Double JJ Ranch & Golf Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews King William Hotel Luton
Double JJ not paying attention to the details
We just got back from our second visit to the Double JJ. I have to say that some things were better than last year, others worse. It seems that they aren't paying attention to the "little details". Examples: no feed or hand sanitizer at the petting zoo; no dog biscuits for the dogs; they were out of most types of ribbons given to the kids to show what level of horsemanship they have passed; the dining hall was out of milk on both mornings of my stay; the "supposedly" heated pool was quite chilly. These are all minor things, but they add up. The food is still mediocre, at best.
The mush dogs are not being given enough care. Several dogs had open wounds (fly-bitten ears being one type.) It wasn't until the last day that fly protectant had been put on the dog's ears. My friend noticed that the little donkey and pony hadn't had their hooves trimmed.
We're not sure if this has to do with the planned $30 million dollar expansion. It seems to us as if all of the owner's energy is going into that and the everyday stuff is being overlooked.
On the plus side, it's still a good value. The staff is great. My kids loved the horses and trail rides. The bathroom floor in my cabin didn't squeak this year!
In short, if you want one trail ride a day, a decent pool, a relaxing time in the country, and aren't looking for haute cuisine, Double JJ is worth checking out.
Definitely has to be your cup of tea...
The thing that struck us about this place is that the guests all seem to know each other. There was even a family in the campground next to us that appeared to live on site. They had an in-ground flagpole!
Why do I mention this? Because the people who love this place really love it. For everyone else, it can be a lukewarm experience.
If your kids aren't into horses (as it turned out mine were not), this place is equivalent to a Yogi Bear campground. They have a very nice pool with some activities (log roll, hanging rope, one really big, fun slide) and a smaller pool with squirters for the little ones - or the big ones who just want to soak their mothers. There's also a petting farm, and it is a real farm - kids can go help feed and water the animals if they want. Various activities are planned in the evenings, although we found the 8:00 time too late a start for our 6 and 10 year olds (activities ended around 9:30). We went to the corral games but quickly left as my kids weren't comfortable on horses. The pool games were geared toward older kids - my son enjoyed them but my daughter was too little.
The thing is, though, it's quite a bit more expensive than a comparable campground, and most of the activities are an extra charge. We had a lot of difficulty finding out what things cost and how to sign up - seemed like the organization was not really there. Basically, the kids have to be tested - which they do in the corral from 8 - 11 - to determine their riding ability. Then they are placed in a group which meets in the morning at the specified time. Apparently the signup sheet is posted outside the office each night at 5:30 and kids sign up there, but again, no one told us this. If you're not in an all-inclusive deal, it costs $19 for a corral session and $29 for a trail ride. Again, it was pulling teeth to get this info.
My daughter was excited to see that arts and crafts were considered a "free" activity, but when we got there we discovered that everything was a charge - painting little figurines was $7.00; t-shirts were $12. She had envisioned long hours of coloring and painting with other kids - instead, she did one t-shirt and was very disappointed. We saw the one "show" they put on in the afternoon - was basically just two people demonstrating stage combat. The only real action was when the girl jumped off the building.
If you want your kids to learn to ride and they are into horses, I think this could be a really great vacation. We noticed a lot of "horse-age" little girls who seemed to be having the time of their lives. For my kids, it ended up pretty much to be a campground with a better than average pool.
Had a ball, had a blast, repeat visitors.
We have gone as a family, with our 12 and 13 year old sons, and we have gone by ourselves and enjoyed aldult only weekends. The riding is out of this world. The owners are great, the staff is not only fun, but completely family orientated. There are so many things to do, you are always busy. The golf course is fab., and the water park type pool area is loads of fun. Can't wait to get back this summer.
Food service needs improvement
I would like to commend the executive chef on his low food cost. I would also like to applaud his success with matching this level with the preparation, presentation and service. My salmon dinner was so over cooked that when it arrived tableside, I thought that it had been over seasoned with a Cajun or "blackening seasoning"! The meals are served with margarine and not butter and burritos with artifical sour cream not the real dairy stuff. For the prices that they charge I was expecting top notch fare and so was very disappointed. Other meals there was similar in quality and service. Limp over cooked veggies, served cool and looking as if they had been tossed on the plate. The 4 different servers that we had were kept busy elsewhere and never checked on the meals that they had served until they dropped off the checks.
Other than the rather unsatisfactory restaurant experieinces, the Double JJ is a fabulous place! lots of fun and in a beautiful setting. I highly recommend a stay, just plan on eatting somewhere off site.
Super Place to Visit and Relax
My husband and I have been to the Double JJ a total of 6 times in the past 4 years - that's how much we like it! He loves to golf and I love to ride, so it's a perfect getaway for us.
First the advisories - in the Ranch rooms, there are no phones, radios, clocks or televisions, so if you need any of these things you'll need to bring your own. Also, the rooms are pretty rustic, so if you're used to luxury, you might be better suited to a room at the Lofts (a more traditional hotel style) or renting a condo. Also, if you don't like to golf and/or horseback ride, this probably isn't the place for you.
Now, the good stuff - this place is a blast! The landscape is gorgeous, the golf course is gorgeous and the people are fantastic - both other guests and staff. The horseback wranglers are ultra-friendly and helpful. Tell them you're a novice rider and they'll do everything they can to make your rides good ones.
Ignore the bad comments about the food. It's super and you get lots of it. Now, it's not gourmet quality, but it is tasty, home-cooking style chow - exactly what you'd expect on a cowboy-themed resort.
We love the place and we intend to keep going back as much as we can.
A great getaway!!!
We had a great time!! The golf course was the best that my husband, an avid golfer, had ever played on. The accomodations were good. We were glad, however, that we did not take our teenager. The 3 days that we were there was too cold to swim (June!), and I think that she would not have found a lot to her liking to do. Food at the restaurant by the Thoroughbred was very good. We ate breakfast one morning at the mess hall (at another accomodation place and far more rustic) and were not impressed with the food. We enjoyed this resort so much that we are going back in a few weeks! I would recommend this to golfers and riders. However, be prepared for all kinds of weather..I did not, and it was quite a distance to anywhere to shop to even buy some warmer clothes.
Do it and you'll love it..
Come with afew freinds, and start planning your activities as soon as you get to the Ranch. Golf course is challending and very beautiful.
Book a horseback ride thats better than most, please no shorts or gym shoes! Meet some new folks and attend as many activities as possible.
You will barely survive but you'll have a great time.
Outstanding for families!
This was a fabulous 4-day getaway, well-worth the drive. It really is like the best summer camp you remember from childhood. There is plenty to do -- well-kept pools, one with fountains for the little ones and another with a tall waterslide; archery; riflery; paddle-boating on the lake; all kinds of farm animals wandering the grounds and, of course, horseback riding. We liked the family cabins, with their bunk-like lofts and some privacy (and a hot tub) for mom and dad. The staff is outstanding -- unfailingly friendly -- and they went far out of their way to help us with a billing problem after we got back. Only drawback may be that evening parties are adults-only, so teen-agers are sort of at a loss after 9 p.m.
Had a very nice weekend. The golf course is absolutely beautiful. You can keep as busy as you want or just relax if that's your style, it's up to you.
Loved the ranch
The staff was very friendly and helpful. There was always something to do. It was a nice relaxing time
TripAdvisor Reviews King William Hotel Luton
Travel Blogs from Rothbury
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More tomorrow. ...
DISCLAIMER: It may seem like large pieces of these days are missing, or not described fully. This is because:
1) I don't remember. Plain and simple.
2) Nothing worth mentioning happened. Do you want me to explain in detail how boring waiting around is? Or the length of lines to use the outhouses? I didn't think so.
3) I was participating in illegal activities, the details of which I will not discuss on such a public forum as this one.
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