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Unique Homes Magazine

Reveling in Ranch Retreats

With sprawling acreage and the Western spirit, luxury dude and guest ranches are a new vacation trend promising an exceptional outdoor experience.


“We really believe in something when it comes to the ranch,” says Mike Williams, general manager at Brush Creek Ranch. “When you look out to the south side of the lodge, when you’re looking at the Sierra Madres and there’s snow on them, hay meadows, livestock.… We really know that guests come out to the West for that sense of place. They’ve seen it on TV; they’ve seen it in Westerns. They want to be outdoors, to breathe fresh air, sounds, smells, get their fingernails dirty and try new things.”

Unhindered by technology (there are no TVs in the rooms), Brush Creek aims at bringing the family together. The staff encourages guests of all expertise and ages to embrace the ranch’s saying, “Learn to do and learn to do better.” Brush Creek upholds a sophisticated activity concierge service aimed at understanding their guests’ desires for the trip and helping meet those goals alongside equipped and well-trained guides.

“I grew up in a place where you lock your doors, you lock your cars,” says Williams. “It’s not like that here in Saratoga. We’ve never issued a guest room key here. We never lock the doors. It’s just the Western way of life.”

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