What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
High resort-style pricing with low quality cafeteria food and lodging
I have always considered Xanterra-managed properties in national parks to be somewhat upscale, but this was not the case with the Ranch @ the Oasis. Our recent 4-night stay at the Ranch was, overall, a disappointing experience. The grounds looked OK at first glance, and there are busy maintenance people driving around in golf carts all day, but a closer look shows many issues. Our walk to the far end of the property to get to our room was always punctuated by the smell of raw sewage, similar to when a septic tank is being pumped out. That smell never let up. You can't walk the pathways through the grounds, because the sprinklers come on randomly throughout the day & night, which would drench unsuspecting guests. Same on the back patio. Had to run inside when the sprinklers fired on one evening while sitting out there. The buildings' entrances were always blocked by several linen carts (not sure why they always had to be in the walkways and entrances?). Rooms were OK, small fridge but no microwave (lest you buy something healthy from the store and cook it in the room to avoid the bad food at the buffet or bar). That brings us to the practically inedible, unhealthy food choices. For very upscale prices (example: burgers were $20!) one would expect some quality and care at food prep. Not so. Breakfast buffet was below average. Eggs did not taste like real eggs. Terrible fruit choices with no taste. Sausage and bacon floating in deep pools of fat. No healthy options whatsoever. Dinner buffet options were worse, because the prices were much higher. Grilled chicken, for example, was burned crisp and hard as a rock. The list sadly goes on. Food seemed to all be from a box, a bag, or a can. One night at the saloon, we ordered a cheese pizza with a couple of extra toppings -- onions and mushrooms. What came out was a pizza with no cheese, upon which someone had spooned cold pizza sauce an inch thick. On top of that were large mushroom and onions pieces sprinkled on RAW! None of the add-ons had been cooked. How can one possibly screw this up? We discarded most of the pizza and cancelled our dining reservation at the Inn restaurant based on our poor experience at the Ranch. Any excuses around challenges of hauling food supplies to a remote park, lack of staff, etc. are moot, because we had dinner at another property in the park managed by a different company, and that was a great experience -- adequate waitstaff, great food that was served promptly. A couple of direct nteractions with staff were positive, hence the second star for the overall rating. Needless to say, not going back anytime soon.
Comfortable rooms but mediocre food. Grounds need work.
Dinner buffet was mediocre and unappetizing. Breakfast is mediocre. Pool was nice but no shade, dirty towels everywhere. No employees in sight. Rooms were comfortable but grounds need work. Constant puddle outside stairway to room. Tennis court but don’t expect to play. Court is unplayable.
Not worth the price.
We really thought this would be great. We have stayed at other National Park properties and they were wonderful. Based on the recent renovations we expected nice accommodations. The exterior of the forward facing buildings was nice, but that is where it ended. We booked a standard double queen room. So disappointed. Room was clean but worn. Bed was so soft it sank. There was no decor or anything else that indicated this was connected to a national park. Basically not much better than a cheap roadside motel room. And cost is higher than some Disney hotels.
Beautiful location with a few problems
No, this is not the fanciest or most luxurious accommodations I have ever encountered, but it is located in an Oasis in the middle of Death Valley. We wanted to spend about 3 days hitting most of the highlights of this National Park and staying here made it very easy. The palm trees, the grass, the golf course, the beautiful buildings were all a great plus. The rooms are a little dated, but ours was fine for us. Our main concern was the food. I know its going to be expensive, but I at least want it to taste really good. Aside from the salad bar, there was nothing really good to eat there. We brought in peanut butter and bread from Beatty and cereal and milk, and this got us through all but two of our meals. If you want to enjoy the beauty of this park and not spend all your time driving in and out, this is a great choice. If you're just driving through, keep driving and stay elsewhere.
Nice public areas, dingy rooms
There are few places to stay inside Death Valley National Park, and The Ranch at Death Valley is one of them. The other (that I know of) is called The Inn at Death Valley. However, I am not even sure of the names. My emails says “Your stay at The Ranch at Death Valley is about to begin.” Then they list their address as “The Oasis at Death Valley.” Plug that into Google Maps, and you end u at The Inn at Death Valley. The staff member at the front counter of The Inn at Death Valley looked up my reservation and told me I was booked at The Ranch. He was very patient and kind. And apparently they are both owned by the same company. So we drove a mile away to The Ranch, or The Oasis at Death Valley, or whatever it is . We’re here, and the pictures in the business listed here match what we are seeing. The grounds, at the least the parts not under construction, are nice. It really felt like an oasis when we spent time in the public areas. They have a nice General Store where you can buy Death Valley related merchandise and a surprising number of different food choices, including some fresh fruit and veggies. The Ice Cream shop is beautiful. But then we got to Building 800 where our room was located. Our first challenge was not running into the large green laundry bin that was apparently awaiting pick up by some service. The concrete pad leading into the hallway was dirty with spilled beverages. The carpet needed to be vacuumed. This was not encouraging. Our room carpet had debris on it. The rocking chairs on the outside patio needed to be wiped down because they were coated with dust (I know, this is the desert, but still). The room had a television mounted on a long counter that served as a desk as well. There was a small fridge and a three drawer cabinet below the TV. In addition to the two beds there was an arm chair and a swivel armless desk chair. Lighting in the room consisted of two bed lamps, a small desk lamp, entry light, bathroom light, and sink light. The room was pretty austere. For $300 a night, I thought I’d get more for my money. It was dark snd confining. There was also an unidentifiable smell in the room. It smelled musty, almost like cigarettes. Our room backed up to the exterior stairs, and we could hear people walking up the stairs. We also heard people in the rooms around us. The walls didn’t keep much sound from penetrating. . The main reason I didn’t rate this place a one star was because of the three staff members I encountered. The front desk person, Steven, was kind and helpful and had a sense of humor. The manager of the restaurant and ice cream parlor went way out of his way to show me what gluten-free items were available in the buffet. And our server at the ice cream parlor was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about gluten allergies. We had a glass of wine and some snacks while sitting in the rocking chairs on the patio. It was warm and moist peasant watching the sun set, the bats, and a coyote. We also enjoyed ice cream sitting outside the ice cream parlor. In summary, our stay was fine, so long as we didn’t go into our room. We had booked the room for two nights, but late in the evening, after listening to the conversations and doors slamming in the rooms around us, I called Steven at the desk and canceled our second night.
© TripAdvisor 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinions of individual travellers and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.