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“A great time for animal lovers”

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Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 4 Salinas B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 12, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Vision Quest Ranch in March. We had read an article on the ranch a couple of years ago and decided to visit. We stayed in one of the cabins, which was cat-themed. We took the VIP tour and enjoyed "Butch's Bedtime."

Check-in is at 3 PM, and we met Charlie the parrot in the lobby/gift shop and looked at the pictures of the celebrities with the various animals. They gave us our key and we went to our cabin. The cabin had canvas walls, and was fully appointed - there was a heated bed, a shower with all of the amenities and a sitting area. The cabins overlook the yard where the elephants, ostriches, water buffalo and one zebra run and play. At 4, the staff brought two animals to each of the cabins and gave us information about each one. We met Hayley the Wallaby and Babs the Baboon. At 5:30 or so, we followed the handlers and fed the elephants before they were put down for the night. These animals were rescued from circuses and anywhere else where they were no longer "of use." The ranch has a charity called EARS - Elephants of Africa Rescue Society, and they raise money to help and care for the elephants. We fed the elephants bread, fruit and vegetables and the handlers used our cameras to video and photograph it all. The elephants are funny and if you don't give them enough, they hold their trunks out waiting for more. We were educated about the elephants and it was a thrill to be up close with them.

At night, we heard the lions roar and the hyenas call. It is peaceful out there, and you feel very safe.

The next morning, after all of the elephants had their bath, which we enjoyed watching, Butch the elephant brought us breakfast, which means we fed him breakfast. Again, the staff takes pictures of you feeding him. Breakfast for us was actually yogurt, bagels and juice in a box - not elephant food!

We went on the VIP tour later that day with Kristi, who is a dedicated handler who actually lives on site. During the tour, we learned about each of the animals and their history at the ranch, and then had a sit-down lunch with the staff. We took photos with Nadia the Lynx and with one of the Capuchin monkeys. We then went back to the elephants and gave Butch a bath. This was a lot of fun. Basically, they give you a hose, a long brush and some soap and you get to work. These animals are so gentle, and you feel safe at all times.

My husband and I are animal lovers and yes, you see these animals in small enclosures and you may feel sorry for them at first, but once you are educated about them and understand that a lot of these animals would not survive in the wild and they are treated very well, your outlook changes. Their enclosures are a safe place for them, and they are fed and loved. These people really care about the animals.

This was a unique experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a love for animals, even for those who don't because once you meet this group, you will come to appreciate them.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank FuninPhx71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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437 - 443 of 453 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2011

We loved our stay and plan on coming again. This is the closest we will ever be to actually going on Safari and was a lovely and restful experience. Loved putting the elephants to bed and having our breakfast served by the elephants. We can't say enough great things about our stay. Pat

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank PattyandDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2011

This was our 3rd time going to the Safari Bed & Breakfast and enjoying what Vision Quest has to offer. It is a pleasure just to sit on the porch and relax and watch the elephants at play and to lay in bed at night and hear the lions roar and image yourself in Africa. We took the VIP tour (which is pricey but well worth it) and would recommend it highly. You get an intense 2 hour tour with a wealth of information and we had lunch with two trainers. We had a hands on experience with the lynx and a brazilian armadillo (you can get a monkey if so inclined or a repile) and then had a great experience with Butch, the 10,000 lb plus bull elephant. That was worth the price alone, it was magical to be standing next to and touching this giant creature. A once in a lifetime experience, of if you are lucky like us, a thrice in a lifetime experience.
Warning, the accommodations are slightly primative but pretend you are in Africa and you will think you are staying in a palace.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank christeenmarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

This is the second time we have stayed at Vision Quest Ranch. This time we brought
adult family and did the VIP tour. We were fortunate to have Kristi do the tour again with
us; she is so knowledgeable and able to share that knowledge so well. It was the highlight of our son's stay in California; can't wait to come back.
Where else could you stay where an amazing elephant brings you breakfast??
Terry & Jeri Farrell

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Cambriajeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2011

We received a gift certificate to stay here and finaly used it. We had never heard of Vision Quest ranch before getting the gift certificate so we did not know what to expect. We had a great relaxing time. The tent cabin we stayed in, #2, was the closest to the big cat cages so we could see them and we definitely heard them. The staff that came around with the animals were very friendly and fielded all of our questions graciously. Next time we stay we will go on a tour.

We already recommended Vision Quest Ranch to family members and friends. We will come again. Also, Elements restaurant is nearby and good bet for dinner.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank swj1051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2011

Our family (Mom, Dad, and 2 kids, 12 & 9) went just before New Years. Stayed at the B&B (very comfortable, but we needed 2 rooms for 4 people - although some rooms can fit 4). Had a great time. We also did the optional 4 hour tour. The staff was wonderful - cheerful, helpful, attentive. Everything was great. The kids loved it.

VQR is, along with the Aquarium, a "must see" in the Monterey area - highly recommend it for an overnight stay in the area.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank rwalkerusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2010

I was looking for something different, something to check off on my bucket list, well Vision Quest is it. When I told my girlfriend I was taking her to Salinas and we were going to sleep in a tent, she had a lot of questions and wanted more information. We looked at the web site and she still was not sure she wanted to go.
It was a 10, she did not want to leave at check out. The tent is more like a cabin, clean, a nice comfortable bed, nice bathroom and shower and best of all was the balcony overlooking the elephants. The highlight has to be when Butch the Elephant come to see you for breakfast, the mountan lion coming to see us the evening before was also a first. I could go on and on, we enjoyed the trip, it is something you don't do every day.
Sam
Carpinteria

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Samuel4u2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast

Address: 400 River Rd, Salinas, CA 93908-9627
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Salinas
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Salinas
Price Range: $160 - $214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Listen to the lions and tigers roaring only yards away from your authentic African style bungalow...go on an African Safari in Monterey! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vision Quest Safari Bed And Breakfast
Vision Quest Safari Hotel Salinas

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