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“Exceeded my expectations for a romantic getaway from San Francisco!” 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 21 hotels in Carmel
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Exceeded my expectations for a romantic getaway from San Francisco!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I came here fro the first time in mid-February with my husband, and was looking for a luxury hotel that is pet-friendly. The Carmel Valley Ranch exceeded my expectations in every way. The service-everything from pool service, to check-in, to dining was excellent. Our room was bigger than I expected and had a fireplace and living room.

Initially, the "family-friendly" branding scared me away because I didn't want to hear screaming kids, but this resort is smart. The "family-friendly" pool is far away from the adult pool and spa. I also loved the hiking trail and activities that the resort offered.

My husband and I did the chocolate and wine tasting, and the sommelier was very knowledgeable and down-to-earth. Our dinner at the restaurant was delicious.

We will definitely be back-either with a group of friends or for another romantic retreat!

-Katherine Ma

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (146)
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Montreal
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I cannot begin to say enough good things about this property. I knew I was planning a trip to California and wanted to visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. I also knew I wanted to have more of a 'countryside' experience for a few days to kick back and unwind in nature. By the end of my search, I had probably investigated every single hotel and b & b outside of those two cities, no joke (I can be quite over-the-top and meticulous in my search, I take hotels very seriously! :). If I can save people any time, I would say look no further and book Carmel Valley Ranch. The price almost stopped us from booking; 500$ per night is undoubtedly extremely steep. I can confidently say that the experience is worth every single penny. So much so, that we extended our stay.

The place is nestled within the rolling countryside. We visited the last week of December and it was quite chilly but sunny. There are so many wonderful activities to take part in on site; golf, basketball, tennis, yoga etc. I loved that everything (except golf I believe) was included. Our absolute favorite part of the day was curling up near the fire in the middle of the afternoon with a hot chocolate and a blanket. And s'mores set up at 5p.m. every day? Complete happiness.

The rooms are absolutely huge and felt more like a mini-home. Some rooms have better views than others, so be sure you specify that you would like one overlooking the landscape. I love how the staff really pays attention to the details; they provide turn-down service, and leave newspapers at your door in the morning. The premises is spread out, so we drove pretty much everywhere. It took about 1 minute to get to the main lobby from the room by car.

The food at this resort was absolutely outstanding; breakfast, lunch and dinner, I could not fault one meal. They had this unbelievable butternut squash soup that was out of this world. Great service, comfortable atmosphere.

The staff of the hotel goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. It is quite a large resort yet still manages to feel really homey and comfortable. The swings scattered around the resort are such a nice touch.

Is this place a splurge? For most people, absolutely! Is it worth it? No doubt. The only thing I found lacking was the spa experience. I wouldn't recommend it. Everything else, was perfection!

  • Stayed December 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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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband and I spent 2 nights at Carmel Valley Ranch and enjoyed the peaceful and beautiful resort. Our room was huge with wrap around deck and 2 fireplaces. The bathroom was large and had a great shower. We had a great dinner in the lodge and breakfast the following morning, both were great with ingredients that were grown on the ranch or locally found. The golf course was also enjoyable with an back nine up in the rolling hills with excellent views! We wanted to try the S'mores but were too full! There were also great trails that we didn't have time to explore. The workout facility was top notch.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Very nice property with a staff that is eager to please, and a gorgeous setting. Only thing is, they seem to have not ironed out the kinks after re-opening - paint was chipped in the bathroom, doors were thin and all 3 creaked very loudly. They tout themselves as a pet-friendly resort, yet we received 4 complaints about our dog, who rarely, if ever, barks. One complaint came in the form of a front desk person interrupting our dinner in the restaurant. He was very apologetic, but it was unpleasant nevertheless.

The Bee Experience is one the signature activities at the resort, yet it was sold out, and when we inquired about the possibility of adding an additional one, they were not able to accommodate our request. The staff were very apologetic and kind, but overall, it was a disappointing experience, and not 5 star-worthy.

FYI - We travelled with a dog and two young children.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarmelValleyRanch, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you for your review. I regret that your suite was not up to our normal standards, and we have already put our Engineering team on the job, shortly after your review. In fact, our Engineering team works closely with Housekeeping on an ongoing ‘perfect room’ program to ensure our suites are in the best condition. We appreciate your feedback in this area so we can address it right away. We love pets, and as you know, even have our own mascot – Roxy the bulldog – welcoming guests in our lobby. Because we are on nearly 500 acres, it is the perfect setting for pet lovers and those who prefer to be away from pets to co-exist quite happily. In allocating our suites, we designate “pet-friendly” and “pet-free” in efforts to ensure all guests have an amazing experience here. Ultimately however, what one may perceive as a ‘quiet’ pet may not be perceived that way by another, so we do have a responsibility to ensure all of our guests have a wonderful time here. I truly apologize if we offended you, or interrupted your dinner in our efforts to do that. The Bee Experience is one of our most popular activities, and I regret that your family did not get to participate. One of the services we provide is a pre-arrival call to ensure that reservations are made for our many activities on property. There was an opportunity at that time for us to ensure you had a reservation, and I apologize if that was missed or the popularity of the activity and reservations was not communicated. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us. We hope to welcome you back again. Should your travels bring you here, please contact me so I may personally assist with your stay. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue, 831-626-2548
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Mill Valley, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We just completed an incredible four day stay at Carmel Valley Ranch. The accommodations were first class - huge suite, queen size pull out couch for the kids, large bathroom and private wrap around balcony. The Ranch is beautiful, peaceful and impeccably maintained with so much to offer families from daily hikes, workout classes, swimming, tennis, golf and a relaxing spa to kids camps, "The Bee Experience" and nightly s'mores. There was so much to do that ideas such as the Monterey Aquarium, Big Sur and others will have to wait until a future trip. The food in the restaurant was excellent. The staff and service were outstanding. We didn't want to leave and can't wait until our next trip back.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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London, UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

It took me a while to find a decent hotel somewhere between Santa Barbara and San Francisco. A couple of places I found looked perfect but were couple only, which didn't bode well for our 1.5 year old son! Thankfully I finally stumbled across Carmel Valley Range on the internet and it fully lived up to our expectations. We visited in June 2012 for 2 nights but would have happily have stayed longer.

Our suite was exceptional, with large bedroom area and comfortable living area with a wonderful fire place. Parking the car was easy as there are spaces very close to all of the rooms, which is useful as they are spread out. It was a 5 min walk up to the main building where we the restaurant is situated.

The grounds are massive and things are very spread out, which can be seen as a low point, but actually it wasn't at all. The pool was a short drive (2 mins) down the main drive, or a 10/15 min walk. We walked down to the pool area on the day we arrived and it was a lovely walk through various gardens where we saw deer and other wildlife which our son loved. The final part of the walk was through the resorts golf course (it looked great - if I played!). There is also a bus that travels up and down every 5/10mins which we got back up to the main building.

The pool area is great for kids of all ages with a baby pool, water sprays, small play area with swing/slide, toys and lots of grass areas. The cafe sold food and drinks suitable for lunch and snacks. The gym looked well equipped with lots of classes as did the various tennis courts. We also had lots of fun on the basketball court. Plenty to do for older kids.

The restaurant had a good selection of food and wine. Our evening mean was amazing and breakfast was also really tasty. The only criticism I'd have is with the children's menu and the size of portions and range of healthy food. However, this is a general issue at all the places we've ever stayed in the USA. The UK seems much more equipped for children in resort/hotel restaurants. That said all the staff were really friendly to all of us. We got talking to another family and they also had high praise of the resort and it's staff.

Monterey and Carmel is a short drive with lots to do. We completed the '17-Mile drive' in under an hour. Our son slept most of the trip, it was fun but not that amazing. We also visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium which was great fun and done some shopping at a centre nearby (can't recall the name). It was a busy day!

For a family with any age of children this resort is great. I just wish we could have stayed a few more nights. I'm sure we'll be back with a bigger family at some point in the future!

Room Tip: Amazing pool and activities center for kids of all ages
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I almost don't want to review this place to keep it a secret! Once you drive through the gates you feel like on a far away retreat. Why did I know know about this place?

You might wonder why you would not stay by the ocean if you go to Carmel, and that's fair. But Carmel Valley Ranch is just a little paradise, tucked away, with natural beauty and peace.

The "rooms" are little condos that are super modern inside - beautifully decorated with very high ceilings. We had a fire place and balcony; and a HUGE bathroom. All products are amazing - loved the soap and body lotion. Bed was good, mattress not the best but good.

To get from your "room" to the main area you can walk or take golf carts. It was cold, so we only walked a few times but in the summer it would be heaven to walk. And there are trails and a yoga platform one could walk to (did not see it).

The gym is lovely with a yoga room that has bolsters, blocks, straps..beautiful. There are two pools in two areas - one for families and one for adults only. The most beautiful hot tub I have ever seen - lipless. Looking over the trees and valley.

The restaurant was top notch for dinner. They light the trees and we sat by the window - it looked magical.

Only disappointment was breakfast. They have a small selection and must have had the B crew on. It took a while to get cuttlery and all condiments after getting our food; stuff was missing and it was not a good experience; especially for the price. But that was the only downside. Lunch actually looked good.

So, if you want a relaxed place away from it all, with top notch service (Ritz Carlton Tahoe, take note). This is the place. Everybody was super friendly and helpful. Very organized place.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
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:
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 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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