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“Made our trip to Carmel amazing!” 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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Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Carmel
Lawrence, Kansas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Made our trip to Carmel amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

My wife and I just spent 4 wonderful nights at the Lodge at Carmel Valley Ranch. It was more than expected and had the most friendly people. Every need was attended too in the most professional way. Our stay was one we will deffinitely repeat.

Room Tip: Choose a hilltop suite with a view. You won't be disappointed.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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702 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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (170)
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English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

this was everything we wanted as a purple and we are quite fussy
best food on our entire california trip
service and staff good
lacked a bit in atmosphere at night because it was so quiet in the restaurant
though Dave kept us in conversation both nights
rooms bed bathroom all great
loved it

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Design and location of the hotel is wonderful however the positioning of some of the lodges means that people can see into your bedrooms/bathrooms/balconies which is not really what you want on a romantic break and next doors AC unit buzzing away under your balcony is not what you want when you sit outside on the balcony.

It's a bit like a marketing team sat down and wrote a checklist of all the components for a great hotel, gave it to a design team but didn't actually explain what the outcome was they wanted. With just a small amount of effort more it could be incredible. Theres no real lounge to sit and relax in and the restaurant is all but in the lobby which doesn't really work. Breakfast was a huge disappointment and as we stayed during Pebble Beach we went out and had breakfast in a different place every day.

When we booked I was expecting to have a lot more organic food fresh from the garden with recipes of the day based on what was freshest from the garden. the sea that day. A bit like you would expect in Italy. Instead theres a pretty generic menu and rooms service is even worse with about a dozen choices on it max. Though getting it to you hot seems more difficult than it should be and theres no table in the rooms or at least we weren't offered one and eating off a coffee table doesn't work ! The kitchen really needs a superstar chef to give it a make over at this price point.

The pool is very cleverly arranged but the kids/health club pool does not really offer any choice of fresh produce to eat it's ribs and burgers which again wasn't what I was expecting.

The location is great for a base to work form but as another reviewer says its not one thing thats wrong its the whole thing thats just 'not quite right'. I'd love to go back but only under new management and after a rework on the catering.

Room Tip: Try and get a resort map and figure out if you are overlooked and where your next door neighbours AC...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 17, 2012
Thank you for your honest and thoughtful review. It is always an encouraging opportunity when a guest takes the time to share specific key areas of improvement and doable improvements as well! I admit I was surprised by your dining experience however, as our menu reflects exactly what you described – items from our very own organic garden, combined with fresh fish caught from the sea that very day! I only wish you had been here on a day when you actually had the chance to meet our fisherman – as he has often stopped by and greeted our guests and employees alike. And while my own children always choose the burger at River Ranch café, I have opted for one of the mouth watering salads – with produce from our garden! Regardless, I regret that was your experience and can assure you that your comments and suggestions are taken to heart by the current management – ones that truly care about our guest’s experience! Thank you again for your feedback.
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
308 helpful votes 308 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed at CVR for two days in September, and I must say - it just didn't live up to the hype (and the price) for me. There isn't one particular thing I would point to, per say, as much as I just felt like the hotel was lacking the service and attention to detail that other hotels in this price range offer (rooms were going for $680/night the weekend we were there).

We stayed in a Treetop Suite. It was nice and certainly adequate; it had a lounge/sitting area with a desk and leather couch, a spacious bathroom, and a bedroom with a king bed, fireplace, TV, and iPod dock. It had an outdoor patio with two chairs, and a view over the pool. Overall, the room was nice - definitely large enough. However, I felt the housekeeping on it was really lacking, especially for a hotel of this caliber. While the room was visibly clean at surface level, I was dismayed to find a huge, gross streak of something (conditioner? shower lotion?) on the glass wall of the shower - the first time I went to use it (i.e. it wasn't from us, as my husband showered after me). Unfortunately, I had to get ready for an event right away, so there was no time to call housekeeping and actually have them clean the shower. I find that pretty disgusting, given that the shower is one of those areas that I think needs to be cleaned top-to-bottom when guests check out. The shower is also small and given the overall size of the room, could have been made a little larger - I managed to bang my elbow on the shower control when I bent over to shave, it was so tight in there. Also, housekeeping did not replenish items such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and they obviously did not wash the shower wall in between our first and second night, as the same shower streak was still there. I elected instead to not shower the day of check out and drive back to my place in San Francisco to do so.

Likewise, our bed was very comfy but I found a hole in the sheets (which is not a big deal, except I don't expect to find that in a hotel of this caliber) and, worse yet, some hairs that were neither mine nor my husband's. Gross, and not what I expect from a hotel with this price point.

Another area I thought the hotel fell short in was the golf carts (which shuttle you around the massive property) - while the staff were certainly friendly, the problem was that when we went out to the front of the lodge to find someone to take us to the fitness area, no one was around. So we waited. And after a few minutes of waiting, I got tired of waiting and elected to just drive myself there.

And, as others have commented on the restaurant, I found their food to be of decent quality, but the prices to be overly expensive and the selection limited. The only meal we ate there was breakfast, but I was underwhelmed. They had a buffet which I felt like the staff kind of pushed you toward (we declined), which at $24 appeared to be way over-priced. We elected to go into Carmel instead for our meals; you won't save much (as Carmel isn't a cheap place to eat), but you'll get better selection and some pretty delicious food if you venture off-property.

The grounds are really beautiful and the resort fee includes a decent number of activities (classes, guided hikes, yoga, etc.) to make you feel that the resort fee is actually okay to charge, as it also includes tips for the housekeeping and golf cart staff and free internet (which was decent, though slow to load at times). That being said, between the room cost and the resort fee, you're looking at over $700 a night, and CVR just didn't deliver that type of value to me, especially compared to other luxury hotels I've stayed at. I'd hoped this would be the first of many trips to CVR and Carmel, but I doubt I'll come back, despite my close location. In my opinion, it just didn't deliver enough value for the cost they charge to stay there.

Room Tip: Ask for a tree top room if you want to be close to the lodge / adult pool. Rooms are spread out on...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 17, 2012
Thank you for your feedback Kimberly. As mentioned in previous responses, I greatly appreciate when you take the time to give thoughtful feedback with specific examples of things we could do better to make your experience a memorable one. I sincerely regret that your recent visit was lackluster and more importantly, and concerning to me, that the service levels and attention to detail were the key drivers in that experience. I am a firm believer that no matter how gorgeous the setting and environment, or price point, it is the service that creates the magic, and I am truly sorry that we failed at that on your stay with us. Having said that, your review sparks a reminder to my entire team about what is the main goal for us here at The Ranch. It is warm, heartfelt, and attentive service to which we aspire, and have for the most part, become known for. The ability to provide this, consistently, will be the key element to our success. Thank you again for your feedback.
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Potomac, MD
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Very nice property with several recently updated amenities (spa, poolside restaurant, exercise facility). Landscape is beautiful and inspires relaxation. Golf course is terrific and very friendly to junior golfers. Main lodge restaurant has excellent food, especially breakfast, but inconsistent service (some terrific and others indifferent). Lots of relaxing family "distractions" -- swings, s'mores, picturesque walks. While the staff definitely tries hard, the training and qualifications are not really of "Four Seasons quality". Overall, very enjoyable -- we have been twice!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

We spent 3 days at Carmel Valley Ranch and found it to be an excellent resort with friendly staff, great food (albeit a tad expensive) and superb facilities. I especially recommend the pit fire for marsh mellows and the Bee Experience. Set 15 minutes from the shore this resort also benefits from less fog than that experienced in Carmel and Monterey.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, September 20, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write this great review! Also, thanks for mentioning the signature bee experience. This is something really special about our property and a great learning experience. Glad you got a chance to get out and enjoy the sun. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Moorestown, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

When you drive into Carmel Valley Ranch, you know you are about to experience something special. The views of the vineyard and hills and gardens are complemented by the wild turkeys and deer that are romping around the property. The "rooms" are really apartments with a large bedroom, large living room and large bathroom, beautifully decorated. You have a lovely deck outside of the bedroom with wicker and pillowed lounge and chair. The gas fireplace in the bedroom adds to the atmosphere, but the best part of Carmel Valley Ranch is the fragrance. Lavender is everywhere- the soaps and products are lavender based, lavender is growing copiously along with fragrant herbs like rosemary. Firepits are scattered around the property and there is always the delicious scent of real fires permeating the atmosphere. Every night smores are available at one of the firepits- talk about camp! Make sure you do the beekeeping activity. Where else can you go and suit up like a beekeeper and hold a queen bee's screen in your hands! The only negative I can point to is timing of housekeeping. The first day our room was not cleaned until almost 4:30. The next day they came for turn down at 9:30 at night- much too late in a resort where early to bed, early to rise is the rule. The service can be very slow in the restaurant, but the staff is warm and friendly and the food very good. There was a tear in my eye as I left Carmel Valley. Coming from NJ, I know I was meant to live somewhere as beautiful as Big Sur!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, September 20, 2012
Yes! Your review embodied the exact feeling we are trying to achieve at The Ranch! A camp type feeling and five star luxury! Perfect. So glad you got to enjoy the lavender and the s’mores. They are keys to creating a warm, relaxing feeling. See you again soon. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
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 Business Hotel in Carmel
#1 Spa Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#1 Family 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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