We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Expectations Exceeded”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Highland
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Highland
Certificate of Excellence
Ringwood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
70 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Expectations Exceeded”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

I must begin by saying that I was not a little reticent about RHR. I knew very little about it and had heard many stories about people having gone there 35 years ago when we were our kids ages. Some of these stories were not good. Some recent reviews here were not good. My expectations were marginal and I must admit my fears were completely unwarranted. RHR MORE than exceeded my expectations and I was constantly reminded whilst there how customer oriented this establishment is. My wife equated it to a cruise on land; no limit to activities for kids aged 5 to whatever!
We rode horses, tubed, skied, bungee jumped, wall rock climbed (2), fished, paddle boated, archery, BB guns, crafts, arcade, softball, tennis, bounce house, black jack, magic shows, chef tastings, and yes even swam in the pool with the great indoor water slide and rode horses AGAIN. If that's not enough for a family of 5 over the course of 2 nights & 2 days...
Yes we ate too; quite well in fact. A la carte dinner and buffet breakfast & lunch. Very good choices and variety especially for dinner. Saturday night: Ceasar salad, New England clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, flank steak cooked to order & desert buffet. (if there's room)
All in all I'm sure for the people who have been recently they would concur; it is not inexpensive, but worth every penny. The kids absolutely loved this trip & we are looking into when we can go again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeterBNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,165 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    792
    265
    67
    18
    23
See reviews for
945
14
3
7
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (347)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

I will start with the positive:
Food was good
Plenty of things to do
Great time for young kids

The negative
Rooms were filthy , moldy smell, bathroom dirty. Rugs were worn out , and the beds were uncomfortable.
Service was not good, unfriendly

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank billymack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rockinghorseranch, General Manager at Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
BillyMack,

We appreciate all comments but I’m surprised by yours. Our rooms and facilities are impeccably clean and have consistently been awarded a 3-Diamond Rating by AAA inspectors. In fact, over the past 3 years we have invested over $2 million in renovating our bathrooms, replacing carpeting, up scaling our bedding and much more. Myself and the owner, Steve are here on a daily basis, we wish you would have spoken to us during your stay so we could have seen exactly what you were talking about. We would love to talk further to learn more. Please reach out to us.

Thank you,
Kyle Carson, GM
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

My family and I went to Rocking Horse Ranch from Sunday 3/31/13 to Tuesday, 4/2/13. Overall we had a great time and would definitely go back again. I was a little apprehensive about going, since a friend had gone and complained that it was "boring and old," but that wasn't our experience at all.

We left Long Island around 11 AM and arrived at the ranch around 1 PM. Check-in was scheduled for 4 PM, but we got our room number around 2 PM. It's important to keep in mind that on your check-in day, breakfast and lunch are not included, but dinner is. We were aware of this (RHR states this plainly) but when we were eating lunch on our check-out day, we saw lots of people who had just checked in trying to get in for lunch and acting shocked that they couldn't (on your check-out day you have breakfast and lunch, but not dinner, so you get all the meals you've "paid" for).

So we checked in, parked the car, and walked around. The snow tubes were open and we spent about an hour doing that. My wife, 7-year-old son and I LOVED the snow tubes. There's a conveyor-belt lift that takes you up the hill (maybe a 3-5 minute ride) and there was no line at the top. It was our first time doing anything like that, and it was around 50 degrees so the snow was kind of slushy and not super fast, which was great for newbies, and also meant we didn't have to bundle up in full winter gear.

After that, our room was ready so we went and checked in. We stayed in room 220, with some friends staying in adjoining room 222. There was a shared door between the rooms and our kids loved that. The room itself wasn't anything special, but was adequate. There was ~32" Dynex LCD TV and a Cablevision cable box. The TV isn't connected to the cable box via HDMI, and we didn't get HBO, which wasn't a huge deal except that Sunday night was the season premiere of Game of Thrones, and I'd hoped to watch it, but I had it DVRed at home so that wasn't a big deal. The only time the TV was on was right after we woke up or right before bed, so that wasn't really a big concern. There were two queen beds in our room. In terms of comfort I give the bed a C+/B-. There weren't enough pillows (two per bed) and they weren't fluffy, which led to neck pain and bad sleep. If we go back I'll probably bring my own pillows.

After checking in and unloading the car, we played a short game of baseball in the field next to our building. Gloves, bats and balls are all free to use. We then went back to the snow tubes for another hour or so. After that we went to the bungee jumping area where the kids had a great time jumping up 20 feet in the air and doing flips. We then headed over to the Fun Barn (about 40 feet away) where there was an inflated bouncy house, foam-ball-shooting "arena," makeshift badminton court, "infinite" rock wall to climb, and three or four ping-pong tables. The adults played badminton for a half-hour or so while the kids entertained themselves. We then went to the 5 PM dinner.

One of the complaints I've seen about RHR was the food, and this is one of the things that worried me. Fortunately I found these complaints unfounded. The food spread was impressive, and the quality was good. The main entrees for Easter Sunday were lamb, ham, and prime rib. I had the ham and prime rib and both were very good/excellent. Other items available included a vegetable medley, fresh mashed potatoes, basmati rice, beef barley soup and a full salad bar. For dessert there were lots of cakes and pies. Most of the stuff was very good, and the prime rib was excellent.

After dinner, we took the kids to the pool. The pool isn't huge but we had a good time. The main pool is about 2.5 feet deep on the shallow side, and 4 feet deep on the deep end. The deep end has some floating blocks that kids can try to cross by jumping from block to block while holding on to an overhead rope - they enjoyed that. In the upper level of the pool area is a mini water-park for young kids (mainly 5 and under) and a huge water slide that goes outside the building. The entrance to the main slide is about 4 storeys up, and the kids got a great workout going up and down. I think my son went up 30 or 40 times the first night. Needless to say, they loved it. After we got the kids in bed, my wife and I went down to the lobby ("The Hunt" room) where there's a coffee machine and a selection of muffins and pastries available all night and had a quiet cup of coffee.

For breakfast the next day it was a buffet again. The breakfast selections included fresh fruit, scrambled eggs & huevos rancheros, bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, corn-beef hash and home-fried potatoes. You can also order eggs from the kitchen however you want - omelets or sunny-side up, etc.

After breakfast we walked around a bit, made our reservation to go on the horse trails, then went on the paddleboats for a little while. This was fun, but it was still kind of cold. After that we played a round of 9-hole mini golf. The mini-golf course was actually pretty good compared to some of the ones I've played. I forgot to get a scorecard but fortunately there are plenty of iPhone apps that make keeping score easier than using the little pencil & card. By now it was time for lunch already so we headed back in.

Lunch was a buffet and consisted of a full salad bar, a tray of cold-cuts to make your own sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers (with a nearby fixins bar), french fries, mac & cheese and other staples. One review I read said the hot dogs were "dried out" but that wasn't the case for me. They weren't exactly fresh off the grill but they were fine.

After lunch I went on my horse ride. I hadn't ridden a horse probably 25 years so I went on the beginner trail. It was great and my horse (Rustler) was nice, though I had to keep him away from the horse in front of me. It was cold though, and I was only in a hoodie, which was stupid, but it had dropped about ten degrees since the morning. The ride was about 45 minutes to an hour.

After that we went back up and did some more snow tubing, then went on a horse-cart ride, during which time we chatted with one of the employees who works in the stables who was very friendly. I should mention that all the staff we encountered while we were at the ranch were extremely friendly and helpful, which really contributed to the overall great experience we had. After that, the kids went back to the pool and then we went to the 7:00 dinner seating. Dinner was from a menu, and I ordered the flatiron steak, which was thick and good, and the chicken orichiette, which was mediocre. The sides were mushroom crostini and baked artichoke dip, both of which were good. The buffet tables had mashed potatoes and other sides and the salad bar open. In addition to the previous night's desserts there was an ice cream station with a make-your-own-sundae section.

After dinner, we went downstairs where a DJ was having a dance party for the kids. At 9:30 there was a magic/comedy show that was also great for the kids. We went back to the room and went to sleep around 10:30 or 11.

On day 3, we went to breakfast and then hit the pool for a little while, then checked out and loaded up the car. The kids played on the playground for a little bit, and then we went down the snow tubes a few more times. Since it had dropped down to 30 degrees overnight the tube rides were MUCH faster and more exciting than Sunday and Monday when it had been in the 40s and 50s. After that, we had a quick lunch and headed home.

This was our first "formal" vacation in two years and as I said, I was a little worried based on some of the reviews I've seen online, despite RHR's 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. But my whole family had a great time, and as I said, we'd definitely like to go back, but maybe during another season. Being on the edge of winter & spring may not be the best time, since it's too warm for the real winter activities and too cold for others, and minute-to-minute you might be too hot in your coat or too cold in your hoodie.

As I said, the staff was excellent - friendly and helpful. The room was ok, not wonderful, but I wasn't expecting a palace. The food wasn't exactly gourmet (not that I'd want or expect that on a horse ranch), but was overall very good. I should mention that the chef was very accommodating to my wife's gluten allergy - if you have any kind of allergy make sure to tell them this when you book your reservation and speak to the chef when you arrive. My only complaint about our experience was that it was rather expensive (it came to about $1200 for our 2-night stay), but since we had such a great time I can't complain about that too much -- I'd rather pay extra for a great time than save a few bucks and have a miserable time.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 220 and it was great - relatively quiet and easy to get back into the room from th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Evan68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe Township, NJ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

We just got home today. One of the most relaxing, enjoyable weekends we've ever had. We rode horses, big thanks to TJ one of the wranglers, for taking the time between rides, to snap a family picture of us. Everyone of the staff was great. Snow tubing and skiing was still open, amazingly. Kids were on a paddle boat today after our ride(3rd ride in 3 days), went rock climbing, bungee trampoline jumping, shot a bow and arrow for 1st time, shot pellet guns, played mini golf and horse shoes. Saw a camel, zebra some yaks in a little viewing area. My youngest did a scavenger hunt while my oldest and I went on another ride. Breakfast lunch and dinner was all included ( very good) even had an appetizer and specialty drink tasting. Sunrise is beautiful, marshmallows by the little fire near the snow tubing.......and the indoor water facility was great too. Just an unbelievable weekend. Highly recommend. FYI our daughters are 10 and 8
Joe M
NJ

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 483JoeM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matawan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

Rocking Horse Ranch is without a doubt the BEST dude ranch in the North East. The entire facility is CLEAN and modern. The staff is excellent and there are tons of activities . Skiing & snow tubing , horseback riding , bungee jumping , rock wall climbing , heated indoor pool with 250 foot water slide , free 24/ 7 coffee bar & danishes, available spa services , fun barn, game room and WII room ! It was really amazing , and the food was very good , unlike the slop we were served at another dude ranch. We will definitely return and would highly recommend Rocking Horse if you are looking for a dude ranch experience. It is a bit pricey , but " You get what you pay for !!! " Frank W.

Room Tip: Rooms in Texas wing are close to lobby & all facilities.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Frank W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

Ok so i am happy to write the review and tell you all what a great place this is but i am so selfish in that I don't want to tell everyone since its such a fun, great place! the staff is amazing - we loved the new addition of Annie this year for all the activities - and all the wranglers and barn staff - Lisa, TJ, Kath, Megan are all so wonderful and really helpful! my daughter and I go every year -my only advice would be to join in on all the fun! it really makes for a great experience!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank catecarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Part Catskills resort, part dude ranch, this is a great getaway if you have kids. There are a plethora of fixed activities, plus additional daily specials. Even if you aren't into horses, there is really enough to stay busy all day. Every family will have their own favorites, but the indoor water park and fun barn were unbelievably designed, well-supervised, and made for many hours of excitement. There was an obviously high ratio of staff to guests, and they were unbelievably attentive and observant. The western theme was amusing without being overly kitch. Probably worth mentioning that this isn't a destination for singles or couples - you'd be very out of place without kids.

Rooms are motel-style, and perfectly fine, but remember that you're going to a dude ranch and not a luxury hotel. Besides, you won't be spending much time there. Walls are paper thin and you hear every footstep above or outside your room. there are quiet hours at night, though light sleepers may have a hard time settling down. There are fridges if you want to bring your own snacks and drinks. There is 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cakes in the tv room off the lobby and 2 full bars (plenty of beer selections but wine a bit lacking).

Food was plentiful but uninspired. While fine for kid palates, it was a little bland for adults. Breakfast and lunch buffets were decent with enough fruit and veg options, but a la carte dinners were unappealing if not just bad. I know that you can't please everyone, but there are plenty of hotels, resorts and cruise ships that manage to turn out quality meals all day and night - RHR please invest some effort here! This was the only negative point and only reason I wouldn't give a 5-star review.

Regardless, I'd almost certainly go back on another family trip.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank JoshNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Highland
16.8 mi away
Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch
9.5 mi away
Minnewaska Lodge
Minnewaska Lodge
#1 of 1 in Gardiner
4.5 of 5 bubbles 319 reviews
4.3 mi away
Hampton Inn New Paltz
Hampton Inn New Paltz
#2 of 5 in New Paltz
5.0 of 5 bubbles 72 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.3 mi away
Super 8 Highland NY
Super 8 Highland NY
#2 of 5 in Highland
3.5 of 5 bubbles 384 reviews
5.4 mi away
Hampton Inn & Suites Poughkeepsie
4.7 mi away
Courtyard Poughkeepsie
Courtyard Poughkeepsie
#2 of 13 in Poughkeepsie
4.0 of 5 bubbles 410 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Rocking Horse Ranch Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Property: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Address: 600 State Route 44/55, Highland, NY 12528-2259
Phone Number:
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 120
Also Known As:
Rocking Horse Ranch Hotel Highland
Rocking Horse Hotel
Rocking Horse Resort

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing