why a dude ranch Tag

Why Vista Verde?

Why choose Vista Verde Guest Ranch for your luxury Colorado ranch vacation? Let us first say that there are a number of wonderful ranches in Colorado and the West, and we understand how hard it is to research and pick the right one. Each is in a pretty setting, operated by nice folks and provides a real getaway out here in the West. But there are differences, nevertheless. So what makes us different from the rest and perhaps the one that is just right for your ranch vacation?

Our cabins and lodge rooms are authentic log structures, to be sure, in keeping with our Northwest Colorado locale. But rustic stops at the front door. Our guests tell us our lodging is much more modern, elegantly furnished and spacious than they have experienced on other ranch vacations or anticipated even after taking our detailed Virtual Tour of our Colorado Ranch Resort.

Our professionally trained chefs are adept at every offering from checkered tablecloth cookouts to white tablecloth fine dining, from cowboy coffee to crème brulee, and from what pleases the kids to what satisfies mom.

See some of the tantalizing selections in the Cuisine section. In addition, our Executive Chef hosts a hands-on cooking class and a fun and fact-filled wine tasting session most weeks, a rarity on the ranch vacation scene.

Secluded, yet accessible, was a key criterion when we found Vista Verde Ranch. Largely surrounded by the National Forest, the ranch offers direct forest entry from virtually all directions. And not a condo or convenience store in sight! The widely known and highly regarded ranching community of Steamboat Springs is just 45 minutes away from major league skiing and golf, and even shopping, if you must. This part of Colorado has it all!

Like most ranches, our seasonal staff is comprised of college-age young people who are as colorful as the nature around us. They want to be here and it shows.

What may set us more apart, however, is our full-time, year-round management team. These young people are key to our success. Their passion and experience add a distinct element of professionalism to our programs, and provide a nice blend of maturity and enthusiasm.

From talking to Stephanie on the phone when you first book your reservation and hearing her “secretary”, daughter Maggie, chatting in the background, to skiing with Steve and Kelli and learning how they made a major lifestyle change from corporate to hospitality, to sitting around the the dinner table with Dace trying to figure out how an intellect like him ended up managing a guest ranch instead of the many other options he had, you’ll see why this passionate group of people makes such a difference.

With our diverse offerings, you could easily call this an Adventure Ranch vacation instead of a Dude Ranch vacation. There truly is something for everyone. And due to our smaller size and 1:1 staff to guest ratio, our program is quite flexible, allowing you to tell us what you want to do. As much as any other thing, this last difference really seems to set us apart. You don’t just choose to go mountain biking or riding, skiing or snowshoeing, you tell us what kind of experience you’re looking for, and we make it happen. We do our best to accommodate most every request, even bordering on the bizarre, to make your stay enjoyable as can be.

The Vista Verde luxury ranch vacation experience has been molded based on what we would want to enjoy ourselves on a Colorado ranch vacation. Then, we have incorporated the good ideas of our guests over the years to continually tailor and tune. And while luxury makes itself evident with the quality of the experience, the amenities of a premier resort, and the attention to detail for which we are recognized, we maintain the relaxed, casual atmosphere of a Western ranch. Said another way, we definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have a good time and we think you will, too. But don’t take it from us, check out Tripadvisor for real guest reviews.
Your hosts, Ben & Holly Martin and Dace Starkweather

What Does All-Inclusive mean when it comes to vacations?

Many luxury guest ranches, resorts and even cruise lines promote themselves as all-inclusive vacations.  But, what I have found is that many of them aren’t really all-inclusive. 

At Vista Verde Ranch, we have chosen to truly be an all inclusive Colorado vacation, and not nickel and dime our guests. 

What does that mean?  When you make a reservation for your ranch holiday at Vista Verde Ranch, you will know what the trip is going to cost you, and there won’t be any surprises.

Included in your luxury dude ranch vacation at Vista Verde Ranch are meals, beverages, activities, guides and equipment.

What do other so-called all inclusive Colorado vacation destinations charge you for that we don’t?
Wireless internet
Airport transfers
Beer and wine
Fly fishing licences
Equipment rentals
Lessons, instruction or clinics
Mini bar

Having said all that, and in the essence of fairness, there are some extra charges that we don’t feel right building into the price for all guests.  In the summer, those would be spa treatments and hot air ballooning. 

So, do your research.  Ask a lot of questions.  It can be overwhelming with all the choices and every dude ranch being so different.  I’ve even had guests put together grids to try to figure out which ranch is right for them.  Please know that we are always happy to answer any questions and help you find the right all inclusive Colorado vacation for you!