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“Third Time's a Charmer”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Tanque Verde Ranch

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Tanque Verde Ranch
Ranked #31 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Third Time's a Charmer”
Reviewed April 29, 2010

This was my third trip to TVGR. And if you had been there during my stay you'd know that, lol! They posted the guests' names, city/state they were from, and number of trips to the ranch. More than a third just said "numerous" - one woman I talked to had been coming every spring for over 10 years, first w/ her family (as a child), and this time with her fiance.

I was there with my niece - for her 10th birthday. She has been talking about this trip since I brought her brother (for his 10th b-day) 3 years earlier. And I think it was better than even she expected. We had a lovely room, even though we mostly just slept, showered, and changed there. It was spacious with a large bathroom, big walk-in closet (with 4 ft fridge), dining table, fireplace (with leather chairs), large private patio, and lots of storage space. She was disappointed (at first) that she didn't get to ride Flocko, one of the horses her brother talked about, but she was even happier with "her" horse, which she rode exclusively for the whole stay.

One thing about the kids rides - they are required to take a lesson before they can go out on the trail, so if they want to go on a morning ride on your first full day (for some this is the breakfast ride), they need to take the afternoon lesson (~1:15) the day before. Don't worry about check-in - if your room isn't ready, they'll hold your stuff for you in the office. (But your room will probably be ready.) Also, after you check out, you are welcome to stay for lunch and even the afternoon ride! (And w/ my nephew an additional dip in the pool.)

Adults are welcome to ride with the kids on the trail (I usually did). These rides are the same as the walk rides, but can be much less crowded. You load up at the usual place (for adult rides) and a wrangler (or experienced guest) takes you down to the kids corral, and will also bring you back up after the ride. I added the "or experienced guest" because it was me a couple times - when they needed all the wranglers to handle the kids after their ride, or there were so many adults waiting to be mounted before the ride.

This is also the place to add something about experienced vs. inexperienced riders. You will all have an enjoyable ride! I have been riding about 10 years (but not western), and at many trail/dude places the only choice of mount is the type who will follow the tail (yes, tail not trail, lol) in front of him - and refuse to do anything else. Unless you let him get away with eating on the way. The only enjoyment I get out of that is watching my niece/nephew learn to handle the horse. At TVGR, this was not the case. Yes, they had several VERY laid back horses, but I rode 2 who were very perky (w/out being "wild") and interested in everything around them. I found out later they were young. In fact I had a lesson on one (Frodo - an awesome little buckskin Indian pony) over the obstacle course - which he had never seen before. He also alerted me (by being interested, not by being spooky in any way) to the presence of a couple mule deer - they walked out of the brush about 20 feet away. I believe my niece and I were the only ones who saw them - we were at the end of the line of the kids ride to breakfast. And Joker was a nice responsive little Paint colt that I rode for the lope ride, and the "Fun-khana" - basically 3 different races in the arena. Between trail rides and lessons, I rode at least 3-4 hours each day.

One of the few things I didn't like, is that they don't post the schedules online - I only knew the schedule from previous experience. Be sure to ask about any things that are important to you when you book. The breakfast ride is Thursday (and I think the other day is Monday?) and the dinner in the Cottonwood Grove is Wednesday (and I think Saturday). There was also a lunch in the grove (which you can ride to - kids took a hayride there) on Friday. The same thing was the case for specific hiking and biking activities - if there's something you don't want to miss, be sure toask which day(s) it happens. Although if you stay for an entire week (too $$ for me), you will probably hit everything but the special stuff (like the Poker Rides and Harmony with Horses). I'm a little iffy about the exact days, because you lose track of things like the day of the week while you are there - it is so much it's own world.

The only other sad note was hearing that they no longer use the Bellota (sister ranch an hour's drive up into the Coronado Nat'l Forest) for Women of the West. They do have an occasional "adventure ride" up to the Bellota - and maybe a roundup. That place was even more remote and special.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SHRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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628 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2010

Not the best ranch experience in comparison to others we have enjoyed. Don't expect service during spring break week - far too crowded. If you or your children under 11 are experienced riders, expect a hassle as they will not test kids prior to a lesson. Lessons contained as many as 15-20 kids. We were excited about the breakfast ride - great pancakes, btw - but you could barely call it a ride. 20 min with a line on 25 of us...stop and go. Other rides were much better and I was later warned that returning guests don't even consider the bfast ride a 'ride."
Wranglers great overall. Kids club lacked organization....approx 70 kids the week we were there and 30min+ just to load the kids on horses....a mess!
Food average....hope you like buffets.
Ranch needs to spiffing up in comparison to others at the same cost.
Beautiful area - great riding (when you finally got on the trail - but would not consider returning on one of their busy weeks - needs organization and management.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank giddyupp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, May 27, 2010
Thanks for your input on our kids program. We are revamping our childrens schedule, and also enhancing our riding space for the kids so our childrens program is always very enjoyable and organized, even during the peak weeks. As a Top Ten Family Resort for the past 3 years, we place a high priority on the quality of our children's program, and can assure you the changes we are making will be noticeable improvements in our kids program for those peak weeks. Thanks again for your comments!
Sincerely,
Gus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, MI
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 11, 2010

We had an excellent vacation. My young girls horseback rode for hours each day. That allowed my wife and I to enjoy the hiking department. Wonderful guides in Rich and Virginia and Ron. Great mountain biking as well. The setting could not be more beautiful. You are tucked away in the mountains and it is just gorgeous. The pool was warm and inviting as was the jacuzzi.

If you go, go for the family adventures and activities. Do not go for the food. Breakfast was great but after that the food was very average. They LOVE cream sauces and cream soups. Most people loved the food, but if you are a vegetarian or healthy eater, you will be eating a lot of salad. Great deserts. Sparkling water, pop and beer and other drinks other than water and lemonade are extra. Bottled water is extra. They put out nice smoothies at 5:00 for the kids, but they are extra too.

Wi-fi is only available in the lodge and bar area and pool area. This did not bother us at all. No TV's other than one in the dining building. The only frustrating thing was trying to watch the Masters but some adults wanted to watch reruns of CSI. We did not mind no TV's in the rooms.

This is a true adventure vacation. We found a rattlesnake on our porch and a taranchala near by. This didn't bother us and just reminded us we were totally in nature. You have to feel like a cowboy/cowgirl. No help carrying bags to rooms either. Also the "spa" is a misnomer as well. No real spa here. No spa food either. small work out room and I never saw a massage therapist or other "spa" type activity going on.

We may be back as we spent a ton of time doing our own thing while the kids were very happy.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank familyguyDetroit_MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, May 27, 2010
We are glad your kids had such a great time! That is one of our primary goals, to offer a vacation where families really connect, but also have the opportunity to enjoy any of our wide variety of activities on their own or with their significant other. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. Thanks for the feedback!
Sincerely,
Gus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina Mountains
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2010

My horse riding wife had a great time. I spent time with other activities. The water coloring activity was overbooked, but the instructor made space. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to spend more time with their children and/or spouse.

No WiFi in the rooms. These days, many, many folks work virtually, and the WiFi is a necessity. The various hot spots are generally crowded with electrical outlets. This alone would keep me from returning.

Unexpected charges on bill. At checkout, we were charged $99 for the service fee. This is noted on the "Reservations" page, but not in the email confirmations, so we missed this. HIgher end facilities should include all expenses in their quotes and confirmations. Fee unbundling should be unnecessary.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank RuffMoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TanqueVerde, General Manager at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, May 27, 2010
Thanks so much for your input, and we agree wholeheartedly. We are in the process of making wireless available in all our rooms. This is an important amenity and one that our guests have requested. We do not have an exact timeline at this point, but it is one of our top priorities and we have already started the process in motion. Thanks for coming to visit and we hope to see yo in the future!
Sincerely,
Gus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AZ
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2010

My family voted this "the best vacation ever" and have decided to cancel a Disney trip to return to the ranch. My kids are 5 and 11 and they both loved the kids activities. My husband enjoyed biking and riding and best of all were the variety of activities. The food and service were great. All around excellent family vacation!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank creedAz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2010

The most important things you need to know about TVR are: the service is personalized and incredible, the activities and the location are spectacular, and the staff welcomes you in like old friends.

I traveled alone to the ranch during my spring break to do some hiking, riding and thinking. It was my second trip; I had been with my entire family as a teenager about 15 years ago. I knew that I wouldn't be lonely or bored during the day because of the activities, but I did worry a bit about evenings and mealtimes. I was amazed at how easy it was to join a table; other guests generally asked what my plans were and invited me to sit with them. The entire staff went out of their way to make sure I was having a great time and were able to accommodate all of my requests. The food, which is included, was better than most all inclusives and exceeded my expectations. The rooms are a bit small, but I was only ever in mine to sleep.

I had an incredible time riding. Until you're out in Tucson riding with the desert and the mountains around you, you haven't been riding. I consider myself an intermediate rider and the wranglers, particularly Jonathan, had great pointers to help me improve. Because it was a bit slow at the ranch, the rides and the lessons were very personalized. One tip, where suntan lotion no matter what time of the year. My nose and the tops of my hands (from holding reigns) got burned even in early March.

I cannot even begin to tell you how great the service was, from the wranglers, to the wait staff, to Virginia who led the hikes and Rich who taught me how to fish. I even had lunch with Bob, who owns TVR, several times and you couldn't meet a nicer guy. People return year after year to this place and are welcomed back like family, even as a stranger I was included in everything that went on.

Despite the fact that it was on the pricier end for me, I don't believe there is anywhere else I could have an experience like this and I will be back. Thanks for helping me relax before my comprehensive exams...I just finished!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BrendaM17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
1 review
Reviewed February 17, 2010

Pure serenity! If you want to see the beauty of the United States - this is the place to be. Majestic, exciting, fun, i can't say enough good things about Tanque Verde Ranch. Took my grandchildren, after arriving back home they said "okay, when can we go again? Next week??? The whole family loved it! Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MLReag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tanque Verde Ranch

Property: Tanque Verde Ranch
Address: 14301 East Speedway Road, Tucson, AZ 85748
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#13 Family Hotel in Tucson
#25 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tanque Verde Ranch 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tanque Verde Ranch Resort was named "Best Dude Ranch in Arizona" by Dude Republic in 2012, as well as a "Top Ten Family Resort" by the Travel Channel since 2007, and a "Top Five Ranch" by Conde Nast in 2008. Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America’s old time cattle and guest ranches. Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson’s most breathtaking desert landscapes, nestled amongst the Rincon Mountains and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest. Established in 1868, the superb guest ranch is recognized as the last luxurious outpost of the old west providing guests with plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities and a vast array of exciting activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and hiking. La Sonora Spa is the perfect place for a bit of quiet relaxation, and the kids will love all the supervised children's programs! Don't hesitate – getaway at one of the premier, all-inclusive dude ranches in the country. ... more   less 
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Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson

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