Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 303: Mystic Springs Guest Ranch, Cabin
2bed/1bath house in Alto, New Mexico
May 2002, 3 nights
Alto, New Mexico. This rental is adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. There are approximately 4 cabins/houses to rent, each varying in size. The drive to the cabin was up a long, dirt road with hardly any other houses around. Very remote and beautiful scenery. The cabins are fairly spread out, but visible from each other.
The ranch is at the end of a very long dirt road. The nearest convenience story is more than 20 miles away.
The cabin was in okay condition. The kitchen was updated and nice. Out of a 10, with 10 being the best, I would give it a 6. The front door had a few old wooden steps that were dangerous and in need of replacing. Some of the doors wouldn't shut completely, and the beds were very uncomfortable. There was satellite TV which was great.
The grounds were horrible. Trash was thrown around all over, and there was big canister of ant poison laying outside our door with some spilling out. Very dangerous for pets or children. There were rusted out cans and paper plates and water bottles all over. It looked like the owner had a big party before we got there, and didn't bother to pick up any of the trash that was either thrown around or got blown around. Either is unacceptable to me.
It was very sad to see man's continuing abuse of mother nature. There was a whole pile of trash behind our cabin. I picked up some but then stopped thinking it was a futile attempt to clean the place up.
The owner claimed on the website that there are old indian-made sweat lodge type structures on the property. I was really excited to try them out. They turned out to be a small, circular shaped, rock structure that was only about 2 feet high (if that), and when we asked her about them, she said they were made by the previous owners who had some kind of "weird religious retreat". A blatant lie on the website!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Never! The owner came to our cabin one night and babbled on very strangely about the weirdest stuff. I couldn't follow or understand what she was talking about, and I thouht maybe she was on drugs or something because it was not normal by a long shot.
A huge forest fire started on our second day, and the area near us was being evacuated. The fire was completely uncontained and heading our direction. The air filled with a smokey haze, and ashes were literally raining down on us. We decided to leave, but could not find her to tell her we were leaving for our own safety. I called and left a voice mail asking her to call me, but the call was never returned. She charged us for all 3 nights, and I felt we should get some sort of refund because of having to leave early from the fire. She wouldn't do it, and I ended up doing a dispute from my credit company about the charges. We didn't get any of it back.
Not only are things on the website incorrect and things weren't as she claimed them to be, we didn't receive a refund for having to leave early (even one night refund just to do good business I think was in order). I will never go back here.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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