Imagine your own private ranch resort with charming native-stone cabins, poolside cabana, 140' 4-story waterslide, lighted tennis court, fitness center, full-court basketball, game room, hot tub, river rapids, fishing, abundant wildlife, miles of trails, and plenty of other activities for all ages.
PLEASE NOTE: This is an exclusive private rental (no other guests will be there) and is expensive in peak season and only available to a select number of families each summer. Do not inquire until you carefully check the full Rates listed below -- including the notes at the bottom of the section. The new HomeAway Quote system is broken -- do not rely on it. Use the rate quote example at the bottom of this description for an accurate estimate of the price, based on the number of cabins and persons in your group.
Red Sands Ranch is located on the crystal clear Llano River between the towns of Mason and Fredericksburg and is the perfect spot for family or friends reunions, corporate gatherings, or even tennis team retreats. There are four self-contained rock cabins plus a separate bunkhouse, a Party Shed with flatscreen TV, billiards and ping-pong, and a tennis court, all surrounding a massive 53' pool with spa, grotto, and luxury Cabana with full stainless kitchen, WIFI, and 55in flatscreen. The nearly 1/2 mile of fast-flowing, rock-bottom river runs from the deep pools and spectacular 200' red sandstone cliffs (featured on the cover of Texas Monthly Magazine) at the west end of the ranch, to more deep water and limestone bluffs to the east. A meandering path leads down to the perfect spot in the river to set a few lounge chairs and relax under an umbrella while the kids shoot the rapids in a tube or one of the available kayaks. For fisherman or paddlers, there is an amazing 2-3 hr trip that terminates at the ranch which is the highlight of one of the top twenty paddling trips in the state of Texas. The ranch foreman lives on the property about a mile away and is usually available to assist with whatever arises. For horse owners, there is a corral, tack room, covered stall, and miles of trails. And of course there are plenty of lounge chairs around the solar heated pool with separate hot tub and a secret 'mine shaft' cave with a little surprise inside the kids will enjoy. Whether you stay for the weekend or the entire week, Red Sands Ranch is a special place you'll want to come back to year after year.
Accommodations: Total of six (6) separate units -- three (3) are included in the base price. All air-conditioned with additional space heating, and hot water (plus spa heat) provided by one of the largest solar heating installations in the Hill Country.
- A bunkhouse with four twin beds plus four self contained rustic cabins that sleep from 6 to 8 (plus additional cots and sleeping pads for kids), each with a wood fireplace*, full bath, stained concrete floors, covered porch, bedroom or sleeping loft, WIFI, satellite TV, and kitchenette (sink, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster oven and one-burner cooktop). *Sunday House sleeps two in a king bed and does not have fireplace.
Included in the Base Price (3 units and up to 12 guests):
(1) 'The Fish Camp' - a native sandstone cabin with local river-rock fireplace, chimney, and other accents. The covered back porch includes a hammock and overlooks the river and huge pecan trees below. There is a full size pull-out futon downstairs and two full size beds in a sleeping loft -- accessible via ladder. The bath features an antique clawfoot tub and an outdoor shower.
(2) 'Lorenz House' - the largest of the 5 cabins, named after the pioneer family that settled this section of the ranch in the mid-1800's. There is a queen futon sofa down and stairs lead to an upper loft with an antique full size bed and a trundle with two twin beds. This cabin is also built with local materials and sandstone walls inside and out from the century old rock fences found throughout the ranch, and includes a covered porch swing with views of the bluffs and mountains across the river.
(3) 'The Bunkhouse' - 4 twin beds and a sink/vanity with beautiful views from a balcony cantilevered out over the pool. Note that access to the detached full bathroom is via lighted gravel pathway.
(4) 'Riverside Cottage' ($150/night) - This Fredericksburg limestone cabin has the best views of the river from inside the cabin or on the covered back deck from the hammock, rocking chairs, or cedar porch swing. There is a huge masonry fireplace and the unit sleeps 8 with a queen bed and futon sofa downstairs and a full bed in the upstairs bedroom, along with a twin bed and twin rollaway bed.
(5) 'Sunday House' ($100/night) - an updated historic representation of the quaint Fredericksburg homes built by the German pioneer ranchers for weekends when they came to town for church and supplies. This luxury unit features a king bed with full ADA compliant (wheelchair accessible) bathroom and covered porch with easy access to the pool area and Cabana. AVAILABLE MARCH 2014.
(6) 'Courtside Loft' ($100/night) - this unit is located on the upper level of the Sunday House (with a separate entrance) sleeps eight with four double beds and a half bath. Access to an additional full bath via lighted pathway. AVAILABLE MARCH 2014. The Courtside Loft and Sunday house may be combined for $150/nt.
The cabins are situated around a poolside cabana and a beautifully landscaped grilling area which includes a large charcoal grill, picnic table, smoker, firepit, and covered 'cantina' with four cushioned lounge chairs.
'Simons House' - built in 1860 by Conrad Simons and currently occupied by the ranch foreman, is a classic German story-and-a-half structure with 2ft thick sandstone walls and hand-hewn oak headers supporting the doors and windows. The home is beautifully restored to much of its original character and is visible at the Ranch entrance.
- Striking poolside open-air cabana with full kitchen constructed of old barnwood ceilings supported by huge hand-made wooden trusses. There is an oversized gas grill, dishwasher, two refrigerator/freezers, built-in microwave, two sinks, soapstone countertops, marine-grade mahogany cabinetry, WIFI, 55in LCD satellite television with home theater sound, DVD, and iPod inputs with speakers located throughout the pool complex. The curved 11' cast concrete bar has eight rustic barstools plus a sectional sofa that seats 4-5. In the wintertime or during inclement weather, the unique steel and glass doors can be lowered to fully enclose the room.
- 'The Shack' Party Shed. A favorite hangout area for the kids, features a flatscreen TV with Wii game console, dartboard, billiards with a competition-grade, removable top for table tennis, and lots of eclectic neon lighting and funky decor.
- Swimming Pool. A free-form 53' gunite pool in a natural setting that blends seamlessly into the fabled Simonsville Topaz Mine where the abandoned mineshaft, old Mill, 140ft flume, and many of the relics of 'old mining days' can still be seen.
- Fitness Center with treadmill, recumbent bicycle, universal weight machine, dumbells, situp bench, and pullup/dip bars. Also has a sink with granite countertop, satellite TV, and workout towels provided.
- The fully lighted tennis court includes a practice wall, and full-court basketball across one end with NCAA-quality glass backboards and an ice-cold drinking fountain.
- Rolling hill country terrain (nearly cedar-free) with large stands of Live Oaks hundreds of years old and mountain views in all directions. In addition to horses and livestock, wildlife is abundant and includes whitetail and axis deer, antelope, turkey, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, quail, dove, roadrunners, ducks/geese, eagles and more, The breath-taking stretch of river on the ranch includes everything from fast-moving rapids over a solid rock bottom for most of the length (where hard-fighting Guadalupe Bass are common) to slow, deep water at either end (where catfish as large as 35 lbs have been caught). Note that in order to preserve the quality of fishing at Red Sands, trot lines are not allowed and most of the fishing is catch/release with a maximum of one 'keeper' allowed per fisherman. Note: river activities may be affected by current drought.
Disclaimer: Red Sands is a working Texas cattle ranch with inherent risks or hazards including, but not limited to, rough terrain, heavy equipment, deep and/or fast-moving water, wild animals, livestock, etc. and is not recommended for vegetarians or families with very young children without adequate supervision.
Summer Rate Structure (less for other seasons):
For the first 12 guests, the summer rate is $1250 for each weeknight and $1750 for Fri or Sat nights. Add $50/night for each add'l guest beyond the first 12, up to 18 more, for a maximum of 30 total guests (no charge for infants). This is your Base Rental Rate.
You may add add'l units (Riverside Cottage ($150), Sunday Hs ($100), or Courtside Loft ($100) nightly, both for $150) and a pair of golf carts for $175 for the weekend (or $275 for up to a week).
Finally, add the one-time cleaning/linen fee of $300 and then 8% for occupancy tax and transaction fees.
Example: Group of 4 families (16 guests) for a May 3-night rental, Thu-Sun. $1250 + (2)1750 + $600 for the extra guests for a Base Rental Rate of $5350. Add $300 for an add'l cabin (Sunday House), $300 for cleaning and 8% tax ($476) for a total rental of $6426.
Note: Privately owned family-oriented resort. No 'Youth groups' or keg parties . Minimum age of 30 required to register your group.
Keywords: Waterfront, Ranch, Resort, River, Tennis, Pool, water slide, Cabins, Cottages, Fredericksburg, Texas Hill Country, family reunion, Estate, Retreat, waterslide, Riverfront, Fishing, Kayaking, wifi
I grew up outside of Houston and then received a Petroleum Engr/MBA degree from Louisiana State University (LSU). After spending a few years in California and Australia with various software companies, I moved to Austin, TX in 1991 and started my own business. After selling the company and retiring in my late 30's I quickly learned that I needed more activities than just playing sports all day, and wound up with 250 acres of raw land on the Llano River. Originally conceived as a few head of cattle and a couple of rustic, riverfront cabins around a firepit to spend time with friends, and my wife and three kids, it's since grown in scale, scope, and maintenance to the operation that exists today. Although years later, as a 5th generation engineer and wanna-be architect, I'll probably always be designing or building another 'project' at Red Sands but it has finally evolved to the stage where I can (almost) call it complete.
Red Sands Ranch is a unique property specifically for guests that prefer an exclusive, private outdoor resort experience with a natural setting and amenities comparable to the large hotel chain resorts. Although expensive, the total rental for a large group is actually much less than a hotel resort stay even before you buy that first $8 beer -- and you won't have to share the pool with 150 kids in swim diapers.
The elevation (1250-1400ft) and semi-arid climate of the area offers more comfortable summer breezes and cooler nights than most of the large metropolitan areas of the state. Other than the spectacular Texas Hill Country setting, the most unique feature of the property is the layout of the compound where the pool, cabana (kitchen/dining), firepit, tennis and all the other resort amenities, are part of the main gathering area (rather than some back parking lot) while the separate cabins offer peace and privacy just a few steps away. In addition to all the activities, kids are always captivated by the abundant wildlife, crystal clear river, and the sheer number of stars visible in the clear night sky. Come make some memories and experience the real Texas!