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“An unforgettable six days”
Review of Tanque Verde Ranch

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Tanque Verde Ranch
Ranked #29 of 130 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“An unforgettable six days”
Reviewed 20 April 2012

There have been many exceptionable reviews of the Tanque Verde Resort in Tripadvisor, and, indeed it was many of those reviews which persuaded my wife and I to spend five nights and six days there in early March. This dude ranch (resort) is so diverse that it appeals to a varied array of travelers. We met singles, young families with young children, families with teenagers, honeymooners, grandparents with their entire extended families; to the person, they were having the time of their lives! With so many terrific reviews by all sorts of guests, I will restrict this review to our experience and perspective as two seasoned travelers in our mid sixties looking for something different.

I am sixty-seven, my wife sixty-six, we are retired and have stayed in 4 & 5 star hotels and resorts all over the world. We have been on many Crystal cruises, and whether for business or pleasure, we have simply been fortunate to experience the finest in travel during the past forty years. I mention this background only to give you the context of how we would evaluate a resort. Believe me, when you accept the fact that a dude ranch is a completely different environment than a say a Ritz Carlton resort, and its approach and mission is, therefore completely different, after a stay there I think you will say that you enjoyed the Tanque Verde as much as any 5 star resort or cruise.

My wife loves horses and and has wanted to go to a dude ranch for years. When I finally said yes she researched the best (four spur) ranches with warm climate for early March and chose the Tanque Verde. We had trepidations. Would there be too many kids? (We have been there, done that) Would the food be good? What about the rooms? Would we like the people? What about the several negative reviews in Tripadvisor? Would this really be a luxury resort?

It only took a few hours for those fears to be extinguished. We arrived at 10:00 AM, checked in right away and our room was ready (Here’s a tip--it doesn’t matter if the room isn’t ready as long as you have your jeans & boots ready to go. You can eat and partake in the riding immediately. The room will not matter). The upgrade didn’t hurt and it was one of the largest suites we have ever stayed in. We had a private patio that overlooked the desert and the national park., huge bathroom and working fireplace in the living room. The next surprise was lunch, partially a buffet, with casual waiter service in the magnificent dining room. Food was great. We noticed that there were almost no children in the dining room; it was then we were informed that they had a separate dining room. For two adults always looking for restaurants and hotels without children, we were never in way bothered by the many kids that were there that week. (Children had planned activities separated from the adults) Dinner was a again a real surprise, the food was as good as any five star resort, the only difference was the service was much more casual (at dinner there were white table cloths and no buffet); not less professional, just more casual. But remember, this is a dude ranch, you can have dinner in your jeans! We really enjoyed the the many guests we met. We started with a table for two, but soon migrated to one of the many large “communal” tables to dine with the many people we met.

We loved the riding. And do not give a thought to your skill level; we were beginners and had a ball. Riding into the mountains for the blueberry breakfast is not to be forgotten. I’m a fly fisherman and loved just standing by the small pond and casting for bass; I did it every day.The wranglers were all professional, experienced and friendly. We especially liked Martin. All of the staff was just great. But how often do you come back from a ride and the GM is in the stable waiting to help you off your horse, Nicholas Gold is that kind of GM. One of the most attentive and good natured I have ever met. Leigh-Ann Kindberg, the Director of Guest Services was a true saint. Whether it was the great room, ready when we got there, or the riding boots waiting for my wife, Leigh-Ann was a real professional. There was nothing we needed that was not provided instantly.

When we first saw the pricing we thought it looked a bit expensive. But, with everything that ended up being included, when we left, we thought it was a great bargain. If you are looking for that western experience of your dreams you will not be disappointed!! A final thought. Earlier I mentioned a few negative reviews in Tripadvisor; I can only think that those people went to a different ranch. Not only did we have zero complaints, but we spoke to no one who had any issues whatsoever. Ignore those comments and you too will have the time of life!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank BostonTraveler61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeoffreyFCampbell, Director of Operations at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 5 June 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a thorough review.

Leigh-Ann and Nicholas are truly exceptional! Thank you for your positive feedback about our staff and services.

We think of ourselves as very unique in regards to experiences we offer, but consider our professionalism and service levels among the very best in the Hospitality Industry.

Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to your return.
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WILTSHIRE
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

My family of 9 spent 3 days (over the Easter Holidays) of a 15-day Arizona road trip at Tanque Verde and of the 10 locations we visited and stayed at, Tanque Verde was our favourite. We all agreed that this made the holiday a holiday of a lifetime and we are already planning our return.

Travelling with Olds and Youngs and varying energy levels is challenging but the ranch provided a good mix of activities for all. The children were well catered for and even our 3 year old was able to attend the club accompanied by an adult - which was great as her 6 year old twin sisters were in the club and they were not separated.

"Ride him like you stole him" became our catch phrase! Rebecca, Dante, Jonathan, Ashley - all of the Wranglers were wonderful. My mum is a large lady and there was no judgement or embarrassment for her with this amazing team. They helped her retain her dignity, really looked after her and gave plenty of encouragement when it came to the riding - it made her holiday and I'm very grateful.

The food was great - considering they cater for so many. The buffets were better than the a la carte as there was a big delay when we went. But the food was lovely when it came. Breakfasts are hearty and they even made a special effort to get some Goat Milk in for me and my daughter who cant have cows product - this is just the kind of special touch that makes Tanque Verde better. Even the Bellagio in Vegas wouldn't do that!

The whole experience was incredible - hiking, mountain biking, riding, children's club, even water aeorobics etc but I cant help but feel there could have been a little more variety on offer. For example, buggy rides for less able people so they could get out and explore, a clay pigeon shoot (maybe they cant because of the noise for the horses?) or even a target area with bows/arrows. I'm not trying to turn it into an activity centre but a couple of complementary activities would be great as there is such a big emphasis on the programme.

The only critique I would give would be the rooms - rather more the bathrooms. Yes, they are meant to be rustic and I get that the property is older (& lovely!) but the toiletries were very basic and its an easy win to provide good quality toiletries and the water wasn't always hot for a shower. The grout was a little tired for example. The fridge in the room was great as were the linen, beds, large wardrobe and blankets but again, something as simple as the shower curtain being less basic is an easy win. I think a tiny bit more effort into the rooms/bathrooms would go a long way. I can see from the other reviews that this is a key point being made.

I'd like to thank Nicholas and the team for such a memorable stay and we look forward to receiving yet another heart felt & warm welcome when we return. We miss you already!

Room Tip: We had a room in a Court Yard away from the main bustle. This was good for us.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SHEENAGILL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeoffreyFCampbell, Director of Operations at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 8 June 2012
I am so flattered that we were your favorite! I specifically remember our Chef rushing out to get your goat milk. I apologize about the delay with the food; we will work on making our food and beverage options more efficient. In regards to providing more activities, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our programming. Thank you for your suggestions. We are currently remodeling our bathrooms; we agree they needed refreshing. I am glad that this adventure was Evie's best time ever. I cannot wait for you to return to make your next stay even better. We will see you soon!
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Silver Spring
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

While my husband was deployed he begged me to find a family vacation where we would "Do Something". Normally, I plan beach vacations, cruises, or group tours. We found Tanque Verde through an internet search and I was impressed by the number families who return year after year. The best review I can give is to say that we already booked our trip for next spring break. I think we, too, will be one of those families where Tanque Verde will become a family tradition.

The kids program is top notch. They go above and beyond in making sure your child is safe on the horses. My children (age 6 and 9) made friends that they still talk about and want to visit. I spent most of my day horse riding (and I hadn't been on a horse in over 30++ years). I immediately fell in love and started taking horseback riding lessons on my return home. The wranglers really make the program. They put safety first while making the experience fun and the surroundings are breathtaking. The mountain ride was probably my favorite second to the lope rides. When we weren't horseback riding we took part in the hikes. I was impressed with the naturalist knowledge, and, their incredible skills in dealing with children. Rick (one of the naturalist) dealt with my 6 yr old son who was holding a snake and my 9 yr old daughter who was crying in the corner in fear of snakes. By the end of the week, even my 9 yr old daughter was touching the snakes. Janys led a fabulous and educational hike on "Food and Pharmacy in the Desert". My husband was able to mountain bike....and they even added an additional advanced bike ride recognizing his love for biking.

Tanque Verde is more than a ranch, it is a community. Nick (the general manager) was literally everywhere helping with horses, serving pancakes, in the gift shop, nature center, etc always trying to get to know our family and make our stay the best. The front desk staff are of the highest quality. Juan went out of his way to help me buy boots for my husband. The entire front desk staff was incredibly accommodating and very friendly.

We stayed in Room 56. It was a corner suite. The room was above average and probably the only thing on the ranch that could be improved. The beds were comfortable, and, to be honest we fell asleep soundly every night. The master bedroom had a queen bed and the living room had 2 full size couches that pulled out into beds. I think the bathrooms (which are more than adequate) need updating and I heard that is a work in progress. Believe me, this is very minor feedback as we did not spend anytime in the room. We recognize this is a ranch. We really enjoyed the patio off our room for a glass of wine while the kids were sleeping.

We can't wait to return next year! Our family has been on Disney cruises and has traveled around the world. This, by far, has been our best vacation in balancing family time, activities for everyone, and high quality staff. You can't go wrong with this vacation...if only we could find a way to not make a 51 week interval between trips!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Coopdedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeoffreyFCampbell, Director of Operations at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 26 May 2012
Wow! Thank you so much for your feedback. The Kids program is truly spectacular. Kids and Parents agree it is way cool and truly connects kids with something special that they cannot get anywhere else in the World. Sharing your feedback with the team is truly exciting; you should see the smiles you bring to all of our faces. It is really neat to see our guests taking it all in and having a truly memorable experience. And yes, you heard correctly, we are making some improvements in our guestrooms. We'll see you next Spring!
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Munich, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

The good:
- staff is very friendly and everything is well organized
- small and intimate feel even when fully booked, everyone will know your name after just a few days
- the community feel, it's super easy to meet and hang out with strangers and become friends fast
- the cookouts, book around those (Friday & Wednesday evening and Thursday morning breakfast)
- never had to wait for anything, everything is always available
- right next door to Saguaro National Park (walking distance!), I did 3 trail runs there in 4 days, amazing!!!
- the weather and location of the ranch is perfect and the grounds are beautiful
- there is quite an entertainment program so you won't get bored (but watch out if you're not into horses)
- great for kids (as long as they're into horses and will leave your side easily...), there is a lot of entertainment for those kids that participate with the kid coordinators in their programs.

The bad:
- it's really expensive and not worth it if you're not horseback riding every day
- the food is so-so, even when they try and cater to your wishes, it's certainly nothing special but there's lots of it so you will not leave hungry. Note for Europeans/Asians: the breakfast is typically American, i.e. every morning it's the exact same fare and nothing interesting beyond the usual eggs/omelets, cereals with fruit, bacon, pancakes and sausages.
- the accommodations are good/ok, certainly not up to a 4* or 5* standard but a good 3*. It's rustic as you would expect from staying at a ranch. Annoyingly no king size beds and the pillows are Motel 6 quality. However, since you shouldn't spend too much time anyway in your room and should be tired after so many activities, you won't care that much.
- The fitness center is lame and the most important equipment belongs into a museum, no free weights.
- You can't just rent the mountain bikes without the guide to tour whenever you want to. You have to sign up on 1 of 3 rides per day (each ~ 1 hour), so expect mediocre equipment, lots of beginners, slow with frequent stops, etc.. The guides are great guys but of course can't really rough it or do real mountain biking. There is, however, a place that rents and delivers bikes to the Ranch if you're a bit more advanced. You will have to bike off the ranch though then.
- Here's the big issue....if you or your kid is not into horses, it's a bit pointless and too expensive to stay there. Our 5-year old refused to get on a horse and the kid coordinators did not have anything alternative planned for him (or the other kids that wouldn't get on a horse). So you're basically stuck again with your kid for those times (which is 2/3 of the day). You can't ride with your little one at the same time, so you're just hanging out at the pool or do water coloring. At $900+/night (for 3 people around Easter/Spring break), you could have staid at the Ritz then. When we had made the reservation to this place, we were told that the kids would be entertained "the whole day even if they didn't ride horses". Well, that was simply not true and it's the reason we won't be coming back any time soon (unless our kid is getting into horses next). Also, for the 4-6 year olds (the "Buccaroos"), the program changed constantly and without warning so for Mom + Dad we had to stay close at all times and couldn't really get away as the coordinators would just drop our son off all of a sudden (e.g. they would play from 9-9:45am and then ride at 9:45am which meant we had to take care of our son again).

Room Tip: all the rooms are about the same
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GlobalPolyglot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeoffreyFCampbell, Director of Operations at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 26 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I have shared both the positive feed back and opportunities with my staff. We pride ourselves in being friendly and fun. In regards to menu options, our Chef takes pride in using the freshest ingredients and creating our menu items from scratch. Afterall, our menu has been designed from the feedback we recieve from our guests. Our famous pancake breakfast is often the highlight of our guests stay, as it has been a tradition for years. We always do whatever we can to cater to all of our guests tastes and are delighted to do whatever it takes to ensure a pleasurable experience. In regards to our activities, we understand not every guest will be into the horse experience. We are always looking for ways to include everyone in the experience and make it a memorable adventure. We also are making room improvements to keep up with our guest expectations while preserving our rustic legacy. Thanks again for staying with us!
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New York
1 review
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We just had our tenth spring break at the ranch and all I can say is that our teenagers still love to go with us (if fact it is their decision every year to return). They adored it when they were in the kids program and they still love to see Nancy, their former counselor at the ranch and love to lope with all the wranglers they grew up with. I would say that there have been a fair amount of positive changes in terms of the food this year (though we would like to see the barbeque meatballs back- at least the teens would) and some new activities. I would say though be sure to ask about the non-riding activities as it does not appear that they tell you as much about those programs as they had in years past (when they are doing the sign up) and it was only by luck I found out about a few of the new activities. Another tip is to ask for the schedule when you are thinking of coming. For example you want to get a kids'slesson in before the breakfast ride-so you want to arrive in time to take one the day before. One thing I regret is that they have reduced the hiking when there is a breakfast ride- a couple of friends who hike there also mentioned it to me. If hiking is stlll a mainstay we will be back next year.

Room Tip: I would opt away from the rooms behind the main dining area- there is less privacy outside.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sheila M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeoffreyFCampbell, Director of Operations at Tanque Verde Ranch, responded to this review, 26 May 2012
BBQ Meatballs sound delicious. I will have to ask around about those. Thank you for your feedback in regards to improvements. We will make sure our staff explains all of our activities in detail and make sure we are matching the best possible experiences for our guests. It is great that even as teenagers, the magic continues to delight them each time they return. The connections you have made with our team over the years is the reason I love what I do everyday. Nancy and the rest of the crew look forward to every time you stay with us and work extra hard to make your stay perfect. I look forward to seeing you next time; and perhaps we can share some BBQ meatballs. Thanks again!
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Additional Information about Tanque Verde Ranch

Property: Tanque Verde Ranch
Address: 14301 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85748-7138
Region: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre 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 (per night): ₹ 8,033 - ₹ 38,108
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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Also Known As:
Tanque Verde Ranch Hotel Tucson

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