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“Thoroughly relaxing and beautiful.” 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 #3 of 23 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
100 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Thoroughly relaxing and beautiful.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

I wasn't sure what to expect as we drove up the long, long road to the lodge reception area. Acually, I was concerned that we would have to drive from room to restaurant to pool, that the property was not going to be worth the expense, and so on.

But Carmel Valley Ranch was exceptional in every way. We booked a room at the Bluffs, the highest (and quietest) area, and our suite was elegant and comfortable. The marble bathroom was as large as a living room. I loved the toiletries made from lavender grown on the property.

The grounds are gorgeous: from our room we could see wild turkeys, deer, vineyards, lavender fields. I'm not one to sit still, but I was able to relax on our balcony overlooking the valley and read a good book for a hours, and it was heavenly.

The saltwater pool was great for laps, although small, and the adult lap time was limited. (There is an adults-only pool near the lodge, but it is more suited to relaxation than exercise.) A ranch van or golf cart can be summoned in minutes to take you anywhere you like on property.

We ate two dinners and two breakfasts on site. Breakfasts were fresh (blueberry pancakes! House-made yogurt parfait!) although the servers needed training. Dinners at the bar were terrific. Many thanks to J.J., Paul and Chelsea for their food and wine recommendations and excellent service. I especially loved the fresh heirloom tomato salad and the beet salad with fennel.

The apiary tour was amazing. Beekeeper John's passion for his work is infectious.

Nathan D. in guest services was also wonderful.

This place is expensive but worth it for a splurge. If we had stayed longer, I would have taken advantage of the hiking trails and other activities.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room and area. This resort caters to families and as a couple, we wanted as little n...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to provide such a thorough review and for noticing so much about our beautiful resort. In particular, thank you for noticing and mentioning the staff who made your visit so memorable. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit so much and hope to welcome you back soon. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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890 reviews from our community

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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 (215)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

The resort is a delight! The rooms are amazing, spacious and so comfortable. The grounds are filled with the heavenly scent of lavender and rosemary. The staff is very friendly and the food is always great.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you - thank you! We are thrilled that The Ranch is your favorite place to stay and we look forward to welcoming you back again and again. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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Toronto
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

As other reviewers have said, location is fabulous and the setting is magic. That said, the management of the resort does not seem to pay as much attention to detail as one would expect from a place at this price point.

1. Poison oak. The place is filled with it. Not just the hiking trails - two feet outside of your suit door. My kid stepped off the path and touched a plant - seems harmless, right? After all it is a "well" maintained flower bed just outside of your front door - two feet from it to be exact. We looked at the plant - it sure looks like poison oak. We call the housekeeping and ask them to send an experienced gardener to look at it (hoping it is some exotic harmless plant) - sure enough, after 30 minutes or so, he arrives and confirms that it is poison oak. They removed the plant in front of our door. The suits to the left and two the right had poison oak growing in flower beds too- and they did not bother removing those (they had families with kids staying there at the time too!). They left half a dozen small packages with "poison oak wipes" in our room. That is it. No note, no apology, not even a warning that poison oak is everywhere on the property - astounding for a property that positions itself as kid-friendly destination.

It derailed our trip. Luckily, at least the drugstore in town was open and we could talk to the pharmacist and get the supplies. But really, what an unwelcome experience.

2. Main restaurant. The food is a bit overpriced for the quality, but it is conveniently located. But why are the chairs so filthy? They make your hole in the wall diner feel pristine in comparison.

3. Kids splash zone. The sprinklers are barely working. I have been to the place a few times in the past and they seem to get more and more clogged up with every visit. At this point, they seriously need maintenance.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you for your review, and firstly, please accept my most heartfelt apologies for your experience with poison oak. Having children myself, I can only imagine how this affected your visit, and I am equally concerned about the follow through around this issue. Please know that I have personally provided your comments to Andy, our Grounds Maintenance Director. Andy and his team are the 'keepers of the land' here at The Ranch, and they lovingly do so 365 days a year. It is important that they are aware of your experience and can take your comments to heart to continually improve. On his behalf, as well as mine, please accept our apologies once again. Please feel free to contact me personally to discuss this further as it is truly on our hearts to make it right. Thank you again, Melanie Cooke, Manager, 831-626-2548
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 via mobile

I’ve reviewed Carmel Valley Ranch before but once again it excels as the most terrific place to stay. Delightful staff , well run and now loads of available activities if you wish to take advantage of them – from Country walks to water classes to horseback riding.

There are 2 pools- one for adults only and one for children. We had a great dinner at the lodge – see photo of our view, and good poolside food as well.

Carmel Valley ranch is also well located for exploring the area. All in all if heaven is a place on earth it could well be located here in Carmel Valley.

Will we go back? You bet!

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you for your review and for your ongoing support of The Ranch! Return guests are a true testimony that we 'got it right' and I am thrilled to hear that you will be coming back - again and again. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thailand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

checking in...few people behind us....reception called for back up but still "rushed" us through our check in...I had questions( had never been here before) but was getting quick rushed answers so I aborted.....went to the lodge for dinner...arrived 6:45 place half empty but told first avail wasnt until 8:15pm....so we ate at the bar....tasty but overpriced and tiny portions....brought bowl of soup not cup...and when we left at 8:15pm place still half empty......went to same lodge for breakfast....ordered kids first...basic breakfast...took a long time....one of daughters pancakes were barely warm....ordered adult breakfaxst then...came VERY fast( we didnt complain about kids meals taking a long time).....7 mins after meal arrived we reminded them that one of our items had not come......

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you for your review and for choosing to visit The Ranch. I am so sorry that your time with us however, did not provide the wonderful memories and experience that so many of our guests have enjoyed. And while being 'busy' as you mentioned,can provide challenges, it is certainly no excuse at all for you to not receive a warm, personalized welcome and to enjoy the highest level of service throughout your visit. Clearly, this did not happen during your stay and I sincerely apologize. Should your travels bring you our way again in the future, please contact me personally, as I would love to assist with a future visit and ensure that you are provided a much better memory of the resort. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager, 831-626-2548
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

We loved our stay at the Ranch. Our only regret is we had activities elsewhere during the day so didn't get to take better advantage of the hotel's offerings and fitness center. Loved the s'mores and firepit every night in addition to happy hour by the Ranch pool. It was a peaceful and perfect stay. Welcoming to families and canines alike (wish guests would pick up after the latter). The suite rooms were beautiful, comfortable and modern. Grounds are breathtaking.
The food in the dining room was a wonderful surprise--the presentation, quality of ingredients and delicious! The kids' meals weren't dumbed down--a nice combination of healthy and kid-friendly. Everyone was friendly. We never had to wait for a thing. Pampered all the way. Perfect, perfect stay. Yes, it's pricey, but would love to return one day!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you Melissa - we hope to welcome you back someday as well! You are correct - with so many activities and things to do here - a 3 or 4 night stay is the norm for guests visiting The Ranch. We hope to have you back for an extended visit in the future. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

When researching where to stay in the Monterey/Carmel area, I was initially uncertain if Carmel Valley Ranch was the best option. It's not in either town. It's not by the water. It's expensive. That being said, I am really glad that we wound up staying at the Ranch.
Firstly, it's a very short ride into downtown Carmel and only marginally farther to downtown Monterey. Secondly, its location away from the water gives the ranch a big benefit over hotels by the ocean...it's sunny in Carmel Valley. The fog bank seems to stop just a couple of miles from the hotel, so while everyone closer to Rt 1 was stuck in grey, we enjoyed sunny skies in the valley. Finally, it became quickly apparent that all the high end hotels in the area are quite expensive. However, we were able to take advantage of a midweek rate that made the Carmel Valley Ranch a really great deal.
When making the initial reservation, I was very pleased with the assistance that I received over the phone. I actually had to talk to somebody in person as I was trying to reserve two adjoining suites. In this day where everything is done on line, getting somebody on the phone can be a chore. The agents for the Ranch were helpful and polite and shared every option with me as to what combination of suites would work best.
Our two suites were at the top of the resort in the Bluff suites section. The suites are beautiful, spacious and very well designed and furnished. At first I was apprehensive about our location over the parking lot, but the suites are situated high up enough that you can really enjoy the view down the valley. When we arrived the kids in our party were thrilled to see big wild turkeys wondering around the suites. I was thrilled to see that the hotel was thoughtful enough to include a bottle of sparkling wine in our refrigerator for my wife's belated birthday.
Carmel Valley Ranch offers a nice selection of different activities to its guests. As other reviews mention, the "Bee Experience" is really unique. Besides getting up close with the bees, I personally took advantage of workout classes and did some very nice hiking up the trails behind the resort. I would have been perfectly happy never to leave the grounds, but it really is quite easy to get into both Carmel and Monterey to do all the typical sights. One of the nicer surprises that we discovered as a result of the resort's location was the pleasure of wine tasting in the nearby village of Carmel Valley. I could have easily spent a full day trying out the local wines and touring the wineries.
Carmel Valley Ranch really is exactly what a northern California resort should be. The design of the buildings, the style of the suites, the beautiful landscaping of the grounds, the relaxed but professional service of the staff all attribute to creating a very attractive and casually elegant resort. I look forward to returning in the future.

  • Stayed June 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MelanieCooke, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thank you Frank for your wonderful and insightful review. I am delighted you had such a nice visit at the resort. You are correct in that our reservations team sits here on property and have stayed here and played here as we like to tell everyone. I am pleased you noticed that, and that you experienced that personal service all the way through your stay at The Ranch. Thank you again, and we hope to welcome you back soon. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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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 Spa Hotel in Carmel
#1 Business Hotel in Carmel
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#2 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#6 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 Valley 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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