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“Great place for fun!”

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Harmel's Ranch Resort
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I have been enjoying Harmel's Resort on and off for over twenty years. It has been a real asset to the community and has been providing fun and excitement for families for over 50 years. It is one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado and offers family activities like fishing, horseback riding, camping, rafting, and a genuine outdoor experience. I strongly recommend the resort for anyone looking for authentic family oriented activities.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mtnman2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 - 56 of 65 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2012

Don't go here expecting the Ritz - despite the price. We stayed in a great little cabin on the river. The cabin was clean and recently renovated. We had great mattresses and nice pillows. The shower left a LOT to be desired. Many of the activities weren't appropriate for our small children (ages 2 & 4), but they loved the pool, hot tub and playground. Groceries were quite a long drive - Gunnison or Crested Butte, both around 20 miles away. We had several meals in the dining room - the food was good with a variety for everyone. Meals or drinks outside on the gorgeous deck overhanging the white water river were fantastic. The staff is mostly young people seeking a summer adventure and they seem to be enjoying their jobs. At times it was difficult to identify the employees, there was no 'uniform' or name tags to speak of. The front office manager - Amy - was exceptionally attentive and strived to help us in every way.
The rates did seem a bit expensive, but are comparable to other accommodations in the area. There is a rather busy road that the resort straddles, but not much could be done about that.
The tipping policy is a bit ambiguous, I would ask for clarification upon arrival.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Becca S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

The owner of this establishment spent the last twenty minutes of my stay here yelling at me in the lobby in front of other guests (some of them kids). Let me back up a bit. When making my reservation I spoke with an employee who told me that the only additional fee after the room charge was the tax. The price was right at the top of what my wife and I wanted to spend but I really wanted to take my son horseback riding and fishing and thought what the heck, lets live a little.

A quick review of some practical stuff: This is not a quaint little dude ranch. It's thirty-some odd cabins spread out with Colorado Rd 742 splitting the property in two. The lameness of the freeway is countered by a gorgeous length of river that runs through the property as well (this "resort's" best redeeming quality). The staff, with the exception of the eye rolling stable manager, Body, was for the most part really pleasant. The rooms were dirty. The beds were uncomfortable. The food was ordinary at best and way overpriced (do yourself a favor and eat in local towns of Almont or Gunnison). The activities were fun but also extremely expensive (again, look into other options in town).

So jump back to thirty minutes ago. I asked the polite employees at the front desk, who are illequipped to deal with questions regarding some shady business practices, why I was being charged an extra 15% service charge, the very polite Elliott called co-owner, Brad Roberts on the phone to come on down and offer some good ol fashioned, down-home customer service (what I would soon discover is not his specialty).

Enter Brad Roberts. Early fifties, small build, red faced, blood shot eyes, fuming and foaming. An angry troll dressed more like a country club manager or cruise director than ranch owner. Determined to not get angry, I shook his hand and introduced myself, cheerful as you like. I thanked him for coming down to chat with me and began to explain my concern. About a third of the way into my first sentence, Brad interrupted me.

Mad Brad: "For the last two weeks all I've heard is complaints from YOU people about our service charge!!"

Me: "Sir I'd like to finish my sentence."

Mad Brad: "Well you people keep coming down here complaining about something that we've doing for fifteen years!!!"
I watched spit fly from his lip and onto my shirt.

Me: "All due respect sir, I don't know which people you're talking about when you say "you people" but this is my first trip here, I've only been here three days, and this is my first time speaking with anyone about this issue. So while I'm sure your tired of having the same converstaion over and over, I'm not sure why you're yelling at me. Anyhow, as I was trying to explain, I was never told about this 15% service charge when I spoke to your employee on the phone."

Mad Brad: "Who did you speak to?!" His face is a mere foot away from mine now.

Me: "I don't remember her name."

Mad Brad: "Figures! Amy handles reservations and she's been here for twenty years! Now tell me why would she lie to you?!!"

Me: "I'm not saying she lied. I'm saying perhaps she made a mistake."

Anyway, this went on for twenty minutes (not an exaggeration) and ended with Mad Brad leaving the lobby while I was in mid sentence, slamming the door behind him. The woman waiting to check-in with her husband and two kids who were witness to all this said, "that man just makes me wanna stand up and walk right outta here!" As the poor employees behind the desk charged my card they each apologized profusely for the behavior of their boss. Way to go Brad.

Consider yourself warned. If you choose to go to Harmel's Don't expect a glad-handing inn-keeper in Brad Roberts. In fact just avoid this seemingly extremely unhappy man altogether. Oh yeah, and keep your wallet in your sock.

4 nights at Harmel's, 2-two hour horseback rides, a mediocre BBQ dinner: $1,875. Watching Mad Brad Roberts lose his cool (assuming he ever has any) priceless.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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12  Thank b-nice5200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 13, 2012

Hello - I would like to sincerely apologize for the conduct of our owner, Brad. And I would also like to clarify a couple of things and hopefully be able to talk you into a return visit someday...

You are correct - we are not a small dude ranch, to be sure. I believe we are the largest dude ranch in Colorado and can accommodate up to 150 guests at full capacity. We do have a small two lane county road (called County Road 742) with a speed limit of 25mph.

As for the beds - we managed to get more than 3/4 of our queen beds replaced this spring but unfortunately #18 was not on the list. We will be moving some brand new queen beds in there this week.

The 15% service charge did need some revision. Upon your departure a major change was made. Besides having it stated at the bottom or our rates page and in red text on our Reservation Confirmation we now have it in red text on the top part of our rates page as well. It's being called a Resort Charge and our office employees are instructed to tell each guest about it while making the reservation over the phone.

I appreciate your feedback about your stay. We really enjoyed having your family here!

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Reviewed July 8, 2012

I was really looking forward to my family's stay here - the website made it look rustic, friendly, and affordable. Well it was rustic - the cabins are clean and very basic with particle board ceilings. Friendly and affordable it was not. I never once saw the owner or managers even though we were frequently at the lodge and dinning area. And get ready to open your wallet- horseback riding is $60 for two hours - rafting is $60 for a half day and they often have special dinners, in other words $27 a plate BBQs or buffets with no other options. Don't let the rustic look and middle of nowhere location fool you, this place has big city prices.

*the man who runs the square dance was awesome

  • Stayed: July 2012
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6  Thank LJ412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Hello LJ412 - my sincerest apologies that Harmel's wasn't what you had expected. I can't believe you missed me... I am the Office Manager and I am in the office six days a week for approx 8 hrs per day. I'm the short gal w/ the dark curly hair :) I understand that $60/person for an activity may seem a bit steep but it's actually a very common price especially in this area. I hope you didn't go away hungry from our BBQ - it is an all-you-can-eat buffet that we normally receive raving compliments on. And the gentleman that does the square dancing is fantastic! His name is Walt Cranor and he's been calling our square dances for over 25 yrs.

We will definitely take your comments to heart and we appreciate your time and energy into posting this review. Thank you for your feedback.

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Reviewed July 8, 2012

We stayed for four days for family reunion. Had a blast because the location is fantastic and so much great hiking and things to do. But shocked by the lack of warmth, bad attitudes towards guests and cost for everything. Expect to pay extra for everything. For example, Bad barbecue? $27 per person. Over four days noone made effort to get to know us, or see how we were doing. wouldn't be so bad if these costs were coupled with warmth and concern for your experience - but they are definitely not. At the $27 BBQ all we were asked is what cabin we were in. Seems like employees are trained to see customer as the adversary rather than the ones who they would want to have a great experience and come back. Too bad. There are other options nearby so I would def recommend staying somewhere else like in Almont or Gunnison.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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8  Thank SF2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Hello SF2019 -
I see you all stayed with us just a few days ago and I sincerely wish I could have got to know you all a bit more. It seems you all checked in on the only day I have off. I would have been happy to explain our activities and pricing. We offer three different packages and the package you all opted for has breakfast only included with your accommodations - lunch, dinner and activities are ala carte. We usually get wonderful compliments about our all-you-can-eat BBQ (especially coupled w/ the square dancing).

I do apologize for any inconvenience or bad experience you may have had. And we very much appreciate you taking the time to post this feedback. Your review(s) have prompted us to address your concerns. I feel we are running a much smoother ship with providing more information to our guests. We hope to be able to redeem ourselves with you if you choose to visit us again.

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Reviewed July 8, 2012

There were many good things about the resort which I had read about on Trip Advisor but there are some things that I believe are not talked about which need to be mentioned. The good are the location, the cleanliness and cabin on the river. The young staff are hard working, very nice and friendly. Horseback riding was well worth it and the ride leader was perfect. Food was good but because it is buffet style be prepared for some of the food to be hard as a rock (Pancakes and Pad Thai). Remember this is truely a resort because it is very expensive to stay here. Some things to be aware of that they don't mention in their website: You cannot fish here unless you are a fly fisherman-so bring your fly rod and you will be on top of each other becuase the resort land is only two blocks long. They also charge a "service fee" they don't tell you about until you are checking out for $45/day. Very cheesy and not upfront. What $325/night is not enough??

Room Tip: Stay in a cabin right on the river...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank COItalyFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Hello COItalyFan -
First off, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post this review. I apologize for the sub-par food. This is typically not the norm from our kitchen especially the buffets - our guests usually give glowing reviews about the abundance of great food here at Harmel's and complain about gaining weight from eating too much.

I am very sorry that you were led to believe you have to fly fish in our more than 3/4 of a mile stretch of private water - you were more than welcome to spin fish. We just ask that you use artificial flies or lures and practice catch & release only. You can use bait and keep what you catch up in our heavily stocked trout pond.

And as for the service charge: we do have this listed in red print on our Reservation Confirmations and we also had it on the bottom of our rates page on our website. Because of your review we have now greatly improved the way this is presented and have it posted very plainly on our website (now called resort charge).

It does sound like you all had a nice time with your family reunion and hope that we can redeem ourselves should you choose to visit us in the future. Thanks again!

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Reviewed June 24, 2012

We (two adults, two teenagers) spent four nights in Cabin 10, up the river from the main lodge. The two bedrooms were small, but plenty. The bathroom was small (typical cabin bathroom) but fine. The big living room, kitchen and large (beautiful) porch were fantastic. The porch overlooks the river, just a few feet down and the view is partially blocked by some sort of small pump cabin. Not a big deal. We hung out on the porch for hours, reading and relaxing. The people here are are very friendly. There are very few real rules. You can book your stay on any day of the week and leave on any day of the week. That is friendly! We got the dinner package and the food was very good. Not super creative, but very good. Breakfast was all the usual fixings every morning--a large spread with lots of options. The grounds are well kept. We don't fly fish but watched lots of fly fishermen and they were having a great time in the beautiful Taylor River. We rode horses (day long rides) and had two outstanding wranglers and good horses for a three-hour ride to far, high-up distant ridge. We probably climbed two thousand feet through stunning aspen groves and dense pine stands; could not have been more beautiful. Also took a hike up the river (eastern bank has a trail that goes a long way) and it was beautiful, too. Highly recommend Harmel's.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Cracker1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harmel's Ranch Resort

Address: 6748 County Road 742, PO Box 399, Almont, CO 81210-9701
Location: United States > Colorado > Almont
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Almont
Price Range: $104 - $137 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Harmel's Ranch Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Harmel's Ranch Resort is has been family owned and operated since 1956 by the same family. We are a summertime seasonal operation and have 37 cabins that can accommodate up to 150 guests, 22 different floor plans for cabins that can sleep 2 to 9 ppl, some cabins have kitchens and others have just a mini fridge & coffee maker. Quite a few of our cabins are located right along the Taylor River. Resort amenities include an outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, rec room w/ wifi, billiards, ping pong, foosball, we also have a playground, stocked trout pond, petting farm, and laundry facilities. The activities available are horseback riding (including overnight pack trips), whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fly fishing instruction & guided trips, and massage. There is also a great restaurant on site that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a great view of the Taylor River. Our little saloon is attached to the dining room. We host multiple family reunions and weddings each summer, and we're good at it! Give us a call! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harmel`s Ranch Hotel Almont

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