We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Club Med for The Duke”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Antonito
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Rainbow Trout Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 28, 2012

I'm not country and I don't much care for horses or at least not anymore than one who has a passing curiosity for animals does so understand this is not a review from someone returning "home" or a guy that played with My Little Pony as a boy.

In short, and I know short well, simply the best vacation to date for my family of four. When you combine the level of service, the quantity of activities available for the guests and the natural backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Rainbow Trout Ranch (RTR) is unique even among dude ranches we researched. Ultimately though, the sense of belonging we had during our stay was what made the entire experience so other.

We enjoy the Club Med experience but the groups are large and you seldom meet that many people and becoming more than familiar with them is less likely by trips end, not so with RTR. To be clear, I don't go on vacation to meet people but inevitably do and those liaisons become a part of the experience for the better or the worse. When I said this is like a Club Med for The Duke, I meant it insofar as style is concerned; all inclusive, they call their G.O.'s wranglers, the Rockies instead of the sea, kids club, dancing, shows - you get the idea. But the analogy falls short because RTR extends to the positive where Club Med finishes.

Community is the key factor to the success of RTR - they don't chant you into the group or meet you with a far too happy smile (I'm allergic to this sort of humanity) rather they are quite real and accessible. This is likely achieved from the culture top down because it is exhibited by the owners and their love affair with what they do each day (wish I could say the same for me at my company). We left with new friends made and I don't make myself all that open to that sort of thing as I prefer to withdrawal and watch from a safe distance but their approach wooed me over or sucked me in whichever descriptive is best. THAT is the intangible, the thing you can't quite put your finger on when you go to describe the experience...at least how I see it.

We will return, lid and spurs in tow.

I could not commend a better family vacation to you the reader and the proof is in the pudding because I've been telling all of my friends the same...for what its worth.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lance_The_Short
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (201)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

133 - 139 of 201 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2012

We had an unprecedented quality experience.
The facility is an enormous log lodge reminiscent of the great lodges of the national parks.
Fires burned in the fire place for breakfast and dinner. At breakfast, fresh yeast bread rose covered near the warmth of the fire. The fall leaves turned while we were there.

Every detail was covered. The staff can not be matched. I understand they are vetted extensively by the owners.

The horseback riding was so fun. All the horses are well cared for, healthy, and matched with the riders.
I loved it. Safety came first. The tack was in great condition. Anyone can observe that these owners love their ranch.

The mountain and river rides in the mornings and afternoons we're picture perfect. The air is crystal clear. I have always heard that it is location, location, location. Rainbow Trout Ranch has it covered.

As a satisfied customer that plans to return again and again, I pay attention to details. This staff does too.

Lastly, the other guests were top " notch". We made friends that will last a lifetime.

LardCake

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank lardCake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

What a wonderful time our family had at RTR. Truly warm and personal attention from the owners, who helped us with our plans for a family celebration, childcare and other individual requests. Excellent, basic, but well-cooked food--abundant portions served to each table with endless seconds: steaks, ribs, pork tenderloin, lasagna, bowls of fresh fruit and salads, home baked breads, rolls, and desserts. Coffee, tea, cocoa available 24/7 in the main lodge which never closes. Bring your own wine or beer which you can keep in the lodge refrigerator. An excellent horse program with rides for all levels of expertise, including advanced with trotting and loping--no nose to tail rules here! Mosey rides for those less adventuresome, and all children included in the riding program. Each guest individually assigned a horse based on level of experience, a thorough briefing on safety while riding and on-going advice and help from wranglers assigned to the rides. An extensive and fun kids program with groupings by age, including young and older teens. Fabulous fly fishing with the river running through the property and fly fishing guides available for lessons and guidance. Off site activities for those interested including white-water rafting and an all day scenic railroad ride. An afternoon of shooting. A heated pool and hot tub. A large indoor game room. Nightly activities featuring dancing and singing. A rodeo at the end of the week featuring horsemanship riding by all guests and kids who wanted to participate. Beautiful scenery all around for hiking and the many different rides up into the hills and forest. Rustic, but sparkling clean and comfortable cabins, each of which had at least two bedrooms, a living room area with a wood-burning fireplace, and a comfortable front porch.

The ranch caters to approximately 60 guests per week. When we were there ALL other guests were returning guests, except for us and one other couple. What does that tell you! When we returned home, a thank you card was waiting which was personally written to us and signed by the owners, all the staff and OUR HORSES!

We have been to other Dude Ranches and this, by far, was the best in all dimensions.

The ranch is located 5 hours south of Denver so can be reached by many guests via a direct flight (it is also 2 1/2 hours north of Santa Fe). It is at altitude so for those with extra time, it can be a good idea to arrive a few days early to acclimate at altitude before arriving at the ranch. There is no cell service at the ranch, but wifi is available in the main lodge.

Go--you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank ssgtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

We LOVE going the second weekend in September. The aspen groves are the 8th wonder of the world. Gives you the chills as you ride through the golden trees! Of course, no children's program then, but great if going as a couple or with friends. A little cooler then too, so the fireplace in the cabin gets used each night we are there. Try it, and you will be back, again and again.

Room Tip: We like the cabins in the first row closer to the road. Others are more of a climb to get to from t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

I chose Rainbow Trout Ranch because of the reviews I read, many written by teenagers, who love to come back to RTR year after year! That was what impressed me the most. My daughter, a teen, made friends quickly with others in the teen program and I rarely saw her except at meals. There were young children who had their own programs and were kept busy and amused while their parents were able to take advantage of the many trail rides offered.

Fishing was popular with some of the guests who were not riders....and the lodge was a great place to hang out...cozy inside or outside on huge wrap around porch with amazing views!

Our cabin was so cozy and I loved hearing the clomp clomp of the coffee being delivered to my porch each morning just before 7....coffee on my porch soaking up the sights and sounds of the scenic mountains all around.

The owners were hands-on and always available and receptive to specific needs or concerns. My daughter and husband are experienced riders and enjoyed many rides on the incredible trails in the beautiful mountains across the river from the Ranch. All rides are escorted by friendly, personable wranglers were excellent teachers and guides.

I am an English rider but my transition to western riding was seamless thanks to the careful choice of a horse just right for me. I immensely enjoyed getting to know the knowledgeable wranglers who enabled me to learn to trot and lope in the western saddle.

Food was incredible, activities offered were many...line dancing, square dancing, musical entertainment....family fun at all levels!!!

I am homesick for this beautiful place and hope to return next year to soak up more RTR fun!

Room Tip: No specific fitness center but a game room was available.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank judyakm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

I have always been too lazy to write a review although I have studied Trip Advisor for years prior to our trips. I feel I would be doing a disservice to RTR if I didn't give them a glowing review. Maybe I have never felt like I have stayed in a place that was worth the effort to write about. I can't really add much to other reviewers because they have portrayed the place well. I can say that from our numerous trips to Florida beaches and Disney World (which is a different style of trip), we have found a truly unique and completely adventure packed place that isn't filled with cooking and cleaning for every meal at a beach rental or flashing lights, tired feet and arguing siblings at Disney. And I love our Florida trips and have one planned for the fall. But RTR is truly unique.
We were there while there were large family groups of grandparents, parents and all the grand kids and there was also just a father and his young daughter. There were two friends that came to be outdoors and celebrate their high school graduation. And we all had our own adventure that was customized to each and every one of us. The 5 of us came to ride in the mountains even though we (the adults) are advanced horse people with our own herd of horses. They respected our riding abilities and never once did I feel like they didn't appreciate our experience; it was a welcome rest from the mundane horse chores to have someone else do the grooming, tacking, and even have my horse held for me while I mounted and dismounted (in today's litigious world do you blame them for being protective even with the most experienced?)
Our 8-, 7-, and 4-year old children enjoyed their counselors, their horses, their wranglers and when asked, the older boys liked it better than Disney and the little girl found it to be a tie (her one trip to Disney was during her birthday so that would be hard to beat!). As I watched my boys lope along the arena to show off their new skills and my daughter at a quick trot behind them, I knew their riding improved without mom and dad pushing them...which is oh so hard.
The food was excellent, the lodging was rustic but clean and ranch worthy. They even have housekeeping service! Coffee delivery in the morning. The pace was set by us. They would help us be as busy or as laid back as we wanted to be. They would sweep up our kids for an electronic-free day giving them back as much or as little as we liked but sitting down family style to a glorious meal and hear the kids morning/afternoon adventures was always delightful. Speaking of delightful, the Van Berkum family is just that. Sacrificing their personal family time all summer long to ensure that other families/couples/friends/fill-in-the-blank have a wonderful week while doing some out of the ordinary things (line dancing, square dancing, sing alongs) that you won't admit doing to your co-workers but become amazing memories as you drive out the gate for your trek home.
This place may be a stretch for your imagination. It was for mine, especially since I grew up on a ranch myself. But how many all "Excellent" reviews have you run across on Trip Advisor? You won't regret your week in the mountains. It will be an investment in your family...it was to ours and I hope it continues to be so for years to come.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank bevpolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

My brother and I stayed here in Sept. 2005 for a short, but awesome, 3 nights. It was incredible. Amazing scenery, great host family and staff, good food, and activities galore- yet very laid back and casual. My brother and I still reminisce about it and vow to return. I researched every ranch in CO and settled on RTR. It delivered on everything we were looking for. Now go and make some memories. Hey Howdy Hey!

  • Stayed: September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TangiTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Antonito
21.4 mi away
Chama River Bend Lodge
21.6 mi away
Elkhorn Lodge Chama
Elkhorn Lodge Chama
#4 of 8 in Chama
109 reviews
20.1 mi away
Narrow Gauge Railroad Inn
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
20.3 mi away
Steam Train Hotel
Steam Train Hotel
#4 of 4 in Antonito
82 reviews
20.3 mi away
Indiana Jones Bed & Breakfast
20.3 mi away
Branding Iron Motel
Branding Iron Motel
#6 of 8 in Chama
104 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Rainbow Trout Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rainbow Trout Ranch

Address: 1484 Fdr 250, P.O. Box 458, Antonito, CO 81120-9303
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Antonito
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Antonito
Price Range: $1,400 - $1,800 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular guest ranch set at 9000' in the southern Colorado Rockies. Superb riding and fishing, fun kids' and teen programs, evening activities, trapshooting and more. The adventure of a lifetime. Share our special brand of western hospitality and see why folks keep coming back for more! Member of all accredited associations, Horse Safety certified. Top Ten Dude Ranch. Signature Ranch. All-inclusive, and exclusive. Wonderful experience in every way. Come share it with us! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rainbow Trout Ranch Hotel Antonito

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing