third trip with was my urban-DC husband (newly married) -- the type of person so far removed from seeking the ranch experience. As of our arrival, he had never been to a ranch, never rode a horse, swore he wouldn't ride a horse, and planned to do work while there. (He's also particular about his food and needs a white-noise machine to sleep.) Well, he took one lesson and then wanted to go on rides thereafter, fell into the WSR easy way of life like a fish to water, looked forward to and enjoyed every meal, never once needed the white-noise machine, and so enjoyed his interactions with other ranch guests. Yep, there's a Shangri-La for folks of all ages and experiences just outside of Tucson!

Room Tip: I've stayed in multiple categories of rooms from my three trips, excepting the economy (but I...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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537 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
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English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

My partner and I had always wanted to stay on a dude ranch and we happened to see an article in the Daily Mail last year featuring the White Stallion Ranch and we were completely sold on the place! We booked almost a year in advance for a 5 night/4 days stay for the last week of March this year. We had an great time! They have a great set-up there and you are totally looked after from beginning to end! I think we picked the busiest week to stay at the ranch, as they were fully booked with some 100 people! However, it never felt overly busy apart from at dinner time.

Arrival:
We were given an extremely warm welcome by reception staff when we arrived. We were immediately shown around the ranch and given all the information we needed. A great start to our holiday!

Room:
We had an economy double room which, although small, was more than adequate for our needs. We liked having a fridge in our room and we had a good view of the horses from our room/outside seating area. Spotlessly clean!

Food:
Absolutely fabulous! Considering the numbers being catered for, food was excellent! Always loads of choice and the quality was stunning!

Horseriding:
I had this romantic idea that the Arizona desert was like the Sahara desert(!), and was disappointed that the landscape was shrubbery (lots of cacti mainly!), and riding was only on trails, one horse behind another. However, it was still very good and the groups were small, up to a maximum of about 8 riders. I was impressed that the wranglers remembered your name and which horse you were riding. However, we were disappointed that our horses were changed on each of our rides! When my partner got to his fifth change of horse (I was on my forth!) he went to speak to Mr True. Mr True was extremely apologetic and explained that they were extremely busy this week and he only had beginner horses free (we were more intermediate riders) but he did reassure us that we would keep the same horse for the rest of our stay (which we did, but by then we only had 1 day left!). It wasn’t really a great problem to us, but would have been nice to bond and get to know one horse – everyone else we spoke to had the same horse the whole of their stay, so we must have just been the unlucky ones…

Apart from these couple of minor disappointments, overall we had a great time and met some really lovely people. Thank you WSR for making our stay so enjoyable!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Bend, Oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

I couldn't stop smiling; at the end of each ride, my face hurt. There is little that can make me feel freedom like loping on a good horse. Weightless and flying. Skiing does, except horseback riding adds the connection with another being: the horse who carries me, responding to my request to turn, pick up the pace, or back off the speed to match the horse in front of us. The sunshine washes the desert, illuminating the needles on the saguaro and dances with the shadows against the paddles of the prickly pear as we pass.

This trip was my daughter's idea. Each year, I take one of my two girls on a trip alone to build memories together, just the two of us. No competing sibling or agenda, just a mother-daughter trip, alone, to a destination chosen by the latter. My 13-year-old chose a dude ranch. We own horses which we keep at a stable just twenty minutes from our home, but her passion for all things equine and her knowledge that a dude ranch is also about much more than riding made it her first choice.

We'd stayed at White Stallion Ranch as a family when she was a baby. Although neither girl remembers the trip, her older sister fell in love with Russell True, the ranch owner, and would toddle to him in giggles every time she saw him. When she asked to go to a dude ranch this year, it seemed like the perfect fit.

ACCOMMODATIONS: And, it was. The room was nicely decorated and very comfortable. The good beds kept the sore muscles the trail from compounding into real aches and pains. I enjoyed the living room space and the great little patio in the shade of the trees outside our front door.

MEALS: The atmosphere at meals brings people together, creating a place where guests meet and swap stories. Many of the people we met had stayed at the ranch before, some for many years. Not surprising, as it is an experience I think most anyone would want to repeat. We ate on the patio of the lodge, under the giant olive tree, but our favorite meal was the breakfast ride where we took to the trails early and ate pancakes and eggs in the shade of awnings built of saguaro ribs, under the backdrop of the Tucson Mountains.

FOR KIDS: Soon after we arrived, my daughter met a handful of other young guests; people whose energy level matched their own. This allowed me to watch her over the top of my book from my shaded, poolside lounge chair while she laughed and swam. They shared each other's company not only in the pool, but feeding treats to the horses as well as the goats, donkeys, emu, and other animals in the petting zoo, and hanging out in the recreation center. As we shared stories at the end of the day, all of the other parents I talked with would sigh and tell me how much their children loved the freedom they can experience at a place like this. Few other vacation choices would provide it; they'd never let their children run off with other kids they just met at an amusement park or beach.

ACTIVITIES: There are a lot of activities, other than horseback riding. Although I didn't use the spa myself, other guest told me the massages were fabulous. We watched the staff demonstrate rodeo events and other guest try their hand chasing calves, team penning. I sat in on a horsemanship talk, and learned a few new things. They offered nature hikes, creating art, and western dancing, although we did not participate in all of them.

RIDING: The horseback riding was quite enjoyable. My horse was very responsive and willing, a good match for me. The wranglers were happy to change out my daughter's mount when she decided she wanted to try another horse. She likes to go fast, and loved that their solid-but-sandy trails offer some great terrain loping rides, as some dude ranches are limited by the steep mountains or rocky trails.

STAFF: We ended up staying during a week when the ranch was full, yet the staff were all helpful and welcoming, nonetheless. I might have preferred to stay during a week when they had more leisure time and could stop to chat, but the service certainly did not suffer because of the large number of guests. We were consistently greeted with a smile, and every request was treated as important.

We had a wonderful stay at White Stallion Ranch, and certainly hope to join the ranks of the repeat guests. Even if we don't return any time soon, my daughter and I created an experience together that brings us closer together, one we will not ever forget.

  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

My first visit to a dude ranch - my work brought me there for team meetings and I was so impressed and surprised at how much a city slicker like myself enjoyed a dude ranch! It was everything the ranch promoted itself to be - relaxing, hospitable, convenient, modern, friendly etc. I am already saving up to take my husband back to the ranch with me next year - it is the perfect get-away if you need to refresh and refocus from the crazy, busy life most of us lead these days. The food was excellent - come hungry! Another review I read said it was too big - not at all - just the perfect size actually. I highly recommend this place!! Come prepared to ride horses through the desert!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

This is our second visit to White Stallion Ranch and it feels like you are coming home. Life is just so relaxed and easy, you do what you want to suit you. Accomodation is excellent and so comfortable and clean. Food is plentiful, varied and delicious. Staff from every area are so friendly and helpful, nothing is a problem and everything is done to make your stay the best holiday ever. The horses are just the best, there is one to suit every size and ability. You are guaranteed to have a whole heap of fun and a constant smile on your face. We are saving hard to get back there again as soon as we can.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

The ranch has a stunning mountain backdrop, delightful and comfortable accomodations, delicious and plentiful food, friendly staff, and an excellent selection of horses all kept in tip-top condition. In fact everything about the place is pretty well perfect except for one thing: it is just too big. I have been used to smaller ranches where you can get to know everyone quite quickly, but this is like a small town and even though I was there with a group of friends I felt somewhat isolated. This is a very personal view, and if you are more gregarious than me you will probably love it. The only other criticism I have, (and it is a minor one), is that the daily riding programme is very varied and complicated - darn it, I don't want to have to make so many decisions when I'm on holiday!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
wsrcowgirl, Public Relations Manager at White Stallion Ranch, responded to this review, May 3, 2012
Thanks very much for your candid review of the ranch.
We are very sorry that you feel we are too big for the single traveler.
We have always focused on our single guests with a family culture of inclusion and acceptance. In fact, a very large number of our guests are single travelers.
We are particularly sorry that we didn't meet your expectations, as we tried to make sure your group always had reserved dinner tables and rode together.
We wish that you had let us know when you were here, because we could have helped you find a smaller ranch right away. We appreciate your comments and thank you for visiting, I would be happy to help you find another ranch that might be more suited to your comfort level - you can email me directly at swalshwest@yahoo.com and write TripAdvisor help in the subject line and I will gladly do some research for you directly. thanks again, Susanne Walsh
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

As the second half of our first visit to the USA this was a perfect place to have fun and relax. Despite being active oldies we both enjoyed the riding and made many friends. This meant that we could each do our own thing, essential as my husband is a more adventurous rider than me. Russell and Michael and their families were amazing hosts who seemed to have instant recall of everyone's names and abilities. For anyone interested in a dude ranch holiday this must be the first place you should consider - we couldn't fault it. We were in bed by 9pm but only because we crammed so much into each day. Riding out to have breakfast at the cookout or the wine and cheese ride added an extra bonus.

Room Tip: We ahd an economy room which some may consider small but as we only used it to sleep in this was fin...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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Additional Information about White Stallion Ranch

Address: 9251 W Twin Peaks Rd, Tucson, AZ 85743
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — White Stallion Ranch 3.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family friendly ranch near Tucson. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Stallion Ranch Hotel Tucson

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