As summer drew to an end we decided (somewhat last minute) to indulge in one last bit of R&R with our our teenage kids and dog. I am typically skeptical of resorts since they can get boring, but going to Carmel Valley Ranch turned out to be a great decision. The setting is beautiful, and the expected amenities -- golf course, restaurants, pools etc are excellent. However, for us there were two welcome surprises:
1. The property has trails that lead *directly* to Garland State Park where dogs are allowed on the trails (!) and 2. The resort offers something called the "Bee Experience" which is a delightful introduction to Beekeeping, protective suits and all!
Service is great as long as you understand that your food is likely to take longer to come out than you want it to. There was a mixup with our reservation and the staff was extremely quick to take responsibility and to accommodate us generously. Despite the initial hiccup it was a really fun three days and we all left feeling refreshed and ready to take on our respective challenges.
Finally, a tip about rooms. The ones that are renovated are much better -- the ones higher on the hilltop have better views. If you want to access the trails easily ask for a Bluff Suite.