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“Best holiday ever!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

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The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best holiday ever!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2011

My husband and I visited the ranch with our youngest nineteen year old son in Aug/Sept and we will be returning the same time this year with both ours sons, the eldest being twenty four now, to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday. He doesn’t know it yet as it’s a surprise and he’ll be bowled over as it really was the best holiday of his life. He’s a farmer you see, and thoroughly fell in love with the entire Flitner Ranch experience from the cattle programme to the fantastic job David and Paula Flitner and their family are doing with the Guest Ranch and for the community of Shell, Wyoming as a whole.

We’d never done any significant riding before and I was actually quite frightened of horses as a result of a negative childhood experience but when you’re from a family of men the whole cowboy thing was a real and present danger that was never going away even though we are from a tiny little island in the Channel Isles between England and France.

…….we didn’t choose the Hideout they chose us!
The prospect of choosing a ranch with our level of inexperience was daunting so I went on the Dude Ranch Association website and completed an online questionnaire of the type of ranching experience we were after (as close to Broke Back Mountain I seem to remember thinking at the time) and I was very unprepared for the hundreds of e-mail responses I received. I was so overwhelmed by the prospect of trawling through and googling each and everyone to see which one might be suitable, I almost gave up. A few days later I received a surprise phone call from a lovely man called Peter de Cabooter, the nephew of Paula Flitner from The Hideout in Wyoming, saying their ranch fitted my brief entirely. The rest was history as they say and we’ve now booked our second trip of many more I hope.

I didn’t gain the level of confidence my son and husband did but they weren’t starting from the point. I did however improve on a daily basis thanks to the fantastically patient wranglers and the lovely Peter and Marijn de Caboooter who are all so intuitive to the riding abilities of the guests, I can’t wait to get back in the saddle again. We look at our photos all the time and pinch ourselves we were so lucky the Hideout came calling to us.

Everything else you can glean from the many 5* reviews. The food, hospitality, cleanliness, friendliness and professionalism went far and beyond anything I had anticipated for this type of holiday and you must certainly not be put off by this negative review.

I wish you as good as an experience should you decide to choose The Hideout Guest Ranch for your holiday!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ursula-Richardson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Deurle Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2011

I have been to The hideout at least once a year for the past seven years. Once I deserted them to go to a guest ranch just across the border in montana. Believe me, that was like stepping into a cold shower and since then I appreciated the hideout even more. Great accommodation, great food (and I live in food country of the world in Belgium) great horses and great multilingual and experienced, friendly staff. Going there feels like coming home now and after a while you also get to know other repeat guests. Top experiences last time : being at the edge of White Creek canyon on horseback, and riding a recently captured mustang trained by Ramon called Zingaro. even my dog Duke comes from Shell, you can still enjoy the company of his dad Panda and his brother Regalo at the hideout.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JosephineRebecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
not found
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2011

I had a great time this summer at the Hideout Ranch. Fantastic Wranglers, great horses and a great staff in the kitchen as well as in the office! However, sometimes they make promises they can't keep. For example, they promise you a ride in a specific area but then you end up somewhere else, because 'that is beautiful as well'. Indeed it is, however, that was not what was promised. Receiving feedback is not one of their strong talents, you are then seen as difficult, and as someone who has to say something on everything. On top of that, they do not sent you the regular newsletters and offers they do have for returning customers. Well, that's kind a harsch. I mean, if you can not keep a promise, then you talk about it with your guest in order to find a solution which makes both parties happy. And to make it understandable why you had to come back on earlier promises. I am sad that my stay, which was great, ended the way it did. It was not necessary and gives a unsatisfied feeling, which could be easily avoided if they would only be open a bit more to feedback. Feedback is good for your business, whether it is positive or negative. Receiving it is not always nice, but try to understand how it's created.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank hideoutfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2010

Who knew? Herding cattle together is a great vacation for families with bigger kids- fun, restorative, healing even- and we hadn't ridden in years. Our family (mom, daughter and son) recently spent 6 nights at the Hideout, and before we even left the kids were the first to say they wanted to come back.

There are many challenges to traveling with older children (say, 10 to 25, right?)- different personalities, tastes, points in life can easily collide and create friction, while the precious travel dollars flow down the drain. Though we had been to dude ranches a couple times before and enjoyed it, we were each spent/depleted and at tough turning points when we decided to try the Hideout. We are moderately seasoned travelers and able to adapt, but at heart also NYC foodies and can appreciate things done well. The Hideout was so good on so many fronts we were all deeply impressed right out of the gate, and even more so when we left.

The guest ranch is a quiet green campus for about 25 guests in an extraordinary Western setting with amazing mountain views. The size feels somehow small enough for relaxed, careful individual attention and big enough so that one is always dealing with a slightly different group with each day's outing(s) or dinner conversation. The cabins are so attractive, solid, immaculately kept and appealingly furnished- the kids were next door, with a shared porch- I had no trouble imagining using one year-round.

The staff and philosophy of the Hideout, though, puts it in a class by itself. Every person we dealt with was welcoming, intelligent, relaxed, and responsive- you absolutely feel included and understood from the get-go. The owners, Dave and Paula, make plenty of time to meet and get to know the guests; listening to Dave talk one evening about the challenges of ranching was an unforgettable overview of human endeavor in the face of innumerable challenges over several generations on the ranch. The ranch managers, Peter (Paula's nephew) and his wife Marijn, with their teenage sons, are all everywhere at once, at meals, herding cattle with you, warm, energetic, relaxed, available for help and questions, working hard and somehow plainly having a good time being there too.

The horses and cattle are handled with a sane, gentle approach designed to reduce stress on everyone (the cattle, horses, dogs, riders) as well as enhance safety and enjoyment. For the horses this is called natural horsemanship; as we saw it applied to the cattle we began to see how it also applied to the guests- safety, gentle kindness, staying relaxed, clear signals, little steps leading to big changes. The wranglers, Ramon, Sean, Ben, Luke and Deirdre, are the real deal and in a way the stars of the show- they are all seasoned at their work and have all chosen to work on the guest side rather than the active cattle ranch side of the operation. Each has specific gifts and several work with horses to train/retrain them using the natural horsemanship approach. Watching a mustang who was wild a few months ago serenely obeying Ramon's unspoken commands- (walk, canter, stop, spin, reverse spin, backup, now we carry the dog with us on your back) as he rode without using reins or walked in front without looking back- illuminated for me how big the difference is here from other places: this place is about trust, earned trust, and not just control through power.

Even beginner riders are respected and feel safe- the staff matches horses with riders and arranges outings based on each group's capacity. Fishing, hiking and scenic rides are good alternatives to working with the cows, but "the cows" are the main event, and plainly returning fairly skilled riders are ordinarily part of the guest mix for this reason. Everything you need to know to start is taught early on in two half-day group sessions, and more comes later as you ride up the mountain to start moving cattle from one grazing meadow to another. Seeing the smile on your kid's face when he or she canters, or successfully moves a few cows back into the main group across a remote mountain meadow for a wrangler, is an unforgettable treat. And there's nothing like meeting a challenge together to reduce conflict in a family dramatically- suddenly we were all facing new demands/making headway/sharing improvements or surprises- all on the same wavelength, and all happy.

The guests while we were there included French, Belgian, Canadian, and American couples, singles, and families; the ranch was utterly at ease with this multilingual mix, and different outings brought different subsets together making many interconnections possible. The food is a real highlight- for breakfast cereal, eggs, hash browns with daily specials (pancakes, eggs benedict). Pack lunches are simple- fresh, satisfying sandwiches (your choice), fruit, candy bars. At cocktails everyone (kids too) gathers in comfortable loft area for drinks, delicious cooked appetizers (shrimp, steak tips) to see the side show of the day's outings and plan the next day. Dinner is truly excellent, often fresh salad followed by a meat dish and sides( the kitchen staff headed by Chris is responsive to all dietary requests; the ranch asks about this when you reserve) and desserts, all cooked with imagination and care and attractively presented as well.

It's not easy moving from one's desk chair all day to horseback for a week- no question there were some aches and pains and Advil the first few days. Amazingly all week we only wanted more, and by the end of our week we found the ache had moved from our bum to our hearts: we were really sad to leave, and looking towards returning with real anticipation. The remarkable staff and setting of the Hideout offer a rich experience of the West, of their ranch, and of the chance to participate and be changed by it, that can be exactly the right vacation for families with bigger kids, and lots of others too.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank offleashwalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2010

My daughter and I spent a week as guests of Flitner Ranch and had a wonderful time. We were treated well by the owners and staff, who patiently dealt with non-riders as well as experienced riders while gently caring for the horses. The cabins are fairly new, nothing luxurious but clean and adequate. The scenery is perfect and there are plenty of hiking trails if you decide to avoid the horses and just explore the area. The absolutely best part and the best reason to return is the chef: beautifully prepared and artistically presented food, from hors d'oeuvre each evening to the picnic lunches prepared for trail rides. This is not your usual ranch chow. All in all a great experience.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vetsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed for a week at The Hideout back in September of last year so this is a bit of a belated review. Words can't really describe how magnificent the scenery is and how really revitalizing it is to be on horseback in this wild place. First of all, the Hideout grounds are immaculate with luxury log cabins near the main lodge. The main lodge was just what you'd expect...wood, antlers, the works, with a cushy loft upstairs used for Happy Hour where the staff show a photo montage of the day's rides. Each wrangler has something to share whether it's riding tips or knowledge of the area or the ranch workings and the Hideout staff does their best to ensure you are seeing different scenery each day and get to visit with different wranglers for a well rounded experience. We chose to do cow work each riding day except first and last. First we did a half-day ride with morning orientation and last day with our butts in protest, all of us guests coerced the wranglers into some roping lessons and riding lessons around the arena. The food was outstanding and there was lots of meat just in case you were worried. Peter and Marijn just ooze hospitality, they are so interested in everyone and ensuring your good time and it really shows. Peter is so funny, he is so enthusiastic and energetic he seems to be in 5 places at once, we weren't sure if he had a battery pack attached somewhere! David and Paula own the ranch and were just lovely, making time to visit with everyone at dinner and David was really interesting to talk to as a rancher of several generations of Flitners...you really get the authentic perspective from him and he was just such a gentleman. I will say this, the Hideout is awesome if you like to ride, a lot. Riding is their signture activity and their riding program is excellent. All in all, I cannot recommend the Hideout strongly enough. If you have seen their website and start to daydream and then think to yourself "it can't be as good as they make it out to be"...well, it is. Hands-down, the Hideout delivered on every promise. Being in the travel business and having been to other ranches, I had very high expectations for The Hideout. I was so pleased when I found that they met and in most cases exceeded every expectation. We will definitely be back to Shell and The Hideout!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank zoogletNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EHT, NJ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2009

This was the third trip to the Hideout for my husband and me and each time it keeps getting better - if that's possible. The owners, David and Paula, and the general manager and his wife, Peter and Marijn, couldn't do a better job of making each and every guest feel welcome. I can only echo what everyone else says about the scenery and riding. Truly awesome! You can do as much or as little riding as you want and the wranglers are the best. Chef Chris can accommodate just about any dietary restrictions and he does it with a smile. His food is incredible.

We always stay in a casita rather than a cabin because it has a washer and dryer, which for me is a huge plus (less clothes to bring). The only negative, and it is a very tiny, tiny one, is that the casitas could be updated a little. The Hideout is the best vacation we have ever taken and we will continue to go every year. I'm already looking forward to 2010!

Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank TravelerBCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

Property: The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch
Address: 3170 Road 40 1/2, Shell, WY 82441
Location: United States > Wyoming > Shell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Shell
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
The Hideout Lodge And Guest Ranch
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch Hotel Shell
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch Shell, Wyoming

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