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“Breathtaking”

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Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Breathtaking”
Reviewed June 22, 2010

This is an extraordinary getaway on the banks of the rushing Thompson River. That's a body of water that will lull you to sleep, and the chance to see Golden Eagles overhead will wake you the next morning. And then there's the delicious food.

The husband/wife owner are entirely focused on their guests - they are the epitome of graciousness.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank LaurieMacomber
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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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Big Rapids, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Our extended family has been to Sylvan Dale three times in the last twelve years for family vacations. From my grandparents to my own babies, we've had every age group at the ranch. The childrens' program is so wonderful. My children had a great time learning to ride, playing games, and even rafting. Our daughter has Down syndrome and they were so accomodating! The adult riding program is great too. My husband especially enjoyed the overnight trip. The food is incredible! The staff is top notch. They are so welcoming and friendly. By the end of the week you'll feel like you're part of the Jessup family! There isn't a single thing we didn't love about Sylvan Dale. In fact, I think the best part might have been the lack of "technology." There were no noisy cell phones, tvs, etc. It is the perfect place to spend a week together. It can be as relaxing or adventurous as you want it to be!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Mistatefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2010

I have been to Sylvan Dale several times for Dude Weeks with my kids and for the Cowgirl Round Ups. We always have a great time and a wonderful vacation experience there.

This visit was no exception and was a total blast!! I was not there as part of an organized event they were hosting. I look for any reason I can to get to Sylvan Dale and this trip was a layover on the way home from a business trip in Phoenix. The staff at Sylvan Dale helped me create a great weekend getaway with lots of riding that included a clinic with their horse trainer and several advanced rides with their delightful wrangler staff.

It was absolutely beautiful there - everything is lush and green from all the Spring rains and the Thompson River was rushing by outside the cabins filled with Winter snow melt. The wildflowers were out and the weather was great.

If you don't have vacation plans yet for the summer, I would recommend a Dude week at Sylvan Dale.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Brgetaways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coralville, Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2010

You will be touched by the magic of Sylvan Dale no matter whether you're there for a night or a week. The beautiful setting, the family of friends and the an authentic western experience combine to make your stay unforgettable. I've just returned from my 4th trip to the ranch and will return again in July. There is something for everyone here even if you don't consider yourself to be a cowboy or a cowgirl. The wranglers at the horse barn are top notch and their horses are in excellent condition. They have rides for all levels or riding experience. Sylvan Dale is a working cattle ranch so your children can get an up close look at where their food comes from. Speaking of food....The food is wholesome and tasty and there is always plenty of it. The ranch family and staff will make you feel right at home. This is a must do destination for singles, couples and families alike. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank CowgirlRoundup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 17, 2009

From the moment you arrive you are aware of the unique experience before you. The Jessup family are now your extended family and treat you as a welcomed member of the family. Anything and everything is possible. Our family went to Sylvan Dale for a total of 7 summers starting when the children (2 daughters) ages 5 and 8. The food is plentiful and delicious, many recipes are in my file from the ranch ! The riding opportunities simply amazing. My husband and I still think of sitting up on the ridge watching an eagle fly in front of us with the majestic mountains and the sweet aroma of wild flowers. The sound of the Big Thompson River never far away.

In these days of computers and cell phones and video games in really was a chance for one week to reconnect with the family on a very basic level without the constant distractions of "life". Our girls begged us to come back year after year. We offered other vacation destinations and they flatly refused. Fast forward to the present my oldest is in her first year of college in the North East and our 15 year old is an accomplished equestrian presently on her 3rd horse . The impact of the ranch is now in our blood and although the last few years we haven't been able to get back there is no doubt we will. With out hesitation the best family vacation ever, Sylvan Dale is like a breath of fresh air.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank slkmp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrstnBeach
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2009

Sylvan Dale Ranch has been a family favorite for more than ten years. The service quality hasn't changed a bit, although they've increased their activity offerings and flexibility over the years. Its an amazing escape in a gorgeous setting, so close to the Rocky Mountains, but on the east side, where they get less snow.

The owners of the ranch are personally involved in every day's activities. This is a great place for couples to get away for quiet time and down home cooking, but its also fun for families. We started coming here when my brother was 10 and I was 15 - twelve years later, I love to bring my husband here and I also love Cowgirl Week in September with my mom. Most recently, I went with two friends and my Mom for a four day weekend. We rode, had massages, sat around a campfire, hiked... it was perfect.

They have riding packages for all levels and plenty of alternate activities if you are looking for variety. I whole heartedly recommend this place - a throwback to the good old days in America, where the people are friendly, the scenery is unmatched, the service is genuine, and the quality is pure.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank CrstnBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Worth, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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Additional Information about Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Property: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Address: 2939 N County Road 31d, Loveland, CO 80538-9763
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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