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Reviews (349)
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Reviewed 8 November 2010

I stayed at Rancho Cortez from the 14th to 21st of September, I stayed under the fittness programme, hoping to get in shape and get a kick start to weight loss. The programme included all meals prepared for you and snacks, and roughly 5+ hours of exercise offered every day.

From my arrival late in the evening, I was looked after by Cheryl the manager, and by Mary and Larry the owners, not to mention everybody else who was working hard behind the scenes. The primary memory that I take home from the week is that I felt relaxed the whole while I was there, I felt that you could come and go as you pleased as you would in your own home.

The food was well thought out, and surprisingly more than enough to sustain the activity levels needed for the fitness programme. In addition I also found a notable difference in how much better I felt from a digestion point of view, which showed that perhaps it is not "just me having a terrible stomach" it was in fact what I was putting into my body. Which in itself is a motivator to eat a healthier diet.

The accommodations exceeded my expectations, being clean, spacious and well air-conditioned. I was also lucky to be sharing a cabin with a lovely lady so that we settled in very quickly.

The exercise programme was varied and all the instructors were obviously well qualified and took the time to adjust exercises specifically if needed, and to chat about any concerns that you had. For myself and another guest because we were staying only 7 days we were offered additional activity on the Sunday despite this usually being a day to rest for the longer term guests. Mary the owner took time out of her day to take me hiking, where we got thoroughly soaked but she didn't make me feel at all like it was an imposition to her day, so many thanks to her.

A special mention goes out to Larry and Rusty who provide the real Texan charm and wise words, and have a very can do attitude that I personally responded too and thought was brilliant!! Also to all the other guests at the ranch who were unfailingly kind and welcoming, all being there for the same reason bonds you and keep each other motivated.

Needless to say I would love to stay at Rancho Cortez again, despite living in the UK I would still make the journey to enjoy the company of guest and staff alike, and the beautiful Texan countryside. Although having lost weight and inches while there I have been keeping pace on this so the next visit might just be to the dude ranch!!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Just774285112973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2010

My girlfriend and I booked Rancho Cortez to try out their Fitness Program for one week. We hiked all over the nature park next door and Lost Maples State Park as well as worked out in the gym and indoor pool. From kickboxing to strength training to Zumba ... we did it all! Our accommodations were very clean and comfortable and the low-calorie menu was incredible. We learned a lot about cooking lean and mean during the cooking demonstrations too. On top of that we lost a few pounds and several inches. Thank you Mary & Larry for a terrific fitness vacation!

Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
4  Thank dawnlivingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2010

We visited for two nights at the end of October and was on a Monday and Tuesday. We were one of only 3 groups there and the total number of guests particpating in the horse riding was 9, so we got so much attention from Larry and Rusty this made the holiday. They went with the flow and let us decide what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it.

We have a young family two girls aged 3 and 6, and we could not have asked for more from the Cowboys. They were excellent with the girls, and our youngest even got to ride the horses around the arena, and she has always shied away from even touching horses before this trip so it was a great result.

The accomodation is more than acceptable and very clean, although a fridge in the
room to chill the beers/water would have been a welcome addition.

A evening trip to feed the longhorn cattle was fantastic and started our arrival off with a fantastic experience.

The pools are cold, but after being out riding in the dust and heat are a welcome relief and the kids dont feel the cold for long once they are in, thinking about it neither did i.

The campfire is a must, and is a proper campfire (you will know what i mean when you see it) and a great way to end the days.

The ranch is not licenced to sell alcohol, so if you want a cold beer round the campfire then take some with you. The kitchen kindly lent us a corkscrew and cold bucket to chill our wine and beer.

The food is good and they catered for kids, although our girls were just as happy eating beef fajitas with us.

Larry (the owner) and Rusty (the ex rodeo clown) are two great characters, and have story after story to keep you entertained. They tell it as it is and dont take no crap, but i like that and it was a refreshing change from the normal carribean holidays we have were staff are bending over backwards for you. Here it's the Texas way or the Highway, but i would not change that for anything.

we looked at several ranches before choosing this one, when we visit again, i wont be searching the web, this place has it all.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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Thank WellTravelled321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2010

After weeks of indecision, we selected Rancho Cortez (from many other ranches) to bring our middle son for his 6th birthday. I, being used to enjoying luxury at its finest, was hesitate on the entire experience but, afterall it isn't always about me when you have four children! My husband was certain this was the place for us and boy was he RIGHT!! We all had the time of our life. It was rustic as you would want and expect but certainly comfortable and clean. The entire staff has to be thanked for their hospitality and sharing of 'life on the range'. Larry was a most entertaining host. Our two oldest loved the trail rides and searching for arrow heads. Our 18 month old twins even had plenty of ground to explore. I can assure all, this will not be our last visit to Rancho Cortez!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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Thank MommyRof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

For a bunch of City Slickers from Philadelphia, PA, we enjoyed ourselves so much we are planning a longer stay next year because we only spent the day on the ranch. The establishment is owner/operated - you will get the "real deal" from Larry Cortez (the owner). If you are concerned for younger children's safety on horseback, then Larry will ensure a teaching segment in the arena is conducted. We did this and it was worth every penny to watch our 9, 11 & 13 year olds learn equestrian knowledge, skills & abilities. My hunch is you will not want to leave the ranch. Last year, our vacation was to swim with dolphins & the kids loved it, but they said Rancho Cortez was better!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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Thank MummerJoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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