Imagine sprawling green fields, the soft whinny of horses, and the warm glow of a setting sun. Now, add a touch of luxury: plush beds, gourmet meals, and soothing spa treatments under the stars. Sounds dreamy, right? Dive in as we explore eight ranches that aren’t just places to stay but dreamlands where memories stick around long after you’ve left.
Where the heck you’re headed: The Resort at Paws Up
Where the heck you’ll find it: Greenough, Montana
Spanning an expansive 37,000 acres, The Resort at Paws Up is a working cattle ranch that offers the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and indulgent pampering. Guests can revel in the services of a personal “camping butler” and retreat to private ranch-style “homes” complete with the luxury of hot tubs. Delight your taste buds with the exquisite offerings of the on-site gourmet restaurant, serving delectable “rustic ranch cuisine.” Additionally, the resort hosts the esteemed Montana Master Chefs weekends, featuring renowned culinary artists from across the country. While luxuriating in all the comforts, it’s impossible to ignore the breathtaking expanse of Big Sky Country, where herds of elk and cattle gracefully coexist with guests and might even be up for a game of poker. You just never know, right?
Where the heck you’re headed: The hummingbird
Where the heck you’ll find it: Córdoba, Argentina
The enchanting world of the well-bred gaucho with an authentic Spanish Colonial-style estancia experience awaits you! Begin your day with a captivating morning horseback ride, traversing the lush mountain trails that surround the property. As the day progresses, indulge in the exhilarating thrill of an afternoon polo match on the picturesque fields below the main house. As evening falls, savor the flavors of Argentina with a traditional roastfeaturing mouthwatering meats sourced from the animals raised right on the estate. Before retiring for the night, take a moment to appreciate the exquisite collection of valuable antiques that adorn the house, including a mirror with historical significance as it once belonged to President Marcelo T. Alvear, alongside ancient Bolivian weaves.
Where the heck you’re headed: Blanket Bay
Where the heck you’ll find it: Glenorchy, New Zealand
The awe-inspiring Kiwi Alps, famously featured as the backdrop in the Lord of the Rings films, provide a sense of familiarity to the stunning surroundings. This remarkable destination is nestled between two national parks, offering abundant opportunities to immerse yourself in nature’s embrace. Enjoy the thrill of fly-fishing during the summer months and experience the exhilaration of heli-skiing in the winter. As the seasons shift, the lakeside locale presents delightful activities such as kayaking and jet boating. The spaciousness and comfort extend indoors as well, with generously sized rooms starting at approximately 600 square feet.
Where the heck you’re headed: The Protea Hotel Ranch Resort
Where the heck you’ll find it: Polokwane, South Africa
Prepare to fulfill extraordinary fantasies as you embark on unforgettable experiences. Within the sprawling 1,000-acre picturesque conservancy, you can engage in the thrilling adventure of walking with lions, an experience that surpasses the wildest dreams. Lose yourself in the remarkable setting that has graced the silver screen in over 400 films, including the iconic 1980 cult classic The Gods Must Be Crazy. The resort offers a plethora of activities, ranging from horseback safaris to exhilarating game drives, providing unparalleled encounters with the magnificent wildlife of South Africa. If golfing is your thing, a sprawling green awaits, inviting enthusiasts to perfect their swing amidst the scenic beauty.
Where the heck you’re headed: Spicer’s Peak Lodge
Where the heck you’ll find it: Maryvale, Australia
Nestled at what proudly asserts itself as the highest non-alpine lodge in the country, this exceptional retreat promises a truly indulgent experience. Discover luxurious rooms adorned with inviting stone fireplaces, Jacuzzis for ultimate relaxation, and outdoor tubs gracefully positioned on verandas, allowing guests to soak in the mesmerizing surroundings. Take in the breathtaking vista of grazing cattle as you embark on a thrilling helicopter safari, offering a unique perspective on the vast acres below. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the wonders of wildlife and delight in the panoramic views of Queensland’s famous Scenic Rim on a memorable bushwalking trek, followed by a picturesque picnic.
Where the heck you’re headed: Echo Valley Ranch
Where the heck you’ll find it: Jesmond, British Columbia, Canada
The visionaries behind the idyllic Echo Valley Ranch, Norm Dove from England and his wife Nan Dove from Thailand, have discovered their personal paradise in the heart of British Columbia. The retreat pays homage to the harmonious fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, blending Asian influences with rustic ranch architecture. Indulge in the epitome of relaxation at the spa, where you can enjoy the finest treatments from both worlds. You are sure to end up in a blissful state of balance and rejuvenation. Give it a try, eh, and find out what this part of Canada is all a-boot!
Where the heck you’re headed: La Mas de Peint
Where the heck you’ll find it: Arles, France
Situated within a 17th-century stone building that was once a sheep barn, this property pays homage to the timeless traditions of the rugged cowboy lifestyle in the Camargue region. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the area, renowned for its iconic white horses, as you learn the art of horsemanship and the intricacies of harnessing these majestic creatures. Experience the authentic presence of real-life gardiansthe traditional cowboys of the region, and gain insight into their unique way of life. Completing the Provençal ambiance, the on-site restaurant stands as a culinary gem, offering a delightful array of flavors inspired by the rich local traditions. Ooh la la!
Where the heck you’re headed: Cibolo Creek Ranch
Where the heck you’ll find it: Marfa, Texas
Discover the rich authenticity of Tex-Mex culture as you step into a historic adobe fort. Originally established in 1857, this remarkable property has been lovingly restored in the 1990s, preserving its timeless charm. Spanning across 30,000 acres, the ranch is a haven for diverse wildlife, including deer, elk, buffalo, quail, turkeys, and over 500 species of exotic birds. The opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a true highlight of the ranch. However, when the sun goes down, a spectacle of its own unfolds — the vast expanse of the Big Bend sky becomes a canvas for a dazzling display of stars. Gather around a cozy fireside and partake in captivating “star parties,” where you can marvel at the celestial wonders above.