We Ask the Industry: What’s the Best Place You’ve Ever Stayed at a Horse Show?
In November of 2018, GoHorseShow asked several individuals about their favorite place to eat at horse shows. It was a fun read but also an informative article that featured multiple restaurants, food vendors and bakeries that competitors said were a must-do every time they visited the town.
Next up, we asked trainers and exhibitors about the best place they have ever stayed at a horse show. Some mentioned their living quarter’s trailers and campers while the most popular site mentioned was South Point in Las Vegas, mainly due to its convenience.
Luckily, some horse shows are in exciting cities like Las Vegas, Scottsdale and Venice where you can make a vacation out of it. However, as we all know too well, some shows are in the middle of nowhere, so you just pray to find a clean place to stay.
Let’s find out what everyone had to say.
Jenn Wheeler – I love the new Murieta Inn & Spa in Rancho Murieta, California. It is such a nice place to stay, and the rooms are lovely. The restaurant there is excellent and it’s nice to be right across the street from the showgrounds. It’s by far the most comfortable place we stay while showing in California.
Jessica Baird – I love staying in our RV. The convenience of being on the show grounds is hard to beat – whether it’s running back to the RV to change clothes or do some work. Let’s face it, those 20 extra minutes of sleep – that adds up, especially at the long ten day runs.
Beckie Peskin – My husband is a bit of a hotel snob, and he and my daughter came with me to the Arizona Fall Championships a couple of years back. His brother and his family had stayed at the Four Seasons Troon not super far from the show grounds, so we splurged and spent a couple of nights there. During the day while I was showing, he and Ella could enjoy the fantastic pool that they have there. I have never stayed at that nice of a hotel during a horse show, but it was a super nice treat.
Janae Walker – The bar is pretty low for horse show hotels; usually clean, safe and close are my criteria. My favorite place to date, however, was my AirBnB for the AQHA World Show last year. It was the cutest historical Tudor cottage about ten minutes from the fairgrounds. I was working remote on the days we weren’t showing, and it had the perfect set up for that as well as all of the comforts of home. The practical bonus was being able to come home after so many days, with clean clothes because there was a full-size washer and dryer.
Hillary Roberts – Part of the reason I love going to Scottsdale is that there are tons of great places to eat and stay. I’ve stayed at the Kierland Westin before, but if we choose to stay in a hotel rather than on the grounds, the Marriott McDowell Mountain is a little less expensive but very nice. It also has a good restaurant. In Oklahoma City, I like the Double Tree and the Hyatt Place on Meridian. Both have excellent room service and well-lit parking areas.
Carrie Warren – My favorite hotel is our motorhome. It is so lovely to sleep in your bed and have all your stuff and pets, and show friends to hang out with and grill and have fun with. Before the motorhome, there wasn’t one hotel I recall had a wow for me. I usually booked a Hilton or Hilton Garden; they were always clean and had breakfast, which was excellent.
Lisa Mazurka – South Point in Vegas. You have a horse show and a Casino right at your fingertips. There’s also a bowling alley and movie theater in it. It is excellent for family members who don’t show.
Kelly Boles Chapman – I am most grateful to shows with any close, safe and clean hotel and the vast majority do a great job with selecting hotels. But, two come to mind and left an indelible memory for me: Del Mar Motel on The Beach in Del Mar, California…waking up looking at the Pacific every day for Clay and Liz Macleod’s Sun & Surf Circuit. While not the most luxurious, I remember this tiny A-frame cabin that was in a campground in the Netherlands complete with geese and tulips out front. Totally charming.
Max Kuzo – My answer would be Holiday Inns or IHG hotels because they have an excellent rewards program where I can use my points for the excellent hotels when I’m not at a horse show. IHG has Crown Plaza, Staybridge, Holiday Inns and now Kimpton hotels. I’ve never stayed in a bad one over the last three years. But, the icing on the cake for the reward nights I’ve earned is using them at Kimpton Hotels. They are amazing. We went to Grand Cayman last year and used only points for the hotel – it was incredible. You may pay a little more than if you go for the cheapest hotel option each weekend, but you earn points and you can also use them for longer horse show stays like Congress and World Show.
Scott Reinartz – My two best hotels are the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. It’s very peaceful, has plush bedding, a historic feel and excellent room service. My other favorite is South Point in Las Vegas but only during a show. You can view the arenas on your TV, plenty of things to do, movie, bowling, gambling and easy access to the barns.
Jennifer D’Onofrio – The best hotel I have stayed in is my little camper. Never did I imagine I would drive 35 feet of a vehicle down the road and park it at many horse shows. It is our haven, keeps up organized, and we have enjoyed countless Friday night meals of Stouffer’s Lasagna and bagged Caesars salad with my 13-year-old daughter. I wouldn’t trade it for the Four Seasons because these are memories with my daughter I hold priceless.
Amy Groefsema – For this last AQHA World Show, a friend and my trainer’s and I found an Air BnB minutes to the fairgrounds. It was perfect! Jenn, Justin and baby Jaycee had the master suite and Sharon and I had our rooms. There were a few nights that Jenn showed off her cooking skills. Several mornings, Sharon and I enjoyed coffee while working on our laptops and watching the live feed. Being able to do laundry was terrific too. Not only was it fun, but it was convenient and cost effective as well. If I had to choose a hotel, it is the Golf Links Resort in Scottsdale because it is so close to Westworld, and they are suites to share with friends.
Anne Wilson – Marriott McDowell Ranch in Scottsdale – close to Westworld and my husband can wake up and see the golf course – maybe he can dream that he is on a golf vacation instead of a horse show. Also, we recently loved The Ambassador in Oklahoma City – Art Deco, pet-friendly and lots of restaurants in Midtown within walking distance.
Cathy Corrigan Frank – South Point in Vegas. It is not a 5-star hotel, and the rooms are average, but you cannot beat the convenience of it all; excellent horse facility and great restaurants right on site. It’s not on the Strip, but I feel that’s a good thing; minimizes foot traffic/vandalism/troublemakers/PETA in the barn area.
What are your favorite places to stay at a horse show? Let us know in the comments.