Sixteen nights on the road for us also meant sixteen different hotels or motels, one more expensive and better than the other. While we didn’t have a single horrible hotel on our trip –thank god-, there are a few that I would absolutely go back to when given the chance. The Ranch At Furnace Creek is definitely one of them.
This “ranch” is basically an oasis in Death Valley. It is surrounded by palm trees and offers many facilities. Of course many of those are needed because you are in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by nothing but hot air.
We spent the night in a little cabin, which had its own bathroom and air conditioning (very much needed when sleeping in Death Valley. At 10pm it was still a sweltering 40 degrees Celsius) Outside the room there were also a couple of chairs with a tiny table which was perfect for breakfast.
On the grounds, there are multiple restaurants, in different price ranges. We had supper at the Forty Niner Cafe and I very much enjoyed my meatloaf with mashed potatoes (and the map of Death Valley printed on the tables!). I can definitely recommend this place for a quick bite.
For those who don’t like restaurants, there is also a general store that has a food section. We got our breakfast muffins there, but those were of course a bit overpriced since it’s the only option you have.
The best thing about The Ranch At Furnace Creek is it’s big pool. Nothing beats jumping into cool water when you’ve walked in over 40 degrees Celsius weather all afternoon. Aside from the pool, you can also find a tennis field and golf course on the grounds. There is also a little museum but at the time we were there, it was closed for restoration. You can still see the old trains without going in so don’t hesitate to go check them out.
There is also a gas station which to us was a total lifesaver. We had been told to fill up our tank before entering Death Valley because the prices could get sky high there. So we filled up before leaving Las Vegas. Of course we didn’t take in mind that it would take us about half a tank to actually get to Death Valley, which meant we had to fill up the car in Death Valley anyway. If you come from Las Vegas, the last gas station is actually still pretty cheap. The one at The Ranch was more expensive but only a bit more than the one in Beverly Hills. But when leaving Death Valley the first pump we saw was almost double (!) the price from the one before entering Death Valley. So if you’re coming from Yosemite, don’t wait until right before Death Valley to fill your tank or you’ll pay a shitload of money!
The staff at the Ranch was also very helpful and nice. Upon arrival we got presented with a map of the ranch with a little explanation about what we could find where. A perfect hotel experience in my opinion. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this hotel whenever I’m staying at Death Valley! A+!