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“Puts the word 'treat' into 'retreat'” 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 #2 of 22 Hotels in Carmel
London
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Puts the word 'treat' into 'retreat'”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed for three nights at the Carmel Valley ranch as part of our road trip from San Fransisco to Los Angeles (53, 52 and 16 respectively) - and it's beautiful.

A previous reviewer has described the hotel as 'rustic but modern', and that hits the nail on the head. Our Forest Suite overlooked the golf course - and during our stay was variously covered with the most beautiful deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. It was as though Walt Disney had provided animal actors to make our stay memorable. As the sun set over the mountains, we stood looking over our balcony for a very long time, taking deep breaths and rediscovering what it means to be relaxed on holiday. And clever planting around the whole of the estate means the Carmel Valley Ranch smells as good as it looks.

The hotel is set on a valley - which means some steep climbs in places. But that's no problem as they provide a golf-cart service for those who don't want to walk. Dinner in the main ranch was delicious. (I know this sounds ridiculous given the skill applied to the overall menu, but the Heritage cauliflower was one of the most delicious vegetables I've had a for long, long time).
We had a good breakfast the first day, but decamped to the local legend that is 'Katy's' for the second - give both a try.

The fitness room is well-equipped with a fabulous changing area, full of everything you will ever need. And even though we stayed in late October, we were able to enjoy the heated pool until sunset. It's set among the most amazing countryside, and the poolside staff were attentive without being intrusive.

We also used the golf course, which has some fantastic views of the valley and good equipment for those whose clubs weren't included in their baggage allowance.

As we said in the title, the Carmel Valley Ranch really puts the 'treat' in 'retreat'.

Room Tip: The Forest Suites have the most amazing views at sunset.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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629 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (150)
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English first
Berkeley, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

I honestly don't know where to begin with my high praise for Carmel Valley Ranch. The grounds are expansive and spectacularly beautiful and as soon as we drove through the entrance I could feel myself starting to relax. This was a return visit for me - the first two visits were with friends and this time I brought my folks. The "Ranch" is romantic for couples, great for a friends getaway, family/kid friendly and dog friendly as well. There are beautiful hiking trails, swimming pools - the one by the lodge is adults only and has an infinity hot tub, fitness centers, a spa where this time I had a great massage from Christian. There is a golf course, lavender fields, tons of activities and classes for kids and adults (yoga yesterday morning was great!), a gorgeous main lodge, gift shop and a restaurant with extraordinary "farm to table" food. We had breakfasts (included) and dinners there two days in a row. After dinner we sat around the fire pit outside the lodge in the warm night air roasting marshmallows, making "smores" and talking with some wonderful people and before we knew it two hours had passed. The suites are spacious and tastefully designed each with fireplaces and decks. Check in and check out are easy and fast with comfortable armchairs to sit in and well...did I mention THE STAFF? The most accomodating and friendly of any place I've ever stayed from the restaurant staff to the pool and housekeeping staff to the golf cart drivers who will take you around if you don't feel like walking. Extra props to Thomas who made the extra effort to make sure we were well taken care of after we needed something in the room replaced. He went out of his way to reassure us it would be taken care of, offered us a change of room if we preferred that (wasn't necessary), and followed up with us afterwards to make sure we were happy. Carmel Valley Ranch is in very close proximity to Monterey, Carmel by the Sea is just a 10 minute drive and of course Hwy 1 and the stunning vistas of Big Sur and Point Lobos make for wonderful close by excursions...but why go anywhere?! We felt restored and rejuvenated after a mere 2 night stay, did not want to leave... and cannot wait to go back again. This place could teach the course in hospitality and customer satisfaction. I heart Carmel Valley Ranch!

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

What a place! Hidden away amongst the lush hills and valleys is Carmel Valley Ranch, a beautiful lodge with pool and infinity spa. There's even a fitness area, pool and kids club away from the main lodge so adults who just want to relax beside fire pits and the pool bar can do so in tranquility. Until around 4pm when the lure of roasting marshmallows entices you to get off your sun lounger. And then there are the suites. Beautifully decorated in calm and cool neutrals with fireplaces in both the lounge and bedroom. Complimentary slippers and robes add to the comfort of gazing out from your balcony at the clouds below. Great restaurant and wine selection too. A pleasure to stay and a shame to leave.

  • 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.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

After taking in the fun-though-crowded hubbub of Carmel-By-The-Sea to the west, or the rapturous, rawness of Big Sur to the south, winding through the quiet beauty of Carmel Valley gently soothes one into this ranch resort of the same name. The public areas and accommodations in this all-suite resort are sophisticated contemporary, while inviting at the same time, with ebony-toned, wide-plank floors, sheered, native stone fireplaces and firepits, and thoughtfully intriguing paintings, framed photos, and sculpture. Check-in is brief and convenient with one of the friendly and personable staft, at one of two desks with guest chairs. Close-in parking is available and once parked, one uses the resort transportaion (surreyed golf cart-type trolleys from suite to lodge and motor coaches to outlying attractions and Carmel-By-The-Sea). The pushbutton, natural stone gas fireplaces in the suites compliment the leather furniture, dark plank flooring (again), stone-topped endtables, and bronze-fixtured floor and table lighting. The basket of nutritious treats in the suites and the bottled water everywhere are complimentary. The bathrooms in the suites are generously sized and conveniently appointed, with water-preserving fixtures that are generous in force and delivery and proprietary toiletries that are lavender and other herbs-infused. The bedding is luxurious and the oversized, padded headboards and spot tasklighting make reading and watching the oversized flatscreen a dream, especially with the cozy throws and stackable pillows and bolsters.

Besides the golf, spa, and swimming options that are routine at resorts, Carmel Valley Ranch also offers experiential offerings in honey, lavender essential oil, and lavender soap production in 60 to 90-minute small groups (depending on the class), with easygoing yet knowledgeable onsite boutique farmers John and Yoko (yes, really, and though they have heard every "Ballad of John and Yoko-type" reference hundreds of time before, they still laughingly take it all in stride, being the gentlefolk they are). Their "bee experience," which the resort really ought to amp up publicity on, is especially entertaining -- adults and children both love it, and fearful types do "get over it" when being suited up in protective, beekeeper gear. If time, regrettably, is too short for one of John and Yoko's classes, then even walking through the ranch lavender fields, which John designed and harvests, and vineyards is a treat.

Farm-to-table dining is in store here, with even room service being impressive: after stoking the fireplace (i.e., simply turning it on) and nestling in under one of the throws, order up the roasted vegetable risotto entre and roasted artichoke starter, with its three equally rivaling dipping sauces.

A replenishing two days are good here, but three are ideal -- if only to try out the infinity view spa, and eat and rest some more. After check-out, 17-Mile Drive is easy access and is also en route to the user-friendly Monterey County Airport.

Room Tip: The Garland Suites up on the ridge, with wrap-around terraces, are choice. But just about anywhere t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 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, October 25, 2012
Wow! What a fantastic response! I loved how beautifully written and detailed it was. I especially enjoyed when you mentioned how soothing the valley can be after a long day in Big Sur or Carmel. This is really true! Carmel Valley Ranch is a great place to relax and unwind! We hope to see you again soon. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Greenwood Village, Colorado
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

I stayed here for 3 nights of a business trip and was overwhelmed with this place. The ranch is on a hill overlooking a vineyard and golf course, with gorgeous trees. The suites are lavish and very large. All have private porches, fireplaces, sunken tubs and all amenities. The food is wonderful, the pool is quiet and relaxing. The service was exceptional. I could go on and on.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

What a great place. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with deer roaming throughout the complex. At arrival we were upgraded to a bigger suite and it was fabulous. The interior was modern yet cosy with a fire in the lounge and the bedroom. The bathroom was very spacious and had a bath and a shower, with nice smelling toiletries. The hidden tree swings were great for the grown ups to act like kids again and the nightly s'more's were another highlight. The only disappointment was that we didn't get to meet the hotels dog! Another great hotel off the highway 1.

  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

If you want to getaway from it all and have a rustic, but modern escape this is the place. After reading some of the reviews I was gun shy about booking since I did not know anyone that had personally stayed at the hotel but I am glad I decided to pull the trigger. The room was prettier in person and the views breath taking. We did upgrade our room and had a corner unit with lots of privacy. The staff was friendly and helpful. We ate both nights at The Lodge Restaurant and loved it. One comment it is true turn down service is late so if that is the type of thing that annoys you be forewarned. We loved our stay and were sad to leave. The resort had tons of activities and opts to o to keep you busy!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, October 25, 2012
Thanks so much for your fantastic review! We definitely like to think of The Ranch as rustic but modern. I am also thrilled that you got to enjoy some of the activities. We have a number of complimentary activities that are perfect for a well rounded stay! Hope to 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#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*
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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