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Vista Verde Guest Ranch
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Reviewed May 16, 2012

Wow. What a great place. My wife, daughters (ages 13 and 6), and I had the privilege of staying at the first-class guest ranch over Spring Break. The facilities are wonderful. The main lodge looks like something out of Disney World, and our cabin was luxurious, well-appointed, and well-maintained. Each meal was better than the last, and the activities were fabulous. My family tried it all: trail rides, riding lessons, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing (which I loved), snowmobiling (which I loved), and dogsledding (which we all loved). Most impressive, however, was the staff. From the G.M. down to the housekeepers and wait-staff, each person there was simply as nice and filled with hospitality as could be. Seriously, where do they find these wonderful, kind, friendly, sincere people? And, I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to Steve and Kellie, a married couple who run the Nordic program who have a wonderful spirit in them and a contagious enthusiasm for the outdoors. Although this trip is expensive from an out-of-pocket perspective, this week with my family was one of the best values we ever experienced. I can't wait to come back for a summer session!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

Thank you to the entire team at Vista Verde Ranch for making us feel so well looked after, and so pampered by your very special brand of generous and personal hospitality. All meals, activities and staff interactions were exceptional from the Ski Shop to the Dining Room to the Equestrian Program to Reception and Departure. Can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Consider the separate cabins vs. the rooms in the Lodge!
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BBradbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

It is not surprising that guests travel from Europe and other places around the globe to visit Vista Verde, a luxury guest ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It also follows that Vista Verde’s guests tend to be iron-clad loyal—it seemed that nearly every guest I spoke with began his or her story with, “This will be our… (How long has it been, Honey?) … our tenth year visiting so far.” The ranch’s location is ideal and its staff, accommodations and food are outstanding.

The rustic, down-home ambiance is tempered by the quality of lodging and gourmet food. The most striking observation I made though, in my two wonderful visits so far, is the camaraderie between everyone here—staff to guest, guest to staff, staff to staff, and guest to guest. The Steak Ride is the perfect example of this.

As our horses neared the elaborate outdoor kitchen set up especially for the Steak Ride, I noticed I could just see the cluster of cabins and common buildings that comprise the main ranch area. From my viewpoint, they seemed to be huddled in the valley, but not dwarfed by the magnificence around them. The buildings fit—they belong here.

Guests came trotting in a few at a time and the staff offered us wine, homemade lemonade and shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. The smell drifting over from the grills nearly made us all melt--I can’t ever remember feeling so hungry in my life. We sat ourselves on long picnic tables and talked to keep our minds off of the yumminess soon to come. At Vista Verde, the staff members and guests mingle like a close family at a much-anticipated reunion. After lots of chatting, the dinner bell rang and we all got in line to dish up. The marinated steak was covered in an herb butter sauce, but would have still been stellar without it. All the sides that come to mind while thinking of cowboy grub were laid out, including corn that tasted like it was picked at its peak a half an hour earlier. For dessert, I managed to fit a homemade peach cobbler in my extra dessert stomach. Heaven. For entertainment, Ben’s dog kept a piece of juicy cow on his nose while we all marveled. The wonder dog became a salivating statue until he was finally given the okay to wolf it down.

After dinner, the staff stayed to clean up and a few guides took us on horseback at a relaxed, casual pace back to the ranch. I gave DB (my hourse) lots of love pats and let him know I appreciated that he did all the work and I had all the fun. Back at the ranch, the horses were put to bed and the people party began at the lodge. The ballad singing, story-telling and a slide-show presentation of the week’s activities put everyone in a great mood. After the party, I capped the night off with a pampering soak with my husband in our cabin’s hot tub while admiring the night sky. I can pass along from personal experience--you haven’t truly admired Earth’s view of space until you’ve seen every last square inch of black sky sprinkled in stars. I can also recommend the perfect spot for everything from a horse ride to star-gazing—Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado.

We've created a video review of our trip to Vista Verde with other helpful information. Watch it at YouTube.com/TravelbyLori.

Room Tip: Get a private cabin with hot tub. You'll love it.
Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Lori M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

My sisters and I just returned from our first vacation at Vista Verde guest ranch. I say first because we are already planning a return trip. We stayed in one of the guest cabins and the accommodations are first rate. We chose the all inclusive plan and it was an exceptional value for the money. The rates may seem a little pricey but when they say all inclusive, that is what you get. Once you arrive at the airport, everything is covered. The ranch provides free transportation from and back to the Hayden airport. All meals are first rate and included. They provide all the wine and beer your group desires (at no cost). Tipping is not allowed although you can add a gratuity when settling your bill. Those gratuities are shared with all staff. All activities and equipment are included. There are no equipment rental fees. We went snowshoeing, had expert instruction on Nordic skiing and Horses, enjoyed staff guided ski tours and trail rides and even shared some laughs while tubing down a mountain. Instruction and activities are available for all skill levels. You do not have to be an athlete to enjoy the ranch. Ranch staff will drive you into Steamboat if you want to downhill ski or shop. The ranch is located in a beautiful setting located about 45 minutes from Steamboat Springs. Did I tell you how good the food was? We enjoyed wonderful meals in a family style setting with a variety of choices available at each meal. My sisters and I just had the best time. The staff are amazing and so friendly. I just can't say enough about this experience. Vista Verde is a vacation of a lifetime.



  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank Chibi1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2012

We stayed at VVR Feb 4-9, 2012. Words cannot describe how great a time we had. The amazing facilities are surpassed only by the incredible staff. From the moment we arrived we felt like family. We've made friends that I'm sure we will have for the rest of our lives. For the first time in our lives we learned how to ride horses the right way and had a blast at the same time (Thanks Terry!!). The days flew by, packed with activities (by choice) and the food was spectacular. Imagine waking up to the freshest air on the planet, hearing the horses whinnying in the fields, walking through beautiful powder snow to the lodge and then getting the biggest smile from one of the warmest faces you've ever seen as you sit down for a magnificent breakfast....that's just a glimpse of what this ranch is all about.

Room Tip: We stayed in a lodge room for one night and in a cabin for four. Both were fantastic.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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