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“Quiet and peaceful place in Bandera”

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Hill Country Equestrian Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bordeaux
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Quiet and peaceful place in Bandera”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We spent a weekend at the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge with a friend of mine beginning of February 2013. It's such a quiet and peaceful place to rest and revitalize yourself. We arrived almost at night. While walking to join Peter and have dinner, we looked at the sky upon our heads and a millions of stars appeared, which is quite difficult to see now with all lights from cities around in the places where we live. The dinner was simple but delicious and the night was really restorative as the silence is complete there.
We chose this ranch for its difference with other dude ranchs. As I'm a rider, I'd like to discover the other ways of riding horses (I'm French) and I like Dianne's approach giving the opportunity to attend riding clinics and horsemanship clinics. We were guided by Shannon who is really nice and patient, she made efforts to speak slowly and helped my friend in feeling at ease while riding (my friend is not a rider). I recommend Socks and Fancy as they are really good horses!
The cabins are very well equipped and comfortable with a nice view on the stable, horses and the landscape around. There's a kitchen which allows to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the cabin but you can have lunch and dinner at Peter's and Dianne's home or easily find a place to eat in Bandera.
The only negative point is that the place is not very well indicated (our navigation system did not find the address at all!). Otherwise it's a great place to stay if you like nature and horses, peace, if you need to relax and forget about the rest of the world, only meet nice people and enjoy riding. What I really like is seeing horses grazing around the cabins, it really gives a feeling of serenity and peace, just as if time stops there.

Room Tip: We were in the cabins Molly south and north and there are well equipped, close to the stables, the f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Emilie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JustMeBandera_TX, Owner at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Emilie- We're so glad you enjoyed your stay here. We hope you'll choose us again for your valuable vacation time.
Just for everyone's information, we attach a map to our ranch with specific directions from Bandera included, to the Reservation Confirmation email that is sent to each of our guests at the time they make their reservation. We indicate at the top of this document, in bold red letters, that they should not rely solely on GPS to get here, but rather print or download our map in order to find their way here. We are only 1 hour from a major city, (San Antonio), and 10 miles from Bandera, so we are quite accessible, yet still a true ranch in the country.
Thanks again- Dianne at HCEL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Austin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

My 11 year old daughter and I just got back home and settled back in to our normal routine. We had a great weekend bonding and having fun. We envisioned long talks, walks and rides. Sitting on a porch, watching the horses eat and walk in the pasture, and meeting great people. We got to do all of that and more. Diane is a great teacher, Sarah took a lesson and learned 10 new riding techniques and had fun learning. Shannon took Sarah and I on a couple of rides and showed us the wild life along the way, explained the wild life in the area and was kind enough to take our picture. Diane has a great employee in Shannon, who promoted the lodge in many ways. Molly South was the perfect cabin for us. Once the initial shock of no T.V. wore off for my daughter, we enjoyed playing cards on the porch, roasting marshmallow's in the fire pit and reading. Sarah certainly didn't miss the IPhone either, in fact, she wasn't quite ready to leave and wanted to stay just one more day. We did have time to do some girly stuff, like have a massage and facial. We ended our trip going into Bandera and having a late breakfast at OST and shopping at the lovely shops on the main street.

I don't think think there was one thing missing from our first girls trip. Usually when you start a tradition or something new, you start out with the basics and work your way up each year. I think we Started at the top. I can only hope our trips get better each year.

Thank you Diane, Peter and Shannon. You made our trip a wonderful memory!

Sarah and Lisa Manley

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank MainlyfunAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JustMeBandera_TX, Owner at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Lisa and Sarah- It was our pleasure having you as our guests. We hope you have many happy returns. Take care- Dianne, Peter, and Shannon at HCEL
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Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 4, 2013

The people at the Lodge are some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever met! I was looking for the best place I could propose to my girlfriend of 3 years. And after searching lodge after lodge and speaking with countless people. I decided to chose the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge for the special occasion. I had the most elaborate proposal planned out and it would never have happened if it wasn't for Dianne. I asked Dianne to help me organize a horse back Halloween scavenger hunt with treasure boxes and all! I asked Dianne to hide 3 treasure boxes that I create. Each had a garment of a Prince and Princess costume inside. For each box I made a little riddle/game that needed to be solved before we could open the box and put on the garment. I asked Dianne to play along as if she organized this type of event all the time. And I'll tell you that if that was a movie she would have won an Oscar! Additionaly, I asked Dianne to help put up a mobile dressing room at the top of Meditation Point. Of course in order to go inside the room a riddle had to be solved and inside I asked Dianne to leave a full blown ball gown with petty coat and all in it as well. At the highest point I was dressed as a prince/king with crown and cape and my girlfriend was dressed as a princess/queen with dress and tiara (real one! ;-) ) She had no idea! I popped the question to my girlfriend, she said yes!, and we are now engaged an will be getting married come July. Dianne even caught a picture of the exact moment I proposed and took photos throughout the entire ride as well. (Great photographer might I add!) And Dianne did all of this with a smile. Admittinglly, I had so many requests for Dianne any other person would have said no and I would have understood. But the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge is a cut above. Not only is this lodge extremly beautiful but the character of the people at this lodge and even to the horses (magnificant) (Especially Molly and Jack - they even braided their hair for us!) at this lodge are even more beautiful! The horses were just as great trained and taken care of. First time on horse back for the both of us! And everything went perfect. At the end of it all after it was all done. Dianne even put on a show for us doing some wonderful horseback maneavuers. One of a kind hospitality. The lodges were straight out of a story book. Simply put this place is awesome. The only way you would experience anything like this lodge would be by going there yourself.

Room Tip: Rose Cabin was awesome but I'm sure they all are.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HappyTraveler356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JustMeBandera_TX, Owner at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Dear Hector- It is so great to hear that things are moving forward for you and Jasmin. It was my pleasure helping make your dream proposal come true. I agree that i did a pretty good acting job, except for the moment you proposed, and Jasmin accepted- I couldn't restrain my tears at that moment! You are a wonderful couple, and I hope you will stay in touch with us over the years of your life together. Take care, and my very best to you both- Dianne at Hill COuntry Equestrian Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 25, 2013

The place is very nice, located directly accross the Hill Country State park. Very well located for trekking and horse riding. we have particularly appreciated the flexibility of Diane and Peter to organize our Horse riding planning and they have done their best to accomodate us , that was a challenge with 4 kids from 4 to 13 years , having different level of horse riding, but all of them having a strong wish to jump on an horseback to discover the Texan bush.
Cabin was spacious and sufficiently equipped.
Fire under the stars, having our Marshmallows, appreciating the silence of the place and the beauty of nature will be part of our memories
we will come back
best regards - Tom, Flo and kids

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank thomas j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Magnolia, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed February 7, 2013

My husband and I spent 3 days at the Lodge for a mini getaway anniversary trip. We originally met in the hill country so it is a special place for us already.The reason we chose this place is because we are beginners with horses but have fallen in love with them and hope to own our very soon so we are tryign to learn and gain as much knowledge as possible now. I was also looking for a place we could get away from it all, refresh, rejuvenate....Well HCEL was JUST THE PLACE! I could not believe how quickly i fell in love with this place. The suite, the views, the horses, dianne and peter are so inviting and welcoming. i cant say enough about this place. We stayed in the suite, it was small but i felt perfect for us, its only us 2 and we really didnt need anything big, plus it has everything you could need. I really love that they have no tv and no cell reception, it didnt take long adjusting to that which suprised me, it was awesome. I especially loved how they stock breakfast food in the fridge and kitchen area, that is very convinient and is so welcoming. they even had a bunch of horse books that they let us borrow while there which was great. Dianne is an awesome teacher. We got lucky and had the whole place to ourselves, we were the only visitors so we got alot of 1on1 with her and the horses and it was just amazing. She is so passionate about what she does and her horses love her you can tell. I learned so much and when we werent playing around with the horses Both my husband and i got a massage, and he also had a roping lesson. I got lost in the views on the afternoons and i must tell you the massage i got was one of the best ive ever had! PLUS she comes to you! in your cabin! Peter is a great cook! we stayed on the ranch for all of our meals and it was so nice, the dining area is so quant and comfy and the music is on and candles burning its surrounded by windows its jsut so nice and relaxing. i was curious going into it about the food but i must say, peter is a chef, it was all delish! I could go on an on about how wonderful everything was but i have a word limit! I would absolutly recommend this place and we will definitly be back! i have already started spreading the word to everyone i know!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Leigh P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Hello Dianne and Peter,
Well, we are back in cold Canada … back to reality.
But wanted to take a moment to thank both of you (and Shannon).
We thoroughly enjoyed the ranch, accommodations and especially our special trail ride.
Hopefully we will be back there again someday.
It is very nice to feel welcomed and "at home" by genuine and down-to-earth folks like yourselves. Texas (especially Bandera, Texas) is now one of our new favourite places.
Thank you again ! ...Your guests from: Kingston, Ontario Canada K & M & our kids

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank kkwoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2012

My daughter, granddaughter and I spent four days at the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge this month (Dec. 2012) to celebrate my granddaughter's 10th birthday. This was their second stay and my first visit. We loved the accommodations. We stayed in one of the private cabins which had two bedrooms and two baths, living room, dining room, fully equipped kitchen (including a dishwasher and full-size fridge) and a great front porch. We had such a good time. I cannot say enough nice things about this ranch. The owners Diane and Peter, and their assistant Shannon made our trip exceptional. They were so personable. My granddaughter took several lessons and she and my daughter went on trail rides as well. I was so impressed with Dianne's training. She was so thorough with my granddaughter. Her methods were intriguing and my granddaughter was like a sponge listening to every word as she became one with her horse. I would highly recommend this ranch. It will be what you want it to be: horseback lessons and trail rides, leisure and relaxation; or a combo of both.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hill Country Equestrian Lodge

Property: Hill Country Equestrian Lodge
Address: 1580 Hay Holler Rd, Bandera, TX 78003-4270
Location: United States > Texas > Bandera County > Bandera
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Bandera
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Hill Country Equestrian Hotel Bandera
Hill Country Equestrian Lodge Bandera, Texas

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