The phrase “all-inclusive resort” generally conjures up thoughts of glittering shorelines, plush cabanas and piña coladas, yet some U.S. properties have taken a dramatically different approach to the concept, creating luxurious rustic retreats for discerning guests who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty.
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana
Nestled in a pristine valley in the heart of Western Montana is the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide five-star guest ranch, The Ranch at Rock Creek which was originally used as a working ranch homestead in the early 1900’s. Jim Manley, The Ranch’s owner, opened the all-inclusive guest ranch back in 2010, balancing Western adventure with lavish all-inclusive amenities. This Relais & Chateaux property offers 29 one-of-a-kind accommodations ranging from Granite Lodge suites and a converted 19th century Historic Barn to 2-story Luxury Homes and Canvas Cabins for glamping under the Big Sky. After working up an appetite fly fishing, horseback riding and shooting arrows, your clients can enjoy inspired Ranch cuisine, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, multi-course meals and artisan cocktails in the great room, or participate in a dinner experience, such as the Rodeo Barbeque at the Blue Canteen, where guests snack on watermelon or flathead cherries and drink brews and sodas while watching The Ranch’s Tuesday summer rodeo show.
Additional amenities include the Little Grizzlies Kids Club, the Granite Spa, and indoor and outdoor private yoga sessions, plus a multitude of shooting sports, including trap and skeet, sporting clays and gun ranges. All-inclusive rates start at $1,100 pp per night from June 10-Sept. 5, and include accommodations with twice-daily housekeeping, daily breakfast, lunch, hors d’oeuvres and dinner, unlimited premium beer, wine and spirits, as well as assorted beverages and snacks, plus two daily guided outdoor activities, access to the fitness center, pool and hot tub, and a personal cruiser or mountain bike for on-ranch transportation. For more information, call (406) 859-6027 or visit theranchatrockcreek.com.
Twin Farms in Vermont
The much-awarded Twin Farms is an all-inclusive country hideaway set amidst 300 acres of meadows and woodlands in an unspoiled valley in Barnard, Vermont. Decorated with hand-painted murals, rich maple and pine woodwork, American folk art and contemporary oil paintings, this rustically elegant property features 20 distinctive lodging types, including the 4-suite Farmhouse at Copper Hill rooms with king-size feather beds and sitting areas with wood-burning fireplaces that open onto screened porches, and whimsical Cottages with fireplaces and screened porches that are tucked away in the property’s secluded woodlands. Public areas include a dining room with a large field stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings; a barn room, which hosts music and cocktails before dinner; and a pub with a jukebox, pool table, dart board and a fully stocked help-yourself bar.
Onsite activities include hiking, biking, tennis, pond swimming, fly fishing and canoeing during the warmer months, and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and sledding in the winter. During guests’ downtime, they can enjoy a dip in the property’s Japanese-style soaking tub or a custom-designed treatment at the Bridge House Spa. All-inclusive rates start at $1,500 per night, and include accommodations, all meals, fine wines and spirits, onsite recreational activities, and equipment. For more information, call (802) 234-9999 or visit twinfarms.com.
Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Colorado
Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is an outdoor enthusiasts dream, offering a variety of seasonal activities including horseback riding, hiking, cycling, fly fishing, paddleboarding and kayaking in the summer and fall, as well as skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and sleigh rides in the winter. Vista Verde also features dedicated programming for kids ages 6-12 and teens ages 13-17. In the warmer months, youngsters can participate in a riding orientation before heading out for a trail ride, take a trip into town for ice cream on the ranch’s antique fire truck, pan for gold, race through a low ropes course and take part in scavenger hunts. Wintertime programming includes activities such as tubing, riding horses, snow shoeing and simply playing in the snow. Breakfast and lunch are always served family-style.
An intimate hideaway, Vista Verde allows for a maximum of 52 guests and is located 112 miles away from the nearest mall. However, aside from making s’mores by the campfire, guests won’t be “roughing it” at the AAA four-diamond property, as it features spacious lodge rooms with sitting areas and balconies, upscale stand-alone cabins with living rooms, wood stoves and private hot tubs out on the deck, and resort-like amenities including a pool, fitness center, indoor riding arena and a great room, where daily happy hours and evening programs are held. Lodge room rates start at $3,975 from June 12-Aug. 21, 2016; $4,575 pp for a cabin. All-inclusive rates include three meals per day, guided activities, a weekly photography workshop with a professional photographer, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, kids and teens programs, transportation to and from the lodge for shopping or exploring, and evening entertainment (barn dance, musical entertainers, etc.). For more information, call (970) 879-3858 or visit vistaverde.com.