100%
Members Recommend
4.0
Very Good 1892 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Personalized service that allows you to craft your experience each day
  • Secluded yet accessible location minutes from the airport and “civilization”
  • Truly all-inclusive price includes not just wine, but lessons, tours and transfers
  • Terrific trail rides and horsemanship clinics for all levels
  • Fantastic, fully supervised kids programs
  • Creative haute-cowboy cuisine

What To Know

  • The pool is closed though winter. It will reopen in June.
  • Family-friendly but no kids under 6; Jan. 2 though Feb. 15 is reserved for adults only
  • Closed most of the spring and fall
  • No phone or TV in rooms; cell phone service can be spotty
  • Some upstairs bedrooms have sharply sloped ceilings
  • Take a connecting flight into Yampa Valley Airport or make the lengthy drive from Denver
All-inclusive Lodge Lounge Outdoor Activities Outdoors Ranch Romantic sofa property living room Suite home cottage condominium recreation room Modern flat hard

Overview

The Review

The Vista Verde experience is all about great service, attention to detail, continual personal betterment and a roster of diverse activities. Its small size (40 guests maximum) and minimum one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio guarantee personalized flexibility and as much (or little) interaction as you desire. Your hosts, Ben and Holly Martin and Dace Starkweather regale you with tales of their varied careers; as the resident singing cowboy, Dace might even serenade you with a few Western ditties.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/541/prop-39974-1320258336-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The nine recently renovated log cabins are private homes for your outdoor adventures.”}The nine recently remodeled one- to three-bedroom log cabins have a patio hot tub, butter-soft leather sofas and fridges stocked with the beer and wine of your choice. Beam ceilings, Western antiques, quilts and cast iron wood-burning stoves extend the sense of place and history. The Steamboat Soap Company fashions boutique handmade amenities, including the lodgepole pine beds, crafted on-site from ranch wood by Bill Backer, head of maintenance. Three lodge rooms, conveniently upstairs, were also recently refurbished in haute Western style.

In the kitchen, executive chef Matt Campbell emphasizes quality, freshness and creativity, obtaining his ingredients from local purveyors. Multicourse “formal dinners” (though dress is anything but) might offer braised Colorado lamb shank with wild mushroom spaetzle ragout or sesame-mint-crusted ahi tuna steak served over avocado nori rolls with yuzu-ponzu sauce. Wine and artisanal beers flow freely.

At dinner the staff circulates to ask guests their preferred activities for the next day. Go for a sleigh ride, a sledding trip, and ice skating lesson or a snowshoe walk, or try some of the year-round activities like yoga and cooking classes. Guides and instructors tailor experiences to your interests and abilities, utilizing top-notch gear from mountain bikes to skinny skis, snowshoes to fishing rods. All transfers, including jaunts to historic Steamboat Springs for skiing, golf and shopping are included.

The horses really rule the roost, and they have idiosyncrasies and personalities as colorful as the staff. You’ll practically become a horse whisperer yourself in the full-size heated indoor riding arena. Wranglers monitor your progress and adapt to your learning curve, getting you out on trails through the breathtaking mountains or providing more intensive clinics to enhance your equestrian skills. For more advanced riders, concentrated horsemanship clinics focus on specific techniques.

Don’t expect the latest gadgetry (though the lodge offers free WiFi). Vista Verde is all about experiencing the Great Outdoors fully, while also enjoying a luxurious escape from the everyday.

How to Get There

Vista Verde Ranch
58000 Cowboy Way
Clark, CO 80428 United States

Reviews

Vista Verde Ranch My Happy Place
Keeley_UK

Vista Verde Ranch, My happy place…

I was travelling on my own and I must admit I was a little nervous as to how I would fit into the ranch life having never ridden a horse before. As I drove from Steamboat Springs to VVR and entered the driveway to the ranch I as blown away by the absolute beauty of the place. From the moment I parked up and walked through the door to be greeted by Devyn I knew I had made the best decision in staying at VVR.

I had checked into my room Mica which is located in the main lodge, it was perfect. I went downstairs and as was asked to go to the barn to get fitted for my saddle. Looking a little bemused as to where to go Kathy a regular guest directed me to the barn. Again I was made to feel not like a newbie but a long standing friend. At the barn I was met by Sam who introduced me to Mary who fitted my saddle and talked to me about what I wanted to do the next day.

All the wranglers are so patient and interested in you as a person, and what you like doing. My special thanks go to Mary, Cawood and Kylie who all made me feel confident and always safe on Cuattro my stunning Mustang horse.

You can do whatever activity you want, horse riding, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking or just sitting by the pond looking out over the pastures, there is just no pressure, just complete enjoyment and relaxation. Oh, and have I mentioned the wonderful people…

Happy hour and mealtimes are always a great time of day to talk to all the other guests and staff which I really do call friends about your activities for the day and what you may fancy trying the next day.

To Ben, Charlie, Steph, Devyn, Mary, Caywood, Kylie, Nate, Melissa all the wonder wranglers, housekeepers and all the other staff thank you for making me feel like part of the family in your wonder VVR home its was so refreshing to part of your community for the week, which really wasn’t long enough. Nothing is too much trouble. All the staff greet and treat your like a friend, it is truly uplifting to see everybody enjoying what they do and sharing their enthusiasm and passion.

The ranch is stunning and the food delicious and all the activities are an incredible experience, but the real reason this place rocks so much is simply the people, you can only train people to a certain level the rest is left to the passion they have inside them and VVR certainly knows how to bring this out in all their staff, and this is the real reason VVR works, THE PEOPLE.

Big shout out to the VVR dogs Finn and buddy and the beautiful cats missing you loads…

Looking forward to seeing you all in September 2020

Unforgettable, in every way
Steven T

The ranch is beautiful, the food incredible, the activities too numerous to count and all five star. Take all that away and I'd still come back to Vista Verde Ranch for one simple reason. The people.

My memories of VVR will always be filled with horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, yoga and superb dining, but mostly I will remember my time spent with the staff. Their care, concern and passion for guests, each other and what they do is self-evident from the moment you walk through the lodge on your first day to when you regrettably have to say 'goodbye' on your last.

When we started looking at dude ranches to visit, the one thing that stood out about VVR were the number of repeat visitors. We met 2 groups during our stay that have come to VVR numerous times (1 couple this was their 27th visit - yes, you read that right - 27th visit!!!). At the end of our visit, I understood why.

To Ben, Charlie, Ben (adventure center), Charlie (executive chef), Sam, Kayla, Metta, Stephanie, Isaac, Cawood, Annie and the other staff who made our stay so incredible, I can only say 'thank you'. Thank you for making us feel a part of your community. Thank you for your authenticity and character. It was obvious to see, even at times I'm sure you thought no one was watching.

We look forward to our next visit in 2020 and while I'm sure some of the staff faces will change, I've no doubt the sense of community that is so evident at the ranch will remain. I feel blessed for being a part of the community, even if only for a short time.

It's still the best....
Anniversarita

For 9 years we've spent one week a year at Vista Verde, and we start counting the days to our next visit as we drive away from our current stay. For starters, the cabins are warm and cozy with luxurious linens and thirsty towels, and a hot tub on the porch. Upscale soaps, gels, lotions and shampoos line the vanities. My husband and I have coffee each morning in our small but spacious cabin, often with a fire in the little stove....with no thought of anything except what kind and how much fun we can have that day....no dishes, no dusting, no laundry. I do love those Housekeeping Fairies! I also love the wranglers, the front desk staff, the Executive Chef, the Pastry Chef, and kitchen staff......and the list goes on and on. Every employee is friendly, proficient, and ready to help. They truly mean that you've only to ask, and they will do their best to meet your needs. If you wish to ride, I can tell you that the horses are well trained and somehow stay sweet and friendly, despite their many riders. We've made great friends during our stays, many of whom return the same week that we do, and we have grand reunions. The food is exquisite....one night at a formal dinner our table of 8 went into raptures over our selections....lamb chops, chicken breast, and risotto.....truly equal or better than any 5-star establishment If you love the outdoors, and want to do it with great guides skilled in guiding, safety and first aid, you won't find better. Vista Verde is the Best of the Best, and each year, yes, it gets better.