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“OUTSTANDING!”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 4, 2012

You will not find a better Dude Ranch.... The people are wonderful. You are treated like family the entire stay. The accommodations are outstanding. You get three wonderful meals a day, beautiful clean cabins, people are there willing to answer any questions you may have and help with whatever needs you have. It was the best weekend vacation I have ever had.... you will love the horseback riding and wagon rides... the pools are great and you have the spa ....... You want the best massage of your life?.... They can get you that as well. I totally recommend you take your family or just for yourself. These will be the most hospitable people you will ever meet. It is like a large family.. not a business. Loved every minute there. Thanks to all at Rancho Cortez.

Room Tip: Cabins are located in wonderful place. You are on a hill above the office and all...so you are not...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Tammy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (328)
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155 - 161 of 328 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2012

Great Place to get a "flavor" of Texas country life. Stayed onsite for 2 nights with my Wife and 2 boys (both 13 yrs. old). I have to grade this under 2 categories: accommodations & activities
** Activities -- Some of the best activities for the family -- horseback riding, feeding the Longhorn Cattle, Wagon Ride, Campfire Stories, Pool, etc. The boys even helped the ranch workers feed & care for the horses. Cowboy Larry, Julio & "Slim" did a great job in making our stay enjoyable. The horses were well behaved and trained for us city folk (family rode Goliath, Wild Thing, Popcorn, Jake, Pocohantas, etc.). We also went to Bandera, Texas (Cowboy Capital of the World - 10 minutes away) for a 3 hour excursion.....great little town to get the "Western" feel. The main strip has a place to get some good food, Western gear (hats, boots, etc.) and the General Store makes delicious milkshakes for a warm day.

** Accommodations & Food -- Room was very clean and spacious for the 4 of us. Food was served 3 times a day - for the guests and workers -- most of the lunch and dinner meals had a southwestern theme. The room did not have a refrigerator but we brought back ice water every night from the dining hall.

Overall great getaway for a few days -- turn off your computers, cell phones etc. & enjoy the country life.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Nate A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

WONDERFUL CAMP!!!! My daughters have attended cowgirl camp at Rancho Cortez for the last four years. At the end of the week, they begged to stay longer. This year, they stayed two consecutive weeks of camp and still asked if they could stay a third. The experience my daughters have had at Rancho Cortez has been extremely fun and fulfilling. The staff and family go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and at home. The counselors at cowgirl camp are excellent mentors, examples and role models. My daughters have developed confidence, social skills and of course riding skills as a result of this wonderful camp. I would highly recommend Rancho Cortez Cowgirl Camp for your daughter(s) for an experience of a lifetime. You won’t regret it! Aside from cowgirl camp, my family visits Rancho Cortez three or four times a year. We can never get enough!!! You will love Larry, Mary and the rest of the gang!!! They have become family to us!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Brenda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

When I wanted to do something fun for the summer, I thought maybe going to
Rancho Cortez's horse camp would be fun- but man was I wrong!!
The counselors were not friendly or very helpful, the food was not what I thought it would be,
the horses were in bad physical shape and very stubborn and the owner was very rude to me with his "humor".

First day, the counselors didn't provide a saddling or
grooming demonstration and always seemed grumpy and impatient. When we were
feeding the horses their hay, I noticed I had a slight allergy to it so I asked
the owner about it and he asked me if my feed my own horse. Even though I have a
horse, we have a different stable system where someone feeds all the horses in
the barn, or we just board them- so he called me a rich kid and cried all night.
Since our horses have a different training method, I can honestly say that as an
intermediate level rider, I did not like the way those horses were trained. All
they made you do was kick and slap them! They weren't very well mannered either. I was taught to use my voice to encourage them. When I did that the first day the counselor was all like "You know that kissing isn't gonna help, right?" I didn't understand what these horses or people face, but I was really upset.

When I was asked to unsaddle one of the wrangler's horses, I didn't even get a thank you from him. And when his horse was reaching for something and I was trying to pull him back, one of the other counselors was standing behind the horse not paying attention and blamed
her almost getting hurt on me. I can honestly say though that it was not my fault and I was doing it because the wrangler asked me to without thanking me.

On wednesday, we were coming back from the pool and I thought I
should just take a shower while I still can. Well guess what? I got in trouble
for that because there's a beyond strict stick-to-your-buddy rule. The rest of
the group was watching the wrangler ride a poor little pony bareback while
I was showering and I just misunderstood what was going on. The counselor (who blamed her almost getting kicked on me) almost made me scoop the Belgian horses' poop for that. It was an honest misunderstanding and the counselors and the owner thought I was breaking the rules on purpose.

When I was weeping in the bunkhouse, the counselors, who were my age, spoke to me like I was a little 8 year old who threw something at another kid. They weren't sensitive or helpful, but they made me feel worse by saying that the almost poop scooping punishment was to teach me a lesson- but it was an honest mistake!

After that, I called my parents. While doing so, the owner sat in front of me and asked if he could
talk to them. When he was talking to them, he said that I need to work on my
social skills- I thought "That's it!! I've had enough. I'm leaving this place 'cause that man is lying about me to my parents in front of me!" I actually made a couple of friends and they were all supportive of my decision to leave.

So I had my parents pick me up early. Though the owner tried to convince me to stay, I
said "I've made up my mind- That's it! No going back, 'cause once I'm gone, I'm
gone for good!"

So my advice to anyone who plans on going there, think again before you end up
having a terrible experience like me.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
9  Thank ally s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Well, it was not exactly what I was expecting - it went above and beyond.

Firstly, and what made me fall in love with Rancho Cortez, is that it's authentic! There is nothing commercial, or fake, about it. I instantly felt like I was on a working Ranch. It felt real, and I was hooked.

Absolutely every member of staff we encountered were the friendliest, most helpful people you could meet! They are always checking to make sure you're enjoying yourself, and if you need anything.

The Ranch is great! You've got tons of activities to choose from, and then at night, you've got a beautiful, air conditioned, comfortable cabin to sleep in! What more could you ask for?

We rode the horses as much as we possibly could, but we also enjoyed learning to ride the horses, learning to lasso, and just generally having a great time with cowboys, staff, other visitors, and camp kids. At night we took the hay rides, and sat around the campfire with guitars and s'mores! It was exactly what I was looking for in a Texas Ranch experience. I can't wait to go back.

In my observations the kids camps look like a blast! We saw the end of the week-long girls camp, and the beginning on the week-long boys camp. All the girls looked so sad to leave, and 2 days into the boys camp, they all had big smiles on their faces and were proud to show off their newly-acquired skills. I would absolutely bring my kids to this camp!

Lastly, the fitness/boot camp. I only spoke with a couple of attendees, and they told me they were having a great time, and they were losing weight - they were smiling, so I'd take that as a positive!

I hope this helps in your decision making!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Liese T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

We were at the ranch for a family reunion. The owners and staff are very kind and have a great sense of humor. We're from the east coast so the western style horse riding experiences (and there are many-as many as you want actually) allowed for us to have an experience with nature that you cannot easily find. The price per person was $99 for an entire day with meals. My husband and I were able to relax and the pool all alone while our teenagers were on their second trail ride. The food was nicely prepared and presented. They even accommodated our vegetarians with last minute notice. The day concluded with a fragrant cedar bonfire (and marshmallows) and the guitar player offered an authentic western experience. We even saw a real Roadrunner (and no snakes) !! The entire ranch was extremely clean and adorned with ranch antiques. I would definitely return. Perfect setting for weddings, reunions, birthday parties, or a weekend get away. The whole world just disappeared.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank mpasta2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Our group of 12 people (seniors, adults, teenagers and children 5-12) had great day at Rancho Cortez. Everyone enjoyed the planned activies: trail ride, roping lessons, feeding the longhorn steer, wagon ride, campfire stories, etc. The entire staff at Rancho Cortez was friendly and accomodating. Food was good with plenty to eat. Mr. Larry somehow kept our group together and moving from one activity to another. Julio was great on the trail ride, especially with the younger kids. And Tyler kept us busy and entertained the whole time we were there. From the trail ride to the campfire stories, it was just a great experience for everyone.

Room Tip: Plan to spend at least a night to enjoy the whole experience: but if you can't, a day trip is a...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank NoMoses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Cortez

Address: 872 Hay Holler Rd, Bandera, TX 78003-4364
Location: United States > Texas > Bandera County > Bandera
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Bandera
Price Range: $99 - $225 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Rancho Cortez! Located in the cowboy capital of the world, Rancho Cortez is a Texas Dude Ranch and Cowboy Fitness Farm offering horseback riding, lodging, day trips, hiking, and more! Saddle up and live your dreams at the Texas Dude Ranch! Cowboys, cowgirls, and experienced riders will enjoy horseback riding with expert cowboy, Larry Cortez. We offer plenty of Texas-style fun with hayrides, campfires, cattle roundups, lasso lessons, swimming in our pool, or soaking in our hot tub. With a broad array of wildlife species and ruggedly beautiful landscape as far as the eye can see, the ranch is the perfect escape from urban life. Lost weight and get fit on the Cowboy Fitness Farm! Fitness and weight loss visitors will work with personal trainers under the direction of Mary Cortez. Come for our popular 30 day weight loss camp or spend just a few days or weeks. Guided hikes, water aerobics, yoga, weight training, aerobics, pilates, and horseback riding - along with classes in the air-conditioned gym - will help you meet your weight loss goals. We can get you started on the road to a healthier life and teach you new skills to take home! Come to the beautiful Texas Hill Country for the getaway of a lifetime at Rancho Cortez! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Cortez Hotel Bandera
Rancho Cortez Bandera, Texas

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