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“Boring Trip to a poor resort” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kohl's Ranch Lodge

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Kohl's Ranch Lodge
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Payson
Certificate of Excellence
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Boring Trip to a poor resort”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2007

In 2006 I stayed at an ILX resort in Sedona. It was really good. After their 2 hour sales pitch, I decided to buy a trial membership.

After having difficulty trying to book a trip to their resort in San Carlos Mexico, we settled for Payson Arizona. They could book us a room, but were no help in how to get there. Their suggestion was to call the resort. I never got to speak to anyone that could speak good english at the resort. I do not know spanish. A little tough to make the correct arrangements. Of course, they told me the previous year how they were the premier travel planners.

We arrived at Kohl's Ranch about 4:30. I had payed for a 1 bedroom, but they supposedly did not have availability. We were supposedly put in a brand new studio, but that also did not happen. We took what they had, with every intention of correcting it the next day. The ILX person made sure to book our appointment for a 2 hour sales pitch again. I was promised a $100 (recieved 3 cards in the mail) for my time.

The guest breakfast was ok, and the staff really got you excited about your stay. The sales pitch was worthless. We were shown three lovely rooms, but I feel only staff and their guests get to enjoy them. They neglected to review the contract I had with them, and the sales agent got a little pushy. When I wouldn't sign up, he told me I didn't understand my contract. He finally went into the office and pulled a summary of my contract. He told me they never sign 18 month trials, and that you must pay the balance during your 1 week stay. When I explained he was wrong (which he then relaized), he asked who signed my deal from ILX. I told him some big manager in charge at their home base, and his reply was that is probably why he is now fired. As if I cared. We did not get our $100.

We finally got the front desk to give us our 1 bedroom. The room was pretty nice. We liked the idea of a couch. Not sure I cared about the hot tub - they looked like they were 30 years old. We were told they put checmicals in them each day. I was a little concerned. I own a hot tub and if you treat the water each day with chemicals, it is a little crazy. Later they said they also emptied them all the time. I find this hard to believe, since we would not get in the pool or the hot tub since it was never cleaned while we were there. They both needed to be vacuumed real bad.

Our room ended up being a complete disaster. The shower drained real slow. You had to stand in water almost imediately after turning it on. I called multiple times, and even spoke to the maintenance guy myself. Not sure what he used, but I am certain some hair and clog remover from Walmart or Home Depot would have fixed the slow drain. I manage real estate for a living, and it always seems to do the trick at home. I could not get the furnace to kick on, and figured maybe we only had an A/C unit, since we also had a gas fireplace. The pilot was lit on the fireplace, but it would not work. The maintenance guy thought it was odd, so he came by. The guy was either an idiot, or he knew it was broken. He actually tried turning the gas on and stuck a lit match inside by the gas valve. I thought for sure he was going to torch his arm. It did not light though. I eventually played with the thermostat the next day since no one returnd and fixed it, and got it to work. It was either a loose wire, or it was hung too uneven, not sure which and didn't care. They changed the sheets on and linens on Thursday. We must have got ones with pet hair on them, because when my girlfriend got up on Friday, she had pet hair all over her PJ's. Friday was also the only day our allergies acted up. That night we only used the sheet and blanket from the sofa. We had no problems on Saturday. The only thing nice I have to say was the bed was comfortable. Even with no problems, I would only rate this place a 2 star.

The great activity crew was seldom around. The first full day we asked for directions to a trail to hike. They could not tell us how to get there. It was basically across the highway from the front entrance of the lodge. Map Quest and other internet mapping software has a hard time with directions in this area. We were excited about the hey ride from 6 to 7 on Wednesday night. We thought it would be fun. The director was all dressed for Halloween, and we thought she was going on the ride. We were wrong. The ride lasted maybe 5 minutes. It took us around their grounds that we had already walked at least 3 or 4 times. Basically the downtown area of Payson is closed on Teusdays. The shops there in general are cheap garage sale type stores. Very little in the way of true antics. Most of the pictures of the trails and places we went to were very deceiving. A good example is Horton Springs. We hiked 4 miles to see very little water gushing out of the side of the mountain as the description said. We like to hike, and it was a tough hike. We were just disappointed in the final destination. Most of our hikes and scenic drives were this way. The indian ruins were the biggest joke. They took about 15 minutes to tour. They wer piles of rocks in circles that were supposedly the dwellings of ancient indians. No real artifacts or evidence that these rocks had been there for any period of time. We do not drink, but most of the bars and clubs in town appeared closed most of the time. We found several other cabin resorts (Christopher Creek) that appeared to be nicer. We thought about taking an adventure tour, but since the lodge recomended it, we felt it would be a waste of roughly $150.

In summary, I will never go back to Payson, Arizona. I probably will also decline to purchase a full membership from ILX. They are more flash than service oriented. We decided the following are the positives from our trip:

1. The natural bridge (only thing we had to pay for) was well worth the $3 per person. They warn you that the hike is steep and on rough ground. The stairs and trails are warn, but very manageable. Would highly recommend trying each trail. Walk all the way to the bottom under the waterfall.

2. No cell phones worked except for in Payson itself. Very relaxing since my girlfriend and I work 50 - 60 hours per week.

3. We spent time alone hiking and relaxing - was needed!

2 days is probably more than enough for Payson unless you want to sit around a lot.

  • Liked — The bed was comfortable when we had linens that did not have pet hair on them.
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Sugar_Ray_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hull, MA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2007

We are a family of five that stayed at Kohl’s Ranch for two days in July. The lodge is nestled in the ponderosa pines of the Mogollon Rim. The elevation of the rim makes this location considerably cooler than the Phoenix area. We stayed in one of the modern cabins that are located right on the banks of Tonto Creek. These cabins are very large and comfortable with two bedrooms, living area, full kitchen and spacious deck facing the creek. Everything was clean and modern. There is a fairly good western style restaurant in the main lodge and a nice western saloon. There are plenty of activities including a large swimming pool, miniature golf, horseback riding and a book and game room upstairs in the main lodge. The kids enjoyed hunting for crawfish in the creek. Kohl’s is a bit pricey, but it’s a good value and there are not many other places to stay in the area. If you are looking for a place with character and not just a generic experience, this is the place to stay. The only drawback is the front desk clerk seemed distracted and unfriendly, but I guess we all have our bad days. We give it a thumbs up.

  • Liked — Plenty of activities
  • Disliked — Front desk clerk
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank BELLOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
big city
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2007

We stayed at Kohl's recently for one week. We had a two bedroom cabin. It was absolutely great. We had a jacuzzi bath tub, a full kitchen and a switch-on gas fireplace. There is a small common pool for the hotel. Most of the day it was completely empty which was nice. The only negative is that housekeeping was unreliable, and when they did come it was typically very early in the morning. Also they try to sell you the time share thing when you first get there which is annoying since all you want to do is collapse after your long drive to "tonto creek." We never ate at the restaurant but on the last night we went to the bar and had some bar food. The wings were really good. Other than that, come here with the mindset that you are going to relax and you will have a good time. We went on hikes all over the place and saw every sight there was to see within 50 miles. If you enjoy your company, you will enjoy your surroundings and activities.

  • Liked — The full kitchen.
  • Disliked — The dirty jacuzzi.
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank asdfghjk69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennebunkport, Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2006

Kohl's Ranch was exactly what I needed from this vacation. My husband and I almost always use our timeshare to get away from the cold Maine winters to someplace tropical. Kohl's was very simple, comfortable and welcoming. Dawne, the "activities director" was so nurturing and would help you arrange anything you wanted to do, she also had wonderful suggestions on local favorites. Yes, the ladies in the back room want to sell you a timeshare but we did not let them ruin our trip. We ate in the restaurant once for dinner and found it overpriced for what they serve. We are both picky eaters and found it was easier to run into town for groceries and make our own meals in our little kitchenette. Even the people in town were helpful and friendly. We went to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, horseback riding, hiked to the fish hatchery, had a spiritual reading and massage, then went to Tonto Creek and National Forest. It was a wonderful, relaxing, simple vacation. It is not Sedona and not a five star resort, although they have a sister resort/spa in Sedona if that is what you are looking for. We left a day early to enjoy some of the museums in Phoenix and wish we had stayed at Kohl's that extra day for the clean fresh air and relaxation before heading back to our hectic schedules. I would go back in a minute, and get the cabin on the creek next time.

  • Liked — The remoteness
  • Disliked — The timeshare sales pitch
  • Tips/Secrets — Make use of the kitchenettes
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank kport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2006

We stayed at Kohls Ranch in Aug 06, and will never be back. We swapped a free week with Interval International for a week with ILX resorts. Included in the trip were 2 nights in Tucson, 2 nights at kohls, and 3 nights in Sedona. What a waste of my free week.

We got to Kohls at about 5:30, (check-in is 4:00), After they managed to find me in their system, they told me that our room would be ready in about 1/2 hour. They gave us a free drink at their bar, which was refreshing after driving 4 hours through the mountains. The bar was very nice y decorated in a rustic look, as the entire resort is.

After we finished our drink, we went back to the desk and were told our room was ready, but they did not know where we were. Now we are told that we have to go to mGuest Service to get our key. This is where they try and get you to sign up for their sales pitch. After they offerred me 80 a certificate for another free week and 80.00 in ILX bucks, these can be used at the resort and at some other outside vendors including gas stations, I said okay.

We get to our room, and think I have actually been in better motel 6's. It was supposed to be a studio suite with kitchenette. All it was was a hotel room with a mini fridge and microwave.shoved in the corner. You had to use the bathroom sink for water. The bathroom was so small that when you sat on the toilet, one knee was touching the wall and they other, the tub.

We then find the table has syrup or something all over it. Okay not a biggie. But then the drinking glasses were dirty, in fact they still contained the last users beverages. At this point we decided this was not what we wanted, so we went to the front desk to inquire about upgrading to something nicer.

Of course the place is supposedly full and there is nothing available. So we figured as long as they replace the glasses and wipe off the table, we could deal with it. How much would we really be in the room. Nothing ever was done about the room so we just used plastic cups and plates that we had with us.

After getting situated in our room we took an early evening stroll around the resort. The grounds are actually quite nice if you want a rustic, woodsy place. The little creek that runs through it was nice to walk along.

Dinner at the Earl Grey steakhouse was possibly the worst meal I ever had in a restaurant. We each had the prime rib, which was 50% fat and grislte. The corn on the cob looked and tasted like it sat around in a steam table for 4 hours. But we used half our ILX bucks, So it was free.

The horseback riding for 25.00 an hour was a nice tour of the sounding national park. We used the last of our ILX bucks to pay for this.

The time share presentation was a joke. The rooms they showed you did not resemble what we had at all. They were very nice. Eventually they tell us the price, about 20,000 and assume we are ready to sign. When we said we werent buying anything they got up and started to leave the room. I stopped them and asked about our certificate for the free trip. This was then flung on the table and they left the room.

The certificate is worthless by the way. Mini Vacations went out of business and another place is honoring the certificates. I check into using the free trip and it was gonna cost me 382 dollars to use it at a resort in Orlando. I can get the smae thing 150 cheaper on Interval International.

Oh and another thing is the water there is gross. It gives coffee a greenish tinge. Fortunately we were well stocked on bottle water.

There is no store of any type within 10 miles of the place so be sure to stop on the way there.

Do not expect to get a signal on you cell phone, which really was not a problem. Just keep in ind that this place is really remote, but right next to a major (truck ?) route.

The pool was rather small but was not crowded while we were there.

What I liked : rustic look
what i disliked : food qualty, room cleanliness and size, useless staff

  • Liked — rustic look
  • Disliked — cleanliness and condition of room
  • Tips/Secrets — Be sure to stop at the store in Payson before going to Kohls. No stores of any type near the resort
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Steve32123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, AZ
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2006

We stayed this past weekend for an overnight getaway from the Valley. The lodge is located about 15 miles east of Payson, kind of remote but pretty. The lodge is fairly old but clean. They are working on upgrading the rooms but that won't change the tiny bathroom area. Just 2 of us but it was difficult getting ready in the morning. Definitely a family place in the summer. Lots of kids in the pool and fishing. Restaurant dinner was decent, breakfast was very good. Staff is very nice. May go there again for a winter getaway but it's not going to be a frequent destination for us.

  • Liked — grounds and setting
  • Disliked — small bathroom
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Scottsdale_from_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glendale ARIZONA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2006

FAMILY FRIENDLY fun environment. Nice staff. We are timeshare owners and stayed 2 nights for a weekend getaway from the Phoenix Heat. Nice clean rooms. Tonto creek is beautiful. the property has great grassy areas to lounge and relax, putting green, basketball, and play structure. nightly s'mores roasting in the fire pit. I give Kohls Ranch an overall great rating, it is close, fun and 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. I think it is a great place for famiy and we will be back soon.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank snakesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kohl's Ranch Lodge

Property: Kohl's Ranch Lodge
Address: 202 South Kohl's Ranch Lodge Road, HC-2, Box 96K (mail), Payson, AZ 85541-2272
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Payson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Payson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Kohl's Ranch Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When you first arrive at Kohl's Ranch Lodge in Payson, Arizona you will be sure you have truly cornered a little piece of paradise. The location is what creates this setting, which borders on perfection. Kohl's Ranch Lodge is at the base of the Mogollon Rim and on the banks of Tonto Creek. All of this comes together in the largest Ponderosa Pine Forest in the world. This stunning, off the beaten path section of Arizona's back country was made most famous by author Zane Grey, who stirred up vivid imagery of a striking land throughout his tales of the Old West. Not to mention, the people here are known for their historically famous, western hospitality. You will revel in the casual and friendly atmosphere that makes each stay here an inviting experience that leaves visitors wanting to come back for more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kohl`s Ranch Hotel Payson
Kohls Hotel Payson
Kohls Ranch Lodge
Kohls Ranch Az

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