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“Best Family Vacation Ever”

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Rio Sierra Riverhouse
Ranked #2 of 11 Three Rivers B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 10, 2011

My Husband & I first stayed here in August, 2010 with our best friends. We loved it so much, we came back in May 2011 to experience the high water and to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Then, we booked the entire Riverhouse plus the "Hideaway" for our four grown children plus their partners in June 2011. It turned out to be the best place for us all to stay; wading in the shallow parts of the river, sharing meals on the lawn, making s'mores at night, playing charades in the Master Suite, and hiking up in the park, everything was magical. We love everything: the accommodations; Mars the innkeeper (who now feels like a dear friend); the river; the fun restaurants in town; and the hiking in Sequoia National Park. We even saw bears for the first time in our lives, in the park, at a safe distance! We travel pretty extensively and rarely return to one place= the Rio Sierra Riverhouse is an exception.

Room Tip: Every room is special, but our favorite is the Master Suite.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Carolynlbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 99 of 133 reviews

Reviewed June 20, 2011

We really had a RELAXING stay at Rio Sierra house! This place is the BEST in Three Rivers. I have stayed at other hotels/motels in this area and this is the NO. 1 accommodation in Three Rivers! Mars is the hostess and she provided a top rate hospitality to her guests (not just us but other guests, too). This house is really really close to the river. At this time of the year, the river was full and dangerous so swimming is not recommended but I believe later on it will be cool for swimming and wading.

We stayed at the Garden Room (the most economical). It was cozy and clean. The decor was also different (more like a B&B place instead of a motel). There were 2 skylights in the bathroom, a pretty large bathroom. Cool! One was on top of the tub. It was like taking a shower under a tree since there was a big tree that provided the shade on top of the skylight window. We didn't have the river experience from our room (that's why it is called the Garden Room) but able to enjoy the rivers on the beach and several gardens in the property. Next time, we'll take the River view room or the Master Suite.

Mars built fires every night we stayed there. We stayed 3 nights. It was really really nice and cozy. I was able to relax on the beach or in the gardens, reading books with the sound background of the rushing rivers. We also spent hours by the fire every night before we went to bed and enjoyed the river. I didn't even watch TV (I can do that at home). This was like a PREMIUM camping experience. I even joined a family with several young children in their "smores building" experience on the fire. It was fun to watch them!

We were also able to pick up food from Sierra Subs and Salads (recommend this one) and was able to have a picnic on the premise, enjoying our meal on the patio by the river. I saw guests used the propane grill to prepare a steak and baked potato dinner and Mars provided all the plates, utensils, etc. I thought that was a nice service although guests had to pay extra. At least, they don't have to wash the dishes nor clean the grill, right?

The garden, beach, rooms, and all other facilities are well taken care of and it feels like we were staying in someone's house instead of a commercial hotel. It was really homey and comfortable. I slept really well in the 3 nights I stayed there. Mars was very helpful in preparing us for the traffic delay at Sequoia National Park, the restaurants and dinner situations in Three Rivers, and gave us a tour of the premise. I was not offended of this kind of service like the other reviewer. I thought that it was the way she gave us a customer service so we could enjoy ourselves....and we DID. We definitely will be back to this river house.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank DebbieKTustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2010

My husband I went river rafting on Kaweah River and little did we know how much the Rio Sierra Riverhouse would make our trip even more memorable. This place has amazing views of the mountains and rivers, beautiful grounds that are well taken care of right on the river, and impeccable rooms. We stayed in the master suite, our balcony wrapped around the house with continuouse views of the river, not to mention the sounds of the water. The rooms are comfortable, cozy, modern and yet classy. Mars, herself is wonderful. Every night she ligthts a firepit and adds to the whole experience. We look forward to going back next year, without a doubt, and sharing our experience with friends.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lantoie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2010

During our more than two weeks of travelling around California we had the luck to stay at this precious little guest house. We initially planned for two nights but were lucky to be able to stretch the stay to three. Fantastic room with all the charm of an old house. Swimming, sunbathing spending days and evenings by the river and enjoying ourselves immensely. Sharing a bottle of wine with our fantastic host Margaret who cared a lot for our wellbeing. This is a place where we could have stayed forever! A vacation cannot be more relaxing than this! All said in earlier (positive recommendations) is completely true and there is no need to repeat the superlatives - We just comply with all of them.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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Thank LasseBromma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2010

We have traveled on all seven continents, and find this property a gem. Summertime in the Sierra Foothills can be a heat-heavy experience, but at the Riverhouse all that “melts” away as you frolic in the river and enjoy your surroundings. The Riverhouse is a “beach house” in the old style—it is an old house whose furniture is mis-matched but comfy, the floors squeak a bit and the windows stick a bit. BUT THE VIEW, and the proximity to the river are unmatched! One could hold one’s breath at the threshold of their room and be in the river before needing to exhale! Boulders jut out from the sandy beaches, or divide the river’s waters, or form a standing platform in the middle of a swimming hole. Private cabanas with chairs and tables are dotted along the “beach” for the four rooms’ occupants. “Mars”, the proprietor and host, is a delightful, caring person, and nearly always on call. The sound of the river is soothing. We stayed one night in the River View room and one in the Garden Room. The latter is small and has no view, but the River room is fabulous. You even have a river view from the “throne”. You won’t be spending much time in your room, as the shady/sunny/watery outside beckons. The river area is “private”, so there won’t be but a very few people around. The river, especially mid-late August, is not chilly nor dangerous (everyone should know that rivers are inherently “dangerous” for the inexperienced). You can swim, jump off boulders into pools, or ride whitewater chutes. Just lovely ambience. There is lawn space, tended gardens, sandy beach, and nearly-flat boulders to enjoy. It’s a little pricey, but unique and attractive in its overall qualities. We were able to carefully time our entry and exit at Sequoia Nat’l Park to avoid long waits at the road construction area, but the unwary may get stuck. Ask the Ranger at the entrance station what the general timing is for the passage (ours was uphill at the top of the hour; downhill at quarter-after). We went only 5 miles up the tortuous, 25-mile Mineral King road and decided that fun in the river trumped a long, hot drive.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CTBurke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2010

This is a gem of a property along the river shores. If you are just looking for a hotel, this is not for you. The location is incredible-we loved spending late afternoon and early evenings with the provided beach chairs in the water, reading and relaxing after hiking and touring the park. Clean beach towels are provided along with many different chairs, seating arrangements, cabanas, etc. Mars is delightful and a wonderful inn keeper/hostess with many great tips and resources for the area. She brought us a lantern every night as the sun set and was truly fun to get to know. We only dunked in the river due to the currents--there is a strong undertow and could be very dangerous. We loved the nightly fire and stargazed from the huge rocks just outside our door on the edge of the river. The highlight of our 8 day trip was our time spend here!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank raisinggirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

My teenage son and I visited Rio Sierra Riverhouse for 2 nights and 3 days and we both wished we could have stayed longer -- a lot longer! When we first turned into the parking area we were skeptical because the house seemed close to the road, but it really is its own private wonderland facing the river ,and we never heard traffic or were bothered by noises from other rooms or other guests.

This is truly a lovely place to relax, or to hike, or take a dip in the river, or go rafting, or drive to the national parks nearby. Our room was lovely -- we had two king beds, a full kichen and a very modern bathroom with oversized shower. There was plenty of hot water, and great water pressure (one of my pet peeves is low pressure or poor drainage in a hotel shower). There is not daily housekeeping, but that was fine because we were able to get clean dry towels daily, and we didn't have to worry about keeping our belongings neat or being out of the room when the cleaning person came.

In fact, we spent very little time in our room -- there are so many delightful outdoor "spaces" at Rio Sierra that we pretty much moved from spot to spot -- here to get some sun and wade in the river, there to read in the shade of the trees or umbrellas, and at night we lay on the warm boulders and stared up at the incredible display of stars. We found Margaret, the hostess/innkeeper, to be helpful and friendly without being intrusive. A recent reviewer felt that she gave out too much information, like warning him against certain aspects of the river, but I appreciated that she cared enough about her guests to share those very valid concerns.

Our room had a full kitchen, so we stopped in Visalia on the way to Three Rivers to pick up fruit, drinks, and some food supplies; I recommend that to anyone staying at Rio Sierra because once you're there, you won't want to leave again! However, we did order sandwiches and salad from the sandwich and sub shop down the street, and they were excellent. We also ordered a pizza from the local pizzaria, which was very good.

One note of caution to travelers to Sequoia National Park: They are working on the main road, and you may be delayed up to an hour entering and leaving the park, so plan accordingly (take a book). This is routine for the NP's during the summer months, and is hardly a reason not to make the trip -- especially with Rio Sierra Riverhouse waiting at the end of the day!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank g0ingplaces23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rio Sierra Riverhouse

Address: 41997 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271-9400
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Three Rivers
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Three Rivers
Price Range: $221 - $338 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Rio Sierra Riverhouse 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Sierra Riverhouse is a landmark riverfront property in California's Sierra foothills. We're located located 6 miles from Sequoia National Park. Five comfortable rental units are each furnished with refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave, TV, telephone, and wireless internet access.Outside, guests enjoy access to a scenic river beach and, in summer, the town's locally famous swimming hole, known as Slicky.Pull up a beach chair. Hang out in a cabana.Come Stay on the River. Let Nature Do the Rest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rio Sierra Riverhouse Hotel Three Rivers

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