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“highly recommended, but frustrating for the experienced rider”

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Three Bars Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“highly recommended, but frustrating for the experienced rider”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We travelled here in the summer with our kids, and all loved it.
Riding every morning, different activity in the afternoon like rafting (tame), archery, clay pigeon shooting, or more riding if you fancied it.
After dinner games included volleyball, football, fire engine games, quick draw, horse training demonstration, lasooing. Also babyfoot, table tennis, pool table, so loads to do.
Sounds busy, but there was plenty of time to relax or hang out on your own too.
The kids swam every day (indoor pool) and we played tennis, and went quad biking (extra), but never got round to fishing or mountain biking (which was not guided).
Our riding ability was all levels but we were still able to ride togehter , or choose to go in a fast/slower group. Beautiful trails and countryside.
The only frustrating thing was for the experienced rider- not enough trotting/ cantering, and always having to adhere to single file.
Great accomodation in a family log cabin with adjoining door. Lots of characteristic old wood and cowboy decor. Noisy fridge in room which we had to unplug, but otherwise beautifully dark and quiet at night.
Food average- hearty ribs, bbq chicken etc and not enough fruit and veg.
Staff superlative- friendly, fun, informative,yet safety conscious.
Met a great bunch of people there - old/ young, with/ without kids- we all mucked in together.- though you can keep yourself to yourself if thats how you want to play it.

Room Tip: The only cabin i wouldnt advise is the one whose porch looks onto the entrance path and hot tub- not...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Fenella N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
arizona
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

My husband and myself have visited 14 guest ranches and three bars is at the top of our list. We usually visit in the fall months for adults only. This was our first summer visit with kids present and we had a great time. All the kids were well behaved and enjoyed all the activities as we did. I can't imagine why you would book a dude experience during family vacation months and then complain? The horse program is terrific. Safety first. We have stayed at numerous ranches where guests were hurt and some badly. We both thought the way Tyler runs the horse program is perfect. You are asked each morning at breakfast and then again at lunch which rides you prefer. If you are not on a trotting or lopeing ride there is a reason as all the horses are calm, walking carefully down the steep slopes and never running back to the barn. Even the 6 year old in our group was allowed to trot on her horse. All the ranches we have visited put their wranglers on the new dude in training horses. Not all horses make good dude trail horses and it is not for the guests to find this out. Horses muster up or muster out. Therefore you will always have a good safe horse at Three Bars.
The location of Three Bars is beautiful with the St. Mary's river and Perry Creek running through it. Lookout and forest rides abound, go up or stay low. Never boring. The cabins and lodge are clean and roomy. Can't say that about other ranches. AND ALL THE STAFF IS OVER THE TOP FRIENDLY AND COURTEOUS TO EVERYONE. At the end of the week we guests all commented on how caring the wranglers are for us to enjoy our horse experience.
My husband, being 75 didn't ride all the time but there was still plenty for him to enjoy. Fishing, golfing, shooting, the pool and hot tub, and just relaxing and enjoying the views. I wanted to go panning for gold. Myself and three other guests spent a wonderful morning dreaming of how we were going to spend all of our gold. Blake, the wrangler was great at helping us pan and finding the right places. (unfortunately we didn't need the truck Tyler offered us to haul the gold back).
If you want a fun vacation where you meet new people of all ages, take in the mountain air and vistas, ride great trails, join in the evening games and eat till you are full then look no further than Three Bars. Thanks for a wonderful week. God willing and the creek don't rise we will be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jeaniemack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire, UK
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Unfortuately we visited this ranch as a child-free couple as an add-on to a trip to the Calgary Stampede. The whole ranch was geared towards the children. This extended to meals, which were variations on chicken nuggets or burgers. I was assured in advance they could cater for gluten free food. This however seemed to consist of lettuce (no gluten free dressing) and a packet of gluten free cookies. I was so hungry that other guests began finding protein bars for me to eat!
All the evening activities were child-centric as well. The rides themselves were very boring, since the policy appeared to be no going faster than a walk for at least 3 days (we only stayed that long) regardless of ability (I have my own horse and have ridden for over 40 years).
However the highlight was the river rafting, which because of the floods the week before was extremely exciting and fast. Loved every minute of it!
One wrangler (Jamie the Australian) was brilliant and seemed to be at the centre of everything. The rest were not really interested in hospitality. We wonder how it will be if Jamie left.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank roomwithnoview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Horses were great, trails were fantastic, accommodations were great, setting is spectacular and the pool & hot tub were a really nice bonus. BUT ...
Food was very average, buffet was limited in amount and variety - much more like what you would expect at a bed and breakfast. Their website says they can accommodate vegans and vegetarians but good luck with that!
Meal times were too time limited and no food was available in between - bring your own snacks!
Riding program was not flexible. No matter your riding experience you all start out like beginners and have to work your way up.
As for service, it was clear they do not have any hospitality training. Most places will go out of their way to make you happy so you will become repeat guests or at least give them a recommendation. Not so, you get what you get and they want you to accommodate to them.
We've been to better (Rancho de los Caballaros in Arizona) and we will stick to those instead. Much better value for the price point.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank LauraBB2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

This ranch deserves all the 5 star ratings it is receiving. We had a wonderful time and felt we received great value for our money. The horses were chosen to our riding ability, and as absolute beginners, our horses were calm and easy to control (all the other horses seemed calm and easy too). The wranglers who took us out, as a small family group, each day were very conscious of our riding ability and made sure we felt safe and comfortable. I was concerned our horses would run for home at the end of the ride, but they were very controlled and walk calmly back to the corral. We went from never riding a horse to lopping in one week, and all felt confident and comfortable on our horses at all times. The surrounding area that you ride through is beautiful and we saw deer, squirrels and eagles. There is a good choice of afternoon activities, if you choose not to ride, and you are able to have space and time to be a family as well as interact with the other guests. The food was not gourmet, but was of good quality and we have no complaints. The rooms were a good size and there was plenty of space at the main ranch to have some quiet time. Our boys rate this as one of their favourite family holidays and I would too.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank KarenGG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thurso
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We absolutely loved our stay at Three Bars Guest Ranch. The location was stunning, the lodges beautiful, the food excellent, there were three amazing dogs and the ranch family and wranglers were so friendly, helpful and great fun. This was the best bit of our trip to Canada and I cannot recommend it highly enough to others.

We spent all our time riding (that's what we were there for) but there were lots of other activities if you didn't want to ride all the time or if you have non-horsey people in your party (clay shooting, rafting, mountain biking, quad bikes, golf etc). The rides were small in number so suited to your ability and what you wanted to do. On our last ride there were only my husband and myself out with our wranger so it really was tailor made and we had a great afternoon. A beautiful swimming pool and hot tub to chill in after a hard day and a pool table for a bit of healthy competition in the bar.

We only stayed for 4 nights, as we had too many other things to fit into our trip, but I really wish we could have taken Tyler's advice and stayed for the full week.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Fi0naMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, IN
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

A friend and I were at Three Bars in 2012 and loved every minute of it. We are both riders and travel a couple of times a year to ride. From Central America to Canada and in between. Three Bars was by far the best place we have gone and the first one we are ready to return to. The staff was friendly, the accommodations were restful and well appointed and the food was great. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Saddlebums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Three Bars Guest Ranch

Property: Three Bars Guest Ranch
Address: 9500 Wycliffe Perry Creek Rd, Cranbrook, British Columbia V1C 7C7, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Cranbrook
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Cranbrook
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Three Bars Guest Ranch, The Adventure Ranch of the Canadian Rockies. Three Bars is Canada's premier guest ranch. Packages include access to a world class riding program, rafting, guided hiking, mountain biking, skeet shooting and a full evening program. All accommodations and meals are included in packages. ... more   less 

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