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“Absolutely Amazing”

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Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 4 Salinas B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 6, 2012

I took my two sons to Salinas to visit the Steinbeck museum and found Vision Quest through Trip Advisor. My youngest son (11) is into animals so I thought it would be fun. It was so much more! The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The bungalows are beautiful and very clean. We visited right after Christmas so it was cold at night but they provide a space heater and both beds had electric heating pads that warmed the beds up so we were very comfortable all night. As we fell asleep we could hear coyotes in the hills, lions roar early in the morning and many other animals (we couldn't figure out which ones) "talking" to each other. The most amazing part though is the animals. After checking in we sat on the observation deck and watched the elephants, water buffalo, zebras and ostriches do what they do. Then the staff brought around a couple of animals for us to meet up close and gave us a brief lesson about the animal (a kinkajou and a coati). I splurged for the boys and myself to do the "Bedtime for Butch" which was the opportunity to see three elephants up close and feed them hunks of bread. The boys and I will never forget that experience. Butch (the larges elephant) brought us breakfast to our bungalow and we got to pet him and get our picture taken with him. Check out was at 12:30pm which allowed us lots of time to relax and eat breakfast and get cleaned up. After returning our key we went on the 1pm public tour of all the animals. It was a very informative tour, the staff was eager to answer any of our questions, and you can tell that they really care about each of the animals and their well being. My older son (15) loved this experience as much as my younger animal lover, so I would say it is a great experience for families (well-behaved toddlers and up) and couples.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank kelsco91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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408 - 414 of 457 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2011

My feelings about the bed and breakfast? Rude and poor customer service. My husband and I made a reservation to spend one night at the bed and breakfast this past October in celebration of my birthday. Due to work, we would have to arrive past the designated checkin time. The bed and breakfast assured me that this would not be a problem and that they would call me with more information. It had been nearly two weeks, and we had not yet received a call. This made us a little nervous, especially because it was two days before our arrival, so I decided to call to find out all the necessary information about our late checkin and make sure everything was in order. Instead of receiving any sort of reassurance, I was told to call back the morning of the day we were to arrive. Because I am a teacher, I said that it would be difficult to call that morning and asked if there was any other way we could arrange the checkin. The woman I was talking to responded by unilaterally canceling our reservation declaring that we "were not a good fit." Needless to say this was very shocking and offensive. I pleaded with her to work the issue out, but she repeated that the reservation was canceled.... I guess wanting to firm up our checkin process in advance was too much of an imposition. Too bad someone couldn't have told us that we were not a good fit--whatever that means--when we made our reservation.

Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
21  Thank rojfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherMSMontereyCa, Owner at Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2012

It is unfortunate to us that individuals such as rojfamily are permitted to critique and establishment in a damaging fashion that have never even seen or experienced it. Our staff (several of which were present for this particular phone exchange) recalled this communication very differently. We are small and unique B&B operated by a a minimal paid staff together with family and volunteers. All share the responsibility with caring for the many animals at Vision Quest also throughout their day. We are not a “motel” with a 24hr. person manning the desk and taking much needed time and funding from our animals which ultimately come first in our lives. Most of our clientele recognize and appreciate that fact upon seeing our facility. Our check-in procedures are a bit more complicated due to the “nature” of our facility and safety of our animals therefore we are not able to simply leave a key somewhere. Our incredibly unique early hours program begins at 3pm and continues to 6pm for those who choose to enjoy all there is to offer. All our welcome to join in at any time between those hours. It then resumes at 9am when the animals are released into their play yard and the elephants visit with B&B guests as they deliver their breakfast. Some complain that they will miss the early hour’s activities when checking in late. Some become argumentative over our rates if they do miss those opportunities. We know of no way to accommodate such complaints and remain a viable business. We know of no other business (sporting event, zoo, aquarium etc…) that does.

We extend our check-in time to 7pm every day of the week. After that, we are forced to keep someone at work (who started at 8am) at an overtime rate that often absorbs any profit we might have seen from that particular B&B rental. Our site and reservation protocol clearly define both our check-in policy and our late check-in policy to include our inability to waiver on either. Every once in a while, those policies are not acceptable to a person’s individual agenda and therefore feel our inability to change those policies are “shocking…” When such persons become too argumentative and inconsiderate about those policies, we have recommended they consider an alternative to our facility for we truly feel our program is best enjoyed by those who come into it with an open mind and a receptive attitude. We would hope that anyone reading this review will consider the many other reviews that will lead them to question the validity of this one.

Respectfully,
Charlie Sammut, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2011

We stayed here in November and can honestly say this is an absolutely unique experience. The staff was friendly and informative. The animals, especially the elephants are great. Our kids, ages 6 and 9, had a great time feeding them both at their bedtime and at breakfast. The pictures I was able to take are priceless and memorable.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank rockycharles2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2011

My wife found this opportunity, and I admit I was skeptical at first, but it was a fun and enlightening experience! In the morning, a staff person brought us our continental breakfast (not skimpy on the portions!), and a trainer brought an elephant for us to feed (from fresh fruits and vege's they provided for the elephant) from the front deck of our bungalow. Maleika the elephant was very tame and well-behaved. She put her trunk up to the railing on our deck, and we were able to hand the food to her directly, touching her trunk with no fear of any aggressive behavior. Later, we took the 1 pm tour of the rest of the animals at their compound. We had no idea they had this many animals! The animals were inside their cages for our tour, and we weren't allowed to touch them, but we were just a few feet away from them, and it was an educational experience.
The bungalow was nice--probably better than we expected for a "tent cabin," though since the day had been very cold, it was quite cold in the bungalow when we first arrived. The small, portable floor heater took a long time to heat up the room, but the heated mattress pad on the bed helped a lot.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2011

My wife, boy and I went for two nights and had an absolute blast! We were arriving past the check in time, which is tough for any B&B to accommodate but they did. Having the elephants Butch and Maleika serve us breakfast was an unbelievable experience. The afternoon was a cold driving rain so instead of the seeing the parade of animals they offered to let us help put the elephants to bed. We are telling everyone they should visit, and we are sure to return. The staff was very courteous and knowledgable. They were also very patient to answer all 1,000 of my wife's questions. :)

Room Tip: If you have a kid(s), bring a ball or frisbee to throw around. All the tents have great views, but...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Don S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

My wife and I have stayed here several times over the last 3 years and always find it tobe an excellant stay. All the cabin/tents are great.

Room Tip: Tent 8 has a soaking tub which was great
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PGDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Vision Quest is a great family getaway that is both a one-of-a-kind experience and educational! See elephants and zebras from your porch, fall asleep to the lions' purrs, and get breakfast delivered by Butch the retired circus elephant.

The bungalows are very lux --- the ultimate in safari glamping with heated beds and outdoor soaking pools. Ah the wild life of Visions Quest - a memory sure to last a lifetime!

PS. Because the lions, tigers and hyenas like to chat (roar) at night, be forewarned that your sleep maybe interrupted but it's all part of the adventure.

[---]

Room Tip: Ask for the couples suite!
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank laneelee
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: $216 - $318 (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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Vision Quest Safari Bed And Breakfast
Vision Quest Safari Hotel Salinas

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