A Review of the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX

The Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, Texas was supposed to be a romantic getaway to celebrate my anniversary with my husband (as well as a nice vacation for our dog that we adopted two and a half years ago), but it was a huge disappointment. The 9E ranch is set on 300 acres which is the main reason we chose to stay there but not all of that land is for the guests. A lot of it is for the ranch animals like the donkeys, horses, Texas longhorns, and chickens and I was glad to see the animals had so much land in which to roam. However, there was a huge chunk of the acreage that was full of stickers that not only found their way onto my English cocker spaniel’s paws, bib, and legs, but even onto the bottom of my sneakers and they wouldn’t come off. Needless to say, it wasn’t very fun for my husband when he tried to get the stickers out, nor was it fun for my dog who was in pain and couldn’t walk while the stickers were embedded in his paw pads.

Fortunately the areas that had a trail were wooded and did not have stickers but getting to that point was difficult. The 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX was peaceful (except for the noise from the animals which was minimal) but not as private as I had anticipated since our cottage was right next to another cottage. We stayed at the Daisy Cottage which was more an homage to the past with their family antiques rather than a comfortable, inviting cottage that welcomed its guests. Everything was uncomfortable including the kitchen chairs (which were from the 50’s I’m sure), the couch (which was extremely small and clearly not for adults), and worst of all, the bed.

The bed was a nightmare and for the ranch owners to charge nearly $200 for a mattress that had to be at least 20 years old (or at least felt like it) was highway robbery. The mattress sunk in the middle before anyone even sat on it and once you were in, it was difficult to get out. The mattress also squeaked like mad each time you did anything – like breath. We literally got zero sleep because of the horrible mattress and were so upset that proprietors could think it was okay to allow paying guests to sleep on that bed.

The Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX wasn’t all bad but it certainly could use new mattresses and furniture to bring it up a notch or two. The views were fabulous and there were a lot of windows in which to see the property. I also appreciated the fact that they had screen doors on the sliding glass doors but the area apparently is a big attraction for beetles because the first night we came home (after getting dinner in Bastrop), there were literally hundreds of beetles either flying into or on the windows and doors of the Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX. It was like a scene out of a horror movie only the beetles were harmless. In fact, when we were driving up the long road to get to our cottage at night, there were a plethora of bugs flying around.

The following morning there were tons of dead beetles which was a sad sight. A wasp managed to get into our cottage but that, too, died quickly. We did not see any snakes or scorpions on the property so we were grateful for that.

Breakfast was served in a basket to our cottage on Saturday morning and was enough for two mornings so the owners did not have to return. The basket contained four hot meals, two containers of yogurt, two unripe bananas, two apples (which my husband fed to the miniature donkeys), four muffins, and three cinnamon pastries. There was a large container of orange juice in the refrigerator and the cottage kitchen had coffee, a coffee maker, and tea. We chose to heat the scrambled eggs in flour tortilla for breakfast the first morning but sadly mine came with shells, and not just a little but a huge chunk of blue egg shell. Yes, blue. Needless to say, I couldn’t finish my meal. A small amount of eggshell isn’t the end of the world but when it’s half the egg, there’s a problem.

The next morning I attempted to eat the other breakfast but it was loaded with chopped bacon (I don’t eat pork) and chopped onion (something I’m not fond of, especially not for breakfast). My husband didn’t even attempt to eat the breakfast the second morning which meant the eggs were wasted which was a shame since I assumed they were straight from the chickens on the property. We would have preferred the eggs uncooked so we could cook them ourselves.

The kitchen was a good size for a cottage and had a full size refrigerator, oven and range, in addition to a double sink and microwave. Unfortunately there were neither paper napkins nor extra paper towels. The roll of paper towels provided was near the end so this was problematic. There were also no tissues in the entire cottage which I thought was odd.

What the Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX had was bar soap, liquid soap, shampoo, and body wash. They also provided bath towels and wash cloths but no hand towels (again, this seemed odd), and a tiny hairdryer.

Though they accepted dogs (for a fee) they had nothing that was dog-friendly like many of the other dog-friendly places we had stayed at (e.g. dog bowl, dog biscuits). Granted we didn’t need any of that stuff as we brought everything our dog needed but it’s usually a nice touch. What the Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX had was stained concrete which screams dog-friendly.

While there was a television in the cottage, they did not have cable or satellite so only a few channels came in but they did have a DVD player (built into the TV) with a large variety of videos. The Daisy Cottage at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX also had central air conditioning and heat which was very much appreciated since the weather in Texas can be variable.

While our dog enjoyed his stay at the 9E Ranch in Smithville, TX (minus the stickers), we did not enjoy our cottage. The ranch is located about 10 miles from Bastrop, TX which has just about everything you would need, and the historic part of Bastrop has some wonderful restaurants.

While we wouldn’t choose to return to the 9E Ranch, I encourage people to try it for themselves as everyone has different taste and standards.The 9E Ranch is located at 2158 Highway 304, Smithville, TX, 78957. Their website is 9eranch.com.