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“A fantastic cultural experience for international students!”
Review of Rancho Cortez

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Rancho Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 20, 2010

We visited Rancho Cortez for a half-day trip meant to introduce the twenty visiting Turkish undergraduate students to Texas ranch life. The trip included horseback riding, arena games, learning to lasso, a filling dinner, swimming, a campfire and live music. The Rancho Cortez cowboys were kind and patient with the students, none of whom had ever ridden a horse.

The students LOVED their visit to the ranch. It was a fantastic experience and the Rancho Cortez family really made us feel at home.

Stayed: July 2010
Thank kivers24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2010

I just returned home from 11 weeks at Rancho Cortez, and they were truly 11 weeks that changed my life. I went there for the fitness program, hoping to lose 50-60 pounds, but I got so much more from the experience.

First off, yes, I lost the weight. When I weighed in on May 3rd, I was at 275 pounds. This morning, my second day at home, I weighed 212 pounds. But more important, I have established habits that will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life.

What made Rancho Cortez so special for me was the opportunity in essence to step outside of my life and reassess things. I had the opportunity to work out with others -- in classes or on hikes -- or to work out by myself. I walked hundreds of miles in the lovely Texas Hill Country and I ate plenty of good food that was both healthy and in reasonable portions.

Owners Larry and Mary Cortez have done a wonderful job of creating an overall atmosphere that not only includes good diet and exercise, but also includes all sorts of life coaching, from a dietitian to hypnotherapy, from massages to cooking lessons.

It isn't just a fitness ranch, either. There's a terrific dude ranch program that plenty of people seemed to enjoy a lot.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will work with anyone, whether they need to lose 30 pounds or 300 pounds. Everyone is treated as an individual and the program is small enough (at least it was when I was there) that everyone gets plenty of attention.

I loved my time at Rancho Cortez, and if I never have to go back again for fitness, I will certainly return for the sole purpose of having some fun.

If you want to change your life for the better at a reasonable price, I can't imagine any better place to go.

Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
3  Thank CaliforniaMikeR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My wife and three kids, ages 11, 9 and 5, had a wonderful time. Larry treated us like family and my kids adored Rusty. If you are looking for a real ranch experience, this is the place.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank kenfam2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2010

Three generations of the Johansen family from Norway wanted to experiense cowboy living - and we are happy to say that we hit the bullseye.

Five adults and four kids age 7 to 12 drove from Houston to Rancho Cortez with hopes to live at a authentic cowboy ranch, Rancho Cortez really delivered up to our expectations. Cowboy Larry (the owner) meet us when we arrived and the whole stay him and his staff did everything they could to make us feel like a part of the ranch life. Only one of us had riding experience but after 4 days at the ranch everybody felt safe and comfortable - even my mother enjoyed the trailrides in the beautifull scenery. The horses were very well tranined and the staff was very proffesional. Safety was very good and Cowboy Larry challanged everybody in a good way and "pushed" them to learn to handle the horses.

If you want room service and wants to be waited on 24/7 and are dependent on internett, cellphones and TV - dont go there. But if your looking for a place where you can acctualy be a part of the ranch life, where you can take your kids and in a safe way together with them learn to ride and handle horses, where you can travle back to good old cowboy days and sitt by the boundfire in the evening and listen to good cowboy stories or be entertained by a local country singer - Don't hesitate - book your trip now and be prepared for a lifetime memory.

Thank you Cowboy Larry, Rusty and Cody for making us feel warmly welcome, for sharing this place with us and for the excelent way you took care of the kids. I loved your place.

We'll be back - Best reguards from the Johansen family from Bodø, Norway

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Merete069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2010

If you enjoy the outdoors, horseback riding, good food and real Texas hospitality then you can't do better than Rancho Cortez. The cabins are clean and comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful and the Saturday night campfire gather round with sing along is wonderful. We will most assuredly be back.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank cowboyvette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2010

Cowboy Larry makes this the best place on earth! Time seems to stand still while at the Ranch, it seems to wrap around you with a very peaceful feeling. Whether you ride horses or not, young or old we all had an awesome time playing cowboy for the day.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank sgskerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2010

I went solo for a fitness retreat to treat myself, for one week. I drove from Dallas in February ( the best time to go) and the landscape was serene and pure. It was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed the hikes! FYI - cell reception is spotty at best.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled solo
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Thank SSGrund
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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