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“A fantastic day out!!”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
201 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“A fantastic day out!!”
Reviewed July 24, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I visited Rancho Cortez on our honeymoon just for a day trip and we had an absolutely fantastic time. The day package includes 2 very tasty meals, 2 horseback rides, lasso training, camp fire stories, toasting marshmallows, a hay wagon ride, feeding of the long horn cattle and much more.

Larry and the team make you feel welcome right from the start. You check in at the office and are given a map of the ranch and a rough timetable and then you have free reign. The ranch is big and there is plenty to do like hit the pool or hot tub or wander around and check out the wildlife. The office is open all day selling ice cold soft drinks and they have a fine array of cowboy attire.

The horseback rides were great. Bill and Larry made sure that you are paired with an appropriate horse based on your experience level. I am a novice and I had absolutely no issues on my horse. We rode a good mixture of terrain but always felt safe. The rides were a good hour long and the landscape was stunning. We went back for our second ride almost immediately!

Lunch and dinner were tasty and just what the doctor ordered after our activities and, like Larry says on his video, if you leave hungry... That's your fault. We had ham and cheese club sandwiches (the has was sooooo good) and chicken or beef fajitas for dinner. Washed down with sweet lemonade or iced tea.

In the afternoon we had an opportunity to lasso under some expert advice from Larry and we quickly got the hang of it. The hay wagon ride was great, riding out to the resident long horn cattle where we been got the chance to take one by the horns... Literally!

As dusk sets in, we were set around the campfire, toasting marshmallows and listening to Larry's stories. It's just a shame we had to leave.

I cannot recommend this place enough and we will definitely be coming back. We were staying at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio but I wish we weren't. We will be staying on the ranch on our next visit.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Louisville, KY
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

Our group of 10 (2 families with the youngest children being 12) had a great day around the ranch. It was a little overcast that day and since it was the end of June, we're thinking that was a good thing to keep our visit more comfortable. Most of us had very little or no horse riding experience and the wranglers did a good job at matching us up with appropriate horses. The two 1 hour rides were just right for us newbies to trail riding. Most of us enjoyed a game of water volleyball at the indoor pool in between rides and my husband decided to utilize the gym (part of the facilities for the fitness offerings at the ranch). The wagon ride to see the longhorns was another highlight for those of us who had that on their "things to do while in Texas" list.

The adults opted for the salad bar and delicious chicken salad at lunch while the kids were happy with the hot dogs and mac 'n' cheese offered that day. The chicken fajitas and mexican rice were delicious at dinner (the menu rotates based on the day of the week). It was fun talking to the other visitors and finding out more about the area while we waited for dinner at the covered patio.

The employees of any company will make or break a customer's experience and Eileen and Chris really made the day enjoyable for us. From answering question after question, to letting us help unsaddle the horses at the end of the day (another delightful first for us), regaling us with stories of how the area developed during the Civil War and teaching our Boy Scout some knots used around horses, Eileen was a treasure to spend the day with. Chris did a good job leading our rides and teaching us about the longhorns and other animals around the ranch. He was also super patient when he tried to teach 7 of us at one time how to use the lasso. Apparently we city slickers need more practice in loosening up our wrists. Several of us persevered and got a lasso on the wooden bulls. These two wranglers really did whatever it took to make our (and other guests') stay enjoyable that day. We also wanted to give a big shout out to Jesus (the evening's cook) for a fabulous dinner. I wish I knew how he made the rice and chicken.

For some of our group, this day was the best part of our week long visit to the San Antonio area.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank 2engineers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest City, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Our family planned on staying at Rancho Cortez for 3 days and 2 nights for the dude ranch experience but the weather did not cooperate. We had heavy rains and cold temperatures throughout our stay with the temperature failing to get out of the 30’s. As one would expect the dude ranch experience focuses on outside activities and with the bad weather the outside activities were not an option. They did not offer any alternative activities to compensate for the bad weather.

So our stay turned into hanging out in the room until it was time to eat again. I am all about a dude ranch experience being a place free from distractions such as cell phones, televisions and computers. However with no activities being offered it would have been nice to be able to have the kids watch a little tv or have access the to Wi-Fi in a weather controlled environment. As a professional business executive, it would have also been nice just to be able to check my cellphone messages and emails every several hours in the event of an emergency. There is no Verizon cell service and only a limited Wi-Fi spot open weather conditions to access the Internet at very, very, very slow Internet speeds.

Our room was as one would expect when staying at a dude ranch. Don’t expect 5 star accommodations. Our room had a king sized bed and bunk beds.

Based upon our experience, I would not recommend extended stay at Rancho Cortez. For us a 3-day and 2-night visit would have been more than enough for the experience.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank AppStateJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 29, 2014

In looking for a ranch to spend our annual girls trip on, we decided on Rancho Cortez as the best choice for the money. We booked in January for a trip on Memorial Day weekend and at that time I did not read the reviews. As the trip got closer, I started to read reviews and was really concerned about what we had signed ourselves up for. Our trip was great. Rain and all. The staff were all super nice. Food was ok. Not gourmet by any means, but good none the less. Being a horse owner myself, the first thing I was concerned about was the condition of the horses. I was pleasantly surprised. All their hooves were trimmed and taken care of. They looked well fed and happy. 2 of the girls on our trip had never been on horses and had a great time. The staff checked our saddles as they loaded everyone on their horses, and checked them again before we went out on each of our 4 rides. The ranch had lots of things to do..hiking, hot tub, outdoor swimming pool, etc. The rides and breakfast, lunch and dinner were at scheduled times, but the rest of the day was up to us, which was nice. Cabins were nice and clean and had plenty of room for all of us. The owner tried to get to know everyone that was there for the weekend and I was surprised how he remembered little details we had talked about the day before. I would definitely stay here again and plan on bringing my 7 year old with me.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JRB497
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014

I had originally booked my 2 week stay with out reading any reviews, so when I read them I was discouraged and wondered what I got myself into. However after spending 2 weeks there, I am thrilled to say I had an amazing experience with not only getting onto a path of better health, I achieved a level of peace that as a fast paced working professional have not had for many decades. I left Rancho Cortez 14.5 inches smaller plus enriched by new friendships, It is an honest , no frills approach to fitness. IT WORKS. If you do decide to go. Larry the owner is an amazing story teller, do not forget to go sit by the camp fire and ask for a story. THANK YOU RANCHO CORTEZ , I WILL BE BACK IN NOVEMBER.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Cetty W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2014

We really enjoyed the stay at Rancho Cortez.
Everything we did was great fun! Feeding the horses, donkey, cattle and longhorns, horseback riding, Lassoing, cooldown in the pool, campfire...
The animals are in a good condition and for all kind of riders. For the first time on a horseback or experienced riders.
The whole Ranch is well kept with nice accomodations.
We enjoyed the time with the employees. They took care for everything that happened on the Ranch and were allways willing to give you good ideas what else you can experience.

So a big Thanks to Irene, Chris and Dalton and the whole Staff!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JKK1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

We loved our time at this dude ranch in April! From reading previous reviews here I had low expectations regarding the accommodation but we got a lovely surprise. The room was spacious with a king size bed (two bunks also but we didn't need these) and it had a real rustic feel. Two days prior to our arrival we asked for a fridge in our room and that was supplied.
Food was fine,edible nothing fancy but plenty available. We went for seconds most days.
The rides were great, scenery was fab! As I have a lot of experience I thought I'd be bored but I rather liked the slow pace and chats with others on the ride. I was given a chance to trot/canter in arena at other times which was great! So ask if you have experience. I was thrown of at one stage, stubborn pony and Larry blamed ME for causing the pony to start bucking. I really didn't appreciate that. He said I kicked it in the flank!! If I was riding poorly then surely Larry shouldn't have encouraged me to canter. While we had a fantastic time overall the reaction to this incident really annoyed me. Eileen and Chris were super!! If you can stay for two nights, we were reluctant given the price but for us it was the experience of a lifetime :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Strawgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Cortez

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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