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“Just getting way too expensive for what you get” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sundance Guest Ranch

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Sundance Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
139 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Just getting way too expensive for what you get”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

Every year the prices here go up and up, while the experience goes down. I was a frequent traveller to this ranch and have brought friends, family, coworkers over the years. I was trying to organize another trip for this year and noticed on the website that the prices this year have gone up again, while the mid week and low season rates are eliminated. Every day is high season here I guess. They've gotten a bit "high on their horse" so to speak. Why would you have to pay the same on a busy summer weekend as you would midweek in April? It makes no sense. I was planning a trip with up to 20 coworkers for mid week in May but they all said it cost way too much - over $500 per person for two days. We're going somewhere else.

I have also noitced over the years the little details that made it special have become less and less. The first time I went we were brought out plates of hot appies, home made guacamole and salsa complimentary after our afternoon ride. The last time I went we got chips out of a bag with salsa from a jar. They chef is not as good as the one they once had and the meals are much more set with less ability to serve likes/dislikes anymore, just "allleriges". The kids are also just given whatever they are serving. The first time I took my son, the chef had a meeting at breakfast with all the kids and they "VOTED" on the days menu.

I stil enjoy the horseback riding but find it often takes way too long to saddle up and get going. There also seems to be less interest in the guides taking the group where they want to go and just following the same route over and over. Last time on a lovely summer day we begged to go to the river but each time we asked was some excuse. The worst experience ever was after we'd given our weights when we checked in, one office woman came up to my sister in law while we were with a group of people sitting outside and basically said they didn't believe the weight she said she was and asked he to follow her to the barn to be weighed!! Seriously. How embarrassing. They then said she was too heavy to ride (185 pounds) even though she had said she was 185) and said she couldnt ride. They then relented and said she could walk only, no trotting or gallopping.

At $255 per day per person, considering the EXTREMELY basic rooms, good(but certainly not gourmet as they advertise) food it's just too much. My family of two adults and two teens would have to pay almost $900 for ONE day - that's just Stupid - the family trip here is off as well - we're going skiing at Whistler for a whole weekend with lift tickets for cheaper.

The only people this place will really cater to now is European tourist with too much money. It's sad.

Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank coffeechik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YourSundanceHosts, Manager at Sundance Guest Ranch, responded to this review, 9 March 2012
We can certainly understand how this reviewer feels, as nobody likes to see prices go up, but this is a reality we are all dealing with these days. Over the past decade, our rates have gone up an average of 2.5% per year. This season we had to do more - not only in response to increased costs, but also due to our trying too hard to hold the line on rates year after year.
Our adult daily rate went up by $10 for 2012. Youth and children’s rates did not go up, in fact our children’s rate has not gone up in six years, in addition to which we are offering a 20% discount off all youth and children’s rates for the month of July, and our annual 50% “Back to School” special for the last week of August.

We did have midweek discounts of 10 to 20% in the spring and fall, but found that they were not drawing enough to be worthwhile. When we have only a small handful of people on a Wednesday in October for example, we still have to put on a chef, server, wrangler, office staff and chambermaid to serve them. Most of our midweek customers tell us that they come at that time because it is their preference, not because it’s cheaper.

So this year, we scrapped the midweek discounts and instead offered discounts of 15 – 20% off all 2012 rates for customers who booked early. All previous customers were offered this special deal which was advertised on our website to new customers as well, and the response was tremendous, resulting in the highest-ever advance bookings for this time of year. We will of course continue to monitor client feedback on this policy.

We can only recommend doing a comparison of our rates with other guest ranches in BC, which will show our rates to be at the low end of the middle of the pack, especially if you compare “apples and apples”. For example, another ranch may offer a three-day package that looks cheaper than ours, but only includes 1 ride a day.

It’s a shame that the reviewer, after having been a frequent traveler to Sundance, did not call to ask about a rate for their group. Perhaps it is our fault for not mentioning this option on our website.

Our rooms are indeed “basic, but clean and comfortable” as a perusal of our reviews will attest. Over the last two seasons we have purchased new beds for all the rooms and just this month we finished outfitting the last few rooms with new duvets, with more improvements planned.

We are sorry that the reviewer felt the food last season was good, but not as good as it had been. We felt that last year’s chef was one of the best we’ve ever had, which is why he is returning for 2012. We had virtually nothing but rave reviews about the food under Chef Todd. We do have set menus for lunch and dinner, so upon booking we ask all guests if they have any food allergies - or if they are vegetarian, or don’t eat fish, pork, red meat, seafood, etc. or any other dislikes or special requirements. The list of “specials” at any given meal is sometimes quite extensive and goes far beyond simple food allergies.

The comment about bottled salsa is noted, and we will be going back to fresh this year.


Kids can be picky eaters for sure – which is why Chef Todd will occasionally go “poll the group” to find out what the kids would like to eat. He has always been anxious to please the kids, and in fact was already planning to start offering choices at kids’ mealtimes this season.

Regarding the riding experience, the comment about mount-up taking too long has been noted. Friday afternoons especially can take longer as it is the first ride of the trip for a lot of people, and gear has to be adjusted, etc. We will endeavour to speed up that process this year.
As far as repetitive trails, this is a very unusual thing for us to hear, as we have so much different country to ride over. Sometimes the river ride is not ideal in very hot weather as it can be hard on both guests and horses – not sure if this could have been the case here, however we do take all comments very seriously and will certainly continue to do our best to take guests where they want to go.

As for the overweight rider issue, we do have a riding policy as follows:
Upon booking, we will require height, weight and riding experience for everyone intending to go horseback riding. We will use this information to select the best horse for you, and if it's a "match" - (that is, if both you and the horse are happy!) - that is generally your horse for the duration of your stay!
Please note that very large or heavy people may not be able to ride, or may be limited to a walking ride only. If we are unable to provide a horse for you, we can offer a non-riding discount.
The ranch reserves the right to limit availability of horseback riding due to anything which may in our judgement pose a threat to the safety of either horse or rider.

A weight of 185 is certainly no problem. 230 is close to our maximum weight for riding, but it can vary from person to person. For example, someone who is 6 feet tall and 230 will not be a problem, whereas with someone who is 5’5” and 230, we would unfortunately have to offer a non-riding rate.

That being said, if one of our staff handled the matter in the manner described, we can only offer our sincere apology. We did indeed have an old set of scales down at the barn, but we gave it away to a neighboring farmer last summer.

Since the reviewer stated that the food is good and they enjoy the horseback riding, we’d encourage them to give us another look – by all means, please call to inquire about a rate for a group or other special booking, and for the family vacation take advantage of our discounts of 20 – 50% off kids’ rates. Book early for 2013 and get an additional 15% off adult rates. At the very least, please be assured that your feedback is valued and that we will use it to continue to improve on the experience that we offer our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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420 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
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163
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2011

The food is good. The horses are wonderful. The wranglers are very competent. I'm not a horse person by a long stretch but if I keep going back to Sundance I may very well become one!

Room Tip: Rooms facing the fields give you a view of the horses coming in in the morning and out in the eveni...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vic-coastar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2011

Food was exceptional. Horses were well trained and well kept. Ranch had a great laid back atmosphere. Will definetly return.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cru1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Snohomish, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2011

I go to Sundance a few times every year. I always look forward to it and I am never disappointed. It is my favorite place!

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pasture have a great view of the horses coming and going.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2011

I just spent the weekend at Sundance ranch for their ladies-only weekend. The weather was great, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the food was great! The horses are well- taken care of and Brian the stable manager truly cares about his horses which is nice to see. In regards in the rides the wranglers take you on, some are better than others ( Tim's Trail is the best). I found some of the geography of the rides a bit boring due to all the tumbleweed, I prefer more forest. The rooms are bare bones basic, but hey, you are staying at a ranch, what should you expect? There is a couple rooms with pool tables, board games, video games etc. for evening entertainment and they also organized some fun games for us ladies. I would 100% go back again.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tremmmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Delta, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

I was convinced by a horseloving friend to go last year, and am now an ardent fan of Sundance Guest Ranch! You don't have to have any kind of competence as a rider, I was a once-every-6-years rider before this unbelievable experience. That said, there are horses of all levels available, and my very experienced riding friends were extremely satisfied with their riding experiences. The staff are so friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in maximizing your experience. The rooms are rustic but very comfortable and clean, which is fine, as you won't spend much time in your room anyway. The horses are wonderful, and you can change up your ride any time you'd like. I stayed with one in particular, and it was simply wonderful. The wranglers are great conversationalists and knowledgeable of everything to do with the horses, the ranch, the history of the area and the natural environment surrounding the ranch. Be prepared for some of the most beautiful scenery that B.C has to offer - I've lived here all my life, and it continues to take my breath away. The food is another reason I will return on an annual basis (I've already booked for 2012!) - the quality surpasses most of what you can get in any fine restaurant in any city! And good luck finishing your plate at every meal! If you're even remotely interested in a guest ranch experience, start here. Thanks, Sundance!

Room Tip: Great view in the rooms looking out to the fields where the horses graze at night
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heidi_No_Listen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

Just returned from a week in Canada, suring which I spent 3 nights with a friend at the Sundance Ranch.

The ranch is in a beautiful location, it's semi-desert there which means it's very dry, however this doesn't take anything away from the surroundings which are mountainous and majestic and make for exceptionally good trail riding - and the chances of being rained on are very low!

The service at the ranch is exceptional, with every single member of staff going out of their way to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The food is fantastic, and the communal lounge, with it's large open fire, is a relaxing and sociable space.

The rooms are not luxurious, however they are comfortable and in keeping with the rest of the ranch. I had 3 fabsulous nights sleep so definitely no complaints about the beds which have lovely feather duvets and pillows.

My horse was great and I rode him for the whole of the break, as an advanced rider you always worry that horses that ride in groups all the time will be unresponsive, however nothing could be further from the truth, I felt the horse was always doing as I asked and not just what the others were doing. My friend rode 3 different horses during our stay, and really enjoyed experiencing a variety of different horses, all of which were very well trained, and seemed exceptionally well cared for.

I guess the most telling information I can give you is that I'm already planning my return for 2012!

If you're reading this, thanks Sundance Ranch!! xx

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Clairus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sundance Guest Ranch

Property: Sundance Guest Ranch
Address: 2591 Kirkland Ranch Road | Box 489, Ashcroft, British Columbia V0K 1A0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: 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 Speciality Lodging in Ashcroft
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 
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Also Known As:
Sundance Guest Ranch Hotel Ashcroft

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