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“Beautiful property, too kid friendly for a romantic weekend”

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Carmel Valley Ranch
Ranked #2 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
106 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, too kid friendly for a romantic weekend”
Reviewed December 12, 2011

I gave it five stars, because the property is five stars, but there are buts to the review.

The property is absolutely beautiful. The rooms are extremely spacious, the infinity pool lovely, the large jacuzzi with the view is special, enjoyed the spa...this place could be perfect for a healthful weekend or even a week vacation. The work out offerings are amazing...I was up early for a yoga class, we took walks both days, there were all types of aerobic classes, as well as classes about the bees, lavendar, etc... We walked through the organic garden and the gardner was so friendly and explained everything to us.

I would haved liked this place to have been one of our go to places in Carmel, but there are a few reasons I don't think it will become. For those with families wanting a five star family experience, it's nice that those type of options exist, but I find properties that cater to families can't really cater to a romantic, couple weekend. For example, I envisioned cuddling with my hubby by the fire and making smores, but even after 9 pm, the kids surround the fire place and go through all the food before we could even make one. Though the upper infinity pool and jacuzzi are adults only, the parents don't honor the rule, and the property wasn't inforcing it, so even when we kept coming back, thinking children would be in bed by 10, there were still children screaming in the romantic jacuzzi, so once again, not conducive to romance and cuddling.

The other thing we missed was more breakfast options. You can only get a warm breakfast in the restaurant, the lower, more casual cafe only offers granola and yogurt and room service is continental only. Other breakfast options would be quite a commute. If you leave to go to breakfast, you would miss the morning work out offerings.

Loved the idea of the place, but Bernardus may be more couple oriented and CVR is more of a family option.

Room Tip: We had a parking lot view both times, so would opt for a more premium room or call to see what other...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ViaggiatoreSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2011

I absolutely love this resort. This is my second time staying and I cannot wait to come back again. Located in Carmel Valley, the resort is tucked away from the touristy downtown area. The rooms are absolutely beautiful, spacious, and clean. The suites have a huge living room area with fireplaces in both bedroom and living room area. The bathroom is very spacious and they provide wonderful amenities. You really feel pampered staying at this resort. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. The grounds are just spectacular. If you like the outdoors, ask the front desk about the hiking trails located at the ranch.

Carmel Valley is a hidden gem of a town. There are plenty of hiking trails, shopping, golfing, horse back riding, and my favorite wine tasting all just minutes away. There is definitely something for everyone.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Jaybo1016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atascadero, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 3, 2011

My husband and I truly enjoyed our stay at the Ranch, 30 mins into our stay we decided we wanted to stay longer. The ranch is beautiful and the rooms/suites are great and very roomy, but the customer service was best in class. Everyone was so nice and helpful, it made this resort fill like is was made just for us. The spa services were great, again the customer service was unlike anything I have experienced, as an example there was a guy that waited outside the locker room door waiting for you to approach the door and then he would open the door for you. Not sure how he knew people were approaching but it was just one of the small touches that made our experience great. The food was exceptional as well, we couldn't decide what to order it all looked so good and we weren't disappointed. We will be back often.

Room Tip: We booked a Ranch Suite with a Valley view and weren't disappointed. If you are coming to this...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rachdahlen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

Just spent 2 nights here this past weekend - my wife loved the place and is already looking forward to returning. I like to think of myself as a bit more practical and would agree that returning again is plausible, but I wanna highlight both the good and the bad of our stay

The grounds are spectacular and the employees are extremely pleasant. The rooms themselves are large and spacious and many of them are stand-alone structures with complete wrap around out door decks. All rooms have a fireplace and separate sleeping and living area.

The facilities are very good as well. The adult pool and hot tub is right off the main lobby as is the smaller gym and spa. While they call it the adults pool it's clear that this policy isn't strictly enforced as I saw kids in the pool and there were a couple of 15 year olds in the hot tub as well.

The on site restaurant is above average and while we didn't eat the b'fast buffet it looked solid with multiple options - we did eat lunch one afternoon and found everything to be on point for the most part.

There are a couple of walking trails on the property and since they allow pets you'll get a chance to see quite a few dogs on the trails or in the lobby or by the pool - they're generally very well behaved and stay out of your way.

The River Ranch House which is at the entrance is a much bigger facility that houses tennis courts, basketball courts, a bocche ball court, a larger gym, a cafe, a full length pool and a hot tub + a separate cottage for yoga, trx and other interesting classes that the property has to offer. This section of the property is for hotel guests, property members and those that live on the property so you'll find kids here for sure.

The things that need to improve are:

a) The service: it's well below average. The first evening we sat by the adults only hot tub / fire place and waited for over 30 mins without anyone approaching us to inquire about whether we wanted cocktails or a snack. I went in to the lobby restaurant and asked the host to send someone out and 15 mins later no one had still come out. I finally went in again and placed my order at the restaurant itself. Poor service is a theme here and isn't necessarily limited to just their restaurant.

b) The rooms are big and spacious, but the walls are paper thin in some cases. If you have a neighbor who likes to wear her high heels the entire time and just walk back and forth in her room (like we did) then you're in for a pretty unpleasant surprise. Add to that the fact that most rooms are adjacent to the maid's closet and you're gonna find yourself being bothered by slamming doors, vaccuums running etc etc. It also seemed that the maids weren't really on point in terms of cleaning rooms - we'd leave at 10am and get back at 4pm and our rooms were still unmade - we called and asked for additional water and they got that wrong....little things really, but they can start to add up. Also they don't have pay per view movies which is somewhat disappointing for me personally, but I don't count it against the property!

All in all I give it 4 stars and stress again that we'll be back, but for us the biggest issue is the Service which is lacking overall and then the general placement of rooms next to the maid's closest and the paper thin walls. Nothing is perfect, I get that, but Service is a big one.....

Room Tip: Ask for free standing rooms, or top floor rooms that are not adjacent to a maid's closest
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank wong561hb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

I'll start by saying that this hotel was 'almost there' in a lot of ways. There were some nice details like Apple Cider in the lobby, complimentary s'mores and toiletries made from lavender on the property.

However, there were a few things that were 'off.' The first night we dined at the bar. During our meal a lady slipped and fell. I told the first server that I saw, "this woman has just slipped can we please have some ice to nurse her knee?" After 10 or so minutes, and with no particular sense of urgency, we were brought an ice pack and asked no follow up questions. When an hour or so later I asked for another ice pack we were met with the same level of disengagement and again no follow up questions. Finally, I told the bartender the story and he prompted a member of management to come over and speak to the woman. I overheard the conversation and it certainly felt, "too little, too late." Especially for a property that proclaims to be so concerned with guest experience.

Secondly, we booked two nights (Sat and Sun) through Jetsetter and extended one night (Mon) through the hotel. The night that we extended through the hotel was to include 2 continental breakfasts. We ordered 1 continental breakfast on the Sunday and 1 continental breakfast on the Monday. When at checkout I asked to apply the complimentary breakfasts to those two isolated instances I was told that this would be impossible. Where I come from, 2 breakfasts = 2 breakfasts... if I'm paying for the luxury hotel experience, I expect them to treat such a pragmatic request with as much "can do" attitude as possible. With Carmel Valley Ranch, this certainly was not the case.

Some more general disappointments-- the cleaning staff barged in ALL THREE mornings at 8am, no blanket/throw in the living room of the suites, quality of continental breakfasts that I got to pay for was marginal at best.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank AJWOuterSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa cruz, california
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Having grown up in the area and having stayed at this establishment under previous owners, I was skeptical and almost reluctant to visit. I'm glad I did. As a contributor to Institutional Investor Magazine's Best Hotels in the World annual survey, and having worked in the luxury hotel industry early in my career, I am a pretty particular guest. It is the little things that I look for to distinguish the good hotels from the great. Carmel Valley Ranch adds those little touches; such as daily delivery of the NY Times in a country burlap sack or the call from guest services a week before our arrival to describe the activities that may be of interest to us.
The new owners have done a complete transformation of this property that matches or possibly exceeds the potential of the environment in which it sits. Swings hang from majestic oaks throughout the property and inviting fire pits bring people together. Generous space for hiking, running, biking in one of the most tranquil settings on Earth. At the same time, modern, spacious suites with all the amenities of a luxury hotel. Daily activities include guided hikes, tour of the vineyards, exercise classes...all gratis
We spent two nights Thanksgiving week. The first by ourselves and the second with our two boys. The River Ranch is down the hill from the Lodge and is a great family hangout with tennis, bocce ball, basketball and swimming. New and large gym facility are also available at the River Ranch, as well as a full service family cafe (lunch only).
Very family oriented, yet still catering to adults with the 'adults only' pool and horizon edge hot tub at the Lodge.
Favorite part: Unlimited supply of marshmellos, graham crackers and Hershey bars at the fire pit next to the lobby each night for all you can eat s'mores. It was a joy ending our dinner and having s'mores for dessert and listening to and meeting people from all over the world.
I know this sounds like a commercial for this place. The truth is, since I grew up a few miles away, I am very excited at what Carmel Valley Ranch has become and don't mind sharing it with everyone.
We can't wait to go back in the Summer.

Room Tip: The bluff rooms are the newest and has the best views...however, they are furthest from the Lodge...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cvmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2011

This place was perfect for a get away vacation. Kid friendly. Lot's of activities, next to a great farm, and surrounded by nature. Only challenge is there is only one real restaurant so you get bored after a few days. Otherwise, rooms and service are great. Concierge was a bit aloof and more interested in her dog than showing you a map, but otherwise it was a great experience.

Room Tip: E-mail or call Travis. Room 216 was the best.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BKbroiler
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

Property: Carmel Valley Ranch
Address: One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA 93923-8579
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey County > 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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#1 Business 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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