We chose Zion Ponderosa for our family reunion because of its location near Zion and Bryce National Parks, and because they offered cabins large enough for our group of 30. We selected Moose Lodge, which had fewer amenities than some of their newer vacation homes, but was within a 2 minute walk of the main building/restaurant.
First, the good:
• The location is unbeatable. The setting of the ranch is lovely and it is within reasonable driving time of Zion, Bryce and Cedar Breaks.
• The layout of Moose Lodge is ideal for a large family group that wants to eat and spend time together. It has a large living room that easily seated our entire group. It also has an even larger covered outdoor area with chairs and tables for games and eating, which is ideal for keeping food out of the main part of the house. The large and well-stocked kitchen is separate from the house but adjacent to this area so it is very convenient. There is one bathroom in the house and a separate shower/bath house (just for Moose Lodge) about 50 feet away. Some family members weren't sure they would like this, but all the adults ultimately loved how clean it kept the main house.
• The onsite activities were great. The (free) pool and playground is wonderful, and we tried some of the paid activities like zip line, horseback riding and canyoneering. They weren't cheap, but we purchased the Adventure Pack before arrival so everything was discounted by 15% or 20% (I forget which). We even had the staff arrange a line dancing activity just for us, which was a lot of fun.
• Food in the buffet was plentiful and tasty. Not gourmet, but there was tremendous variety that included something for everyone in our group, which spanned from 2 to 75 years old.
• Every staff person was friendly, cheerful and helpful.
No place is perfect, though, so here are three negatives:
• Although staff members had great attitudes, they didn't always seem well trained or briefed, particularly at the front desk and restaurant. There was confusion when we checked in, when we took our meals in the restaurant, when we asked about activities and some other times. We were given bracelets for everyone to wear, but we were never told why (I assume it was because of the Adventure Pack and the discount) and as far as I could tell no one ever paid any attention to them.
• A very fastidious person wouldn't have been satisfied with the cleanliness of Moose Lodge. The basics were fine, but there were cobwebs all over the living room windows and curtains and in other places. Not a problem for me since we were in the wilderness, but it was more rustic than luxurious.
• We had a couple of maintenance problems (broken toilet handle and fridge not working) in Moose Lodge and reported them several times to the front desk. Getting someone to come usually took two reports and when they did come even though they allegedly did something, the problems were not fixed during our four-day stay.
• Not their fault, but no one in our group was able to get cell phone service on the property, which meant that cell phones were a bad choice for alarms because the clock wasn't synchronized with local time. Wireless internet was available in Moose Lodge, but was a little unreliable.