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“A great place for a family reunion with young children”
Review of Flip Flop Ranch

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Flip Flop Ranch
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Our family had a fabulous time at Flip Flop Ranch in Lucerne Valley, California. My grandchildren, ages 2, 5, and 8, were able to feed the farm animals, hold a one-day-old chick, milk goats, pet the horses and collect eggs to eat for breakfast. We had campfires with s’mores, and made goat cheese and ice cream. There were spectacular sunsets and nighttime stars in this beautiful desert setting, which is surrounded by mountains.

We stayed in a house with two large main floor bedrooms and two adequate-sized bedrooms upstairs. The beds are brand new and comfy. We did share bathrooms. We had access to a full kitchen, a dining room that seats about 12 people, a large living room (where the 8 of us hung out), some tables and chairs set up outside and a swimming pool.

The owners provide ample and varied foods for breakfast---cereal, donuts, breads, English muffins, bagels, a Keurig coffee machine with a variety of coffee pods, pancake mix and syrup, fresh fruit, butter, and, of course, very fresh eggs. We prepared the breakfast and did the clean-up. We had access to the kitchen for all our meals and used the refrigerator to store the food we purchased for lunch and dinner. There are also some restaurants in town and at the Big Bear resort area.

The lodgings are not fancy but were perfect for our needs. This is a working farm, so the surroundings are what you would expect from a farm rather than a 4-star hotel. But the sheets were clean and the kitchen and other rooms were tidy and vacuumed.

The owners could not have been kinder or more helpful. Farmer Thomas and Serena were patient with my grandchildren and informative about farming and the animals. Thomas and his friendly wife, Tashelle, live in the house but are unobtrusive.

My grandchildren have begged to return next year—they will never forget the horses, baby chicks and their milking of the goats. We all loved the opportunity to be together comfortably and to have the experience of being on a farm.

I recommend Flip Flop Ranch for those who are OK with non-luxurious accommodations and the willingness to make your own meals and do the clean-up. For us city-people, it was a marvelous, enriching and memorable family reunion.

Room Tip: The downstairs rooms (one sleeps 2, the other 5) are quite large.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nancy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlipFlopRanch, Owner at Flip Flop Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Thank you for the excellent review! We loved having your family here and hope you'll be back in 2013 for another reunion!

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5 - 11 of 13 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2012

Trip was Aug. 10-12 2012. We had a fabulous time! I do not know what other people expected, but I can READ... Flip Flop Ranch.... Working FARM! Not a Hollywood, Santa Monica, or NYC "meet my every need" resort! This place is superbly and invitingly simple. America needs to reconnect with all aspects of their country and varied environments. My children had a great time and had wonderful lifelong "real world" learning experiences at the farm with the animals and the awesome staff. Everyone at Flip Flop Ranch was great! My wife, children, and I enjoyed our stay very much. Serena, Farmer Thomas, Lisa, and the well educated and farm professional from Switzerland were the best and made our stay the best. I plan to return very soon and have a great time… again!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Frank G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We went on the Living Social deal and weren't totally sure what to expect. It turned out to be sooo relaxing and just what we needed! The family and staff that run the place are so warm and hospitable! Thank you, Sirena, Tashelle and Thomas! Don't expect a hotel. It's a farm and smells and feels like a farm, so once you accept that the reality the charms and chillness of it will cause all your tension to go away. You'll also see more stars and constellations than anywhere else in SoCal.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank spingourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

The website looks so much better than the reality. Yes it is a working farm, and my kids had fun being close to farm animals. But omg, the room and the bathroom. I wish they would have a picture of that in their website. The place is very very simple and definitely insanitary. Ok if you wash your dogs, with dish soap on the sink next to where you prepare food and use the same towels for the kitchen. Anyways, the kids were just getting real bored at the end of two days, as we were the only ones, and the chores might be fun for the first time or two but there was just nothing else to do. It is a very very simple living life. right after breakfast (pancake and bacon, and eggs if you are lucky) every body is doing their chores and you just sit there doing absolutely nothing. We cut our trip short and ended up paying for 4 days unfortunately. I just couldnt take it any more. If you go there, please ask for more pictures of the farm, and the place of stay, and you judge it for yourself.

Room Tip: ask for pictures
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank marjanb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlipFlopRanch, Owner at Flip Flop Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

I'm sorry you didn't have a good time. A farm vacation isn't for everyone and we try very hard on our website to explain what to expect. Unfortunately, you guys didn't want to take advantage of feeding the animals, our game room, our swimming pool, working with the farmers, taking a hike, looking at wildflowers, scratching the horses, visiting the petroglyphs, making cheese, or any of our other many many activities. Instead, you just stayed in your room and watched movies. I'm not sure what you expected, but I wish you had talked to us instead of just telling us you had a fantastic time. It makes us hard for us to make you happy when we don't know you're upset!

Note for any other visitors: Join in with the activities and you'll have something to do!

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Reviewed August 18, 2012

We arrived at Flip Flop Farm on a Friday afternoon. We were greeted by Sirena, Tashelle, and Thomas who all own the farm and work on it every day. They work very hard! They gave us time to drop off our bags and then gave a great tour of the property. We fell in love with all the animals and the silence of the farm life, with the many moos and cockle doodle dos which were heaven to our city ears.

The farm family love what they do. You can tell by their exceptional care of the animals. They use natural farm techniques which I appreciated the way that they were aware of the environment. This family is educated which lead for great dinner conversations. They invite you to their dinner table each night to share their meals. You don't have to eat there but I think it is part of the experience. You feel like part of the family. I learned a lot at dinner each night discussing their routines and asking questions about the farm. They love to talk about the farm!

Our days started off early to hang out with the animals. First we played with the cats who were everywhere and were taking their farm responsibility serious! Our kids LOVED the kittens. Then the blood hounds who are all rescued greet you. One of our favorites was Rufus, who makes his rounds to ensure all the animals are accounted for. He is an amazing animal. Next we watched the pigs, cows, sheep, goats, ducks, turkeys, peacocks, chickens, and horses who all had good size pens and seemed to be enjoying life. The farm family prides themselves on helping to restore animal populations that are low or near extinction. They had some unique ducks and chickens I had never seen before. It was lots of fun to be able to go into the pens to feed them and give them water. They are well cared after including the many new baby ducks and chickens who are born on the farm and raised there. The animals are being bred for food but they are feed well natural foods and the farmers are helping to increase the breeds population when possible.

The farm also has a pretty good size vineyard and orchards with many types of fruits and nuts. We took lots of photos and tried several grapes that were ripe. We spent the day playing games in the game room, swimming in the pool, and enjoying farm life. It was a treat we always wanted to do. I was happy to find the ranch on a Living Social special because my daughter always wanted to stay on a farm. She loved being able to feed the animals, pretend they were her own for several days and to milk the goats. My husband and I also took a cheese making course, which we loved! Our whole weekend was an experience we won't ever forget.

Don't forget to try the ice cream hand churned (so creamy) and the jam the girls make. You won't be sorry.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank juliehallqvist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

We were there at think at the same time as the other person. Yes the meat that was served at dinner had indeed been left on the counter overnight. Sorry but just because it is a farm doesn't mean it should be dirty. Our boys had a good time too but would never take them back. An experience yes but not the best.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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3  Thank Littlemissypoopoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlipFlopRanch, Owner at Flip Flop Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Sorry about your disappointment. I'm glad your children had a great time as we try very hard to make kids happy. Any meat that was left on the counter would have probably been for the animals. If it was served back when we were offering cooked meals then it shouldn't have been and was probably a rookie mistake when we were just getting started. We're real people and make real mistakes. That's part of the experience we offer! If you want a perfect hotel, then unfortunately you have to go to a hotel and not a farm. Please tell people when you're unhappy so things can be fixed!

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Reviewed August 5, 2012

This is listed also as a Bed and Breakfast. It is NOT. You sleep in the home that does not resemble the pics. You will definitely share a bathroom with towels that are used over and over by everyone. I never saw a clean one.. Kitchen conditions are very unsanitary. Meat is left out due , to lack of refrigerator space, to thaw out . Eggs are unrefrigerated. This place is trying to carry out something they do not have the staff or facility to do.
Someone one unfortunately is going to become very ill. The table used for ice cream was served on a dirty card table from the barn. I can't speak to the conditions on the farm but I know my friend reported they are not what is considered a nice farm community. My kids were of course taken in by the many, many kittens and the farm animals it was heartbreaking to suggest that we leave. We just washed and washed their hands and fed then in town. Dinner was served outside with so many flies no one wanted to eat. No one with me got sick thank goodness...but it is a matter of time. I went on a Living Social Coupon. Sorry I ever saw it on line. Don't believe the reviews on their website. There people are using this as a money maker at your expense.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank Tiffytoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlipFlopRanch, Owner at Flip Flop Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your stay here. I wish you had of said something and we could have tried to make things better or given you your money back!!

Of course you are right that things are dirty and dusty here. That's life on a farm, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. I don't remember the table for the ice cream being dirty, but maybe it's just a perception thing. As for the eggs, we teach our guests that eggs don't need to be refrigerated if they aren't washed as they naturally have an antibacterial coating. Eggs in the store have to be refrigerated because they're washed.

As for the state of our animals, they are loved and adored and EXTREMELY well taken care of.

I am very happy that your children had an excellent time as that is what we're aiming for. We want to offer a down and dirty vacation and sometimes city folk don't get it. That's perfectly okay. This isn't a place for everyone, just for people who want an authentic farm experience. Just next time please tell someone about your concerns!

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Additional Information about Flip Flop Ranch

Address: 9522 Donaldson Rd, Lucerne Valley, CA 92356-7308
Location: United States > California > Lucerne Valley
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Lucerne Valley
Price Range: $50 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in a rural farm house 20 minutes away from Big Bear ski resorts. Located on a real farm, you can feed animals, milk the goat and enjoy the quiet solitude of the countryside. A safe place for your kids to run around and be kids! The Space Farmstays offer a peek into a rural lifestyle that disappeared for many when the family farm was sold, often generations ago. There is a pace to life on the farm that starts with the early morning wake-up call by the rooster and the sound of the farm equipment and that ends with quiet and the total darkness at night, except for a fantastic view of the stars. The Flip Flop Ranch farmstay has sheep and lambs, pigs and piglets, cows, chickens, bunches of barn cats (with plenty of kittens), geese, ducks, turkeys, goats, horses and more. Host a family get together, a business retreat or a hangout with friends! "Just being on a farm is good for the soul."-Scottie Jones farmstay US Your visit starts off with a tour through the farm to learn where things are and to gain some basic knowledge about what we do and the types of livestock we raise. You are welcome to join us for feeding and milking in the morning and afternoon! Main home Beds are as follows: 2 full beds in room 1 downstairs, 2 full beds in room 2 downstairs, 2 queens in master bedroom upstairs, 1 king in bedroom upstairs, 1 full in bedroom upstairs. All beds will be freshly made with clean white linens and there will also be fresh bath towels and courtesy soaps provided for all our guests. There is no smoking permitted inside the home and unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate any pets. Guests found with pets at the property will result in an immediate forfeiture of the remaining reservation days and loss of $500 security deposit. Basic rates (Including 8% Trans Occ Tax), depending on season are: $300/night mid week (Sunday-Thursday). Weekend rates (Friday-Sat)are $400/nt and Holiday rates are $450/nt with 3 night minimum. Specials or last minute discounts may be available within 10 days of a reservation booking. For actual rates on your trip date please refer to the calender. Signing of a Guest Occupancy Agreement and copy of drivers license will be required upon confirmation of reservation and may be sent via e-mail, text or US mail. ***We try our best to keep the calender updated but in the event of a conflict we will notify you within 24 hours of booking. Guest Access The entire farm house is yours to use, including the kitchen with full amenities. Feel free to wonder the farm and go into the petting zoo pen whenever you like to hug the fluffy sheep. Interaction with Guests All guests get a free tour of the farm and can join the farmers for feeding and milking in the morning and evening when possible. This depends on our schedule and whether or not you are around when we feed. Feel free to ask us about feeding times as it changes. Guest may be greeted by the farmer but if we are out running errands a combo lockbox is on-site for 24 hour key access upon arrival. Other Things to Note The home is located on a working farm surrounded by miles of beautiful desert with hardly any neighbors. Plenty of space to go hiking. Located five miles down the mountain from Big Bear and the ski areas. We're also only 22 miles (about a half hour) from Means Lake in Johnson Valley where King of the Hammers takes place. Johnson Valley also offers fantastic off highway vehicle areas for dirt biking or rock crawling all year long. ... more   less 

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