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“Almost Perfect” 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 23 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Almost Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

My old French master always told us that one should not equate excellence with perfection. This resort is so wonderful, however, that it almost breaks this rule. It is almost the perfect place to stay.
The resort is set in some very beautiful grounds with a stunning golf course, some vineyards and surrounding hills which you can reach through the various trails that run across and around the resort. We would recommend going on one of the guided walks that are available. The guides were excellent and told us so much about the local area, plants and animals.
The room was very nice. We were a family of 4 staying in a twin room with a sofa bed in the separate lounge. Nice big bathroom and lovely gas fire to take off the chill of early morning/evening. We were in the cluster of rooms near the reception building which was very convenient. Other clusters are further away and can be reached by buggy. They may have better views but we liked being near the main facilities. I imagine that this cluster would be a good choice if you have children.
The resort's facilities are excellent providing options for all the family. At the reception building there is an adult only pool and spa. There is also a very good restaurant and outside a night time fire pit for S'mores. My kids love these now, although I think we will struggle to find the right chocolate in Dubai!
There is also a stunning looking golf course which I would love to try once my back injury gets better.
Finally, there is a sports club at the bottom of the resort with a family pool, gym, tennis courts, basket ball court etc. The club also offers many different types of classes. We went to a very good Pilates class, went to the gym and played tennis. My son enrolled in a tennis camp for two afternoons and loved it.
The resort has a lovely informal atmosphere and we found all the staff incredibly nice and helpful.
Would love to come back again. Shame it is so far away!

Room Tip: If you want to avoid travelling too far to reach reception/restaurant ask for a cluster near the rec...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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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835 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (204)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Location: fabulous. Rooms: gorgeous and huge. Facilities: beautifully designed and not too big. Valets: really friendly and helpful. Restaurant staff: like they were on some drug that made them detached and completely unhelpful.

One of my favorite exchanges:
"Hi, do you have a cheese plate?"
"Yes"
"What's on it?"
"Cheese."
This is a restaurant that's presenting itself as exclusive and fancy (and expensive). We're not talking about Denny's here.

Here's another:
"Hello! Are we too late for breakfast?"
"Um, yeah."
(Silence)
"Okay, do you think they have breakfast items down at the river lodge?"
"Probably."
As we walked through the dining room to take the trail to the River Lodge, we looked around and the breakfast buffet was STILL OUT. People were still eating breakfast. You'd think, at the price you pay to stay and to eat here, the management would empower the staff to say, "absolutely, it's technically lunchtime, but the buffet is still out, so you're welcome to have breakfast."

Wonderful place, but the heavy-lidded, noncommittal bovine staff led us to avoid the restaurant whenever possible.

Room Tip: Bluff suites are wonderful.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
CarmelValleyRanch, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for your review and feedback. As painful as it was to read, it makes it possible for us to truly picture how the service (or lack thereof) extended to you fell so far from what we aspire to. I have been here for several years and have been a part of the opening team who has put our hearts into making this resort a special place. So I can genuinely express to you my disappointment in your experience, and offer my sincerest apologies. Thank you for mentioning the positive things about your stay as well. We have many team members who are gracious, heartfelt and genuine, and take time to listen and be thoughtful in their service. I can assure you that your feedback has already been taken to heart and seen as a personal challenge to our team to continuously improve. I would also love the opportunity to welcome you and your family back to the resort. Please contact me personally at 831-626-2548 should that opportunity present itself. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

From beginning to end, everything was FLAWLESS. Our room was spectacular, perfectly appointed, elegant yet comfortable, a great view of the valley. The grounds were some of the best that I have ever seen. The vineyards were beautiful and the flower garden was so beautiful. We travel often and stay at five star hotels like the Four Seasons. This property is one of the BEST that we've ever stayed at. The property has a great vibe. We can't wait till return.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

the great thing about this hotel is that it is 5* but is unpretentious, which is a difficult thing to achieve. it proves that it is possible to have all the 'trimmings' whilst being friendly, informal and relaxed which is exactly what we are after when we go on holidays.

the room was amazing, the views incredible, the staff friendly and had the perfect mix of being helpful but not being formal. Formal shouldn't be synonymous with 5* and actually it's a hard to find combination.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calfiornia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Great property and location with great views of the golf course and surrounding Carmel Valley. Rooms have been refreshed from past ownership along with the main lodge area and restaurant. Definitely a plus. For the price, I expected a first class resort experience throughout the property, but unfortunately the restaurant fell way short. Breakfast for my wife and I should have been a pleasurable experience, but when one order of blueberry pancakes showed up without syrup or butter and it took five minutes and several requests to arrive I was a little disappointed. My eggs didn't show up for another 15 minutes. My wife requested that they keep the pancakes warm until my food arrived, which they did, but after 15 minutes in a warmer or microwave, they were pretty sad to try to eat-no offer to replace them. I don't want to be petty, but this type of service in a resort like this isn't acceptable. On our departure, I mentioned to the staff on check out that we had an issue with breakfast and was told in a sarcastically, "sorry", nothing else. There are other resorts in the Carmel and Carmel Valley that have earned 5 stars and are consistently great. This is not one.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, August 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback, and more importantly, please accept my sincerest apologies for your experience at our restaurant during your visit. In thinking about your experience and reading your comments, 2 key points resonated with me – service and consistency. At The Ranch, our team often speaks of these. We know that while our beautiful 500 acres and spacious suites are important to our guest’s experience, it is us, the Ranch Team, that has the power to bring that experience alive and make it truly special. And while there are sometimes ‘hiccups’ in service that naturally occur in such a busy season, the opportunity to correct and respond to those is equally important. I sincerely regret that we did not seize those opportunities during your visit. As you can see from our many positive reviews, our staff does truly care and traditionally extends heartfelt and genuine service. We notice our guests, and care about their experience during the many touch points we have over the course of their visit. I am confident that we can make a better impression for you and I would welcome the opportunity to chat with you about that further. Please contact me personally at 831-626-2548 so we can discuss a time that you could return. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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berkeley
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

My family, our dog, and I had a lovely two night stay at CVR in June. My only negative feeling toward the place was that we couldn't stay longer. We used to have friends who lived in the area so we had seen all the sights that Monterey and Carmel have to offer. I appreciated that this little oasis offered enough entertainment that we didn't have to leave the property. We swam, took hikes, played bocce and ate great food. The location is great--the sun comes out here! We've stayed many times at the Highlands Inn and I can remember only one time when the we got to swim in the sun. We stayed in a Ranch Suite and it was spacious enough for a family of 5: two adults, two children 11 and 15, and our dog. CVR is very "dog passionate" we even dinned on the patio with our dog!

  • Stayed June 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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toronto
Level Contributor
80 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This place is simply perfect. From the moment you arrive until the moment you leave you will experience nothing but absolute perfection. The rooms are large and exceptionally comfortable. Luxury at it's best.

The setting is simply spectacular. Beautiful views from everywhere.

We were there sadly for only one day but was an incredible place to chill and relax. The pool is beautiful.

Great drinks, food and great service throughout.

There is not a thing that I did not like about this place except having to leave. May be a little pricey but worse worth every penny.

Cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
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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:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Carmel
#1 Spa Hotel in Carmel
#1 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#2 Family 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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