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“Absolutely Beautiful!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Rancho Wendy

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Rancho Wendy
Atlanta
1 review
“Absolutely Beautiful!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2008

Absolutely beautiful! Rancho Wendy is the perfect place for anyone who wants to escape the city and enjoy the serenity of the country side. I came here and was stunned by the gorgeous mountains. The service is excellent, they really go out of there way to accommodate your needs. The rooms are nice as well, make sure you bring insect repellant. Also bring a fleece blanket; it can get a little chilly at night. The food is to die for. They feed you plenty so be ready chow down and un-button your pants. The coffee is the best I ever had and I never drink coffee. My overall impression of Rancho Wendy is phenomenal; I can’t wait to visit again.

  • Liked — food
  • Disliked — insects
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jman892008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
brooklyn
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2008

Place just had great character, horses rooming. My room was clean and comfortable. Nice view of the mountains. Breakfast good. It’s a bit of a drive into the town but not too bad . There is a hiking path along the river right in front of the property. Had a blast! Found that tours are a little bit expensive. The owner was very nice like Archie Bunker, funny guy. One of the best deals I ever had. Marshal thank you and the staff for a great time.

  • Liked — Price of the room
  • Disliked — Bathroom too small
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank nuthin43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chania Town, Greece
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2008

My wife and I stayed in this rat trap two years ago. After reading the current reviews of the place, we feel bad that we did not write our own review. To all of those unfortunate souls who had the bad luck of enduring this place since our stay, we apologize.

We booked our 2 day stay over the phone. We learned of Rancho Wendy on the internet. Their web site is not a true depiction of the facilities.

In order to save time, I will list the problems with Rancho Wendy.
When we arrived, we had to ask for our food that was supposed to come with the room. The food was disgusting (and we are not picky eaters by any stretch.)

There were chickens on the "kitchen" counters, pooping everywhere! A puppy and cats also roamed freely and defecated and urinated at will throughout the house.

We watched in horror as Marshall's wife, gave chicken bone scraps to the puppy and cats. There were other critters fighting for scraps as well.

We fell prey to the old "bait and switch" trick. We were shown the room that we booked and it happened to be near the horse stables. Flies and manure were not part of the room description on the website. Marshall suggested we pay a little more for a room closer to the main house and stream. Of course we agreed. As we approached the stream Marshall described, we realized it was nothing more than a man-made, carved out, sewage ditch, 2 -3 feet in width, that just happened to resemble a stream.

The room was unbelievably bad. Now don't get us wrong, we are no 5 star prissies. We've traveled through over 40 countries together and have stayed in $6/nt rooms in S.E Asia and S. America. This was, by far, the worst room in which we've ever stayed.
Why? The sheets were dirty, there was no ladder to the top bunk, very low lighting in the room (obviously an attempt to hide its many flaws), roaches running rampant, ants keeping the roaches company, and right before we laid down on the camp style mattress, we noticed a huge spider, smack in the middle of the bed. We slept in all of our clothes that night. The bathroom looked like it was out of a western movie. There was cold water, no light and I'm sure we had critters showering with us.

The main house, we were told, was for the enjoyment of the guests. Shortly after "dinner" we were told we had to leave. We were only a few feet from the door when we heard it lock behind us. It was only around 8pm. We are not spring chickens (early 30's) but 8pm is a bit early to expect your guests to retreat back to their spider/roach rooms. The entire property was unlit and was nowhere near a town, so we were left with no other options but to put on all of our clothes and try to sleep.

When we inquired about the advertised waterfall on their website, we were pointed in a general direction and told, "it's over there, up the hill." Ohhh, Kay. What does that mean exactly? A local boy noticed us wandering the forest and helped us find it. It was a pretty water fall. I'm sure Marshall lays claim to creating it.

When we showed an interest in seeing and learning more about other regions of the D.R., Marshall immediately discouraged us from leaving his area. He stated there was nothing much to see. We asked about whale watching and the Samana peninsula --- "Las Galinas." Of course we ignored Marshall's claims, and it was the prettiest place we visited throughout our backpacking/hitch-hiking trip.

Our confrontation with Marshall was the kicker. We calmly requested a private meeting with him. He insisted we sit at a table in the main area of the house. We described all of the problems and even offered solutions to help correct them. We didn't yell (well not at first) and we described similar places in which we've stayed around the world, but he would have no part in admitting any wrong doing. He rebutted with an arrogant, condescending and downright rude attitude. He patted himself on the back throughout our brief meeting and we obviously got nowhere with this scam artist. He clearly has no interest in repeat business. He's in it for the quick buck.

Our advice to anyone even considering a stay at Rancho Wendy, heed this, Marshall is simply shady. He treats his wife and staff sub humanly. They stay, not because they like working for him, but because work is hard to come by. Do sweat shop workers enjoy what they do?
If you stay here, the bad guy wins.

  • Disliked — The managements unbelievable disregard for the guests
  • Stayed February 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Beans B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ranchowendy, Public Relations Director at Rancho Wendy, responded to this review, June 23, 2008
Greetings,

First, thank you so much for your feedback. You obviously had a truly horrible time at Rancho Wendy, and I am so sorry to know that the experience was so bad, that it’s still bothering you after 2 years. We really appreciate the detailed account of your time here, and it has been invaluable in helping us make a few important management decisions.

You are completely correct when you stated that our web site was not a true depiction of facilities. At no time did the owners, Marshall and Ramona intend to mislead guests. Our website has been maintained over the years by various ranch volunteers, and has been updated sporadically. Please know our website is currently [June/July 2008] under construction to more accurately reflect our facilities.

I do not know what conditions were like when you were here two years ago, but I would like to update you on our current conditions:

1. There are currently no chickens at Rancho Wendy. There are puppies and a cat, all of which are potty trained.

2. The food is wonderful. Ramona does most of the cooking herself, and she is a fabulous cook. I am unsure what food you consumed or who prepared it, and I wonder if your impression of the food may have been affected by your experience with the chickens/puppies/kittens.

3. We still give chicken scraps to our puppies and cat. I am unsure why you should have felt horrified at seeing this, as it is common practice in the Dominican Republic. Our animals are not strict vegetarians, and rather enjoy eating chicken.

4. We have a creek that runs through property from the river Yuna, to the township of Los Quemados. This is not a sewage ditch, but rather a freshwater creek, that is used by the locals to supply water for daily living. There are sections of the creek off property that have been stabilized by cement foundations.

5. In response to your feedback [and that of others] we have changed our sheeting process. In the past, sheets were replaced on beds as soon as guests left, rather than when the new guest arrived. This was not the best procedure to have. Our new process is to make up the beds as guests arrive, to avoid this type of a problem.

6. We are in the process of installing ladders on all bunk beds.

7. Room lighting has been improved, and energy efficient flourescent lights have been installed in all rooms. Electricity is a publicly supplied good, and as such, can be quite sporadic, sometimes absences span for days. The reduce the inconvenience to our guests, we do have generators on site, but do attempt to conserve energy as supplies are finite.

8. We have rat, roach and ant control in every room, consistent with industry standards.

9. The main lobby is for the enjoyment of the guests. Lobby hours are from 6 am to 11 pm. I am unsure as to why you were asked to leave at 8 pm.

10. Marshall is still the owner, and is just as rough around the edges as always. Please know that Marshall is not a bad person, he’s more like Archie Bunker, he has good intentions, but his execution is somewhat misguided at times. Luckily, he is aware of this shortcoming, and as such, has opened up a position for a public relations director here at the Ranch to minimize possible misunderstandings. We are also currently building a private office for Marshall to conduct business, as you were correct, the main house table is an inappropriate location to handle delicate situations.

Again, I want to apologize for the horrible time you had here at Rancho Wendy, and thank you for your feedback. Please know that we did listen, and are working to correct the problem. I do not know where you are from, but we expect our current renovations to be completed around the end of July, and would like to offer you a free nights stay to evaluate the changes. If you still have suggestions for improvements, I would be more than eager to hear them!

Emerald Hernandez,
Public Relations Director, Rancho Wendy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st. croix
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2007

I do not recommend that anyone ever stay at this hotel, if you could call it that, for any reason whatsoever. We arrived with a group of 40 people from St. Croix, Virgin Islands. The rooms were abominable. The owner was extremely ungracious, to say the least. The staff was mistreated and underpaid. The food was awful. Have I missed anything? Oh, I did not see, but I was told, that he disposed of his trash directly in the river.

Believe me, when I opened the door of my room to find a well-fed rat run along the wall just above the bunk-bed where I was supposed to sleep, (with no ladder to reach the bunk, of course), I really did not have to see anything else to know that I would not enjoy my stay. Then I realized that the sheets were dirty and full of ants, that the room had very poor lighting, I guess to hide the dirt. The bathroom was filthy. You couldn't go in with bare feet. There was no hot water, and cold water ran from a pipe with no shower nozzle. The toilet and sink got soaked if you tried to take a shower because there was no proper shower stall and no shower curtain.

Now you see why, even though I had prepaid to stay at Rancho Wendy, I came out of pocket to stay in a hotel in Bonao, called Hotel Club Premium or something like that, which was clean and nice. Although, I like natural ambience, rats, bedbugs, and disrespectfulness are not for me.

Their website looks very nice. I guess that is why we ended up booking with them. How deceiving!! Even, the outings that they arranged for us did not live up to our expectations.

Our group travels every year to a different Caribbean island. We have been to St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Vincent, Puerto Rico, Tortola and Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas and St. John. Never have we experienced the miserable accomodations and rude treatment that we did here.

Even if you have no other choice, do not stay here.

  • Liked — Believe me, it was truly unacceptable in every way.
  • Disliked — The attitude of the owners.
  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank juliebeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ranchowendy, owner at Rancho Wendy, responded to this review, December 23, 2007
WOW do I feel bad!

I am so sorry that she had a bad experience at our Ranch.

This young woman came with a group of hikers, on the day of her arrival she was not happy with her accommodations, I am sure that when she told me that she had rat, ants, dirty sheets, no ladder, poor lighting (we where on battery power to conserve energy) etc.

I was not happy with my staff (would she expect me to give them a big HUG). I am not sure what she expected us to pay our staff but if they felt they where being underpaid or abused they would not be working for us (one employee was with us 10 years, one 2 years, and the others are part time guides that are on call and if they felt abused or underpaid they would not be helping us. Our full time employees work and live on the ranch.
Our staff had assisted her in finding lodging in Bonao, picked her up every morning to participate in all the activities that was booked, horse back riding, hiking to our magnificent waterfalls, trekking on Pico Duarte, Kayaking 2 times, trekking the killer trail. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner and returned her in the evening to her hotel.

This is a Ranch and not a 5 star hotel we have BBQs, kayaking, white water Kayaking, flying fox (zip lines), hiking, horseback riding, mountain and rock climbing to the highest peak in the Caribbean (Pico Duarte) barn fire at night if weather permitting , biking, golf, Our rooms are very basic with bathrooms, facing a fresh water stream or within 50 steps. Prices are from 7.00USD to 25.00USD.
Marshall Zipper owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Wendy

Property: Rancho Wendy
Address: Main Street, Bonao, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Monsenor Nouel Province > Bonao
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Bonao
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer the unique opportunity to see and experience the Dominican Republic way of life close up. We are a basic ranch that caters to the adventurous traveler who enjoys basic accommodations and rustic lifestyle surrounded by the proximity of nature. Minutes from the city of Bonao and only 1 hour from Santo Domingo. Make our affordable mountain retreat a part of your next travel destination. We offer 15 rooms, home cooked meals, a shallow but clean pool, internet access, pool table and adventure tours. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Wendy Hotel Bonao

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