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“wonderful western setting with great people”

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Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Lake Worth, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“wonderful western setting with great people”
Reviewed September 22, 2009

Silvan Dale Ranch, outside Loveland, CO is a guest ranch that offers a holiday in a true western setting. The location is incredible: 3200 acres overall, with the ranch office and accommodations concentrated on several acres.

We had ‘Mama J’s’, a four-bedroom charming old house that sat next to the Big Thompson River. We arrived at the house to find our names engraved on a wooden sign that hung on the side of the house; a nice, personal touch. We loved the screen porch, too. The beds in the loft bedroom was not as comfortable as the others, but there was plenty of space for our party of 7, and the large, fully equipped kitchen and big living room made our accommodations especially nice.

I had never been to a dude ranch so had no idea of what to expect and was concerned because several people in our party chose not to ride. However, our hosts, Susan and David Jessup, were gracious and extremely accommodating and insured that the non-riding guests had plenty to do. Bass fishing, skeet shooting, rock climbing, fly fishing or just relaxing in the hot tub or pool gave everyone a choice of activities beyond the realm of horses and cattle. In addition, the ranch offered to arrange white water rafting which was an adventure in itself.

The riding was outstanding. Our horses were assigned on the first day, and if rider and horse matched well, that horse and rider were a team for the rest of the week. I appreciated the fact that their horses were in top shape, with shiny coats and gentle dispositions. The tack was clean and the training areas were very suitable. Their wrangler staff was knowledgeable and helpful. Those guests who were learning to ride were channeled into groups according to ability. Those of us who knew how to ride were allowed acceptable freedom with our mounts and could choose adventure rides where we could trot and lope under the supervision of a wrangler. Personally, the most entertaining ride was learning to cut cattle from a small herd; The most educational ride was actually learning to harness and drive a draft horse from a small cart. The most beautiful ride was a breakfast ride up a mountain trail at daybreak; The most satisfying ride was an overnight to the ranch’s ‘cow camp’ high in the mountains (a 4-5 hour ride) where guests were treated to a steak dinner over the open fire and a sleeping bag under the beautiful Colorado sky.

Silvan Dale’s children’s program was exceptional. We had a 10-year old with us who absolutely loved each and every minute. The program leader was responsible and very competent. The children had their own program including riding, grooming, foaling, swimming, fishing, rock-climbing and more. They even got to make a short movie!

The food was good comfort food. All meals were buffet-style. The buffet each evening could have had a larger choice of vegetables. Beef was home-raised and tasty. My husband was diabetic and I had requested sugar-free jam, sugar-free syrup and Splenda. The waitress in the dining room told us they had Splenda but no jam or syrup that was sugar-free. I should have pursued this, as I learned the last day that they did, in fact, have the requested items but the waitress had not been informed.

An interesting extra was a DVD that could be purchased at the end of the week, showing all the activities and people that participated. The DVD was expensive ($70) but was well put together and provided extra memories for those who wanted it.

Conclusion: This guest ranch gave our family an exceptional experience of the outdoors and took us back in time where there are no cell phones and no t.v. It was truly wonderful.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bookalukus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
California
1 review
Reviewed August 30, 2009

Stayed at the ranch for a recent company retreat and it was a perfect setting. Quaint cottages, colorful wildflowers, rushing river, lakes, ponds...plenty of picture postcard scenery. The ranch is family owned and operated, it is truly a labor of love. Everyday they served delicious comfort food. No TV or cell phone service ..this can be a plus for those truly wanting to escape from it all.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank traveldiva66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
1 review
Reviewed August 30, 2009

I visited Sylvan Dale with co workers, we had the place to ourselves and just really had an incredible stay. The staff is friendly, the food was great and I loved that it is a Green Resort.

This is a great place for a corporate retreat, a place to get away from TV, Laptops and Blackberrys for a week or so. How nice to be able connect with nature and fellow coworkers around the country. Instead of retreating to a bar or our rooms for TV, we hung out int he bunkhouse or around the fire. It was great.

I am thinking about bringing my family back for a weekend trip.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank chrisb1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2009

Very friendly staff, great breakfast, and most likely a great place to avail oneself of the fishing/riding/other activities. However, the bunkhouse accommodations where I stayed were VERY rustic. Slept great though with the sound of the rushing water from river/stream just a stone's throw away.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank dunnrej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2009

Stayed here two nights in one of three Sweetheart Cabins with a wonderful wood burning fireplace. Our cabin was the Molly Brown (the closest to the river). There were only five or six other guests nights we stayed. At the (included) hot sit-down breakfast each morning, the owner made a point of coming in to greet everyone, make sure people had met, and took the time to sit down at each table, have some coffee, and learn about the guests. All the staff members were extraordinary. We went on a trail ride one morning, which was a great value, and will be back for some advanced riding lessons. The horses were well-cared for. There is no doubting this is a REAL ranch as you roam the extensive grounds. This was a great romantic place to stay for couples who like the rustic Western motif.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Skylynx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2008

Our family of 4 just visited Sylvan Dale for our 4th trip in 10 years. Our kids are now in their 20's and it's as much fun for all of us as it was the first time. The Jessup family welcome you in as part of their family. The ranch is beautiful, the food and entertainment are fantastic, the horses and riding programs are alot of fun, and the staff is terrific. Tremendous attention to detail. Lots of other activities besides riding if you choose. We will return to this great getaway!

  • Liked — Beautiful place and great staff
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank FishSRQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2008

My family of 5 (kids aged 4,9, 12) is about to return to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch for our third time in less than a year...I am hooked on this wonderfully unique place. Although none of my family knew what to expect before we arrived the first time last summer, each and every one of us left with an excitement and thrill that we will not quickly replicate (my kids have talked about it all year). The week was filled with incredible horses and amazingly nice and knowledgable wranglers who taught us the art and skill of real western riding. Beyond the barn, our time was occupied with the month old colts, cow-penning activities, watching the free roaming chickens on the ranch, fishing on the on-property stream, great food -- and all in a beautiful setting! We were so struck with this place, that we returned for a short stint in March and are heading back in August. I can't wait for my kids to again enjoy the freedom and excitement (and no electronics!!) that is so very Sylvan Dale!! The pictures on the website are all very accurate and did I mention, the staff and hosts were WONDERFUL too!

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank domingonyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Property: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Address: 2939 N County Road 31d, Loveland, CO 80538-9763
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Loveland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Loveland
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named "Best Family Vacation" by Frommer's Colorado guidebook and rated among the "Top Ten Colorado Dude Ranches" by True West Magazine, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch offers year ‘round outdoor adventure. Conveniently located just one hour from Denver in the Colorado foothills near Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, Sylvan Dale’s 3200-acre working Dude Ranch and Retreat Center is nestled along the banks of Colorado's beautiful Big Thompson River. Offering activities such as cattle drives, trail rides, horseback riding, trophy trout fly fishing, hiking and nearby hunting, nature experiences, tennis, swimming, and many other activities,true adventure awaits you! Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is perfect for your next vacation adventure! Much more than just an historic working ranch, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch also provides exceptional services for business retreats and private meetings, holiday parties, picnics, reunions, family vacations, bed & breakfast, weddings, and a variety of exciting outdoor adventures. Sylvan Dale's delicious and healthy Heart-J natural grass-fed beef is also available for purchase. Come experience all that is the beauty of Sylvan Dale! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch Hotel Loveland
Sylvan Dale Hotel

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