I spent two nights at Carmel Valley Ranch with my girlfriend and parents. We had set the trip up as a family vacation, and they made every minute of it extremely enjoyable. Upon pulling up onto the lobby/main building, we were immediately greeted by the valets and a pack of wild turkeys. The valet coaxed them back over toward us so we could say hello.
All the staff were very personable and friendly, and suggested some excellent wineries in an area of California we weren't very accustomed to.
Although Carmel Valley Ranch is on a very large piece of property, both our room and the main building with concierge/front desk/restaurant and bar were very close, so the only time things were far from us was when we felt like hiking or exploring.
The rooms were like the most decadent cabin hotel room. They were HUGE, with tall vaulted ceilings. Gas fireplaces in both the living room and bed room, and a private deck where we sipped Keurig cocoa and tea and watched deer and cute little birds in the mornings. The beds were so comfortable, including our sofa bed. The bath ammenties are even more glamorous than other Joie de Vivre properties, and I think perhaps they featured lavender from the property? The tubs also were exctraordinarily big and deep, sooo nice after a day out. The only small suggestion I would make would be to add more glassware and plateware. Our group of 4 had only 4 mugs, no wine glasses or plates, but the staff was quick to address this.
The property also features hikes, tons of fields of lavender, vineyard, organic garden (soo cool to explore, and there was a great variet of crops even in the Winter), and beekeeping (was closed when we were there). The bar also made some exceptional cocktails, much better than I'd expect. No one was pretentious or uppity.
All four of us really enjoyed our trip to Carmel Valley Ranch, and are so greatful they made our weekend of family time perfect.