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“the cowboys wear white hats here”
Review of Pisgah View Ranch

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Pisgah View Ranch
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Candler
Reviewed July 6, 2009

If the old saying that the good guys "wear the white hats".. then order another dozen for the Pisgah View Ranch. We had spent many family vacations and reunions over the past 25 years, and returned after years of absence to find the property as charming, beautiful and special as ever. Added to the natural beauty are the team assembled by Mark and Hanna, the current managers for the founding family. They make you feel more then welcome, and it is easy to become a part of their family, or, as we did, invite them to join yours. Memories abound here.. and new ones are easily formed. This is indeed a special place with special people. Bring your white hat and join the crowd!!!!

Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
9  Thank rchjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 - 109 of 116 reviews

Reviewed June 14, 2009

We returned today from our week-long stay at the Pisgah View Ranch. I'd read many of the negative reviews before our departure, and was sufficiently nervous that I brought extra sheets in case my in-laws, who were hosting us, were dissatisfied with theirs.

To be honest, I'm accustomed to staying in much more elegant accommodations--there's no question the cabins are merely basic and serviceable--but I must say, we've rarely enjoyed a family trip more (and we've had several over the years to far more glamorous places, including last year's humdinger of a cruise to the Cayman Islands, Honduras and Belize). Personally, I think you need at least a couple of days to settle into the unique peace and beauty of Pisgah View Ranch.

Some things are evident from the outset--such as Chef Dan's abundant and sinfully delicious food--but others grow on you quietly, such as the easy hospitality of ranch managers Hannah and Mark, the watchful but light-handed guidance of horse wranglers Russ and Matt, and the pleasures of fishing in a pond where every blue gill and bass has already been caught a thousand times. We enjoyed the evening activities--blue grass bands, square dancing, bonfires, exhibition shooting--but they were only one element of the overall experience. Watching our children gain confidence on horses was amazing, feeling confident in their safety as they independently roamed the ranch was welcome, and realizing they didn't touch a television all week was the biggest miracle of all. The fact that all this was taking place on a ranch owned by the same family for the last 200 years only added to my pleasure.

Do some things need updating? Sure. Would it seem overpriced if you were just there for a night? I suspect so, since it's a place that needs to grow on you because its pleasures are more subtle than a price tag. But when, as we were leaving, we asked our (finicky) nine-year-old twins what they liked best, their answers were clear and unequivocal: Everything.

And, speaking for the 7 adults and one teenager in our party, I'd have to agree.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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8  Thank Jeanmarie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2009

I just returned from my annual vacation to the ranch. Like many guests, I have been returning for many years. If you love the country, natural beauty, wonderful food, simple but gracious hospitality - Pisgah is for you. Nothing fancy, rather very rustic. .

The ranch sits on 2000 acres of mountains meadows, fields and is nestled in a valley below Mt. Pisgah in western North Carolina. Family run, it is unique in all the world. You can hike, ride horseback, swim, play shuffle board, enjoy incredible southern style meals prepared by world class chef Dan or just relax in a rocking chair on the porch of your log cabin. After guests finish dinner each evening, they proceed to the barn for entertainment (blue grass music, clogging, etc.) or a walk around the "loop." Wonderful new frienships are made over meals served "country style" in the farm house dining room. Once a week, guests are treated to a "cook out" and bond fire down by the lake.

Ranch managers Mark and Hanna go out of their way to provide wonderful and friendly southern hospitality. The ranch is family owned and very family friendly. There are no phones or televisions in the cabins. However, these ammenities can be found in the "Pisgah Room" which is also located in the farm house adjacent to the dining room..

Before leaving the ranch on my last visit, I made reservations for another trip this year and one next year. I continually reecommend this destination to friends who seek an escape from the urban/suburban rat race.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled on business
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12  Thank bartbartlett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2008

We were a group of 7 ( 3 adults and 4 kids) expecting to have fun relaxing and enjoying some scenic trail rides. But, our experience was quite different!! We stayed in an old cabin that was okay and clean. We found most of the amenities to be run down and in need of repair (pool, tennis, game room, etc). The food was barely acceptable. Several main meals were served without any meat and the promised chocolate chip cookies were gone our first day. Then there were the infamous trail rides! It is obvious the horses were totally inexperienced as were the guides. Out of 4 trail rides, only one was successfully completed. Spooked horses, kids and adults thrown from their horses, two riders taken to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, cuts, injured back, bruises were the norm for the remaining 3 trail rides. The result was 3 kids who will never ride a horse again because of their terrorizing experience!! On the positive side, the staff was very friendly and helpful and probably did as good a job as possible considering what they had to work with.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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9  Thank andy767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PisgahViewRanch, Managers at Pisgah View Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2009

First off, we would like to say that our horses are extremely gentle and safe. We assign people to horses depending on what they say their riding levels are. When dealing with horses, unfortunately accidents can happen. We have really great wranglers who are well trained so that we can keep accidents low. With our meals, we prepare them for a balanced diet of each food group with a meat product being part of the center item. We also strive to meet everyone's needs such as allergies or different ways of eating, like a vegetarian style. The management and all our staff eat every meal that is served to our guests, so i can assure you that our meals are very delicious our they wouldn't be on our menu. Unfortunately though we can't always please every guest, but our staff always trys to meet our guests needs.

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Reviewed October 18, 2008

Upon arriving at Pisgah View Ranch, we were first amazed at the breath taking scenery. The moment you pull into the Ranch you feel you have arrived at a true Dude Ranch. With horses on the right and a pond on the left.

The historical Ranch house takes you back in time and the managers do an excellent job keeping the theme alive through the decor, food and activities.

Our first night, we enjoyed a BBQ cookout, a campfire with smores, and a competitive game of volleyball. The next morning we headed to breakfast upon the ringing of the rustic bell. The food was great! There was something for everyone, including two picky little eaters.

Throughout our stay,we enjoyed a family horse back ride through the mountains. The guide was very helpful, especially with our 5 year old. We enjoyed the ride and were able to see some amazing nature! In the afternoon, the managers generously offered their fishing poles to the kids & showed us around the nature center.

As parents, we loved the step back in time from the original cabins with fireplaces, the history of the Ranch, the breathtaking views, and the extras that the staff so willingly provided to our family. Our kids were able to enjoy slowing down, and feeling like they too were welcome on the "real live dude ranch." They enjoyed feeding the goats and chickens, riding the horses and romping around.

This was a wonderful, relaxing family experience! We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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8  Thank HelgaOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

I recently attended a wedding at the Pisgah View Ranch. Upon arrival, we were greeted by goats headbutting us as we got out of our car. As we walked in to check in, we were handed a waiver releasing the ranch of any responsibility whether negligent or not. After waiting about 30 minutes to get our key, we walked a short sidewalk, surrounded by foot high grass, through goat and chicken poop to our room. After passing the volleyball net that was hanging on the ground and the pool that was full of leaves, we arrived at our "shack". We opened the door and the bugs scattered! I was disturbed by what I saw. The bathroom ceiling was falling in, the windows didn't open, the blinds didn't raise or shut, the beds were hard as plywood with 1950s bedsheets (100 thread count at most). I killed 5 bugs the first 20 minutes I was there; one of them was a huge spider in an enormous web in the closet. The TV was from the 70s, it had pull knobs and received 2 channels. There is no outlet in the bathroom and the water was orange for the first 5 minutes it ran. We had 4 people in our room and only three towels. We asked for more but never received them. We had come to terms with $110 per person per night because the food was included. Well, breakfast is from 8am-8:10am, lunch, the same at 12pm and dinner at 6pm. They ring a big cow bell and you literally have 10 minutes to get there and eat or you don't eat. Their idea of snacks is granola bars, which they were out of. The dinner that was served (and additionally paid for) was very good. However, they shoved 32 people in a room that would seat 20 when they had 6 people in the main mess hall that seats 50. Come Saturday, we had to beg and plead for them to cut the grass for our friend's wedding. It was, no exaggeration, a foot tall. After walking through it for the rehearsal and dodging the charging goats as we walked, we had ask and ask for it to be done. After the grass was finally cut about an hour before the ceremony, the staff was no longer available to us. We saw nothing of them until Sunday morning when they started mowing the grass(!!!) at 7am. They obviously wanted us gone. Finally, upon checking out, they added a $165 gratuity to our bill. For what? They didn't clean our room or change bedsheets/towels, they didn't serve our food- it was buffet style (the one meal we did eat, which was horrible pizza). What did they do for that gratuity? I only saw the staff the Friday night they brought out our dinner. They didn't serve me food/drinks or clean up after me- again, gratuity? Overall, I felt raped. I just spent $500 for us to stay in this unmaintained, dirty, half broken shack with no service. We could have stayed at the Grove park Inn! I felt that the website is extremely misleading and that the cabins and staff were misrepresented. I would be ashamed to ask someone to pay that much money for what we received. This place has so much potential if they would only put back in a fraction of what they take in. The scenery is breathtaking, the sights are phenomenal, just very poor accommodations for the money. I would expect to pay around $50 per cabin, not person and to at least be able to find the staff on the grounds if needed. I definitely would not recommend this ranch for a wedding or even anything more than horseback riding. The cabins are a disgrace and the staff is hesitant, at best, to provide assistance to your needs.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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10  Thank justmyexperiences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PisgahViewRanch, Managers at Pisgah View Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2009

We would like to say that we offered a cabin with 4 separate rooms and bathrooms to 4 couples, only 3 out of 4 bedrooms were used. Each bedroom had extra towels for each couple. This group stayed in the Lakeside Cottage, which is a favorite of many guests and often requested. The water cannot be orange because of the type of plumbing that we use and there is an electrical outlet above the mirror in every bathroom. On a different note, our volleyball net is at standard height and has always been that way. All of the volley balls, soccer balls and basket balls can be found in the game room, completely full of air. The toys that are left outside are the ranch dogs’ chew toys. In the second weekend of October, the leaves had barely started to fall, especially into our pool which is cleaned every morning. At a ranch, the meals must be at scheduled times so that everyone has an opportunity to experience all of the amenities and activities. We chose to serve at 8, 12 & 6. Our typical meals are served family style, brought out to your table when everyone is seated. While you start eating we are already making fresh food in the back for seconds or if anyone comes in late. For many people who slept in on this particular weekend, we were serving breakfast until 10 am. The room we “shoved” 32 people in was chosen by the bride & groom for a private rehearsal dinner. Also, our “mess hall” is an old-fashioned dining room that is reserved for guests and not available for rent. Our many acres of grass are always kept at a manageable height. Up to 4 days prior to the wedding date, we had rain. Even on the wedding day it rained until noon. As soon as the rain subsided, our staff was out there mowing wet grass and raking it up so as to be perfect for the wedding. Contrary to this comment of “didn’t see any staff until Sunday morning”, the management and staff went above and beyond to take care of any needs any guests or wedding party needed. Back to our menu, as said before, most of our meals are served family style, except for Saturday lunches which is typically pizza buffet style. We serve this way so that our guests can have a variety of toppings an as much pizza as they want. We are an all-inclusive guest ranch were we go above and beyond what our guests expect. Unfortunately the relaxing country setting is not for everyone.

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Reviewed October 14, 2008

I recently stayed at the Pisgah View Ranch (to attend a wedding) which proved to be a most disappointing and unsatisfactory experience.

We crammed four (4) people into one cabin based on the recommendation of the Pisgah View staff, a ratio of people to space that was less than desirable. The cabins themselves can be described, at best, as antiquated. There were two double beds in a smaller than hotel - sized room. The mattresses were more than firm and supported by nothing more than a rolling metal frame. Only one of the three windows in the cabin could be opened.

The bathroom was furnished with three (3) towels despite our having made a reservation (and paid for) four people per cabin. Additional towels were requested at arrival, but never delivered at any point during the duration of our two-night stay. The bathroom ceiling paint was cracked and peeling; there was no electrical outlet in the bathroom.

Upon arrival, a member of our party found a number of live bugs in the cabin including spiders in the closet.

The grounds were not in much better shape. The grass was nearly a foot tall (which made the wedding rehearsal perilous) . Only after several requests by the betrothed did the staff mow the lawn, and then only in the area upon which the wedding was to take place. The areas surrounding the cabins and the main barn were not mowed until 8:00am on the day of our departure (Sunday) which we took as a not-so-subtle hint from the staff that it was time to depart.

The women’s bathroom in the main barn where the reception was held reeked of urine. One of the toilets had either leaked or overflowed leaving the area behind the toilets flooded. On Friday afternoon someone noticed and reported this problem yet the bathrooms were not cleaned at any point over the weekend.

The volleyball net was in poor shape and loosely hanging from the support poles. The volleyball was spotted behind the barn-- deflated!

There were no “baked goodies”, “snacks”, nor “fresh lemonade” provided between meals. Apparently, "snacks" for our weekend consisted of store-bought granola bars.

The rehearsal dinner for approximately 30 people was provided by Pisgah View. Although Pisgah View indicated that the separate meeting room would accommodate the number of dinner guests, the room was actually very small and comfortably seated only half of this number. Rather than moving our party to the main dining hall, we were crammed together in the smaller space to make way for the 8 to 10 non-wedding-party diners eating in the main dining room. The staff (which consisted of 3 people) was obviously overstretched.

Pricing for the ranch is $110 per person per night (excluding horse-related activities). That price is ludicrous considering the overwhelmingly poor quality of the accommodations, food, and service. To add insult to pricing injury, the Pisgah View Staff award themselves an automatic (as in non-negotiable, as in you can't dispute it, as in they don't have to earn it) 15% gratuity applied to your $110 a night. I can only assume that this tip is meant to compensate for the staff's provision of meal service , because, as noted several times above, the other staff services we witnesses and or received were...oh, wait, we neither witnessed nor received any other staff services.

Pisgah View charged our little out-of-town group of four guests a whopping $1012 (that's the number you come to after the mandatory tip and hotel room taxes. so their "$110 per night, ALL INCLUSIVE" mumbo-jumbo is just that, mumbo jumbo) for two nights in what amounted to a vintage 1950s-era roadside motel room. Furthermore, the amenities and service that were big on promise, but short on delivery. I would venture to guess that the only bloviated claim from brochures, websites and staff that holds up under scrutiny is that they've got some good fried chicken. My experience left me with the feeling that I'd been home-cooked by folks who didn't really care to have me on their property and were into getting as much from me as they could without putting forth any effort because they knew I wouldn't be back. Well, they're right.

So folks, if you can level with paying $506 a night for the above-described accommodations, at least you'll get a good piece of fried chicken for your trouble...

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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7  Thank nctraveler010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pisgah View Ranch

Address: 70 Pisgah View Ranch Rd, Candler, NC 28715-7116
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Candler
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Candler
Price Range: $140 - $141 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pisgah View Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Pisgah View Ranch Hotel Candler
Pisgah View Hotel
Pisgah View Ranch Candler

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