Lynsey Perkins, a travel agent at Travel Counsellors, travelled to Las Vegas and White Stallion Ranch, Arizona and had a fantastic time exploring the strip and unleashing her inner cowgirl on the ranch. This is her guest blog.
From glitzy Las Vegas to peace, nature & tranquillity at the White Stallion Ranch in Tuscon, Arizona – a match made in heaven!!
Disregarding any notion of jet lag we hit the strip running once we reached Las Vegas. This is a 24-hour city and visitors might need to be reminded that they will need to sleep at some point! We strolled in and out of hotels; revelling in their over-the-top splendour. The Venetian, complete with indoor canal and gondolas; Paris – with its own Eiffel Tower. You can visit Egypt, Paris, New York and Venice on the same day. Watch a circus, ride a roller-coaster, eat vast meals, play the slot machines, get married. Where else but Las Vegas? In barely more than a century, a way station on a railroad line has transformed itself into a holiday destination that attracts nearly 40 million visitors a year.
We also took in one of the most amazing shows in the world, La Reve (The Dream). WOW!! We stayed in the Mandarin Oriental hotel which is set in the most amazing position right on the strip. I was totally wowed by this gorgeous hotel. It is a boutique hotel by Las Vegas standards with only 392 luxurious rooms and suites over 47 storeys. This hotel offers wonderful experiences in dining and accommodation while the Mandarin Oriental spa will not disappoint those looking for the ultimate in relaxation in the world’s most extravagant playground. Although it is a non-gaming hotel, guests receive the unique benefit of being able to bill back to their room from any of the strip’s major casinos – thus enjoying the benefits of gaming without staying in a casino hotel.
What an experience, we certainly enjoyed Vegas in every way we could and soon it was time to fly on to our next destination.
A very short 1 hour flight from Vegas to Tuscon made it so easy to get to, but it was so hard to leave…the magic of horses…friends, family and fun!
There is a slice of heaven on earth and it’s in Tucson, Arizona. A holiday at the White Stallion Ranch provided a much needed dose of serenity and the welcoming and peaceful environment only added to the relaxation of our stay.
Turning off the main road, you are transported into the breathtaking Sonoran Desert. Driving among free-roaming cattle, horses, and cacti, you pull up to a group of adobe-style buildings and beautiful landscaping. The people at the White Stallion Ranch are more than welcoming and make you feel as though you are home. The best part of the accommodation is that there aren’t any TV’s in the room to distract you from a break of tranquility and allowing for the chance to reconnect with your friends, family, children, or whoever you are sharing the experience with.
Run by the True family for the past 50 years, the White Stallion Ranch is located next to the Saguaro National Park. The mountainous scenery alone on this 3,000-acre ranch makes this a perfect place to holiday either for a week or a long weekend. Whether you’ve never been on a horse before or are an experienced rider, this is the dude ranch to go for a time with great food, great company and unmatched horseback riding.
You are paired up with one of the many horses on the ranch, which boasts the largest privately-owned herd in Arizona. I had the pleasure of riding Cutaway. Cutaway responded to even the slightest tug on the reigns and was sure-footed as we started out on the Breakfast Ride, an early morning ride into the desert to a group of picnic tables where they serve you a hearty breakfast of eggs, potatoes and pancakes. The food was not only filling but absolutely delicious. The hearty meals served us well, as the afternoon’s Fast Ride, team penning and barrel racing would require it.
The evenings at the ranch were very relaxed as everyone gathered for dinner together. From mid March onwards the meals are mainly cook outs served under the beautiful clear starry skies, sitting out at large round tables with braziers burning away in the middle, sipping Margheritas amongst the twinkly lit cactus and watching the horses and the amazing sunsets beyond.
The horse riding did make me ache, but thankfully White Stallion boasts a heated outdoor pool as well as an enclosed wooden hot tub. Other amenities/activities to enjoy include mountain biking, hiking, a tennis court, basketball court and a games room, which along with pool, poker and air hockey tables, also houses a movie screen with a Wii and Netflix.
Driving away from the ranch was so hard. My inner cowgirl had been awakened and my whole mind and body had been refreshed by the few days away from it all, where I had just been able to commune with nature, the horses, my new friends and the others around us who had been touched by the same serene spirit that the White Stallion Ranch exudes.
I will return!