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“Amazing and truly pet FRIENDLY!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Carmel Valley Ranch

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Carmel Valley Ranch
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA 93923   |  
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Ranked #2 of 22 Hotels in Carmel
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Amazing and truly pet FRIENDLY!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2011

We chose this resort because of the great reviews and because they are pet friendly. It also said a lot about the customer service that every negative review on tripadvisor was quickly followed up by a representative from CVR. We don't usually spend as much as we did for a room but it was our anniversary weekend and we wanted to splurge. I was very pleased with the room as we booked the Garland Suite...amazing! The room was beautiful and comfortable.

I have been very frustrated when looking for rooms that are pet 'friendly'...most resorts are pet 'tolerable'. We stayed one night on the beach at the Sanctuary Beach resort and they charged $40 for our dog (4lb yorkie mix) to stay and we had to sign a waiver stating that the dog could not stay in the room alone and if the dog became too noisy or disruptive we would be asked to leave. If my dog was noisy or disruptive, why would I want to take it on vacation? How are we supposed to go to dinner if the dog can't remain in the room alone? My point is, at CVR we paid the same price and were greeted in our room with a doggie bed, food bowls, a bottle of water, a door tag to alert the maid, and potty bags...NOW THAT's DOG FRIENDLY!

We had scoped out a couple restaurants we wanted to try in Carmel but after dining at CVR the first night, we weren't going anywhere else! The gazpacho was AMAZING and every dessert we tried was incredible! We also enjoyed breakfast there in the morning as well and were pleasantly surprised that they served breakfast until 11:30 as my husband is NOT a morning person!

My only feedback for CVR is regarding the gratuity automatically charged to the room. I suppose in some cases that's convenient but I'm not sure I was provided any services warranting gratuity outside of the restaurant. We took four loads of luggage to our room from our car, unassisted, walked up and down the hill from room 249 to the lodge several times a day and failed to take part in any of the ranch activites. I wouldn't have done things any other way but have a hard time paying for a service that I did not receive, perhaps I misunderstood that charge.

We had an amazing weekend and Carmel Valley Ranch played a big role in that! Having a comfortable home base between trips to Big Sur, Carmel, & Monterey, Amazing food morning and night, and the care they took to ensure my fur baby was comfortable are just a few of the reasons we will certainly return...and tell all our friends!

P.S. I really appreciated the security as well, we slept with the patio door open and I rested peacefully knowing randoms couldn't just drive through!

P.P.S. LOVED the local wildlife hanging out around our deck...deer and turkeys!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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644 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at Carmel Valley Ranch for Labor Day weekend. I had reserved a Garland Suite. It took time for us to select a place to stay, and because of the great reviews on Tripadvisor we decided on the Ranch. We were looking forward to a romantic and relaxing weekend, exploring the Carmel/ Big Sur area and also relaxing in our suite. The stay was ok, the ranch is located in an amazing location, lush woodland and countryside, with deer wandering around. We were however disappointed with a couple of things primarily the room.

1. We had envisioned the Garland suite to be something akin to the pictures and description on the Carmel Valley Ranch booking website http://bit.ly/pUi9VR, light rooms with unobstructed views 'offering a treetop or forest view', with 'a private wraparound deck'’. Instead we got suite 325 with a non-wraparound deck that unfortunately was in the shade all day looking over the street parking and rooftops of the other villas. When we checked into the room we did call reception immediately to ask to change but were told that all other rooms had been committed earlier and there were no other rooms available over the Labor Day weekend. Was this a Garland Suite that we were checked in to? Why did it not have the wraparound deck or forest/ tree top views? We were pretty disappointed and hence didn’t spend so much time there as we wanted to be in the glorious sunshine.

2. My other grumble. Apologies. After checkout we decided to stay by the pool and have lunch, assuming that one could take a shower nearby before our 4-hour drive home. Before leaving, I went to open the door to the Spa locker room and was told by the staff that the showers are for Spa users only and I was not permitted to use the facilities. After I had used the pool toilet to change a staff member did mention that there were showers at the other pool and a outside pool shower. I was at the Lodge pool and I would have had to wait for a Shuttle in my bikini and wrap to take me to the other pool which was illogical, and I wanted a private shower to have a proper shower. It was embarrassing for me and although the staff was apologetic, it didn’t make sense especially as the Spa looked quiet. After spending over $1500 at the hotel plus the facility fee; I felt this was unacceptable of the resort to not have a private shower near the pool or at least have access to the Spa pool. At least it would have been something that would of been great to of been told at checkout rather than my embarrassment at assuming one could take a shower in the Spa before leaving.

On a positive note, we ate at the Lodge on the Saturday night. The food was amazing and our waitress was super efficient. Knowledgeable of wine and food. The fillet was succulent and delicious. I will be recommending the Lodge restaurant to friends to visit for sure. Other highlights were we learnt how to make S’mores (we are from England and Sweden) and learnt with the waitress too that they mean Some More.

The price of the room reflected that of a high level establishment, but there are a few areas that need tweaking. Managing the guest’s expectations is paramount. Unfortunately we probably won't be going back as it didn't feel value for money. I sent a letter to the manager but no response to date.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, September 23, 2011
Dear Ms. Amsterdam,
Thank you very much for your feedback and review. I do apologize and regret that your experience was not the one you had looked forward to. As you mentioned, we are located in an amazing location spread out over nearly 500 acres. Our suites are located in three primary areas around the resort and feature different views based upon location. While suite 325 is a favorite of many due to its Bluff location high above Carmel Valley, your comments are accurate in that this is the one end unit, or Garland Suite, that does not have the wrap-around deck. It is a valid observation and as a result, I have amended this one suite to the Ranch Suite category as that is a fairer representation. I would also like to apologize for your pool experience. While our spa showers are reserved for those who have services there, your request could have been handled better and your suggestions are noted. Gracie, we would like the opportunity to welcome you back to The Ranch and I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you personally about that. Thank you again for your feedback as this allows us the opportunity to improve. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

Carmel Valley Ranch (CVR) was very beautiful. We played bocci ball while having some cocktails. The deer and wild turkey is everywhere. The people were really helpful and friendly. The only thing I would say was a drawback was that we were supposed to have early check-in at noon and it was 4 before we actually got our room.

CVR is a bit of a drive from Carmel and a cab runs about $25 ea way which is expensive.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2011

Spent three days at Carmel Valley Ranch for a wedding in September. Could not have asked for more! I visited this hotel for a family reunion about two years ago, but the property has only improved.

Since our last visit, the rooms have all been upgraded. Every room has a scenic balcony with great views (ours overlooked the golf course and the valley). The beds were very comfortable and equipped with a fireplace and a flat screen TV. The bathrooms are enormous and top of the line. I was particularly impressed with the little touches that they got right... delivering the NY Times to your room every morning, a complementary snack basket, decent coffee in the room.

The main lodge has also been updated. A nice restaurant and bar area. A significantly upgraded adult pool and hot tub and adjoining spa. (My wife spent a day in the spa and really enjoyed it). There is also a separate area at the bottom of the hill that has a family pool, basketball court, several tennis courts, and bocce.

The staff is probably the best part of this hotel. Always friendly and helpful from the minute you arrive... sitting you down, discussing how they can help, giving you an overview of the property and activities. The property is huge, but every time I called for a shuttle to take me somewhere they arrived within 5 mins.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

We stayed at this property with our children and a few other families. The actual room was amazing. It was very private with a living room and separate bedroom. The rooms look to be totally redone and are very modern and beautifully appointed with dark hardwood floors, a keurig coffee maker in room, and a modern spacious bathroom.

The separate children's pool area with tennis and gym were wonderful. I highly recommend the poolside grill - great food at a reasonable price - we ate here often throughout our stay. The only downside is the lack of poolside service. You have to go inside to order. Would be better if they had outside wait service. Additionally, watch out for the birds - they attacked our food each time by the pool. Our kids had a wonderful day by the pool though.

Loved the FREE childcare each night up at the lodge for kids 5 and over. You have to stay on the property, but that was a HUGE perk. We sat by the firepits by the beautiful adult pool area almost every evening and the free s'mores were a huge plus in the evening.

The only downside to this resort is that everything is very spreadout. We had to get in the car to go down to the kids pool or to the lodge. There are carts that can take you, but it was easier to just jump in the car. Nothing is walkable so it isn't like a typical resort where you can just walk out of your room and everything is right there. With kids, this was a bit of a pain at times.

The lodge is located near Carmel downtown, though it is a 10 to 15 min drive. You are not near the beach and other attractions, though with all there is to do on the property, you can enjoy yourself without having to leave.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, TX
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

A great venue to escape and recharge. We had a "ranch king" suite near the pool and restaurant but still had a wonderful sunset view. The food in the restaurant is excellent and well priced for Carmel. You are located midway between Carmel-By-The-Sea and Carmel Village on Carmel Valley Ranch Road. this is a great location but requires a drive to see all the sights. Our room was splendid; service and accommodations were truly 5 star.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

great place at a fair rate good location for Napa

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carmel Valley Ranch

Address: One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA 93923
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Carmel
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#1 Spa Hotel in Carmel
#2 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Carmel Valley Ranch 4*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stunning and relaxing, our elegant Carmel resort is abundant with the natural beauty of Northern California, offering intuitive service and memorable experiences in a striking venue. Savor incomparable comfort, breathtaking vistas, and a delightful array of activities at Carmel Valley Ranch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carmel Valley Ranch Hotel Carmel
Carmel Valley Hotel
Carmel Valley Resort

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