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Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
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Reviews (275)
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Reviewed July 24, 2012

What a fantastic experience! Private golf course, beautiful rooms, outstanding dining facility, all inclusive experience... it is our perfect get away place close to home. The rooms do not have TV's or telephones because it is designed to be a place to get peace and quiet. The Alisal Ranch is designed with families in mind so don't be shy about taking the kids, parents, grandparents...etc. I would go back there tomorrow and definitely plan on doing so in the near future. They have multiple package options based on your preferences. Excellent facility.

Room Tip: Men, bring a sports jacket. There is dress code in the dining room for evening meals. Breakfast is casual. Golfers, bring your sticks. Very nice course available to guests.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Chuck G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Our 3rd consecutive summer and the experience is always relaxing for our family. The best part of Alisal is that it gives the kids a chance to have a "real" experience, not a hotel experience with overpriced food and a crowded pool. Alisal is about slowing down and being together as a family. Fishing is great, horseback riding, golf, tennis, wonderful spa, and comfortable and tidy rooms. We'll be back next year!

Room Tip: ask for one of the suites with the renovated bathrooms
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank SJGTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

I took my 3 kids (aged 13, 11 and 7) to Alisal Ranch in April for a 3 day-2 night stay.

Minuses:
At the time of booking, I was told it activities would be included so it would work out to be about $1650. When I checked in, I was told activities were not included and we were already there and ended up paying about $2,500. Also, lunch was not included. Aside from price (which we do not mind paying if it's good value), I personally think this place is overrated. The rooms are ranch-style and older and undergoing re-modelling. The pool was crowded and the layout was plain. There was only 1 ping pong table and ping pong balls were crushed. The staff worked hard but do not go out of the way to make us feel welcomed, with some exceptions like Dale who gave lessons on Archery and gun rifles. He is wonderful !!! A lot of people raved about the food but I think they are fine dining but not super memorable or special.

Pluses:
Kids get to roam on their own and love that sense of new found freedom. The morning horse back ride to the Adobe House is very memorable. Afternoons were too hot so morning rides are better but cost more. People who were there were mostly with their family. I was surprised to learn that many have been going to this Ranch for many years. We did meet a wonderful family and the kids enjoyed spending time fishing (easy to catch some), playing soccer and other activities.

Overall, was a fine trip for a few days but there are so many other great places I think we can go. This is not a place to go for luxury but the energy of the place and people can be more vibrant.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank nuage2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2012

My husband and I have been wanting to stay here for decades, and have gotten to visit twice this year. Both times were exceptional, but in different ways. The first visit, we were fortunate enough to be there over the time Jim Messina was putting on a Singer-Songwriter workshop for a few lucky individuals. This culminated in a dinner show on the weekend that was simulcast on the internet. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the show, and it was delightful getting to see the songwriters perform their own songs. The second half of the show featured friends of Jim Messina who came to jam with him, and play his songbook. We felt almost like family by the end of the evening. Everything about Alisal Ranch gives one that feeling. The pacing is slow. The horses gentle. With over 100 horses, there are plenty to choose from. The wranglers are exceptional, and a great deal of time is spent finding just the right horse for each guest. Highly recommend the breakfast ride, which leaves in the early morning, and culminates at the adobe by Alisal Lake, where a wrangler entertains with singing and guitar, and the large BBQ area is set with the same delicious breakfast one receives in the dining room, but which tastes even better because it is out under the sycamores. The fishing is excellent, and the working cattle ranch makes you feel like you are much farther away from civilization than you are. Yoga and spa offer a retreat after the day's activities. Most people golf on the two courses, but we headed out to visit a half dozen of the beautiful wineries in the area. We never watch TV, so that was not missed...and isn't that why you go to a ranch in the first place? Bucolic surroundings make even a few days here feel like a week's vacation.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank AliLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

This is definitely a family resort with more to do than you could possibly fit in the four days we spend here. Archery, fishing, air rifle range, shuffleboard, a great art room, ping-pong, horses, petting zoo (recently with three captivating baby bunnies), golf, tennis, spa (good but not great) acres to roam and for children to wander without fear, a good workout facility, and beautiful grounds. The rooms are not great, most have not been updated as the photos on the web site make it appear. They are very much throwbacks to another era. You do get a coffee-maker and great shower but the furniture may date to the 80s, at best in most. Beds are okay. And you have to be somewhat careful about which room you end up in or you may end up listening to your neighbors, so get a property map if you can.
I happen to really like the food. Homemade granola is superb, great berries, good fruit, nice buffet for kids to graze, best hot chocolate in the country. Great meat at dinner, reasonable wine list and very good vegetarian selection. Peanut butter pie and Oatmeal pie are outstanding dessert options. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price of the room.
My family (3 kids, parents) look forward to the this trip each year. The service is wonderful, people who work there really seem to enjoy it. Plus, if you tend to go back around the same time each year, you get to know other guests. It is a throwback in many respects to a better time, better place.

Room Tip: Rooms in separate buildings are very good. But you don't go to Alisal to spend time in your room.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kev1438
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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