The Ranch At Steamboat, CO: Comfortable But Affordable Condominiums
As the ski town of Steamboat, CO continues to grow, building new hotels and condos every month, most properties are being absorbed into a huge mass of buildings centered around the ski area’s base. The city has witnessed a surge in the number of penrose floor plans that have taken over the building layouts recently. Condos which once had a beautiful view of the Colorado landscape now face another building only feet away, and the entire ski area is looking more and more like Denver than small town Steamboat. Thankfully, a few properties, The Ranch among them, still offer a more rural location and country-like feel.
The Ranch offers a wide range of condos, from smaller two bedroom units to huge four bedroom condos. All offer a fireplace, at least two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a large TV. One unique feature of this property is that the condos are spread out over two floors–the bedrooms are on one, and the kitchen and living area on the other. This allows families with varying sleep habits to avoid disturbing each other, and gives you more room to spread out. Each condo also offers a balcony, and a beautiful, unobstructed view of the slopes.
Though it may be farther from the ski area than most other lodging, The Ranch makes up for this inconvenience with its excellent shuttle service. During the morning and early evening, when most skiers are either going to or returning from the slopes, the three shuttles loop continuously–the wait for one is rarely more than ten minutes. During other times, the shuttles are on call to take you anywhere within city limits–you must simply call the shuttle number and a shuttle will come pick you up within five to ten minutes. This shuttle service makes a car totally superfluous; I would argue that The Ranch has the best shuttle service in Steamboat.
As is common in Steamboat, the employees, from the shuttle drivers to the managers to the housekeeping staff are all very friendly. Many will strike up a conversation immediately, and can be wonderful sources of information on everything from restaurants to real estate. Staff will do everything to make you feel comfortable, and unlike many other properties, there is a staffed front desk on site during the day.
Though the condos are spacious, some aspects of the units definitely needed improvement. The units are privately owned and maintained, and therefore have very varying degrees of quality; sadly, it is impossible to know which condo you will be staying in until check in. In my condo, some of the carpets were old and stained, and much of the furniture was more like what you might find in a cheap motel than a ski town property. The whole condo had a musty smell to it, and some paintings with broken hangars were lying on the dresser when we arrived. Housekeeping was also sparse, and provided only minimal services such as towl change–unless you are staying for five or more nights, no cleaning will be performed.
Despite its sometimes slightly rundown feel, The Ranch at Steamboat beats almost every other Steamboat property in location, affordability, convenience, and comfort. Many locals, when asked about the best condo property, will immediately refer to The Ranch–clearly, it has a reputation as a great resting place after a long day of skiing. I would recommend the Ranch to anyone not looking for a luxury accomodation–if you need in-room ski fitting, valet parking, and a concierge, look elsewhere; however, for those looking foran affordable yet comfortable condominium, The Ranch is a perfect match.