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“We LOOOOOVE this place!!”

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Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Highland
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“We LOOOOOVE this place!!”
Reviewed August 30, 2014

This is one of our families favorite vacation spots. Less than 2 hours from NYC, we love the fact that we can go horse back riding several times a day and that there are activities all day. The kids went bungee jumping, boating, fishing, water skiing and of course swimming!! They had a huge bunch of balloons and happy birthday sign on our table waiting for us at dinner. They also sang my daughter happy birthday which she loved!! This was our second time at the ranch and we will definitely be back again!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cliffmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (386)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2014

In March, I called to book a trip to the RHR. The woman I spoke with told me that she could not meet my request of adjoining rooms, but she could give us rooms right next to each other. I pressed her, asking, "Can you absolutely guarantee that our rooms will be next to each other?". She said, "Absolutely". Unfortunately, absolutely turned out to be 'absolutely not' when we checked in last week. We have four children 5 and under, and were traveling with my mom. That's too many people for one room. So we needed two, but--I needed to be close to all four of our kids since they're so little. Because rooms next to each other was a condition of my booking, I was very disappointed that upon check in, we were assigned rooms with 5 or 6 other guestrooms and a corner between them. Not at all what we wanted, expected, or were promised. I asked to speak to a manager, and a very nice woman named Christine offered to try to squeeze bunk beds into a room that might not be able to fit them. It was a nice attempt--but it didn't sound promising. Christine assured me that she would speak to her manager. We later found a note from her with some chocolates that read, "Thank you for sharing your issue with me." Perhaps a more apt note might have read, "I'm so sorry that we overpromised and underdelivered. We will re-train our reservations staff about what is and what isn't possible.".

Next, I went to reserve our dinner seatings. We checked in at 3 p.m., an hour before check in is technically supposed to begin. Even still, when I asked for a 6 or 6:30 seating, I was told that they were already full. I was given 5:15 and 7:15 as options. Neither was appropriate--at 5:15 the kids (and adults) wouldn't be hungry, and at 7:15, the kids would be half asleep. Even after explaining this to the maitre d', she was unable to help us. My expectation is that our family should be able to reserve a dinner time that works for us, particularly when I attempted to make said reservation before I was even supposed to arrive on site. Something is very wrong with the present system, and I hope that the manager reconsiders it.

After settling on a dinner time, I asked to meet with the chef. A month before we visited the RHR, I sent an email indicating our dietary preferences and requirements. Our family includes vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians. We prefer to eat whole grains. Nothing fancy or difficult. Just requires preparation. I was soon greeted by the lovely Kathy. Kathy was warm, sweet, professional, accommodating, and completely in the dark about our family's dietary preferences. Unfortunately, the front desk had not bothered to forward my email to her. Nonetheless, she promised to do her best. Our first dinner was nice. The second dinner wasn't a success, unfortunately. Though there were 6 hungry people at our table, we only received 4 appetizers. When we requested more, we were told that none were left. The entree didn't at all conform to our wishes. I spoke to Kathy about it, and another one was hastily made. But by the time it was served our children were exhausted, making it difficult to enjoy. At the lunches we were served baked beans straight from the can two days in a row. The second day, they were supposed to be inserted into taco shells. I couldn't get my kids to go for that (I can't imagine anyone going for that, actually), so requested black beans for the tacos. They, too, were served straight from the can. I'm no chef, but beans must be rinsed before serving from a can.

But back to day 1: we checked into our rooms in the Oklahoma building. I was not expecting motel rooms for the price we paid, but unfortunately, that is exactly what we got.

And there were other signs of a disconnect between the cost of this trip and the services offered: 1. an outdoor pool that looks like it hasn't been updated since the 1970s, complete with cheap looking plastic outdoor chairs. Those chairs appeared all over the grounds of the RHR. 2. Arts and Crafts incurred a fee. I wouldn't have minded paying for the little figurines our children painted if I hadn't already paid for this all-inclusive resort. Is it really necessary to charge $2 per piece? And then there was the mining activity, also available for an additional $6-$12 extra. Again, made us feel nickel and dimed.

I did not find that the services and facilities were commensurate with the price tag.

To be fair, there is a whole lot that the RHR gets right. Our kids LOVED each minute spent at the ranch. So much fun, and so many things to do! The grounds are pristine. The flowers are nothing short of exquisite. The food is abundant, and there is so much beautiful and delicious fresh fruit. The band hired to play at the lunch barbeque was fantastic. The indoor water play area is small but a delight for younger children. The location is very convenient--just 1.5 hours from NYC. The playground is newer and appropriate for children in a wide age range. There are many interesting animals to meet.


Suggestions:
*reservationists should know what is and what isn't possible
*guests should be seated for dinner at the time of their choice
*front desk staff intercepting emails should direct them accordingly
*guest rooms should be updated to reflect contemporary standards: suites, nicer bathroom finishes, softer bedding, etc...
*revamp the pool area with nicer, more comfortable pool chairs, and a more aesthetic pool frame
*eliminate nominal fees, or offer a credit of one art/mining project per child. The goal is to make guests feel that everything is taken care of

Will we go back? We'll have to see if changes are made in the coming years to address the issues noted above. That, or if our kids don't stop begging us to return :-)

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank emadoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2014

We went for Thanksgiving last year. The food was great, tons of choices and good quality. The staff was super friendly. There was no shortage of fun activities for the whole family. It felt like camp for the whole family. We were able to ride a horse, just about any time. We only did it once. My son loved the indoor pool area. It was steps away from our room which was great. The rooms were clean and spacious. My only complain would be the thin walls. I could hear every word our neighbors said in their rooms. The family next to us got up to ride at 6 in the morning and yelled back and forth with their kids. Other than that I would definitely recommend it and we will probably go back sometime soon.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2014

This was the perfect getaway for me and my 5 year old. The only negative was the cost, as it was quite expensive as a single adult (room quote is based on double occupancy so a single adult pays 1.5 times the cost) and having unfortunately been stuck with the most expensive two nights of the month because of job restrictions. Setting aside the cost, everything was wonderful. The room was clean, spacious and comfortable. The food was good. And there were so many activities from morning until night. The indoor water park and pools were so much fun; the air and water temperature are maintained at the same warm temperature, so no matter the weather, you can have fun comfortably. My child keeps asking to go back, so I am hoping that we are just waiting for a date which is less expensive and doable with my work schedule!

Room Tip: Main Lodge is so convenient, as you do not have to go outside to eat or go to indoor water park/pool...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 123michel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trumbull, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2014

We just came back from our fourth trip to RHR. Every year they make upgrades to the rooms and facility. There are so many activities to keep kids of all ages busy from archery to excellent horseback riding.

When it comes to the food we have to be very careful as our son has a dairy allergy. The staff have always been extremely helpful about having food available for him to eat. They even will make something fresh for him to avoid cross contamination. This year though they have exceeded our expectations. Kathy went out of her way every night to make sure he had plenty to eat and brought special deserts that were dairy free for him. It made him feel special which we appreciate. They offered quite a different selection of quality food than in prior years and this enhanced the dining experience for all.

As far as activities go there are a ton of activities. Some even cater to adults like beer volleyball. I don't think it is possible for a person to get bored. My wife rode twice a day and had a great experience. They even asked which horse she would like to ride. The only suggestion I could make is they should increase the amount of time available for the banana boats. The lines are long.

We looked at other facilities and resorts and they were quite expensive and did not include meals or the activities that RHR offers. Compared to them RHR was a bargain.

I can not stress how friendly the staff was. This includes the restaurant staff and the people who run the activities. Everyone was fantastic. We are already looking forward to next year.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor of the lodge are quieter.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank drsun99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed August 25, 2014 via mobile

You know you have been on the perfect vacation when your first day back at the ranch you are thinking about your next visit...This is how we feel every time we spend our week in horse lover paradise! Each year I visit with my good friend and our daughters, each 10 years old. We look forward to our vacation but also returning to our extended" family" this is how we feel every time we are at the
ranch.
Everything from the food to the activities and hospitality is perfect,but it is our wrangler "family" that keeps us returning. The girls ran to the barn at 8am excited to see their favorite friend Scott standing there to tell them who their first ride would be with!!! We all looked around hopeful to find Lisa and made our day when she came out to greet us!!! How funny to see the girls upset when Harvy,my favorite four legged friend, was not accompanied by Juan!!! No worries, he had the day off!!! For six days we were in our paradise the girls and my friend on almost every ride with a gentleman that had been coming to the ranch since he was a kid!! This tells you how wonderful a place that everyone keeps returning every year!I want to personally thank Scott and his incredible team of wranglers for giving us another perfect week of heaven. !!!!!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank taylorwitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland Mills, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2014

I spent 5 days/4 nights at the Rocking Horse Ranch and was completely disappointed. For the price we paid, the room and bedding smelled of mildew/mold, the carpets were filthy and there was no in-room wi-fi available (although it is clearly advertized as availalbe in all rooms on the website). The food was marginal at best and the staff rushed us through our meals. The dining room was more like a 'upscale' cafeteria - loud, crowded and with bus stations next to many of the tables which made dining uncomfortable (unless you like have a washbucket a few inches from your face while you eat).
Having paid in excess of $2000, I would have expected a lot more from this resort. Although the website gives the appearance that this is 'all-inclusive', it is not. Snacks, game room, drinks all cost extra. That combined with the rooms and dining being poor, I would have checked out the first night if I had not already committed so much money.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Melissa L
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, August 26, 2014
Melissa,

I’m very sorry for your disappointment in your stay. I am aware that our Front Office Manager spoke with you about the Wi-Fi issue in our Oklahoma building; however, I had no idea about the other issues you experienced. I certainly would have made some accommodations for you during your stay so you would have had a more enjoyable experience. Let me explain a couple of the improvements that we are starting, because I think they will change your view of Rocking Horse and certainly make you want to come back with your son.

We have big expansion and renovation plans starting this week. To address the size of the Oklahoma rooms, we are reducing the Oklahoma building from 20 rooms to only 14 rooms. The reduction in rooms will result in most of the Oklahoma rooms increasing in size, including adding more bunk beds in additional rooms. This renovation will certainly make our Oklahoma building more appealing for all of our guests.

As for our dining room, take a look at our website. We have just started excavation on a 2,000 square foot addition. This is almost doubling the size of our seating area. This expansion will make for an even better guest experience for everyone. The additional space will be use for live cooking-action stations, more seating space, and social areas for just “lounging.”

We are really excited about the new things to come for Rocking Horse. Please contact me so I can have you return and really see the value that Rocking Horse has to offer!

Thanks,
Kyle
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 113
Also Known As:
Rocking Horse Ranch Hotel Highland
Rocking Horse Hotel
Rocking Horse Resort

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