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“A special place run by special people”
Review of Blackbird Farm

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Blackbird Farm
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Do you want to feel like a very welcome guest in a beautiful setting? I could not have felt more special than I did for the three days and nights I spent at Highland Ranch. The food was great, the climate perfect, at about one thousand feet above sea level it is spared the Pacific fogs of northern California but benefits from the cooling breezes off the ocean. The trails on and around the ranch are well maintained and the wranglers are well trained, friendly and knowledgeable.

If you are looking for a quiet low key place to escape Highland Ranch is worth a visit. I hope to return again soon.

Our German Shepherd Dog loved swimming in the many ponds on and around the ranch. To our surprise she interacted well with all the horses she encountered.

Room Tip: There are cabins as well as guest rooms on the property. We stayed in a cabin which has two bedroom...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 - 9 of 47 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2011

My husband and I spent our anniversary being pampered. All we had to do was show up at the main house three times a day and we were fed incredible meals...we drank delicious wines and we participated in engaging conversations....Riding the horses along a mountain path was a new experience for us but our guide, Jen, was incredibly patient....We hiked and fished as well. It was a most excellent vacation. We hope to go back again soon.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MaryAnne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2011

This place is stunningly beautiful, the setting is perfect. The owners make you feel right at home. The food was excellent, the cabins were rustic but very comfortable. The horses were
not your typical "rental horse" and the guide Jen that we had was incredible as a guide and as a horse trainer- can't say enough good about her! Our group of 5 all agreed it was the best horse trip we have taken yet. We go somewhere different every year- but will most likely return to Highland- it was that good!! Do yourself a favor and check it out!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bajasand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

We came here as one of our occasional college roommate family retreats and we really loved it. If you have enough people you can take over the whole ranch (advance reservations required, of course) The location is gorgeous, and the staff's attentiveness makes your vacation truly relaxing. A great place!

We came with 2.5 year old twin toddlers who had never slept in big beds before, so we had to make arrangements ahead of time, but after a night or two the boys adjusted and it was fun. And they loved being on the horses! We walked right alongside each horse with a Highland ranch wrangler leading the horse around the paddock. We also hiked with the boys, which they enjoyed.

All in all, this is a place to which we will return with pleasure!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jonathan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2011

Mendocino County is an incredible location and Highland Ranch provides a visitor a unique way to experience it. My wife and I spent our 30th wedding anniversary at “the ranch.” The staff went out of their way to meet our every request including a romantic dinner on the wisteria covered dock. Don’t expect five star accommodations with linen and bedding to die for or bathrooms out of a Sunset magazine features, but you will find that the ranch cabins provide a comfortable, clean and acceptable roof over your head. The fireplace and porch with rockers provide a nice retreat after you have spent the day exploring the incredible surroundings. We loved it so much that we encouraged our entire extended family to visit one month later. Our family took over the entire ranch for five days. Great location, great staff, great food, free booze, and an experience to last a life time. If you are an accomplished rider or a novice, or you just want to hike or hang out; put Highland Ranch on your list of “must visits.”

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mendocino_fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2011

For several years now a group of women friends, A.K.A. "The Dusty Cowbelles", have indulged our love of horses with an adventurous get together. Each adventure has been unique, but the Highland Ranch stands out as superb on on every level. The location and grounds are awesome, with seemingly endless miles of trails, well cared for horses and very capable guides that will tailor a ride according to experience levels, a rare treat!

The accommodations are very comfy, the food and wine was excellent and the hospitality was genuine and heartfelt! There is a great variety in activities and no shortage of places to relax either and being "dog friendly" the whole family can enjoy!
Absolutely loved this adventure!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank mulegemama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2011

If you like to feel special and taken care of in the great and beautiful outdoors, you need to look no further than the Highland Ranch in Philo,CA. The guests are number one and the hospitality is beyond belief.
There is no end to activities that are at your fingertips and there is no end to the non-activity.

It is all about you and whatever you want.

The guests and their wants are what matters.

Great food too!

It is a perfect 10 in my book and I am picky.

Thank you Highland Ranch for making my stay so warm and comforting.

Room Tip: The
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank pattimchughrames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackbird Farm

Address: 18601 Van Zandt Resort Rd, PO Box 198, Philo, CA 95466 (Formerly Highland Ranch)
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Philo
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Philo
Price Range: $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a 250 acre estate in the Anderson Valley Wine region. Blackbird Farm is a peaceful guest ranch and farm. Located an easy 2 hours north of San Francisco. With eight clean and comfortable guest cabins surrounding the charming 100 year old Main House where delicious, fresh and wholesome meals are served. Open for vacations, weddings, reunions, retreats and dogs welcome. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Highland Ranch Hotel Philo

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