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Experience the Cowboy Life at Rancho de los Caballeros: A Luxurious Desert Getaway in Wickenburg, Arizona

Updated: Mar 6



The old west meets new west at the newly renovated Rancho de los Caballeros. The ranch perfectly combines ’ 74-years of legacy with championship golf, a refreshing spa, luxurious private casitas (which are basically small guest houses) fine dining, thanks to new ownership & enhancements. Ride horseback on 20,000 acres of rugged desert or enjoy the other amenities like: a heated pool, trap & skeet shooting, archery, tennis, pickleball and a Kids’ Club. In just one weekend, here is our review of the property & everything that is included:


Our three-night stay at Rancho de los Caballeros, a member of the Arizona Dude Ranch Association & Historic Hotels of America, ended much too quickly. I will preface this with telling you that: if your idea of vacation is to lounge by the pool with a book for three days, this may not be the vacation for you. However, if you’re adventurous & ready to embrace new experiences, then this is definitely the place!


ARRIVAL

When we first pulled up, we noticed the rooms are situated in individual casitas arranged throughout the property around shared courtyard areas. It creates a very homey & welcoming feel to the property. The landscape is typical desert – rocks, sand, mountains & cacti – but they have planted lots of beautiful plants around for splashes of color & the well-maintained lawns are the most amazing shade of green.


The lobby is small & intimate located in the main building. Across from the check-in desk is a large “living room” with lots of comfy seating, a huge fireplace & shelves stocked with board games, puzzles & books for you to enjoy there or in your room.




ACCOMMODATIONS

There are 4 categories of rooms. We were lucky enough to stay in a Maricopa Suite. At 750 square feet, it was larger than my first apartment! Our room had an entry; large living room with a queen size murphy bed, fireplace, leather couch, chairs, game table, flat screen TV & desk area; a kitchenette with a microwave, mini fridge & cupboards stocked with dishes; a large bathroom with double sinks, a jetted spa tub & large separate shower; master bedroom with a king size bed, walk-in closet & flat screen TV; and a large private patio with chairs, a table & a lounger. Our room was clean & decorated very nicely in the ranch style.


KID’S CLUB

Also free is the Kid’s Club. The club accepts kids aged 5-12 & operates two sessions. The morning session is 8:00-1:30 and the evening session is 6:00-9:00. The time in between is family time. You can participate in one or both sessions daily. Children 8-12 years old can go on a morning trail ride (at an additional fee). Otherwise, the kids do outdoors activities, corral pony rides, arts & crafts & have meals. They eat breakfast & lunch at the buffets with the kid’s club staff in the morning session. During the evening session, they eat dinner at the kid’s club.


Overall, the kid’s club is great for letting your kids meet other kids & have a little independent time while you enjoy adult activities such as trap & skeet or the spa. Do be sure to pack a water bottle, hat & lots of sunscreen for the kiddos. It can be hot in the Summer.




DINING

At the dude ranch, if you've booked the all-inclusive plan, all meals are included. Your dining options are to eat at the on-site restaurant or at the restaurant located at the golf club. Breakfast & lunch at the restaurant are served buffet style & dinner is a sit-down three-course meal. I highly recommend the prickly pear margarita on the rocks – delicious! Tipping is added onto your final bill at check out so that you don’t have to worry about carrying around a purse or wallet.


The breakfast buffet had a wide variety of cereals, fruits, yogurt, pastries, sausage, bacon, potatoes, eggs, coffee, juices & an omelet bar. Dishes that changed daily included pancakes, French toast, & quiche. I had their homemade muesli & it was awesome. The omelets were big & had every imaginable topping. The lunch buffet included an array of salads, sandwich fixings (cold cuts, breads, cheese, etc.), and a hot dish station which changes daily. Some of the things included soups, fried chicken, roasted turkey with gravy, ravioli, mashed potatoes & sautéed vegetables. There is also a dessert bar with cakes, cookies, pies & ice cream. The golf club menu had a variety of salads & sandwiches (both cold & hot). Their kids menu also included grilled cheese, chicken fingers & sliders.


Reservations are not required, but they do ask that you let the front desk know about what time you would like to eat so the dining room can prepare for you. The wait staff is attentive & pleasant & the dining experience is very nice & relaxed. During dinner, the riding staff comes by your table to see if you are interested in scheduling a ride for the next day. Although dinner is included, there is a 15% gratuity added to your bill at checkout based upon $13 per person for breakfast, $16 per person for lunch ($18 on Sundays) & $41 per person for dinner.


COOKOUT

We were not on property for this event, but heard all about the hay ride cookout, which is also included in your stay. This was by far the favorite meal of everyone we chatted with. You take a hay ride to the ranch’s own cookout spot where a chuck wagon & bonfire awaits you. They have an adult bonfire & a kid’s bonfire with chairs all set up. There are also picnic tables. A cook grills hot dogs, burgers, chicken, ribs & baked beans over a mesquite fire & a cowboy strumming his guitar strolls around serenading you. They have a full bar set up as well as salads, rolls, iced tea & water. For dessert, the kids do s’mores & the adults are offered coffee & fruit cobbler. The kid’s club staff is there to entertain the kids. There are shuttles on site to take you back to the resort at your request. You just let them know when you’re ready & they take you right back to your room. It’s a really fun experience & the food is said to be excellent. Be sure you arrive at the hay wagon about 15 minutes early to get a good seat & bring a jacket. It gets chilly when the sun goes down.


There are several activities at the ranch, both free & for a fee. Free activities include swimming, hiking, star gazing, guided nature hikes at the Hassayampa Nature Preserve, tennis & free shuttles to downtown Wickenburg. They will even loan you a tennis racket or clubs for the driving range at the front desk. Paid activities include the spa, horseback riding, golf, trap & skeet, Jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, ATV tours, tennis lessons, & team penning.




HORSEBACK RIDING

Our absolute favorite activity was horseback riding. The ranch offers rides for every level. We were total novices. There are two rides daily – a morning ride for adults only & an afternoon family ride for anyone over age 8, except Sundays when there is only a morning ride. Long pants are an absolute MUST, as is a hat, sunscreen & sunglasses. Brimmed hats must have a string attached to tie under your neck. If your hat doesn’t have one, they’ll put one on for you.


The rides last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours and the scenery is amazing. They do offer private riding lessons as well.




THE POOL

The pool was nice & very kid-friendly. It is a shallow pool, 5-foot depth, so there is no diving. Towels are provided. There is covered & open seating at tables or loungers. The adjacent saloon will provide you with water if you ask for it. There are some “noodle floaties” in the pool for you to use.




GOLF

We didn't golf, but saw the course & the driving range & it was beautiful. The driving range is part of the 18-hole, par-72 championship course. You can bring your our own clubs, but the front desk will loan you a putter if you ask for it. The greens are very well maintained & the balls are stacked in nice pyramids – you aren’t just given a bucket of balls. And a plus, the driving range is free. If you want to do 18 holes, greens fees range from $60-$75, depending on the time of year, & include a mandatory cart. For 9 holes, the fees are $36-$45. You do need to wear proper golf attire – Bermuda shorts or slacks, collared shirts, no metal cleats. When you check in, the staff will take your clubs to the pro shop & store them there for the duration of your stay – nice touch!




THE SPA

The spa is a fairly new addition to the ranch. They converted one of the old ranch houses & now offer everything from facials, massages & body treatments to manicures & pedicures. The spa is tranquil & welcoming. The front desk woman greeted me & offered me some cold water. My therapist performed a lovely 60-minute Desert Oasis Massage on me. The massage was pure heaven. I almost fell asleep. I had my choice of lavender, orange or eucalyptus oils (I chose orange). This was a full-body massage & included hands, feet, head & face. Warm towels were used to wipe off the excess oil. My $120 massage was well worth the money! Reservations are a must.


NATURE HIKE

On our last day, we went on the Hassayampa River Preserve nature hike with the ranch’s nature guide, Dick. This hike is free & wonderful for nature lovers. Your guide meets you in the lobby & drives you in a shuttle to the preserve. Don’t go on your own or you’ll pay. Our guide told us that the ranch gives the preserve a donation every year so they can bring their guests at no charge, but you have to be with him. Definitely bring a camera! Our guide brought his Swarovski scope & bird book & led us on an educational & beautiful hike. He answered all of our questions, stopping whenever we wanted. He pulled out his book & showed us what birds we were seeing. He even let us look at some of them through his scope. The trails are groomed & level – easy for any age to manage. There are a lot of ants in the preserve, so do wear closed toed shoes. Again, sunscreen & hats are a must in the Summer.




Overall, the experience was beyond amazing. We had such a wonderful time that as we drove down the driveway, we started planning our next trip. I definitely see a return visit in our future! Are you ready to start planning your dude ranch adventure? Click the link below for a FREE quote! ⬇️


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