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All reviews horseback riding the barn the kitchen staff every meal cattle baron other guests love horses experienced riders served buffet style dogs and cats food was wonderful horse lover aqua massage all inclusive package per day hour ride horse farm
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Reviewed October 15, 2012

Just returned from a week's stay at Southern Cross and it surpassed my expectations by far. It truely is a great place. All the staff are so friendly and helpful, the food is great and plenty of it, the horses are great and the setting is so peaceful and tranquil.
I would definately recommend it for singles, couples and families. There is always someone around to talk to but plenty of places to enjoy peace and quiet in a lovely setting.
I would definately go back.

Room Tip: All the rooms are a good standard with some being exceptional.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Jamanda1924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 12, 2012

BAD:We arrived early for check in and were given a great tour. The man giving us the tour said that our room had a balcony (I had spoken to him about this before we even booked, that I wanted a balcony). So it is time for check in. No balcony. Apparently he had put someone else in our room.
GOOD: He was kind enough to put us in the "cattle baron" suite which was very nice. But we could not get the fan to work. The tub in that room was very welcoming after riding, but hard to get into. Plus, it kept turning itself on after we had turned it off.
The bed was nice and comfortable.
BAD: the set meal times are a bit odd. When we first got there, the selection was marvelous but after the owner's friends left, the food was left overs. Desert was birthday cake 2x in a row. If you thought "I'll go back for more" that was not an option as the food seemed to vanish quickly so we left a bit hungry, plus no snack (dinner is at 6 pm...) in the evening.
BAD: ok we ride horses. These horses are SOUR. plus the "trail ride" is simply a loop around - the first time it was kind of exciting but then it was NOT a trail ride but just going around a giant circle. I guess they have to do that for the beginners.
It had rained when we were there and the trail was closed so we got to walk around in the pasture.
If there are a bunch of people riding (one day it was packed) you can be waiting a VERY LONG TIME for them to get all the horses ready and you can't leave until you are "checked over'.
there are bikes available but not really any place to ride them. The pool (didn't try it) looked nice.
Lots of mosquitoes.
I rate this average as the "all in- meals , riding and room" was kind of high/ food not so great and quality of horses awful.
(ok, the food started off really nice but went downhill fast plus there never was enough it seemed).
Smoking is allowed. we were set to sit on the balcony but were greeted by an overflowing ashtray.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank tomuchtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scgranch, General Manager at Southern Cross Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2012

We thank the reviewer for sharing their experience with us. It gives us an opportunity to look for potential improvements. However, I certainly wish they had shared some or all of these with us immediately as we could have either rectified issues or explained the way various things work. Please allow me to address the points in order that they were listed.

It does appear that the reviewer was booked in a room that has a “secret balcony”. In other words, it is a room category that does not “feature” a balcony as being available (but there is one room that just happens to have an “unadvertised” balcony). Subsequently, days before arrival, we upgraded the reviewer to our best, largest, most expensive room. This happens occasionally, and this was the first instance where the guest wasn’t totally elated to learn of the surprise. Unfortunately, the desire for the unadvertised balcony wasn’t noted on the reservation, and this is why they mistakenly received the free upgrade. For this, we hope the reviewer can accept our apology.

The room’s ceiling fan may be controlled by both the wall switch and the chain on the fan. Naturally, BOTH must be “on” for the fan to function. The air blower system on the large garden tub of the upgraded room will automatically (and briefly) turn on 2 times after use. This is a built-in safety feature to remove any moisture from the system.

Meal times are conveniently scheduled at 8am, 1pm, and 6pm, and variety of fresh-baked snacks, desserts, and fruits are available 24/7. As for desserts during a meal, occasionally, there will be unserved cakes or pies from one meal that will be presented as a second meal’s dessert along with a NEW dessert item for that meal. Otherwise, the comments from the reviewer are conducive with arriving very late to meal times. During the bottom half of the hour when guests are eating desserts and/or departing, hot buffet items are not stocked at greater levels than needed or anticipated. So, indeed at the bottom of the meal hour our buffet would likely have less asparagus, salmon, etc. than at the top of the hour, but our host is standing by to prepare more if needed.

While we have no record of any “friends of the owner” being here, we continuously strive for an excellent meal every time. In fact, many locals patronize our ranch just for the food, and overall the feedback is overwhelmingly positive as highlighted in many other reviews.

I am perplexed by the comment of not having any place to ride our mountain bikes. While most guests simply ride them to and from the stable, they can be ridden almost anywhere including the trails, pastures, and county roads. In fact, there is almost no place that you can’t ride them. Some guests even enjoy riding them into town (7 miles).

While we can’t imagine what the reviewer might construe as a “very long time” in getting the horses ready, we can say that guests are nearly always on the trail 30-40 minutes after picking up their unsaddled horses. During this time guests are enjoying the hands-on experience of walking their own horses from the paddock to the grooming area, brushing them, and collecting their tack and riding gear. Yes, there are a few moments of waiting along the way, but all in all it goes pretty quickly. We also believe it’s unfair to even suggest the quality of (all) horses to be poor. The reviewer rode 1-2 horses at most, but we have 100s. We do our best to match horses with riders (experienced or inexperienced) and are always willing to try other horses for guests when it’s not working out. Additionally, our guides are always available to help our riders with whatever issues they have. Our trails are appropriate for all levels. Many guests and horse owners visit annually for extended periods, and they, along with many year-round boarders, find the network of trails on over 200 acres to be quite delightful. The comment suggests the reviewer may have been riding unguided and simply didn’t discover the full breadth of our trail system in the short time they were here.

In any case we believe that every concern expressed, including operation of the tub and fan, meal times, seconds (or thirds) on meals, bike riding suggestions, as well as a change of horse or courtesy trail guide, could have been simply clarified or rectified (if applicable), if those concerns were brought to our attention during the stay.

All that being said, we truly appreciate that this guest (and all others who have posted) took the time to share their thoughts.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We just spent another wonderful weekend at Southern Cross Ranch near Madison, GA. We have been coming for years and everytime we come home we find ourselves looking at our calendars for the next time.

It is hard to find a Ranch that after being evaluated by the staff for your riding skills that they let you ride on your own. They do at Southern Cross and it is a joy to be able to wonder the meadow and see all the horses or go back into the woods and follow the trails. For those that love the great outdoors and enjoy the adventure of horseback riding this is for you.

This past weekend was one filled with lots of rain. Our afternoon ride caught us in a downpour. I have never been so wet but my husband and I chalked it up to a new adventure, riding in the rain. The horses didn't seem to mind.

All of the animals, horses, dogs, cats, geese and ducks are well taken care of and so sweet.

But wait, there is food! Three amazing meals a day. Every meal is full of choices, but why choose, try a little of everything. The kitchen staff takes pride in everything they make. They have also been know to make a favorite of a guest when they ask.

Southern Cross has great rooms, a pool, hot tub and lots to do but it's the wide open spaces surrounded by a meadow full of horses. Just sit back relax and enjoy the view...

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank ttsctravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 19, 2012

This is by far the most unique and satisfying vacation pkg I have experienced. DO NOT THINK OF THE MOVIE "CITY SLICKERS" WHEN YOU THINK OF THIS PLACE. This is Southern Hospitality at its finest. From the stately "Mansion" we slept in, the Charleston Suite, to the beautiful, well mannered, and trained horses we rode, the Southern Cross Ranch is 5 star plus. Even if you just go for the accomadations/meals and take no horse ride, this is the place for total relaxation. The dining is without equal. The menu, while leaning toward the southern palate we hear about and love so much, offers a full assortment of entrees to satsify even the most selective tastes, even the young ones. EVERY meal offers at least 2/3 main meat/protein dishes, several veggies, starches, and the desserts.... just prepare to loosen your belt at least 1 or 2 notches during your stay. The kitchen is open 24/7 for coffee/sodas/snacks. (The chocolate cookies are homemade)...and will put your gramdas cookies to shame. EVERYTHING is included in your package. One note: Alcohol is NOT provided/offered. You may BYOB however, which is perfectly acceptable. There are no addtl charges, except for the gift shop. NO HIDDEN USER FEES. There are several packages to choose from, or you can simpily go for the day to ride a horse. Whatever your level of horsemanship, whatever level of southern comfort you require, the folks at the SCR will cater to your specific needs. I guarantee it.

Room Tip: Rooms are priced according to the included items. DVD, Direct tv, fireplace, whirlpool, etc. The more goodies you want the more they provided. Just depends on what your needs/wants are.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Benjii2414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 5, 2012

This place is a bit hard to find and that might be really good. We live 30 miles away and have not heard about it for 2 years (since we moved here). We were told that we have to go and just try to home cooked food prepared by the owner Inge. I am from Germany (as is Inge) and we went on a Sunday for lunch (to eat Schnitzel) and it was truly superb. We also received a nice tour through the guest house and saw the very nice rooms. We immediately decided that we will be back ASAP as this is really a phenomal place where everything is amazing. There is only a very small minority of enterprises which get a 5 star review at Tripadvisor and this is one of the very few, and 100% deserved. Hats off to Inge and her whole team. If you are in the greater GA or wherever you are , you should seriously consider staying and eating here!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jmayerdvm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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