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“Another stellar visit to a home away from home”

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Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Highland
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 1, 2013

First I must marvel at the ENTIRE staff of Rocking Horse Ranch. We have traveled there twice before, and were greeted by people who really remembered us, and welcomed us back. The Turk family who own the ranch, must be wonderful people, since all their staff respect them so much, and continue to make this resort what it is. We were warmly greeted by George right in the parking lot - cowboy hat and all. The graciousness continued when we ran into Lisa and others inside. Even the waitress - I believe her name was Munro - remembered us with a smile, and made sure my son's birthday was a happy one. I think the most amazing welcome we recieved was by Chet in the rifle/archery area. He is so fun to be with, and remarkably helpful. He genuinely spoke about how nice it was to see us again, and more interestingly, spoke about how grateful he is to work at this establishment with his highly talented horse wrangler wife Patti. We enjoyed this year's trip immensely. There is no better place to bond with your family. There is never a time to be bored. There is only time to enjoy priceless memories. We even made some new friends with the staff - like Lauryn whose smiling face made all the fun games even more enjoyable. Needless to say the riding, skiing, tubing, archery, bb-guns, swimming, dancing, eating, playing games, and just taking a breathe to enjoy some time with the family was unbeatable. We are booked again for next year, and hope to never break the tradition. Thanks to all the staff for making Rocking Horse Ranch the place to bring your family.

Room Tip: Stay in the Main Lodge is possible. Also the second floor may be better since there would be no chil...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nooproblem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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983 - 989 of 1,366 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

RHR is absolutely amazing from the point of active life position for the whole family. It has everything - indoor water park, a small hill for skiing with included renting, skating, hiking and evening programs for all age groups. But their horses lessons are the most outstanding part of RHR experience. You will begin to ride a horseback from the first minutes of approaching to stables. You can have rides through the forest under supervision of great instructors. Evening tour of stables and horse march also great. Food included, but the best of all are their everyday wine and cocktail tastings. Rooms are clean but not spectacular closer to motel than hotel. Water park small but really good for kids. The area around RHR very picturesque. Most appropriate age of kids activities - under 8. We loved our stay in RHR and had a lot of fun. Definitely recommend to everyone who has kids.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank YuryGr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

First let me say that I have gone to the ranch once a year for the last 10+ years with my family of five. I think that speaks volumes. My first trip was 40 years ago, that also says a great deal. However, the increases in price over the years have made it a more difficult decision with each passing year.
This year, for the first time, we did not book next year's trip and that was not because of the price so much as my disappointment in how management handled, or more acurately, did not handle, a piece of jewelry going missing from our room.
Although the general manager had the room thoroughly checked after we left and spoke with the cleaning staff, his bottom line was there was nothing they could do and he never acknowledged responsibility. I would never accuse someone of stealing wiithout proof, but someone with access to the room either took it or was not paying attention when someone else got in the room. The practice of leaving room doors open while the maids clean leaves an opportunity for anyone to step into and out of a room quickly. Weeks later, my sons learned from acquiantances that were there the same week, that other people lost valuables, yet no responsibility was taken by management. It is unfortunate, as I had previously never had an issue with the staff even while witnessing unpleasant or belligerent guests being given special privileges for little more than being a complainer. I guess I have learned the squeeky wheel gets the grease.

Room Tip: Upstairs room for quite. Separate lodge is cheaper if you do not utilize the pool, which my kids, be...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rockinghorseranch, Owner at Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Dear Mary,

First and foremost hello, I want to thank you and Ray for being return guests 10 years in a row, I sincerely value your repeat business. We have always looked forward to seeing you and the family and are saddened that it took this one incident to shake your confidence in us.
I completely understand the gold locket with your daughter’s baby picture has a priceless, sentimental value.

Since your visit with us over 2 months ago, Kyle, our General Manager has been in direct contact with you and Ray. We have gone to great lengths to find this locket, including re-searching the room with Kenneth, our Executive Housekeeping Director and speaking with the housekeeper directly.

As for our “open door” housekeeping policy, this is a standard in the hospitality industry. When a staff member of the resort is in the room either cleaning, repairing, or inspecting, we leave the doors open so the guest knows a staff member is in the room. I am a firm believer in this and can explain more when we speak directly. As you are aware, we do have safes available to secure valuables.

My wish is for us to maintain your friendship, I will reach out to you.

Best regards and sincerely yours,
Steve, Owner
Kyle, GM

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

After booking a similar weekend at a ranch about 45 minutes away it is quite clear that Rocking Horse Ranch is the place to go! Upon arriving at the other facility I quickly realized that we needed to get out of there, but the kids were excited about being at a ranch. We had been to RHR about 3 or 4 times and loved it, but they were booked so we booked this other place. After only 2 1/2 hours we left and RHR must have heard the desperation in my voice on the phone, because they were able to accommodate the 5 of us in two small rooms that worked out just fine. They truly came to our RESCUE!!! They could not have been more welcoming to 5 travelers that have just been traumatized by a less than desirable, filthy establishment. I walked through the doors at RHR and completely felt at home! We felt as though they had rolled out the red carpet and truly wanted us to feel comfortable and welcomed. This is truly an awesome family get away! It is very clean and I can't say enough about the staff, from the front desk to housekeeping, dining hall, activity personnel, and to the wranglers! We also have a child with special needs and they make her feel so special every time we are there and that means so much to us. There are plenty of things for the kids to do that they never seem bored. The wranglers are awesome and are really patient with the guests. The horses are so well cared for and they match you with a horse to your ability. The tubing was such an added bonus! The food and nightly entertainment is very good as well. I was speaking with Shelly and Steve (the owners) and they are so nice and really seem to listen to their guests. They have been doing quite a few renovations which goes to show they are really interested in making this place great! When talking to some staff members and finding out that they had been working there for years it shows that the Turks really care about their employees and that speaks volumes! They are doing it right at RHR!!!

Room Tip: Staying in the main lodge in the winter is more convenient because of the pool but definitely not a...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank chris a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

We just returned from a 3 night stay during my (I am a teacher) February vacation. Our children are 4, 2 and 9 months. We are people who love to experience life with our children, we like to play with them and we are very hands on. This place was by far the most accommodating and comfortable places we have traveled with our kiddos. It was so amazing from start to finish.

The 4 most notable qualities of the resort are:
1. The staff, they are everywhere. They are professional and helpful. They like kids and put safety as a priority. Do you now how remarkable it is to see 100's of staff members keep their cool with hundreds of small children who are all over-tired and over-stimulated? AMAZING. And let me tell you, they were often abused by guests. I heard people with over the top expectations, constant complaining, all out rude outrageous behavior...and I always saw the staff react with kindness and patients. I am a middle school teacher and I know I could not have done what they did. STEVE, if you are reading this...give the young man at the ski hill (I think his name was Drewry or something similar) a raise..he took some serious abuse and continued to do a tremendous job.
2. The cleanliness: we were there at a very busy time. It was always clean and every staff member worked their butts off to keep it that way. Again, never dirty despite 100's of small children eating everywhere. It was so clean that when I woke up very early with my baby and went to sit in the main part of the lodge, I let her crawl around on the ground with no fear off her getting food in her mouth. The rooms were nothing fancy but had comfortable beds, newer looking bathrooms, small fridges and good heat...very comfortable and again, very clean.
3. The kids camp/ nursery: I am not big on leaving my kids with anyone. However, we did use the daycare program when my husband and I went out on the horses and once for just the baby so we could spend time playing with the older kids in the pool. The people there were excellent and patient, even when the baby cried much of the time she was there. The older kids were actually disappointed that they couldn't go back. You should know that it is 10 dollars an hour for kids under 3. This is because you didn't pay for them to stay at the resort. This was fine and reasonable. They have a great and free camp program where they actually do activities with the older kids. I was so happy to actually get a chance to ride the horses with my husband..as we often have to take turns doing things.
4. And the BEST part is that there is sooo much to do. We got our 2 and 4 year olds up on skis. My son and I went tubbing. They loved the pool and we spent at least an hour there each day. They played bingo and took line dancing. They took turns shooting at the shooting range. They played and played at the fun barn. They rode the pony. We did so much and yet we still never got to ice skating and they were too tired to go to any of the night shows. I think it would be really hard to stay for less than 3 nights.

We are not wealthy people and it was a financial stretch and a splurge to come to the ranch. it is expensive for us, but after traveling to many places with our kids...I also realize it is truly a value. To get a good room, 3 meals a day, snacks and coffee, all kinds of high quality and usually costly activities (think of what 2 days of ski instruction would cost per person). We also arrived at 11am the first day and left at 4pm on check out day. They let you use all of the amenities and activities even after you check out. This made our dollar stretch even further. It was more than worth it for us.

The food was pretty good. I could always find something I liked and for a place that caters to so many people and children..the options were impressive. I probably gained 5 lbs while I was there, but there were healthier options if you have the will power to resist.

My only suggestion for the owner (which is of course just from my own selfish wants) would be to add some sort of small play area for infants in the fun barn and most certainly in some part of the main lodge. I noticed a few moms and dads like myself walking in circles at 5am with infants who we removed so that they didn't wake up brother and sisters and next door neighbors. It would be nice to have a place to put them down to play as we drank our coffee (which by the way I was thrilled to have access to on those early mornings). The same was true in the fun barn where I saw a lot of babies hanging on mom and dad's hips and I wish I could have put her down to play a bit somewhere.

This is a phenomenal place for any family with kids 12 and under and we are going to start saving to come back again. If you read any bad reviews I can assure you I saw the type of person who writes such reviews while on the trip. Mostly I bet they are people who are not used to being hands on parents and who would rather be served and eat fancy food then get down and dirty and have fun with their family. I saw how rude and ignorant a few of the guests were being and how unkind they were to staff members. If you are laid back, love your family and like good old fashion wholesome fun...this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Stay in the main lodge, it is worth the extra money for immediate access to pool, food and activitie...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Caroline A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Took my wife, myself and my two kids on a trip here for 3 days/2 nights. We were very impressed from the moment we arrived. The place is chock full of very attentive staff, very accommodating, pleasant and friendly. This place lives up to what I thought Disney would be - such a pleasure. We arrived at 11 and check in is at 4 but we had a room by 11:30. Also you are allowed to use everything on the grounds the day you arrive and the day you leave and they will hold your luggage if you like. They also have a whole bunch of carts you can use to bring bags in and out, with no annoying bellmen to tip when using them.

The hotel and grounds are immaculately cared for. While there I witnessed maintenance fixing many things, including a guy unclogging a stuck air tube in an attraction at the "fun barn". After being at so many kids places where rides and attractions get broken and stay that way it was a pleasure to see a place crawling with staff attending to every little issue.

The snow tubing is fantastic, they have a "magic carpet lift" (like a tilted moving sidewalk) so little ones can do many, many runs without tiring out and they have attendants at the top and bottom of the lift and hill supervising everyone.

We briefly tried the learning hill for the skiing - again plenty of attendants and good equipment, but since my son and I have never skiied before he got frustrated quickly and we didn't really stick around. The large ski hill looks just big enough for a kid to get a good thrill and have lots of fun without being in any danger. If you are an adult expert skiier it will probably not be very exciting but the whole point of the place is for the kids. There IS a lot of scary paperwork to fill out though but it seemed out of proportion to me since I really didn't see anything that would concern me much safety wise.

There is also a nice firepit with benches and hot cocoa next to the tube and skiing place, complete with delicious hot cocoa.

The skating pond is very nice, they have a little mini zamboni they use to smooth the ice. it's still somewhat rough since it's an actual pond but works well enough to have lots of fun. they have a nice little overhang with a heater and hot cocoa there as well.

Inside, there is a beautiful fireplace with couches (they do get crowded but we always found a spot to sit) and you can get free hot chocolate, coffee, muffins etc and popcorn all day long (popcorn was a big hit with the kids).

The pool is really really nice as well - it may be a little bit of a stretch to call it a "water park" but for kids 10 and under it won't matter, they will have many hours of fun between a huge waterslide (was fun even for me), lots of fountains in the pool to play under and even a nice little area with fountains and slides for really small kids. Lots of clean towels, bathroom nearby, very nice.

There is also a "fun barn" with a really cool ball pit/climber type thing with air guns that shoot foam balls and slide, ping pong tables, a bouncy house, a volley ball net and an automated climbing wall. We went there a few times and the kids loved it.

We also took a nice hay ride style ride through the woods. you can ride individual horses and many people do that but we found the hay ride type thing was nice for the kids.

The gift shop is pretty small and overpriced but this isn't really the kind of place I can imagine doing a lot of gift shopping anyway.

There is a nice arcade room, exercise room and sauna downstairs but we were too busy to make any use of them.

Dining was decent, it's a "Catskills" style dining hall. You will be sitting with other people but it wasn't intrusive. There's a huge buffet with all kinds of daily stuff prepared and a few entrees to choose from for dinner. FYI you can request grilled cheese for the kids even if it is not on the menu. There is a soft serve ice cream station and chocolate fountain for dessert. Breakfast has everything you would want including crunchy bacon.

One thing, the day you arrive lunch is not included in the dining hall but there is a small bar menu in the lobby bar that worked fine for us - grilled cheese, ham sandwich, hot dogs, fries, etc.

The room was very well appointed and comfortable. The heaters are powerful, make sure you don't turn it up and leave because you will come back to a sauna.

Overall definitely one of the most fun and relaxing vacations we've had and a fun, inviting, attentive well maintained place. Kudos to the staff. I had felt the price was high but with literally EVERYTHING on the property included, the friendliness of the staff and all the freebies (hot chocolate, popcorn etc) I would say I feel in the end it was a good value. Nice not to be nickel and dimed for once.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank LIDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Returned from a great visit on Feb 11th. There were 4 of us, 2 moms and our 13 yr old kids. We had a great time, my son and I have been there @ 4 times before but it was the first time for our friends. There was about a foot of fresh fallen snow which made for nice horseback riding through the wooded property. We always take advantage of the cold weather fun , the skiing, the snow tubing, the fire pit w/roasted marshamallows and those horses!! My son and I took intermediate rides throughout our stay (special shout outs to Melody, Calamity, Bear & Major), our friends took the beginner rides which they said was fine. The food is good with plenty of choices and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. The kids love the archery, the bb range, the game room and entertainment. What I like about the ranch is that the staff is super friendly, (from the front desk, to dining, to ski shack, etc) very helpful and you see the same faces year after year. The bathrooms in the main lodge were just renovated and they look great. Our room was very clean and large enough for the 4 of us. We had 2 queen beds and bunk beds.

I would like to give a shout out to those employees who made our stay a little something extra:

Charles-the horse guide/wrangler, he was great, he told me history about the breed of horse I was on (Melody, an american cream draft horse) and we even talked about Sasparilla who I remember from past visits who has since passed. RIP :(

Danielle and Sara who were great in helping my son w/Bear when the horse decided he didn't want to trot with the others , but it was all worked out in the end :)

Chet at the archery/bb range: He is really great with the kids, giving them pointers and my son has always enjoyed chatting and learning from him. Nice to see him year after year.

Diruvy (spelling?) A nice young man on the ski slope who promised my friend's kid that he would have her skiing in minutes and he did! He was a very good teacher.

The one thing I missed was the fluffer nutter sandwiches on the lunch buffet, maybe with all the peanut allergies they decided not to serve them anymore.

Although it's not staff or management's fault, I feel the need to mention the following to other travelers: Just because you and your family are up at 7am and stomping around the room, screaming, yeliing and running around doesn't mean the rest of the world has to be up with you! It sounded like Godzilla was in the room next to us. Some folks like to sleep in a little bit when they are away. It's also not cute for your little ones to be unaccompanied at the buffets either. Show a little common courtesy for other travelers.

With that being said, RHR is a great place to have a good time with your family and friends.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank BEG1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Address: 600 State Route 44/55, Highland, NY 12528-2259
Location: United States > New York > Highland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Highland
Price Range: $399 - $699 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All Inclusive Four Season Family Resort in the Hudson Valley We’re more than just horses… We’re the most fun your family ever had! We offer 4 seasons of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. Our sprawling 500-acre property and beautiful private lake provides a scenic backdrop for your family’s next big adventure. Enjoy three delicious all-you-can-eat meals daily, prepared by our culinary team, many of whom are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America—right here in the Hudson Valley! End the night with top-name entertainment, featuring magicians, comedians, jugglers, and circus acts from around the world. Get cozy in our updated rooms with luxurious Simmons® plush top mattresses and Bunk Beds for the kids. It’ll be the best family vacation you’ve ever had! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rocking Horse Ranch Hotel Highland
Rocking Horse Hotel
Rocking Horse Resort

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