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“Dances with Ostrich”

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Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 4 Salinas B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Dances with Ostrich”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

Our stay at Vision Quest Safari was absolutely brilliant, the lodges are amazing considering that they are canvas, they rivalled most hotels for comfort and personal touches. Overlooking the animals play area was wonderful watching them happily wandering around and eating. We took a stroll around the perimeter fence and Fred the ostrich decided to accompany us all the way round, he even gave us a mating dance, but as there were three of us girls we are not quite sure which one he fancied! Having breakfast delivered by Malika and being able to feed and pet her was a treat, what a star she is! All in all we just thought it was a great experience which we can't wait to repeat. Thank you Vision Quest.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jodiandchloe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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443 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (195)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast is more than just a vacation, it is an up-close and personal experience with animals and well-educated staff that take care of them.

This is the second time I have stayed there...first stay was two years ago. My latest stay was two nights. Check-in was a breeze and I was taken to my bungalow, the "Leopard's Liar" :) During the day, there are tours of the ranch which is more of a private zoo. They have lions, tigers (my favorite), bears, elephants, cougars, reptiles, birds, ostriches, zebras, and many, many more. All of the animals are VERY WELL taken care of and have been raised in captivity and are NOT aggressive at all. Of course, you are not going to go into the tiger cage and pet it--it is a tiger and not a pet--but they are well taken care of and very used to people and visitors. The staff is amazing, they are very well-educated and work with the animals every day. The tour groups are small and you have every opportunity to ask any questions you want about the animals. Kelly was especially helpful....the animals all have names and Kelly knew them all! You will be only a few feet away from the animals in their cages. You can walk right up to the animals and watch them from only a few feet away in a VERY SAFE environment.

An elephant will bring you breakfast in the morning and you get to feed it if you want. The elephants are not aggressive at all---but they are hungry :) The elephant will simply walk up to your bungalow and bring his trunk over the deck and take the food from you. It's trunk is like a nose and a hand...it will smell you and the food and then start eating. You will likely never be that close to an elephant in you life.

In the evening, they feed the animals and there is a tour where you walk around and help them feed the tigers and lions. You do NOT feed the animals yourself, there is a staff member and you help move the food under the cage. Watching the lions eat is amazing! Then they move the elephants in for the night and you get to watch that process...all the elephants are well-trained and may be very large but you can literally walk right up to them, no need to be scared and they are very used to people. Learned more at vision quest than I ever had at any zoo...it is fascinating!

It is important that travelers be aware of the following about the bungalows:

-The are canvas tents but you are NOT staying in a tent.
-It has a raised permanent floor, wooden patio deck, and full bathroom with a sink, hot water, shower.
-The bungalow also has a coffee maker, refridgerator, television (only local channels) with DVD player.
-There is no internet access, however you get a very good cell phone signal and I had about 200k down data with AT&T.
-The doors lock and there is an outer security gate. Area is VERY secure.
-The furnishings are very nice--equivalent to a 3-star hotel room. Queen bed was very comfortable. Tables, chairs were of a high quality.
-There is an alarm clock/radio.
-There is a heater for the rare nights that it gets cold. The bed also has an electric blanket.

I read someone complain that it is not 'remote enough'...not sure what they were talking about it is quite remote but only 1/2 hour drive to downtown Monterey and Pebble Beach. Carmel-by-the-sea state beach is also nearby and highly recommended.

You can fly into SFO, Oakland airport, or San Jose airport and it is about a two-hour drive. There is an airport nearby, Monterey Peninsula Airport that has regular flights from SFO and LAX. There is also an Amtrak station in downtown Salinas (10 mins away) but you really do need to rent a car if you are going to leave the ranch.

Thanks again to the friendly and helpful staff at vision quest for another AMAZING visit. Can't wait to come back again!

Room Tip: Visit the website--every room is shown with multiple pictures.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ChannelNine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

My boyfriend and I spent an amazing weekend at VQ Safari Bed & Breakfast. We loved all the interaction with the animals - and helping such a great cause! We will definitely be back soon to stay at the B&B and to attend upcoming fundraisers for the amazing animals!

Room Tip: The "big cat house" is by far the closest bungalow to the elephant enclosure - so cool to...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Melissa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlingame, CA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

What we loved:
* breakfast delivered by an elephant.
* very friendly and knowledgeable staff
* tent was made in Botswana
* the sound of the lions roaring at night
* the sound of all the other animals going to bed and waking up

What we didn't love:
* the place isn't exactly remote. The sound of cars on the road is a regular reminder that you're not really on safari but in Salinas.
* we were in tent #1, which is very close to a working field. The sound of awful music at 7AM on a Sunday was less than desirable.
* They could have put us in a tent overlooking the elephant enclosure. But they didn't. Seems that some of those tents were unoccupied while we were there.
* Continental breakfast was all carbs.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank rgb411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FromOurManagement, Owner at Vision Quest Safari Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
We regret that this individual was not as comfortable at our facility as we would have hoped. Our location is very rural and as far removed from the main stream as possible without impeding the ability for others (ie: schools, youth and seniors groups, etc…) to find, access and enjoy our animals and activities. We do have one two lane country road that borders one side of our Bed and Breakfast however we have no control of it’s traffic by those who live in homes up that road from us.

Regarding bungalow choice, we do not assign bungalows, all are charged with making that choice themselves when booking their stay with us. Two of our bungalows do border the above described road but we have never heard a complaint about the traffic on this road before. All bungalows are also depicted in an areal photograph on our website that does in fact show the road and offer those booking an opportunity to choose an alternative bungalow based upon its location, view and price range they wish to stay within.

Unfortunately, any attempt to locate a country property in the Salinas Valley without a neighboring farm community would prove impossible. It doesn’t happen often but very occasionally, we are forced to deal with noise from a neighboring farm field due to workers harvesting that field. We do our best to address it immediately when it happens and we are made aware of it and the farmers typically eliminate the problem quickly. Again we apologize to this individual but it is a bit beyond our control, an inconvenience we will always address asap when necessary.

Should this individual ever choose to stay with us again, we invite them to alert us to their concerns from this review and we’ll do our best to assist them in choosing a bungalow and location that will assure them a more comfortable experience based upon their complaints.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our one night stay at Vision Quest. The rooms are clean, the staff is dedicated and friendly and of course the main attraction, the animals, are amazing. Thanks to all at Vision Quest for a great stay and keep up the great work!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank fjrbandit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
181 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

Friends recommended this a year ago. We made reservations for the VIP tour at 11am then checked in for the B&B - a tent overlooking the "Serengeti" - by that I mean a large pasture with 5 elephants, 2 ox, 1 zebra and an ostrich. The VIP tour was great fun - petting a lynx, playing with tiger cubs, meeting a tapir, washing an elephant. Our tent was clean and well-appointed, including full bath, heater, satellite TV, and netting for mosquitoes (completely absent). In the morning, Butch and his handlers brought our breakfasts (his and ours!). More fun.
Don't miss it.

Room Tip: Pick a tent that allows direct viewing of animal enclosure (e.g. #8).
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pflagdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgecrest, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

A truly amazing experience. Breakfast was delivered with an elephant (Mailika the first morning, Butch the second). Part of the breakfast experience was feeding the elephant from the deck of our room. The rooms were raised well above the ground with hardwood floors and a full bathroom -- all enclosed in a canvas Safari tent imported from Botswana. We took our breakfast to one of the viewing areas to watch five elephants, a zebra, two water buffaloes, and a ostrich while we ate. We took the 4 hour VIP tour, and highly recommend it. We found out which big cats are smart (Leopards), which are strong enough they don't need (or have) smarts (Tigers), and which ones are very unpredictable (Mountain Lions), and more. We even got to pet a Lynx (whose treat for behaving was getting to eat grass). The staff was superb, knowledgeable, friendly, and obviously cared about the animals. In the evening they brought some really cute animals (including a caracal) by on a walk. Next time we'll take the long tour. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The rooms are widely spread out; some are close to the road, some far from the road. In Josef's...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Twizzard
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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