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“Perfect Summer Escape” 5 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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Ranch Playmate Package
Ranked #2 of 23 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Perfect Summer Escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

I stayed for a weekend at Carmel Valley Ranch in August of 2011, on a solo trip to escape the brutal Texas summer. After a cold and rainy stay in (charming) Carmel by the Sea, I took a 15 min cab ride into Carmel Valley and the sky opened up to a perfect 70 degree day. The grounds are beautiful - deer and wild turkeys, lavender everywhere, a young vineyard, organic gardens, 2 pool areas with restaurants, spa, yoga studio - truly everything you would want. I purchased my stay through Jetsetter.com, which offered a special rate of $250/night. While Carmel Valley Ranch is the perfect place to unwind, they also offer a great selection of activities: guided hikes, hilltop yoga and pilates, cooking classes, beekeeping lessons, etc. My suite was luxurious and perfect, with a wrap-around balcony, huge bathroom and fireplace. The restaurant showcases their delicious home grown veggies, and the pool and infinity hot tub was a perfect place to spend the day.

For activities outside of the resort, I found I was able to get around pretty well without a rental car. I explored the surrounding wineries and tasting rooms of the Carmel area via the Grapevine Express; there is a pickup across the street from resort. There is also a bus that will take you down Hwy 1, from Carmel to Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur for about $3 round trip. When I get a chance to return to the area, I will definitely allocate time to visit Point Lobos Reserve and Julia Pfeiffer Park, along Hwy 1 in Big Sur. Amazingly beautiful area.

All in all, a fantastic vacation to the Carmel area, and Carmel Valley Ranch was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 319, which is at the end of the Bluff Suites section. It's walking distance fro...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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855 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (207)
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Wisconsin
Level Contributor
209 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

My sister, mom and I stayed for three nights at this lovely property. The property is gated when you drive up with security. The drive to check in had lots of deer and wild turkeys along the drive. The lodge has a huge stone fireplace as you enter and there is a gift shop, restaurant and bar area along with a library. Check in was efficient and they offered to take us to our room, we declined. Our room had two "double beds" in the bedroom and a pull out in the living room. Pull out not comfortable and double bed very small, smaller then I remember a double bed being! The living room has large flat screen t.v. with some comp snacks and fresh fruit and water (YAY!) There is a coffee maker and mini fridge. Bedroom has wonderful fireplace, flat screen, radio and large private deck with comfy chairs over looking valley and golf course. Bath large with private WC and soaking tub and large shower. Single sink. Robes and slippers are nice touch. We really loved the room and got a great deal online, pay two nights third free. We had massage and body wraps, used walking paths and ate s'mores after dinner outside by pool and fire pit, so fun! We had a lunch and dinner while staying and enjoyed both very much, martinis properly prepared. Huge fire place in dining room also where we lingered with coffees after lunch on a rainy day. Fun day trips to Carmel by the Sea. We went to TRX class in the huge workout facility by the front gate which was free, there were steam showers, lap pool and huge gym and nautilus area. Did not use golf course, rained every day we were there, we still found plenty to do! Loved our stay, staff very accommodating and friendly. Spa area just beautiful. This whole property felt brand new and decorated so lovely.

Room Tip: Rooms are quiet and have separate entrances, set up like duplexes. Very private. Parking very close...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2012

My husband and I decided to take our children to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a family vacation a few days before new years. We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old, so we need SPACE! We reserved a Garland suite and there was enough room for all of us! The room was beautiful with a living room with TV, fold out comfortable queen bed, mini fridge, fireplace, and desk. The bathroom was pretty spacious with a very nice bath tub and separate shower. The " master" bedroom had a great bed and fireplace, with a great view of the majestic hills and grazing deer!
The main restaurant is not really meant for young children, especially for dinner. Expensive, great ambience, slow relaxed service. Breakfast buffet was great or them, hot and great choices. Lower restaurant onsite "the Ranch Cafe"? was great for both kids and adults. it is adjacent to the SUPER fun family pool area. There is a large warm salt water pool, a large jacuzzi, a small whirlpool 2ft deep, and a crazy water spray area. Also a small dry play structure.
I used the child care facility one morning for an hour, the kids seemed to have fun and I got my workout across the pool at the nicest "resort" gym I have seen!
The s'mores in the evening were VERY VERY social and FUN!
We will return soon as a couple to try the adult only pool area and the beautiful spa!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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bay area
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

I had high hopes for the Carmel Valley Ranch based on the positive reviews that I had read on this site. When I pay $300 + a night plus a daily $25 resort fee at a resort I expect to have a special experience. I kept waiting for something to happen that would set this resort apart from the others but unfortunately my experience was average. I could have received a similar experience at a mid-priced chain hotel. I chose this resort to spend a romantic weekend with my husband an I have listed the pros and cons below:
Pros-
-Peaceful setting
-Large, spacious room with separate bedroom/living room and two fireplaces that turned on with the flip of a switch (we had a Garland Suite - the Garland Suites on are the ends of each block of rooms.)
-All natural, paraben free, phthalate free shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel
-The staff was very nice and friendly
-The bellman will pick you up in a golf cart and take you where you need to go within the resort grounds.
-The dinner that I had at the restaurant was tasty. I had chicken with polenta and vegetables.
-The Pure Balance massage that I had at the spa was very interesting. 7 different massage oils for the 7 chakras.
-There were snacks (apples, trail mix, Sun chips) and bottles of water in the room upon arrival
-Roxy the bull dog mascot was so cute!
-My husband enjoyed making smores at night.
-The turkey burger and sweet potato fries at the cafe were delicious.
-My husband and I had to change rooms due to an ant infestation and the staff was helpful during this process.

Cons-
-I felt like this resort was over priced and I was nickeled and dimed for everything.
-The turn down service was inconsistent and when we did receive it the only thing that happened was that the maid turned down one corner of the bed.
-The cleanliness of the room - gum wrapper and crayons behind the door, half eaten chocolate on the rug in the living room, dirty coffee mugs, sticky spots in the armoire
-When we had requests we had to ask twice. For example the first room we had didn't have 2 bathrobes so I called to request another one and nothing happened. I waited 3 hours and called again and then the robe arrived. We also were surprised that the room didn't contain slippers and when we moved to the second room there were slippers.
-$40 for two turkey burgers and a side of sweet potato fries at the cafe (gratuity was added in automatically).
-The spa amenities were just okay and the treatments were expensive.
-We had a view of the parking lot from our room.
-I had made special arrangements with guest services about dietary restrictions for my dinner and they were not honored.
-Not really a resort that caters to couples. Many families and small children around.

I really wanted to like this resort and there were several things that I did like. I just don't know that I would return. Perhaps the resort would be more enjoyable during the months with warmer weather. It was very relaxing but I had high expectations due to the price.

Room Tip: Request a room with a view.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

This casually elegant inn and spa is tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley. Spacious suites set in single-story units amid beautiful old oaks feature luxurious bedding, high speed internet, plenty of closet space, and a grand bathroom with both shower and tub. The inn's own special soaps, shampoo, and lotion provide an especially nice touch. (The lavender and sea pine shampoo is original and refreshing. I loved it so much that I bought two fuul-sized bottles to take home with me.) If you are travel-weary, head for the beautiful infinity jacuzzi and relax as you look out over the surrounding property. Don't be surprised if a family of deer steps gracefully into view. If a massage or special beauty treatment is in order, the inn's spa awaits you. And, for fitness buffs, there are excellent workout facilities just down the hill with state-of-the-art machines and excellent fitness classes. If you love the outdoors, you can hike for miles on trails readily accessible from behind the inn. And, if you need a little help navigating, guided hikes are available. After a relatively short but steep initial climb, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views. All in all, this traveler's haven provides a relaxing getaway in an exceptionally lovely setting.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

It is so amazing to live in Northern California and be so close to a world class destination such as Carmel. We've stayed at many places over the years in Carmel for those weekend getaways but none surpasses our most recent stay at the newly renovated Carmel Valley Ranch. We are a family of four (2 elementary aged children) and found Carmel Valley Ranch to exceed our expectations on every level. We had stayed there in previous years and always liked the fact that their rooms were extremely spacious and all suites. But that was it -besides having a golf course. But now.. hold your seats.. The rooms have all been redone. They are luxurious. The adults can get the king, tv, balcony and fireplace and the kids have a separate room with pull out sofa, fridge, desk and roll away if you request for $25.00 fee. There is a new pool and huge hot tub, new restaurant, bocce ball, swings, and their main restaurant food is delicious. For breakfast they serve complimentary Illy coffee and pumpkin and cinnamon breads. The only downside to the restaurant is that for breakfast and dinner we found it a bit pricey. The hotel is pet friendly too if you want to bring your family pet.. Roxy the hotel bulldog is there in the lobby to greet. The gym has all new equipment and a lovely spa. Then for that special occasion.. they sent chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to our room (it was my husbands birthday). The grounds are lovely and we walked to the lobby when ever we could. The only problem was it was quite dark at night and hilly so if you are wearing heels.. hmm well that was tricky. I've stayed at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Hyatt and La Playa. All are lovely hotels.. so my taste is a bit discriminating... But I love a good deal and I love alot of room so the kids and adults can enjoy but also get a good nights sleep. Great deals in January.. not sure what rates may be in summer. Staff is so nice and we would definitely stay again.

Room Tip: We were in 327.. lovely room and great view
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

This is our family's happy place.... the resort is gorgeous and panoramic views of the valley are breathtaking. There is something for everyone: tennis, basketball and swimming for the teens; kitchen adventure and pilates for mom; hiking trails for dad; bee experience for everyone! Do not miss the infinity hot tub at sunset with s'mores by the outdoor fire pit -- the absolute best way to end your perfect day. For a real festive treat, enjoy dinner at the Lodge (delicious).

As if this wasn't enough.... all this is just minutes away from our favorite hiking spot: Point Lobos. With Monterey and Carmel so close by, this is truly an ideal family getaway. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Ask about the view -- specifically what does it overlook (i.e. valley; golf course; parking lot, etc...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#1 Business Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#1 Spa Hotel in Carmel
#3 Family 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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