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“Surprised by Poor Maintenance and Service”

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Zion Mountain Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Surprised by Poor Maintenance and Service”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

My wife reserved a Buffalo Vista Honeymoon Suite as a surprise for my birthday. Unfortunately, the surprise wasn't one of joy after spending a night in this overpriced time-worn sloppily managed facility. Both of us envisioned some degree of sophistication based on the professional photos and embellished descriptions of the resort. We were sorely disappointed. In fact,my wife woke up crying knowing she wasted almost three days' pay to vacation here.
I travel a lot and don't mind overlooking minor aesthetic deficiencies in lodging, but when you pay over $200 a night, you don't expect 1) the hot tub to not fill up with enough hot water to even sit in, due to an undersized water heater, 2) clay-like debris to stream from the hot tub jets, 3) loose nails in the outdoor deck, 4) light fixtures with no covers 5) broken window screens, 6) a broken TV remote control, 7) broken door handles on both exterior doors, 8) the constant noise of plastic blowing in the wind from underneath the deck and 9) overall poor grounds maintenance around the cabin (parking barriers falling over, no landscaping, and loose chickens coming into the cabin seeking food).
Oh, it gets even worse: We were told to make reservations at the resort's restaurant, which we did for 7:30 pm. Upon arrival we were told a large party had come in and that service was behind. We said it was OK, and would just have some drinks until they were ready. They could not accommodate us so we left and came back at 8:00 pm. We asked the hostess for a window table but she declined saying it was for a party of five. She sat us next to a door that was blowing open and closed from the wind and promptly sat a party of two at the table we asked for. By 8:20 pm we had been staring reluctantly at the menu with $42 steaks and $30 bottles of bottom shelf wine, and still hadn't even been given water. So we walked out and drove to a pizzeria west of the lodge for dinner. Ironically, the owner of ZMR also owns this place and found out about our awful restaurant experience and kindly paid for our pizza.
The front desk personnel are on par with postal service workers - aloof, indifferent, and uncaring. We brought up the hot tub situation with them and they said just to wait until there was more hot water. On checkout, neither of the staff asked how our stay was. My wife expressed her disappointment and the young woman replied "OK." This was about the time I was ready to have her call the owner, but I felt this review would be more appropriate.
I generally like to say something nice about any place I stay so here goes: The housekeeper was courteous and smiled, which could be a lesson to the remainder of the staff.
A final note: The name is a misnomer - although it is a ranch, it is about 5 miles east of Zion's boundaries on a windy plain where silhouettes of Zion's mountains can be seen in the distance, but don't expect to see any red rock.

Room Tip: Don't expect to enjoy the hot tub in cabin 176 unless you can bring your own hot water.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Xorreaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Long Beach, California
2 reviews
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had the best time! We arrived at the ranch and within minutes were enjoying the sweeping vistas and buffalo herd, right outside our cabins. The kids had a blast! The beds were comfortable and there is a fireplace inside the room, which thanks to great spring weather, we only needed for ambiance. The ranch is super close to Zion National Park. The evening campfires were a hit with everyone; just watch out for the very friendly shetland ponies, they will try to eat your s'mores! Wish we had had enough time to take a horseback ride, definitely a must do for next time. We will be back!!!

Room Tip: Every cabin is great!! You can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank All60fUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

First the negatives, then the positives.

After visiting the website and seeing the pictures, we arrived at Zion Mountain Ranch to our Meadow View Cabin which is not what is pictured on the Mountain View Cabin page of the website and there is little or no view of the buffalo, which we never saw until the morning we were leaving. Our picture window was so filthy that we really had a view of nothing. They have a sprinkler that hits the window and leaves mineral deposits so even after I scrubbed it, it was still very bad (needs to be cleaned with Lime-Away or CLR).

When we first saw the cabins across the street, we were disappointed as they seemed much more "rustic" than the cabins with buffalo views. However, upon closer inspection, the cabins were very nice and clean with two comfortable king beds and good bedding. The bathroom was tiny which makes it challenging to get ready in the mornings but that was fine. The refrigerator and microwave were nice to have. The TV was junk but we really didn't care about the TV.

The cabins are literally a couple miles from the east entrance of the park which made it nice but it should be noted that it is a 30 minute drive through the park to get to the shuttles which are the only way to get to many of the trailheads from April through September. During the peak months, it could easily be a much longer drive to the visitor center/shuttle area. Also, there are almost no places to eat or do anything on the east side of the park.

All in all, the cabins are really nice, inside and out. In my opinion, management should consider painting them to match the cabins with the buffalo views so that first impression is better. Either that, or put a picture of what they really look like on the website so others don't have the initial bad impression that we had.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jpb7428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I booked the Buffalo Vista Family Lodge (which is actually a cabin) for myself, my partner, and two other couples. We stayed four nights from March 26 to March 30 2013. We flew into Las Vegas on the 26th and made the 3 hour drive that day to Zion Mountain Ranch. The ranch is just a short distance on the east side of Zion National Park (so you have to drive through the park to get to the ranch, which was fine with us).

There were two bedrooms and a full bathroom on the main floor and a loft with twin beds and a half bath. It would have been nice to have a second full bath since there were six of us, but we managed. The cabin was pretty clean, except there were some cob webs around and the top of the refrigerator was pretty dusty (which we noticed because we bought some non-perishable food to put up there). We shopped for groceries in Hurricane, which was on the way to the ranch from Las Vegas, so we were able to make / take lunches and have dinner at the cabin in the evenings. We did eat at the restaurant on the ranch the night we arrived, which was really good. Everyone in our group was happy with their meal, including the vegetarian.

Our cabin had a porch with a view of the ranch and Zion in the background. There were lots of buffalo and we had fun watching them every morning. There were a lot of other cabins pretty close to us, but our stay was quiet and we hardly saw anyone else.

We also went to Bryce Canyon one day during our stay, which is about 1 hour and 45 minutes away from the ranch. So the ranch is a great location to see two fantastic (and very different) parks. The person who helped us when we checked out also had no problem splitting up the bill among the three couples, any way we wanted.

I would recommend the ranch and its cabins for their location, quiet surroundings, and ability to accommodate a group of friends who wanted to stay near some beautiful scenery and be able to hang out in a common space.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank archaic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I booked a reservation at Zion Mountain Ranch in March 2013 for this summer using usparklodging.com. Avoid this service!! It is a scam outfit that charges 10% just to make a reservation that I could have made on my own had I done my homework. I was charged $36 for them to make a reservation for a 2 night stay, and this fee is on top of the cost of lodging. I didnt notice until I saw on my credit card that I was not only charged a 1 night deposit directly to the Zion Mountain Ranch AND $36 for this pointless service. Dont make the same mistake I did. That said, I am looking forward to my stay at Zion Mountain Ranch. I have talked to them on the phone directly (what I should have done in the first place) and received great service. I will write a legit review after our stay, but wanted to get the message out to others so they are not duped like I was.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GaryT8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We spent 4 nights at the Zion Mountain Ranch, specifically the Canyon Rim Suite, for our visit to Zion and Bryce national parks. We would gladly stay here again, and would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a central base from which to see the nearby attractions.

Check in/Check out

Check in was very smooth. There was no wait, and we had our key and directions to our cabin in no time. They explained that the on-site restaurant would likely be full, and to make reservations early. This proved to be helpful. Check out was equally painless.

Our Cabin/suite

As noted above, we stayed in the Canyon Rim Suite, which is a good sized cabin set on the rim of a canyon (hence the name!) at the back side of the group of cabins. It is separated from the other cabins by a good distance, and there is much privacy. The views are outstanding off the back porch and through the expansive windows. This cabin has its own fire pit, which is a nice touch. There is also a fireplace in the very large great room. They usually deliver plenty of wood for you to use daily, however one day it just didn't come by the time we returned from our hikes. It was not a huge deal, and we got by with what we had. They noted during check in that cell phone service is spotty to non-existent, but my wife and I both found we had at least 2 bars of 3G service (Verizon and AT&T) when facing the canyon, so there must be a tower or two in that direction. There is good wifi in the lobby/restaurant area if you really need it. The kitchenette is well enough equipped, though we didn't use it for more than drinks and snacks. The bed is large and comfortable. The master bathroom is quite large, and the spa tub was great for after a long day of hiking/walking. The controls for the shower are a bit unique, and we had to ask the front desk how to turn it on (FYI: BOTH knobs must be pulled out to get the water going!) There are two televisions, one in the great room and one in the bedroom. They are good sized, but a bit lacking channels. If you have a favorite show, don't count on them having that channel. I happen to love TV, but it really didn't end up bothering me that much. We managed to enjoy a show about making cheese on PBS while sitting in front of the fire after another long day. The cabin is serviced daily, and they even washed our dirty breakfast dishes while we were out. Overall, the cabin suited our needs perfectly.

Grounds

The ranch is, as far as i can tell, a working bison ranch. They roam the fenced in grounds right up to the restaurant and near the cabins. It's fun to see where they will pop up. The roads through the cabins are narrow, so meeting oncoming traffic is dicey, however, the "traffic" is basically nonexistent, and we only had to pull to the side once during our stay. They seem to be building even more cabins, so there is a lot of construction equipment and trucks around, but it's not noisy or bothersome.

Restaurant

We ate here twice for dinner. Somewhat small menu that changed daily, but we managed to find something to enjoy. It is a little expensive, but in line with other restaurants in Springdale. The staff is friendly. Reservations are recommended.

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about our stay at Zion Mountain Ranch, and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MadMaxEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

My wife and I have stayed here twice in the last 5 years. It is an incredibly relaxing place to stay with beautiful sights all around. The cabins are simply perfect for couples wanting to get away and they have bigger cabins for those wanting to bring their family. There is a large pasture next to the cabins where a herd of buffalo wander all day long. The restaurant is great and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Zion National Park is just down the road and this is the perfect place to unwind after spending the day hiking amongst the awe inspiring views inside the park. We will definitely be coming back and will be bringing the family with us!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Harlan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zion Mountain Ranch

Property: Zion Mountain Ranch
Address: 9065 East Highway 9, Zion National Park, UT
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Utah > Zion National Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Zion National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Zion Mountain Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 53
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Also Known As:
Zion Mountain Ranch Hotel Zion National Park

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