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“Family summer vacation 2014”

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Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Highland
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2014

The rooms need to be totally redone to make the price worthwhile. The activity selection and quality are fabulous if your kids are over 7. Under 7 you are excluded from many. The cleanliness is impressive. The staff is super nice. The rooms are not good. They are motel rooms not resort quality even in the main lodge where we stayed. If they get redone, we will return.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank OAMM
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 reviewResponded August 25, 2014

Thank you OAMM for your comments.

I’m very happy to hear that your family enjoyed all of our facilities and activities. As you can see from our comments, we are constantly renovating, improving, and expanding. We always seem to make the right decisions because we listen to all of our guests' comments. I would appreciate it if you would contact me directly so I can get a little more information about the specific issues you found with your room. After our latest AAA Inspection this past spring, the inspector commented that not only do we earn our 3 diamond rating, much of the Ranch’s facilities meet the AAA 4 diamond standard of excellence.

Also, I would like to discuss further with you your 7 and under comment. Except for horseback riding on our trails, we are a resort tailor fit for the 2-12 year old family. From pony rides to hay rides, banana boat rides to bungee jumping, to our 4 heated pools including the Big Splash indoor water park; even our nightly entertainment is kid friendly. Rocking Horse is an ideal setting for the young family on the go looking for an all-inclusive destination.

We hope to have you as a guest again!
Please contact me directly.

Best regards,
Kyle, GM

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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751 - 757 of 1,366 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2014

I first came to RHR when I was 9 yrs. old. We instantly fell in love and looked forward to returning every summer which we did. I now have 2 boys of my own who are 21 & 16 who have grown up coming to RHR every summer. We have met so many people over the years and continue to vacation with them every summer at RHR. Our children keep in touch with the kids from the other families and look forward to seeing them at RHR every summer.

Over the years the improvements that have been made are astonishing. Every year the Turk family does some kind of improvement to make the resort even better then the year before. The grounds are always keep immaculate.

Safety was never in question for us. When our kids were younger it was nice to let them go off and do their own thing without having to worry. I always felt at ease.

I love the horseback riding. Scott runs the barn and has always gone out of his way to make sure that you have a good riding experience. We all look forward to seeing him every year! He is an asset to the RHR family.

The food is good and there is always something for everyone. Victor runs the dining hall and again is always there to meet whatever need you have. The wait staff is young college kids who are polite and friendly.

We enjoy the entertainment. It has been a little challenging for the kids once they hit the age of 16 because everything is geared around younger children. DJ Mike and Annie have been great additions to the staff my kids and the other kids really like them. They always tried to make it fun for that older braket.

The pricing was better in the past when they would post the prices for the different rooms instead of giving you the starting at price. I was able to pass along the price to other family members without having to contact someone to get the price. I do think that it would be helpful for families like mine to have the child rate apply up to the age of 18 because technically they are not adults until 18. Just something to think about.

The last thing that I will say is that if you have an issue tell someone because believe it or not they do listen to what people say. They can not fix a problem if they do not know about it. I have always made it a point to tell them when I had a problem. Things have not always been perfect but I have voiced my opinion and they have always listened and tried their best to fix the problem.

Grace McDonald

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Grace M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2014

We took our 5 grandkids (age 13 1/2 to 4 1/2) RHR this week hoping for the best. Would the place interest our age range? Would there be all sorts of hidden charges on top of the somewhat pricey rate? Would the kids (and grown-ups) eat the food? Would the wait-times for the various activities be too long? Would the rooms actually accommodate our gang (4 in one room, 5 in the other)? Would the wi-fi work? Would it be smelly?

Wow. The place knocked our socks off. One of the few places we've been to where the actual experience exceeded the website's promises!

First of all, it is indeed a ranch and the horses, wranglers and staff were super knowledgeable and professional. Whether it was pony rides for the little ones or beginner rides for the older ones, everyone was thrilled with the experience and learning...and the efforts made for safety.

Our older kids also tried water-skiing and were up in no time. Also popular was the bungee jumping. Lots of fun, no long waits. And all the kids spent a lot of time in the indoor and outdoor pools with water-slides of age-appropriate easiness.

Rooms: spacious. Dining: well-organized, kid friendly, food for all ages. Not "fine dining" but not bad. Wi-fi worked in all areas. Grounds kept impeccably and while there was some "eau de doo da day" from the stables, we didn't find it at all "smelly".

And the staff, from top to bottom, was professional, friendly and helpful

In short, this place really delivered and we don't have enough good things to say about it.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank globofox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2014

We just spent three wonderful nights in this great family resort. Our multi generational family of 13 (2 years old to 73) were busy and active from the first thing in the morning until it was time for bed. We did horseback riding everyday and even the 2 and 6 year olds had their own horses (ponies) to ride. The trails are beautiful and there are 3 levels of these one hour rides (beginner, intermediate and advanced). There were indoor and outdoor pools and water slides including a multi story water slide that went from outside to inside and as my kids said, "it's the fasted slide we've ever done." We did water skiing and the banana boat, mini golf, basketball, baseball and bungee cord trampolines, outdoor ping pong, frisbee golf and bocce. We did not go fishing but people told us that they had caught some large carp. There were all kinds of activities and events during the day as well as a day camp (no charge) and an hourly ($10.00 per hour) day care for our 2 year old which we used twice while we were all horseback riding. The food was plentiful and quite good with a large enough selection to meet our varied and specialized dietary requirements. Breakfasts were buffet and we were seated whenever we came to the dinning room. Some of the lunches were in the dinning room and some were an outdoor bar b q with seating at umbrella protected picnic tables and other tables with chairs under open sided tents. Theses lunches were also buffet and at any time during the lunch timeframe. Dinner was by reservation time and was ordered from a menu which changed daily. There were 2 shows each night, one at 8 pm and one at 9:30 pm and well as DJ dancing. The 3 shows we saw were a juggler, a comedian and a ventriloquist. All the entertainment was family oriented and enjoyed by all ages. Our 6 year old grandson enjoyed all the shows. The kids all went down in front of the stage and sat on the floor. There is a room for teens and movies for them and several large rooms for T.V. viewing. There's always pop corn available in the lobby bar area and citrus water as well as water on the grounds in Igloo barrels with plastic cups to quench your thirst and keep you hydrated at all times. There are outdoor tennis courts, an indoor shooting range for rifle and archery, arts and crafts, beach volley ball, a large outdoor climbing wall as well as an indoor facility with bounce and gym and climbing wall for younger children and a little zoo with a zebra, camel, donkey and goats. I'm sure I've missed some of the activities and facilities but everything we did was great fun and the staff were warm, friendly, helpful, skilled and very accommodating. The property and grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. Even though your day of arrival includes just dinner and your day of departure includes breakfast and lunch, you are invited to use the facilities on each of those days before your room is ready and after you have checked out. The rooms were large and the beds were comfortable and there are rooms to accommodate a family of 6. All 13 of us had a fabulous time and would recommend Rocking Horse Ranch for a great family vacation. .

Room Tip: Everything is close, so even if you aren't in the main building, which we were, it is only steps...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank elliot r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2014

This was a new experience for us this year, and it was a great vacation. We have two children, ages 12 and 8, and we also included Grandpa, and my sister-in-law's family with two older kids aged 20 and 15. There was lots to do, and everyone had a great time - we didn't even use all of the available activities, but some of the things we did use were: tennis, kayak, paddle boats, bungee trampoline, rock climbing wall, indoor water area, outdoor swimming pool, horseback riding, bonfire and marshmallows, and the banana boat. The indoor "tube" water slide is one of the best and fastest small slides I have ever been on (compared to Attitash, Whales Tale, Weirs Beach Water Slide).

Even on the day when it rained, there was still plenty to do: Bingo, pie-eating contest, frozen t-shirt meltdown in the pool. There were shows at night (wild west show, a couple ventriloquists, and a ventriloquist magician), a reptile presentation where we got to touch a small python and a baby alligator.

The food was excellent. There was a breakfast buffet every morning, lunch was sometimes a cookout outside under a tent, and sometimes in the dining room. You could eat lunch and breakfast at any time between 8 - 10am and 12 - 2pm. Dinner, you had to pick the same time every night. There were also cocktail parties by the pool with pina colada's, cheese and crackers, and other appetizers like jalepeno poppers (it varied).

We were a vegetarian group that ate fish, and we had 1 gluten free person in our group. Whenever the available menu did not have something we could eat, it was very easy to get something else. For example, when veggie burgers were available at the cookout, we were able to arrange to get salmon ahead of time - the assistant food and beverage manager was very helpful, and the chef at the cookout told us to speak to anyone in the food area about anything we needed and they would be able to do it. Everyone was very pleasant - including the landscaping people who asked us if we were having a good time.

This is an all-inclusive resort, but it isn't 100% inclusive. Alcohol (with the exception of pina colada's at the cocktail parties) is not included, and soft pretzels and ice cream bars available in various places do cost extra. All of the activities are included.

A few recommendations for the ranch:
1. The kayak and paddle boat area is a little small due to the motor boat area which is used for water skiing and the banana boat rides. It might be a good idea to have a few hours every day when the motor boat is closed down so that the kayaks and paddle boats can use the whole area. Currently, the banana boat rides are from 3 - 5 daily, and the rest of the time is for water skiing or wake boarding. But, with small kids, the isolated area was fine, and it was nice to have it on the resort grounds.

2. They wanted you to sign up for certain activities (like the horseback riding and water skiiing) for the same time every day. You could show up any other time for "stand by", where you had to wait for everyone who signed up, and potentially be able to do the activity (you typically could). Being able to sign up for any time would be better.

3. Having to eat dinner at the same time every night could be problematic. If you ended up eating lunch on the later side, eating an early dinner was a problem - especially if you enjoyed pina colada's with snacks in the afternoon. But, later dinner times could conflict with the 8pm show time (important if you have young kids). This might be due to the current size of the dining area - which they are planning on expanding this year to seat more people. This may also be because dinner is not a buffet - you must order off a menu. But, having a menu for dinner is a much nicer experience.

4. There really isn't anything that can be considered an "adult" pool that you can use for swimming laps. The indoor pool is really geared towards kids, and the outdoor pool is usually pretty busy when the weather is nice. Perhaps "adult hours" in the pool?

5. The frozen t-shirt meltdown was really geared towards kids. I think it would be a great idea to have one for adults, especially after having a few drinks (or maybe this is better suited for something like Club Med).

Most of these recommendations are pretty minor. Overall this was a great vacation and are planning on coming back next year.

Room Tip: For families, the rooms with two double beds and a bunk bed makes enough room to sleep 4 to 6 people...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank dragonjuggler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2014

5 star rating
Best family get away in the tri state area new York, New jersey, Connecticut

No hesitation to recommend this place to families with kids. They keep it incredibly clean and well maintained for so many kids.

Great staff
Great facilities
Great cleaning/maintenance
Great location

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank skiutah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2014

My family went to the Rocking Horse Ranch from August 13-18. We wanted something close by but far enough away that we did not feel like we were still in the Connecticut area. I had heard wonderful things about it so we finally tried it.
I am an extremely detail oriented clean person but can also be laid back if that makes any sense. So I do have high expectations but in the same manner I do not have unrealistic expectations.
It is a very beautiful well-manicured property. Beautiful flowers and very clean. The room (we stayed in the main building) was very clean. We have 5 in our family – two adults, two year old, five year old and eight year old. The room was large and there was more than enough room. Housekeeping was on top of everything and we never ran out of linens or soap/shampoo.
The amenities were very fun. Pools, waterslides, rock wall, trampoline, boats, banana boats, etc. List goes on. Shows were very good. Especially the magicians. Very very funny and entertaining. Every day at 3pm there were appetizers and cocktails in one way or another…in saloon, by the pool….a nice touch. My kids loved the free hot chocolate (and I loved the free coffee and tea) in the lobby. There is free popcorn in the lobby as well. There was ALWAYS something to do.
My understanding is that the hotel was a full house. I never had to stand in line, always a seat by the pool, always a paddle boat or a kyak…. not overcrowded at all. I felt like I owned the place. Very private and laid back. Lifeguards were very very attentive and always had their eyes where they needed to be. My child slipped up the stairs in the indoor pool (it happens…for those that nit pick on things like that you should not leave your house) and out of nowhere someone was there asking if we wanted ice.
One of the main reasons we went was for the horseback riding. However, we are not riders. I rode as a kid but had not been on a horse for like 20 years. My eight year old had never been on a horse (My other children were five and under…you have to be seven and older to ride trails. There are pony rides (but actually a horse) for the younger kids). We started out at the beginner level. They have beginner, intermediate and advanced. My son and I rode five times as beginner. We eventually wanted to do intermediate, walk-trot (advanced was never in the cards for us- run/canter). Although the wranglers will not necessarily say no if you want to go straight to intermediate, they do recommend 5-7 beginner rides before intermediate (you have to try out for advanced by the way). We had made it known at the beginning of our visit we wanted to eventually do intermediate. All the wranglers were fabulous but one really stood out- Tara. She knew our goal and made sure that she provided pointers and tips for myself and my son during each of our beginner rides. Tara was more than thorough with checking our saddle and stirrups before each ride and during the first few rides where I was very nervous she made sure that either she or another wrangler was nearby. She told us what we were doing wrong and what we were doing right on each ride. Our first intermediate ride she had us up front with her so she could keep an eye on us. Our first intermediate ride was fabulous. My son really developed (as did I) a love of horses during this trip. Mind you, she provided us with ‘personalized attention’ while at the same time not taking away attention from anyone else. Tara did it all and was a master at multi-tasking. For example, there was a small boy in back of me on a horse. The reins broke on the horse. How she saw this I have no idea because she was at the head of the line but she did. Very professionally she radioed to other wranglers to meet us on the trail with new reins. She also kept a close eye on the horse as we had stopped and were standing still because technically the little boy would not be able to control the horse if it moved. Within two minutes someone came with the necessary equipment and we are on our way like five minutes later. No one was ever ‘alarmed’. I saw several examples of other wranglers not thinking twice of putting themselves between two horses on foot if the horses acted up with clients riding them. With the many rides that I did not once did I see any major issues. They ran the riding like a well-oiled machine. There was a strict process and they stuck to that process. All horses had to be in single file at all times. Safety was a priority. There was always a wrangler nearby on all rides.
I want to point out that there is a reason for the seven and above rule. Maybe a larger 6 ½ year old can do it but you need to control your horse on the trails. Even beginner. So be mindful when you go of this and do not get upset if you try to put/sneak a child younger than seven on the trails and they can’t handle it.
The only negative comment I have is the food. I am a ‘foodie’. That said the food is not bad. However, since the website claims it is ‘award winning’ I find that I do have to mention that it is nowhere close. There are a few negative comments about the food and I think it is because the website builds it up with the words ‘award winning’ therefore it becomes an issue with some people. There is plenty of it. Service is good. It is clean. The variety of what they have is well thought out…even their sit down dinner menus. But the quality of the food needs to be improved if the ranch is going to advertise it as ‘award winning chef’.
Lastly, this is more of a comment. I did hear rumors more rooms may be added. I highly recommend being very careful with that as to not overcrowd the property. One of the main things is that it is not crowded.
I had one of the best vacations in a long time. My favorite part was riding each morning at 8am with my son and bonding. We will definitely go back!

Room Tip: The rooms in the main building are larger and better for a larger family.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank LPBPSPHX
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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