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“Peace and Quiet Amidst Beautiful Birds and Stunning Scenery”
Review of Cave Creek Ranch

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Cave Creek Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
California, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Peace and Quiet Amidst Beautiful Birds and Stunning Scenery”
Reviewed 31 August 2011

We spent three days at Cave Creek Lodge in the Woodland Cottage. The cottage is right on the creek, quiet and private with spectacular views of Cave Creek Canyon between the shade of the trees. There is no cell phone service here but there is WiFi on the office porch where you can watch the hummingbirds at the many feeders while you check your email.

The cottage felt like a small house with a full kitchen & bath. It has a brand new full sized refrigerator and full sized gas stove. The gas stove seems to need to be adjusted though as the simmer setting was set more like medium heat. There is a full bathtub in the bathroom. The cottage was clean and seemed well maintained.

The living room had two cushioned chairs as well as a small dining table and chairs in front of a large corner picture window. It is equipped with a gas fireplace and an air conditioner, neither of which we needed as the weather was perfect with added dramatic thunderstorms in the afternoons. There was an eclectic mix of books to read; many nature related and field guides. You could also borrow any of the many books from the library in the office, if you liked.

This is a perfect spot for birders and most of the other guests appeared to be birders although Reed said some other guests were into reptiles or insects.

We were here only about a month or so after the Horseshoe II fire and many of the roads and trails in the Chiricahua Mountains were closed due to fear of falling trees or flash flooding. However, there were still plenty of places to go. The recent monsoons had turned the landscape lush and green with wildflowers --oh and chiggers. Avoid walking in the grass during this time of year.

Reed kept lots of hummingbird and other assorted bird feeders full and we saw more types of hummers in one place here than anywhere else we went to in SE AZ. We also saw Elegant Trogons on our last day here on South Fork Road.

During our stay we came back to the cottage after a hike and saw a sealed note on the door from Reed. It was a detailed account that one of our neighbors back home had relayed to him about our 15 year old dog. The dog had become suddenly ill and had to be put down. Reed was very helpful relaying the message to us as soon as he could and was very gracious and understanding.

If you come here be sure to take the very short hike to Vista Point on South Fork Road. The view of the canyons took my breath away not unlike the way I felt looking at Yosemite Valley. This is Arizona's best kept secret.

I would return in a heartbeat. This is not a place for those looking for luxurious surroundings. This is a place for nature lovers. I hope to return and go to the Chiricahua National Monument. I wouldn't think of staying anywhere else. Reed is an excellent host.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TrippinSue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
North Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2011

My husband and I spent three nights at Cave Creek Ranch in the remote village of Portal, Arizona. We are birders and had stayed there 30 years ago. Reed Peters, the owner and manager, has improved the property and refurbished the lodgings, which consist of assorted rooms and cottages. We were given the large Stone Cottage for the price of a smaller unit that we had reserved because it was being updated and cleaned. The cottage was very comfortable and homey, and the kitchen was adequately sized and stocked for a longer stay. Reed has established a great set of bird feeders and seating for watching them. (Day visitors can pay $5 to come and view the hummers and other specialties.) Most of all, the Ranch, located directly on Cave Creek, is set back from the main road, surrounded by large trees. It is a quiet retreat that we thoroughly enjoyed, and a great base for exploring the Chiricahuas. I hope to return at some future date and stay for at least a week. It was good for the soul!
Please note that this is not an upscale resort with a pool and food service. There is no cell service in the canyon, and no television at the ranch. You are left alone with nature -- the birds, the coatis, the javelinas--and that is the prize.

Room Tip: The individual cottages offer more privacy than the lodge rooms.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Buthraupis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oak Park, IL
Level Contributor
376 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2011

We visited the Cave Creek Ranch to visit my step-daughter while she was conducting some of her graduate research at the nearby research station. The Ranch is terrific. If you're looking for luxury, forget it--but the accommodations are scrupulously clean and more than adequate for a time away from "regular civilization." In fact, cell phones don't work there--all the better for getting away. My husband, yours truly, my daughter, and her boyfriend all stayed in the Stone Cottage, where we could also prepare breakfast (a complete kitchen) and where the cottage was cooled by a so-called "swamp cooler," which worked very well. In the mornings, there was a parade of various wildlife--from deer to javelinas (spelling?) to birds, to.... It's just lovely there. A great few days away, with opportunities for half-day or day trips to fairly nearby communities.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Grmpmbl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2011

I've stayed at Cave Creek Ranch both with birding friends and with my non-birding spouse and we've stayed there in August at the height of the hummingbird season and at Christmas time. The best local birding may be on the porch of the office and the main house. Along with lots of birds are coati, fox, javelinas, deer, and skunk and Reed Peters told us that sometimes there is a bear. Reed is a knowledgeable birder and also knows the mammals and reptiles. We have stayed in two different cottages (the stone cottage is our favorite) and both were stocked with seed for the feeders on our porch. The feeders in the common area are well stocked all day. We do all of our own cooking and relish the quiet-no internet, or television, just the roar of the creek. The star gazing is superb.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank jppAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danville, Pa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2010

We were actually there in August of 2009 - I hope this is not too out of date. Reid does such a nice job - very friendly, enthusiastic. Rooms are spacious, plain, but comfortable. Wonderful area. We were visited by a coatimundi on our last morning there. Saw some deer as well. Would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Puernux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cave Creek Ranch

Property: Cave Creek Ranch
Address: 1396 W Piedra Blanca Lane, Portal, AZ 85632
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Portal
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Portal
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cave Creek Ranch is a peaceful retreat from the modern world. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the simple rooms and cottages are clean and neat. While there is Wi-Fi on our front porch, the rooms are free of modern noise and distractions -- no cell service, TVs, or radios. We do have a small library in every room, and more books on natural history available to borrow from the office. Guests tell us they haven't slept so well in years; we think it's because they can relax and get away from the news. Cell service is available a mile away in downtown Portal. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cave Creek Ranch Hotel Portal

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