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“Beautiful property, awesome options...” 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 #1 of 21 hotels in Carmel
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
224 reviews 224 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, awesome options...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

It's amazing the turn around of this place... from the previous owners who built some slick out of place East Coast style resort that simply didn't fit with the valley. JDV has done a phenomenal job. Their pool deck and infinity spa are beautiful, the playful nature of the added elements like the swings are too much fun (you must do it while you are there.. a simple, storied, fun moment). Their gift shop is the best organized and stocked shop I have ever seen. They offer endless activities and options. I am no golfer, but meet at the clubhouse in the morning for the "bee keeping experience" - you get to learn about the lavender honey and bee projects they do on site, as well as dress up in bee keeping outfits and do a couple tastings. It was so much fun.

The rooms are exceptional.. we had a hillside suite that stared out over Carmel Valley. It's the most beautiful place in the world... and we just took it in from our patio, or our huge and exceptionally comfortable bed (one of the best I have ever stayed in), warmed by our huge gas fireplace. It was room 309, and it was a fantastic place. Rates are steep. STEEP.

The breakfasts were outstanding, the dinner was fantastic - the menu is concise, but the options are all delicious. The bartender is a classic - and kept making us some of the best drinks I have ever had - classics for me, fun stuff like pear martinis for wifey. I am looking at some of the drinks we ordered, and sparing you the nasty details, I can safely say we enjoyed ourselves.

It's certainly a place to save up - but it's a true weekend away rather than those sloppy, half-assed "staycations" that just don't re-energize or rejuvenate like they should. I am starting to think you need 3 days, or it's not worth it. So my advice... 3 days, and call me in the morning. =)

  • Stayed January 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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518 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
dublin
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We reached Carmel in a heavy fog, drove a couple of miles out of town to Carmel Valley Ranch, the sun was shining and things just kept getting better. Our room was huge and had plenty of space and privacy for the teenager. Fires in both bedroom and living area a nice touch for the cold nights.
Pool area lovely. Kids pool in a different area which is a bonus for everyone.
Restaurant is good and consistent. We ate here more than we intended to because it was just that.
Good selection of classes, yoga very good. I took a bee keeping class and a lavender harvesting class both were interesting and hands on.
Golf course was very enjoyable for a resort course, not too challenging. Be sure to take buggy. Lovely walks around the property. This is the perfect R and R destination. Unfortunately it's 6,000 miles from where I live!

Room Tip: Choose your room carefully if you dont like walking.
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  • Stayed August 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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Redwood City, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The Carmel Valley Ranch is such a great place to relax, we have stayed a few times and have always felt comfortable and well cared for. The amount of staff and the ability to provide so much comfort on such a large property is wonderful!!
The average rooms are as large as one small house, with all of the luxuries of a fancy hotel, with the ability to eat in your room, or dine out. There is a great restaurant on the property as well as being located close enough to many other excellent restaurants. The pool is located just outside the lobby, and it is fabulous, the best part is it stays open all night!!
The gym and spa are amazing!!

The property is so beautiful with an 18 hole golf course, gardens, and hiking!
My husband and I always enjoy ourselves when we stay at CVR, we feel well rested when we return home.

I highly recommend coming to the Ranch and see all of the beauty for yourself!!!!

Room Tip: The rooms are all good, Its not possible to get a bad room in such a beautiful place.
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

A review long overdue but nevertheless. To call Carmel Valley Ranch a Pet Lover's Paradise is an understatement. If my chihuahuas had to rate the resort, I'm sure they would have given all four paws. After being couped up in a small manhattan apartment all winter long, what a joy it was to run free on the beautiful ranch. The entire resort was leash-free indoors and out with the exception of the restaurant which by all means completely understandable but get this, there are two round dining tables in the lobby lounge right outside the restaurant where the restaurant kindly accommodated us and our pooches. One of the best breakfasts I've ever had in a hotel, how much can toast, eggs, sausage, bacon and juice impress you ask? That's how good it was, and we're picky eaters, and that's just breakfast, lunch was good too. And to top it off, professional, friendly servers, great floor to ceiling views of the pool, dogs by my side, just perfect. The pet amenities in room were cute and the bag dispensers were super convenient. I'm not quite sure what more I would have asked for here, I've been to hotels where they give away pet toys and treats especially when there's an added fee so maybe a little memorabilia would have been nice since the dog bowls and mat was not ours to keep.

The room was spacious, clean, tasteful and adequate. If you can afford the pricier room categories (Weekdays are usually a little slower and rates a little better) I think you'll get something that looks more like the beautiful shots on the website but hopefully you're not spending that much time in the room anyway! Enjoy the resort amenities, walk through the vineyard, checkout the organic garden and join the Bee Experience, that was pretty cool. Then drive 10 minutes out to Carmel-By-The-Sea and enjoy the quaint little town also known for their pet friendly beach and excellent dining options. Let's just say I don't expect much with food when we travel with our dogs because we're limited in choices but they were definitely good enough for the wannabe foodies that we are.

All in all, a beautiful resort tucked away in a peaceful valley but close enough to the beautiful city of Carmel in Monterey County. I don't usually think about going to the same place twice but a truly great destination for a 3-4 day vacation that I would think about taking again, this time perhaps with family.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Set in beuatifull surroundings, incl. Golfcourse, this ranch surprised us in the most positive way. Fantastic rooms, incl.nfireplace in the bedroom and relaxing terrace.
Great food in welcome design at the restaurant. This all with super service.
The sporting facilities are well equiped and spotless clean.
The golfcourse was a treat, great design of the course with fantastic views along the way.

To be recommended for all families, incl. Small kids.

  • Stayed August 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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London
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
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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Berkeley, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 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.

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Additional Information about Carmel Valley Ranch

Also Known As:
Carmel Valley Ranch Hotel Carmel
Carmel Valley Ranch Hotel
Carmel Valley Hotel
Carmel Valley Resort
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 Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#1 Business Hotel in Carmel
#5 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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