The Lodge was beautifully appointed however there were many aspects that need improvement. Firstly, there was mouldy leftover food in the cupboard when we arrived, some old half eaten beef jerky. Nearly all of the kitchen glasses and plates and some cutlery needed rewashing eg some glasses had bugs in them.The utensils didn't always work properly.
The pantry items were jumbled and of poor quality.
The pillows were lumpy and we would have appreciated some spare > pillows and blankets. The showers that went into the baths didn't work and we could only use of the four showers in the house.
We were really frustrated by the lack of wi fi at the house. No one came to try and fix it and the only work around was to go to the main barn to login there. Wi fi is essential for travellers like us and we have had good access in remote places literally all over the world.
We would also have really appreciated a washing machine - present with dryers in even small modest price self-contained apartments.
The wrangler/cowboy Robert was considered to be very nice and helpful but at $100US for just one hour ride in a group of six riders, it was very poor value. Robert's horse shied and he came off, making the other horses very nervous and some of the riders who were beginners.T
There was also NO information in The Lodge about what to do and where to go in the area. No list of recommended restaurants and no instructions on how to manage the TV/cable etc.
The horseriders in our group met John once on the ride but we otherwise had no contact with the owners. We were told Shaunia knocked on the door but no one heard it and there was no further contact to ensure our comfort etc.
There was no phone either for even a local call and our phones don't have global roaming so we couldn't make local calls or easily contact the owner. This could have been serious. All these things missing are standard in accommodation that cost $500US per night. ie upper end of costs per night.(we were upgraded from paying $400US per night for the Hacienda which was a nice touch but even for $400US I would have expected much better) It was hard to work out if this was independent lodging or a Texan > experience including meeting the owners or a manager. Overall, we felt the hospitality side was very poor and I would recommend the owners actually spend a night or two, self catering like a tourist, in each of their houses to see what needs cleaning, fixing, supplying, replacing etc and to consider if they are interested in the hospitality side or should delegate this aspect to others.
The house was delightful and we loved staying there but the experience could have been much better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A working ranch which welcomes guests. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Texas Ranch Life Accommodation Bellville