We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“F A N T A S T I C”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Sundance Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Staff is great, Wranglers are great
Food is great, what a great experience.

Unique setting and great for kids off all ages including me.
I had a great time and so will you.

A drive to the Ranch is beautiful there is so much history around the area

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MrHibbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (483)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

285 - 291 of 483 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

I have friends with kids similar ages who return year after year, so I expected it would be good. In the end I kind of fell in love with the place. Unfortunately due to an injury, I was unable to ride this year, but I certainly enjoyed my time while the rest of my group was out riding. During the 3 days I would take hikes and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and take photos or would lounge by the pool or just sit and read on the veranda while sipping a coffee or glass of wine. I came with a friend who would go out riding with my 9 year old daughter and my 5 year old son came along as well. My son got to do a pony ride with me leading him for 15 or 20 min before the rides would head out. He went with the children's program one morning while I ran into town and he enjoyed it so much that he begged to go back during each ride even though he didn't have too. It was a very hot week while we were there and so the second ride of the day was in the evening which was gorgeous. During the afternoons we would all go to the pool to cool off and the kids had a blast. The food was excellent and the chef always had an additional choice for the kids. My kids are picky eaters and they ate like champs and enjoyed all of it. The rooms are basic but extremely comfortable. We had a king room which has a small fridge which was useful for me to store extra snacks and fruit for my kids. The wranglers my group had were all amazing. My daughter particularly loved Issy, as she always made sure the kids on the ride were comfortable and that they stopped and took frequent water breaks in the heat. My daughter fell in love with the horse she had on most of her rides, Charcoal, and misses her so much. Be prepared that the rides are 2 hours long and a bit longer even if everyone seems to be having fun. That's a long time in the saddle twice a day but my daughter and my friend really enjoyed it... And those long rides and the excellent food and friendly staff make this ranch an excellent value for your money in my opinion.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Terri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Readers in their 40's and 50's may remember what it was like to go on a road trip style vacation in the 1960's and 70's. For me, that was the Golden Age of the Family Vacation, where the family would develop deep bonds and forge new friendships in the absence of today's anti-social personal electronic gadgets. If you long to rekindle those memories and experience the family vacation as it used to be (and as it was meant to be!), look no further than the Sundance Guest Ranch.

As we drove up to the ranch, we were greeted by a pasture full of happy horses on our left and sleepy cows on our right. Once we reached the parking lot, we saw the main lodge buildings and the stables. The buildings don't look modern but that is their charm. They absolutely fit the notion of the classic ranch buildings you see in the movies. It was certainly heart warming to behold them as we drove up.

After parking, we went to the ranch office to check-in. That's where we met the very friendly Cynthia and Orelia, as well as the office dogs. Cynthia and Orelia really care about their guests and they immediately made us feel like VIPs and treasured patrons. They asked us several questions to find out more about us and to help determine what sort of horse might be best suited to our personalities and riding experience.

After check-in, Orelia helped us pick out our cowboy boots and safety helmet. My 12-year old son was extremely picky about the look of his boots and he must have tried on 5 or 6 pairs. All the while, Orelia was patient with him and even shared in a few laughs with him. She does a great job at making sure your gear fits.

With gear in-hand, we headed off to our room. Upon entering the room, we were surprised by the spartan furnishing and old fashioned decor. The bathtub was green, the lighting was dim and the dressers and night tables were reminiscent of the ones I had as a kid. Furthermore, there was NO television (not even an old CRT tube television) and NO phone.

What you have too understand about this is the ranch has a philosophy. The rooms are spartan on purpose to encourage guests to escape the chains of today's electronic gadgets and to instead mingle socially with their family and new friends in the public areas of the ranch. The public areas include a dining room, breakfast/lunch room, BBQ patio, adult lounge, kids lounge and a big grassy area where you play horseshoes, have a glass of wine or just relax in the sun while your toes explore the soft grass.

As you will find out from visiting the ranch's website, they provide three square meals per day as part of your package price. Our first meal was a hamburger lunch that was served in the outdoor patio area. We were expecting the burgers to be generic frozen patties from a warehouse store, cooked on a flat-top grill. We were wrong! The burgers were made from top-grade prime rib, that was coarsely ground like you would get from a classic hand-crank meat grinder. They were BBQ'ed slowly over coals and I believe a bit of mesquite wood. The taste? Absolutely delicious! I haven't had a burger like that in years, if ever!

When you have a meal at the ranch, there are just a few large tables to sit at. You won't find a secluded table for two anywhere. This is most dramatically demonstrated in the dining room where there are only three large tables. Furthermore, at dinner time, there are assigned seats. The ranch does this to encourage you to meet new friends and boy, did we ever! We met a tulip tycoon from Holland, a 5-star Executive Chef from Ottawa, a large family of horse lovers from Toronto, a wonderful married couple from Sweden and various assorted guests from Germany. I learned so much about daily life in other countries just from sharing some dinner conversations with those great people.

The food is always fresh and very delicious but don't expect fancy gourmet looking plates with exquisite sauce decorations and eye catching garnishes like you would see on Iron Chef. Instead, you'll get good old-fashioned, home-style, country cooking. To receive your food, you line-up cafeteria-style and a friendly server places the food onto your plate when it's your turn. It's a bit old school but it's also charming and fits with the overall philosophy of the ranch. For example, the server will usually ask you about your day as they are putting the food onto your plate. And all staff -- everyone of them -- are constantly wearing warm smiles.

Let's get to the most important part of this review -- the horseback riding. Everyday we did two rides, a morning one and an afternoon one (which sometimes got postponed into an evening run if the afternoon temperature was too high).

Before each ride, there is a 15 minute group lesson on Western-style horseback riding techniques, safety and trail etiquette. After a few of those lessons, you begin to feel like a confident and seasoned horseback riding veteran. Although I had ridden a few times before, I learned a new tip or technique with each lesson.

The ranch has over one hundred horses of all shapes, sizes, speeds and demeanor. The staff does a great job of learning about you so they can match you with the perfect horse for your personality and skill level. You can request the same horse for every ride, if you like, but the staff will sometimes also make suggestions of a new horse to try as they learn more about you.

My first horse was Rufus. He was a good horse for me but he had a bit of a penchant for trying to eat alfalfa while out on the trails.

For the rest of my rides, I rode Traveler, who I believe comes from a horse racing pedigree. I think he's the BEST horse ever but I suppose he's not for everyone. He's probably the 2nd tallest horse there so you have to be tall just to mount him (I'm 6'2" and it was a long way up even for me). Once I was mounted on top of Traveler, I felt very safe and secure. He seemed to bond with me right away. He's a joy to ride and very responsive to slight cues from the reins to change directions, slow down, etc. Furthermore, when he's at a full run, it's a sublimely smooth ride. I felt like I was Tobey Maguire's character in the horse racing movie Sea Biscuit.

Traveler can be a little bit cheeky, which I liked. He's a front runner who like to be at the front of the pack, right beside the wrangler's horse ("wrangler" is the name given to the expert guide who rides with your group). If other horses try to pass Traveler, he'll give them "the eye" to tell them to back off. It was pretty funny when he did that. It makes you feel like you are riding the "boss" horse. :-)

As I said above, we did two rides per day, for a total of about 5 or 6 hours per day. With that much riding, it doesn't take that long to feel comfortable on the back of a horse. You'll also learn that you have several muscles that you didn't know existed. I was sore every day but it was worth it and nothing that couldn't be fixed by a nice glass of wine at the end of the day (did I mention that you can bring your own beverages to the ranch?).

The ranch is HUGE. As such, it has an endless array of trails running over various types of terrain and elevation levels. You'll never get bored of the variety of trails and the idyllic scenery. There are countless breathtaking views available all over the property.

Let's talk about the wranglers. Undoubtedly, our favorite was Emma. She's a young 20-something lady who absolutely loves horses. She has an amazing sense of humor, which, combined with her vast knowledge of pop culture, results in no shortage of laughs and good times out on the range. On every ride, she strives to delight her guests and give them a unique and exciting experience.

An equally intriguing wrangler is Charles. While we did not have the pleasure of riding with him, we were entertained by his antics every time we saw him around the stables or out on the trails. He's the prototypical cowboy you see in the movies (a dose of John Wayne mixed with a pinch of Clint Eastwood). He has a extraordinarily interesting accent that sounds like a cross between a Texas accent and a Newfoundland accent. He said it was a New Brunswick accent.

One of the highlights of each ride was when Charles would shout out the invitation to come into the corral and mount your horse. What he says in that spiel is barely understandable until you've heard it a few times. Think of a fast-talking cattle auctioneer. It's pretty cool to hear it and it makes all of the guests break out into a good-hearted laugh whenever he does it.

Occasionally, the ranch puts on some fun family-oriented events in the evening. During one evening we were there, they hosted a smores-cookout around a fire in the BBQ pit. That was a lot of fun as people from all ages and cultures had skewers in the fire at the same time. I cooked a smore for a new Swedish friend. He had never seen a smore in his life but he thoroughly enjoyed it. During the smore cookout, we were constantly entertained by two of the ranch dogs (Seska and Chica) who were goofing around the BBQ pit area.

During our last evening at the ranch, we were delighted to meet Boomer, the ranch owner. He had no shortage of interesting stories and anecdotes to share about the ranch. He entertained my wife and I for over and hour while he showed us fascinating pictures of the ranch from days gone by. From looking at the photos, it seems like the ranch has been a popular and treasured vacation destination for the past several decades. I have no doubt that this tradition will continue.

In summary, if you are looking for old fashioned family fun, I highly recommend the Sundance Guest Ranch. You will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Joe K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

we had the best wrangler her name was izzy she made the rides so enjoyable she adapted to all of our riding needs one of my kids had some fears of hills and going fast but we were all able to do runs with the horse and she stayed with him back and went a little slower, we were at all different levels but we were able to stay together as a family. the kids loved the swimming pool food was good all the staff was great i think we will be doing this many years to come

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank deeannasantos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

What can I say, everything I thought and much more.
The rides where the best, the accommodation wonderful, the meals perfect, and of course the people are very friendly.
I can recommend this Ranch to everyone who is interested in horseback riding.
I'm already planning to go back in the fall.
Renate

Room Tip: Next time I will request room # 8, quite corner suite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Renate G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We love Sundance. My wife's family has made this trip every year for more than 25 years. We always have a great time. The horseback riding is what we come for. Despite the recent fire, the trails still provide lots of horseback adventure. The staff always work hard to keep the grounds and rooms ready for festivities. We can not wait until our next visit. Special thanks to all the staff, wranglers, managers, and horses.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank Eric D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

I had a fantastic first visit. The staff was very friendly, the trail rides were beautiful, and the beds were quite comfortable. It had been about 20 years since I had last ridden a horse and the wranglers were very good at helping me get the groove back. I can't wait to go back with my sisters and my mom! I am officially now a lifer!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GinnieGinGin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Sundance Guest Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sundance Guest Ranch

Address: 2591 Kirkland Ranch Road | Box 489, Ashcroft, British Columbia V0K 1A0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Ashcroft
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ashcroft
Price Range: $260 - $559 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sundance Guest Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is it - this is your ranch, only four hours from Vancouver, Canada! Whether you're looking for a horseback riding holiday with a bit of adventure, a family vacation at a dude ranch where even the kids will have fun, or just some place new where you can really get away from it all, you've found it. Sundance Guest Ranch is located in the warmest, sunniest spot in Canada with sweeping, panoramic views of the wide open Thompson River Valley that are so beautiful, they're ridiculous... but that's not it. Sundance Guest Ranch is just an easy four hour drive from Vancouver, Canada, making us a perfect weekend getaway destination... but that's not it. Sundance Guest Ranch serves absolutely amazing food that goes well beyond what you might expect from a "dude ranch"... but that's not it either. Sundance Guest Ranch runs a herd of over 100 happy, well-cared-for horses with thousands of acres of spectacular and varied terrain to explore, and the horseback riding is truly wonderful, whether you're looking for relaxing, instructive or exciting... but even that's not it. When you've just gotten back from a ride, and you're sitting on the lounge deck with your favourite drink in your hand, watching the herd gallop out to the field for the night and laughing with someone you've known ten minutes like you've known them ten years... lean back, put a foot up on the railing and look around... you're close, close to knowing why we say: "The first time, it's a vacation - after that, it's coming home." ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, Hotels.com and Agoda so you can book your Sundance Guest Ranch reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sundance Guest Ranch Hotel Ashcroft

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing