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“Idyllic riverside retreat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rio Sierra Riverhouse

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Rio Sierra Riverhouse
2.0 of 5 Inn   |   41997 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Three Rivers B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Newbury, England
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Idyllic riverside retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

When I decided to write this review following our recent stay at the Rio Sierra Riverhouse, I took the opportunity to read previous reviews and was surprised to find references to Sean, a security Guard, and Cheryll & Erin, housekeepers. My surprise was caused by the fact that none of these people were around during our 3 night stay. In fact, there was no housekeeping during our visit. There were plenty of clean towels in our room and dirty towels could be left outside the door for collection, but we made our bed and emptied our bins and there was no cleaning of the suite. Let me say that this was not a problem for is, although we were initially surprised at this arrangement having expected housekeeping to be provided. It did not marr our stay but I thought that our experience should be placed on file as a counter to the earlier ones which indicated a high level of housekeeping attention.
Moving on from that however, I agree totally that Rio Sierra is an idyllic location and Margaret a most congenial host. We stayed in the Master Suite. This comprised an entrance lobby with two chairs, a large living room, a large bedroom with en suite and walk in wardrobe, and a large balcony with table and chairs overlooking the river. The living room was divided into three areas. One housed a sofa, two chairs and a TV. Another housed a day bed plus chairs. The third housed the fridge, microwave and coffee machine. Coffee and creamer were provided and could be restocked from the office, but everything else had to be brought in and there were no washing up facilities. To get over this we purchased plastic cutlery and cups.
Breakfast could be ordered for delivery through Sierra Subs & Salads and I would certainly recommend our choice of a large cup layered with fresh fruit, yoghurt and granola. Sierra Subs also sourced the delicious salads we collected and ate on our balcony in the evening before taking a glass of wine down to the camp fire which was lit at sundown every evening by Margaret. As the heat of the day subsided we lingered watching the stars and chatting with our fellow guests.
During the day you could sit out under one of the 3 cabanas on the riverside or sit on the chairs dotted around for use of the guests. If you were lucky (as we were) you might see deer come down to the other bank of the river to drink before disappearing again amongst the shrubs.
I happily recommend Rio Sierra as a beautiful venue for rest and relaxation and access to the Sequoia National Park - but do not expect fine dining from any of the local restaurants!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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98 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Cambria
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

My wife and I manage a motel in Cambria, and honestly could not think of anything about the Rio Sierra Riverhouse that we would like to change. It is now our favorite place in CA. We almost went back to Napa, where we honeymooned, but God definitely lead us here instead. YOU WILL BE HAPPY YOU STAYED! Awesome house, awesome river, amazing deli, pizza place and homemade ice cream all within two minutes drive!

We going back for my birthday.... tomorrow actually. So excited to go back.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Bakersfield, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2009

My wife and I rotated among three of the four guest rooms at the Rio-Sierra this past week-end. We plan to come back next week with our adult daughters. The “Master Suite (five rooms) is worth a special trip all by itself. Every inch of space appears to have been studied and crafted for convenience, art, and comfort, and the bathroom is deliciously indulgent—an elegant mix of marble and glass. “We went a little crazy there,” said “Mars” our hostess. Mars herself is cordiality personified. She feels a deep attachment to this special home and grounds on which she continues to lavish such great care. She is an Hotelier of the “old school,” who sincerely believes that real joy comes from providing for her guests’ comfort and pleasure. This is not a “job” nor a mere “paycheck,” but a way of life and love for her.
The guests’ beach privacy is protected by "Sean” a private security guard. Housekeepers Cheryll and Erin are quick to help out anywhere. (If you praise Cheryll with anything more than a simple “thank you,” she may spontaneously perform a rather cute “victory dance” or a full “curtsy.” She has either been taught or assimilated her employer’s attitude: A host or hostess is not a servant but a (largely) silent participant in the guests’ enjoyment.)
Three carpeted cabanas tethered to the carefully swept sandy beach provide shelter from the day’s sun. Private balconies and small chair/table hideaways abound. The “swimming hole” is truly delightful—but beware of slippery rocks. In the evenings, a “campfire” is lit, and guests may mingle or remain in their own private groups. And over and above everything, day and night, is the soothing, healing, constancy of the river’s rushing waters.
The “Panorama Room” has a full kitchen, with functional and decorative touches everywhere. Coffee maker, juicer, dishes, and “all the trimmings” of a well stocked kitchen are present. Huge windows provide a spacious view of the river below. Yet the heat of the day is mastered by two air conditioners and tasteful shades. Again, linens, storage, and more reflect attention to detail.
The “River Studio” is still a work in progress, as are various landscaping projects which will only serve to enhance the attractiveness and comfort of this site. I would not recommend the smallest of the available rooms, although young families with only one or two children might be quite happy (and it costs less!). However, I would unreservedly commend both of the two larger guest rooms (both are really suites) with the caveat that guests who are either wheel chair bound or otherwise physically limited should consult with Mars in some detail regarding the many stone stairs which either link the rooms to each other or which must be navigated to reach the beach—40 stairs must be descended from the parking lot to the beach. There are no “bellboys” but if available , either of the young women will gladly care a 50 pound load effortlessly.
For breakfast, “We Three Bakers” is a Must.” “Cider Mill” Restaurant has both American and Mexican dishes—ignore the American “burgers” and get one of the specialties of the house. Fine dining is available at “Gateway” restaurant, nearby—the staff may be loud they are enthusiastic and attentive. “Subs and Salads” provide quick and inventive meals and snacks and will deliver breakfast to order to your room any day you desire. Above all, “Reimer’s Gifts and Candies” will fill your stomach while lightening your wallet.
I found my cares vanishing and my spirits lifted by the close proximity of water, trees, and restful lawns. Go to be pampered. Mars will accommodate your family’s needs. Go to get away from your cell phone (only AT&T provides service, and that intermittently) and your city life. Yes, there is Wi-Fi throughout (subject to periodic AT&T outages). Yes, there are TVs, and VHS, and DVD players. But leave them turned off. Be renewed and replenished at Rio-Sierra. “They are the River.” Go for the River.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
los angeles
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

We were going to stay at the Buckeye Tree Lodge from a friend's old recommendation. Luckily they were full, so I discovered Rio Sierra - thank heavens!
This place is just a dream, everything is just so perfectly put together, with real care and great taste. It's an old house that's been split up into suites, right on the river.
Ours was the smallest unit, and I found it perfectly suited for us: spacious, with a private deck facing the river, lots of natural light and beautifully furnished with vintage and modern stuff and a super comfy bed plus sofa, tv, even a microwave, fridge and coffee maker. You get all the pricey hotel mod-cons but without the drab, impersonal, poor taste. And with total privacy, away from the crowds. And really nice details, like cabanas by the river. To me, this is true luxury. I've stayed at 5-star hotels, both in the US and overseas, without finding this level of comfort or peace.
Mars, the owner, is very hands-on and watches every detail - every night she lights a fire by the river, and lanterns you can take to your own little private spot. She's also super friendly and helpful.
Extremely highly recommended!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Camarillo CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2009

I was looking for a place to stay by the Sequoias for my birthday. I did a search on Tripadvisor and after reading the reviews of the Rio Sierra decided it was worth checking out, and AM I GLAD WE DID!

We stayed in the Master Suite......it is beautiful!!!! The suite is very spacious, the decor is high end rustic, and the views were breathtaking! From the suite you could hear AND see the Kaweah River. I heard some noise, peeked out, and saw white water river rafters cruising right by!

Margaret ( Mars ) was the ultimate host, taking care of everything from the flowers, wine, and chocolates my wife had ordered as a surprise for me, to her bringing us a lantern as we sat by the nightly bonfire. Growing up in Northern New Jersey we used to have bonfires at the hill we used to sleigh ride at...it brought back alot of great memories. There are cabana's right by the river that the guests can use free of charge.

We even chatted with the weekend security guard Sean. (nothing to worry about, but Mars has a great location and want to keep the non-paying guests off of the property )

Mars recommended dinner at the Gateway Restaurant which worked out perfectly. You can sit on a outdoor patio that overlooks the river, occasionally Bear can be seen there.

Did I say Bear? We saw one on our way to hike Moro Rock, a beautiful young male having fun eating meadow grass and climbing on a fallen log.

One other detail on the INN....the bathroom in the Master Suite is wonderful, nothing like showering and being able to see the mountains and river!

The porch area wraps around the Inn, you can sit, enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to the river in the am, one of life'e simple treasures.

Alot of times I question reviews, but every positive comment on previous posts was 100 % accurate, you can't go wrong at the Rio Sierra!

Thanks to Mars for providing such a beautiful Inn, we WILL be back time and time again!

I'm sure I'm leaving something out, you will just have to go stay at the Rio Sierra and find out for yourself!!!

Scott Camarillo CA

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Los Angeles
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2009

This place is just beyond imagination. Mars, the property manager is by far the best I have seen so far and I rent houses a lot these days.
Living at the property was even better than the national park. There is a bonfire every night, BBQ grills available. There is on BBQ grill very close to the river. During this time of the year at night there is ankle deep water, its fun to BBQ in the river....
The cabanas are the best place to relax with blankets near fire. We used to come back from the park early to hang out at the property.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Lakewood, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2008

Can't stop thinking about our wonderful stay at the Rio Sierra. Once you step behind the blue gate and enter the property, it's pure beauty! we just cant stop thinking of our lovely weekend. We stayed in the River Studio with a wonderful view of the Kaweah River and have booked the Master Suite for a girls trip in January. Everything was "PERFECT" from the Fire that was lit each night, massage down by the river and not to mention the great conversations we had with Margaret. Just to give you an example, it was our 19th wedding anniversary and i made a comment to my husband about not bringing wine glasses for our wine, once we returned from dinner there were two wine glasses waiting for us in our room, what a thoughtful touch. That's what you'll experience when you stay at the Rio Sierra it's like home away from home. I can go on... and on..., cannot wait to get back there.

We highly recommend retreating to Rio Sierra, you will not be dissapointed!

We send our sincere blessings and much success Margaret!

Angel and Celia

  • Liked — Peaceful, Quiet, Scenery
  • Disliked — Loved everything!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Rio Sierra Riverhouse

Address: 41997 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Three Rivers
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Three Rivers
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Rio Sierra Riverhouse 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Sierra Riverhouse is a landmark riverfront property in California's Sierra foothills. We're located located 6 miles from Sequoia National Park. Five comfortable rental units are each furnished with refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave, TV, telephone, and wireless internet access.Outside, guests enjoy access to a scenic river beach and, in summer, the town's locally famous swimming hole, known as Slicky.Pull up a beach chair. Hang out in a cabana.Come Stay on the River. Let Nature Do the Rest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rio Sierra Riverhouse Hotel Three Rivers

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