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Tombstone Monument Ranch … Or should we say Tombstone outside Tombstone? That´s the impression that many people get upon entering this property. In fact we were told that some people enter the ranch by mistake thinking that they are inside the famous town of Tombstone and get lost trying to find the Ok Corral gunfight show and the shops.
In our quest to learn more about the culture of the places we visit around the globe, we always try to search for iconic places and establishments where we can get a lot of information and feel as close as possible to local people. We are in Arizona and what better way to learn about the culture than staying on a real ranch? That´s what we did.
We were kindly invited to spend the night at what is certainly one of the best options for accommodation in the town (if not the best) and we truly enjoyed our experience. Tombstone Monument Ranch is full of character, very charming and, although a ranch, the owners are brilliantly able to provide comfort and some luxury without losing the feeling of being on a ranch in the middle of nowhere.
It is just a couple of miles away from downtown Tombstone but still, you look around and see nothing but beautiful landscapes and unique scenery. When checking in you realize that there are a lot of things to do there.
We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and our first impression was as good as it could have been. There are actual houses done up like they would have been in the 19th century, and each of them hosts couples and families while resembling historic places in the old town. There is a saloon, the jail, the grand hotel, etc. Nevertheless, it seemed that luck was not on our side this time … We had to spend the night in jail!!! 🙂 🙂
Our charismatic host was straight to the point: “Which of you was bad today?” We hesitated and of course Ruth pointed at me and I pointed at her (Noah was off the hook this time …) 🙂 🙂 Then she said, “Ok, so none of you gets to keep the keys while you spend the night in jail”. Jokes aside, our room at Tombstone Monument Ranch was beautifully decorated with half a cell, handcuffs and the wall was even painted to look like it was damaged. Once we started checking every detail we realized that cleanliness is one of the strongest qualities of the hotel.
The room had two Queen size beds, a widescreen TV (that we did not have time to use, as there was a lot to do there), a coffee maker, a big cupboard for clothes and plenty of space. The bathroom had a spacious shower with all the amenities you might expect in a hotel of this caliber, such as a nicely-scented shampoo, soap and conditioner.
Ours was a Standard room, but the ranch has other 3 types of accommodation:
Deluxe room: with two queen beds or a king size bed, bathroom with shower and a private terrace with the beautiful Dragoon Mountains view.
Junior Suite: with a separate bedroom with a king size bed
Premium Suite: with a bathtub
In any case, like we explained above, each room has its unique features in terms of size, amenities and style so any guest who stays there is bound to get a nice surprise when arriving at their room.
The nicest place for us was the saloon. This is located just next to the Information Centre, where you check in and receive more information about the services. The saloon is the place where guests are always entertained. On the night that we spent there, there was a great singer performing some country music. Even though this is an “old town saloon”, kids are always welcome. There guests have access to a pool table, a casino table for cards and many games for both adults and children.
We played a few of the many games available with Noah, such as Monopoly, Bingo and puzzles. Noah also enjoyed learning how to play pool, but he is not the most patient student and at one point he was throwing the balls in the holes … with his hands 🙂
Ah, you read casino table for cards right? Don´t worry, your addiction to gambling with money is not fed at Tombstone Monument Ranch, as you only play for fun 🙂 .
When we got thirsty, the bartender was always ready to serve us one of the many types of beverages on the list (of course we chose water and soda, but you can get beers and cocktails there too).
Next to this entertainment area (Saloon), there is a room where dinner is served daily.
Next to it there is another room that, in the past, was used as a patio for relaxing outdoors and that has now been converted into an extra dining area.
If guests want to hold parties on the property they can do so in a large stable that can be decorated in any way they want. There is an additional outside area just next to the stable that is ideal for weddings and other ceremonies. We saw some pictures of the whole area decorated and it would definitely be great to have a party there.
A place that Noah enjoyed a lot, apart from the saloon, was the swimming pool area. There is a medium-sized pool which is a very good temperature (fresh, but not cold) and which Noah spent all his time jumping into, and a warm Jacuzzi with high pressure jets that massage your body. Very relaxing …
When making your reservation you can choose between full board, half board or bed and breakfast. We had chosen half board, so our first meal would have been dinner but unfortunately we missed it! We were having so much fun in the swimming pool and taking pictures while we had a stroll around the ranch at sunset, that we completely missed dinner at 6:30pm. It is a pity, because we heard that the dishes were delicious (they were serving kebabs that night), but instead we ate leftovers from our trip.
The next morning we made sure to wake up very early so we didn’t miss breakfast. This was a real Arizonan ranch experience, as from 7:30am there was breakfast set up around a fire with coffee, hot chocolate, tea and juices served by a local cowboy. His name was William (aka Arizona Bill) and he was a very charismatic storyteller who gave us a flavor of the stories of Tombstone, the Earps and the property. While listening to him we were offered a delicious American-style breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, potatoes and beans … That much food early in the morning gave us enough strength for some activities on the ranch and for continuing our journey through the west.
The star activity at Tombstone Monument Ranch is the 1 hour session of horseback riding. Noah could not take part in the activity for safety reasons, as he is too young. For that reason we split up and while Noah and I were in the pool, Ruth took part in the activity.
Before the activity started, the staff gave Ruth and the others some instructions for a safe and pleasant ride.
Ruth was asked if she needed proper boots (the hotel can lend you cowboy boots if needed), but she had comfortable shoes on and that was enough. As is the case for all guests, Ruth was given a horse (called Diago) that was an ideal size for her, but it seemed that Diago was a little bit grumpy that day, as quite few times the instructor had to give her more instructions so she could get Diago to focus. The journey is very pleasant and on the way they saw mountains and beautiful landscapes. It is totally worth doing.
Apart from this, the ranch also offers archery, shooting and a few other activities for guests to choose from.
If you are in the region and want to have a real cowboy experience on a proper ranch, Tombstone Monument Ranch is the ideal place to go. The staff are very friendly and welcoming at all times, the place is very clean and comfortable, and the experience is priceless. We are definitely coming back 🙂
Thanks Patricia and the staff at the ranch for such an enjoyable experience.
895 West Monument Road, Tombstone, AZ 85638
+1 (520) 457 8707
Family Travel Secrets stayed at Tombstone Monument Ranch as guests. All opinions and the oodles of pictures remain our own.