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John Newcombe's Tennis Ranch
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Reviews (53)
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Reviewed August 13, 2012

The individual attention to instruction and the litany of excellent tennis drills make this an excellent camp for those who wish to improve their game. Be prepared to exercise and work on your skills. This is not country club tennis. The food is very good and the price is great for what you get. The staff is friendly and encouraging. The accomodations are fine...sparse, but clean. The bathrooms could use updating, but I was there to play tennis, not focus on interior design. For people most interested in playing tennis better this is a great deal.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank blessedone1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NewksResort, Public Relations Manager at John Newcombe's Tennis Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Thank you for your compliments on our tennis program. We enjoyed having you stay with us. Since your visit in 2011, we have updated all of our rooms and are in the process of completing a major upgrade to all of our bathrooms. It would be our pleasure to have you back for a weekend or week of tennis! We hope to see you on the courts soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

We live in Texas so we tried this place. It's okay but not great. It seems dated and worn out and the clay courts, one of the reasons we went, are indistinguishable from the hard courts. However, the staff is good, the instruction was good, and the play they arranged for us was fun.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank WardW_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Dear Ward W.

Thank you for your recent feedback regarding the Ranch. We are definitely “Texas Ranch” style and do not compete with Florida or South Carolina in terms of either image or price. Our clay courts are dirt and hard-courts are cement.

We appreciate your constructive criticism.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2011

"ekaskate" - the previous reviewer - says it all, and very well. One goes for the tennis!!! so go - with an open mind - ready to work on your game. (and leave your smartphone in your bag!)

The property was once was a Dude ranch. The two-time Australian Wimbledon champion (1970 I believe), John Newcombe, bought it for he and his young family, and developed it from there (he now lives in Australia and visits a few times a year). It is peaceful and beautiful at the ranch. We saw a roadrunner, deer, hawks, and heard coyotes howling at the moon!

The adult programmes are part of the entire facility. This is also a world-class tennis academy for Juniors. This sets the tone for the ranch. Imagine that you are at a summer camp -- then you will think it very luxurious!

It's good if you are an intermediate or advanced player, it's not for beginners. Different levels will be expertly accommodated. The pros are top-notch. You will get the most from your experience by being in decent tennis shape before you arrive.

You will want to pack a few extras: refillable water bottle (like Nalgene/Klean Kanteen) so you don't have to use one of those courtside tiny cone cups; a coffee mug (they just have disposable ones); lots of tennis clothes (but not whites, that's too "country club"!!); bathing suit (for the lovely pool and hot tub); warm-up jacket and pants; healthy snacks like almonds, raisins, protein bars (you'll want to re-fuel between meals. Breakfast is at 8:00 am, so a snack for on-court as there is not a break until noon. Lunch is at 12:00, and then there is no food or refreshments until 7:00 pm). You will want to stop at the nearby grocery store (the H-E-B) to pick up bottled waters (though the tap water there is fine), and fruit if you want to supplement the orange/apple/bananas they always have available. There is a pro shop with a fridge full of water and sports drinks, tennis clothing, and a re-stringing service. What not to pack: any "nice" clothes for dinner (this is not a "country club": a John Newcombe-ism), more than one novel to read (no time!).

My husband and I just returned from a Sunday through Friday week, we were there over the American Thanksgiving. A delicious, huge, traditional turkey dinner was served on Thursday at lunch (we had an extra-long break so we could have a nap!) then back out on the courts in the afternoon. And another turkey dinner that night! We even had the requisite left-overs on Friday with a yummy soup. The food was simple and plentiful, if high-caloric! There was always a big salad. Would have been good if oatmeal porridge and a big bowl of plain yoghurt would have been available every day at breakfast. (I am eating gluten-free). We did think there could have been a "tea-time" of sorts at around 4:00 - we were famished after the afternoon session and it's a long time until dinner: a table set up with coffee/tea/lemonade and small sandwiches and cookies in the bar area would have been a nice and convivial treat for the families and adults.

The rooms were super clean (we had a courtside hotel room) and very basic - there was not a dresser, just a writing desk. There was a huge walk-in closet though. So we bought lots of clothes hangers at the grocery store and used those for our clothes.

Nearby there are several things to do if you were so inclined: one of the largest outlet malls in the States, a big water park, and an underground lake. San Antonia is around 40 miles away.

I would recommend the ranch to families (there is a separate kids programme), single adult travellers and couples -- whose goal it is to become a more well-rounded player (i.e. to work on your weaknesses!) and those on a plateau, who wish to take their game to the next level.

Room Tip: The courtside hotel room was fine and good value (although there was no fridge or laundry in them).
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank orangepekoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Thank you for your detailed description of your stay at the Ranch.

We always appreciate our Guests comments regarding their experience as it helps us to improve our facility and programs. We hope you will return very soon!

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Reviewed September 14, 2011

Your going there for the tennis NOT a five star country club.... They work you hard, the food is plentyful, but not gourmet ... YOUR GOING THERE FOR THE TENNIS...They work well for all levels and the groups are small. The accommodation is basic but fine .. YOUR GOING THERE FOR THE TENNIS ... you don't do much more than crash in the room because they have worked you so hard with drill after drill .. No time to relax ... cause YOUR GOING FOR THE TENNIS.... in the evening they make it really fun in the bar... So bottom line is if your looking for a country club don't come ... if you want your tennis to improve and your a 3.0 to 4.5 player ... you will get supportive coaches that are only too happy to answer questions... the beds are clean. So go for the tennis and have a blast! I will be going back for my fourth visit.

Room Tip: I have stayed in a two bedroom condo and also the cottage... both are basic but fine... For two the cottage has a large room and bathroom ..no glamour, but you don't have much time in the rooms anyhow!
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ekaskate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

It was a pleasure to host you at the Ranch and we look forward to having you back soon!

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Reviewed February 21, 2011

I stayed at the Newcombe ranch over New Years (Dec 2010-Jan 2011). I was very impressed with the quality of instruction and the amount of attention. We had 9 adults and 3 pros. The food was good and very plentiful. The ranch grounds were well kept.

The only negative was the accomodations. I had a courtside room. Although you don't spend much time in the room, the condition of them really made it almost hard to stay there. The room was very sparsely furnished. You have to put your suitcase on the floor because there is nothing to put it on. No cable TV (not an issue for me, but could be for some). The bathroom was in terrible condition; it was clean but it felt dirty because of how old it was. The units have cute porches outside the rooms but no furniture on them. The beds were comfortable, which was great because you are really tired from so much tennis. There was nothing on the walls, no sense of decor. We had to run the heat because there was only a thin blanket on the bed.

The price is so reasonable for this camp that it's hard to complain about the rooms. However, if I did it again, I would spend more and stay in nicer accomodations. They are building a Newcombe tennis community just across the street from the current ranch and maybe it will have rental units. I absolutely recommend this place as long as you have low expectations for the accomodations.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

Thank you for your feedback on the Ranch. We have recently updated many of our rooms and this is a constant work in progress as we are an older faciltiy.

We appreciate your constructive criticism as it helps us identfy problems areas. Happy tennis and we hope you will schedule a tennis vacation with us in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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