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Carmel Valley Ranch
Ranked #2 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Sonoma, CA
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
“The best!”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

I stay at hotels at least monthly and have for a few years. From beginning to end, this resort impressed me beyond all others. When you arrive you are greeted at the security gate. After they confirm you are a guest, you are passed through and they call up to the front desk to announce your arrival. Every single person for my entire three night stay went above and beyond to be sure that there was nothing else they could do to make my stay better. The rooms are arranged almost condo style. In sets of four-plexes.

The rooms themselves are suites. You walk into a very nice living room with a couch, chairs, desk, flat screen tv, coffee service and snack pack. (Snack pack was Sun Chips, granola bars and apples. I do not believe this is restocked during the stay.) There is also bottled water that is free of charge and restocked daily. The bathroom was beautiful. Large tub and separate large shower. Amenities are awesome and restocked every couple of days. Two bottles of water in the bathroom as well and are restocked daily. Nice robes are provided. My bedroom had two full beds. Very comfortable with reading lights at each side of both headboards. The bedrooms have electric start fireplaces and flat screen tvs. (My fireplace started right up. I set it to turn off after 30 minutes, but that didn’t seem to function correctly.) The bed was very comfortable. Silly as it sounds, one of my favorite things was the throw blanket at the bottom of the bed. It screams naps time! Wonderful decks with furniture to sit on provide great views right off the bedrooms.

The resort will shuttle you from different areas of the resort. The drivers arrived quickly and were very friendly. Although I didn’t eat at the restaurant, all of our meals for the three days were catered by the resort. The food was absolutely incredible!! So hard not to over eat! Catering staff was terrific. They turn on fire places outside around the main building at night. It was great to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine fireside. They have smore time in the evenings as well. How fun is that?!

Would I go back? I sure hope so!

Oh...to be fair. It was oakworm season. I guess this happens in the area every few years. There were caterpillar type critters ALL OVER! The staff worked very hard to keep them at bay, but the resort is surrounded by oak trees. Not a big deal really.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank lovingsonoma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, June 8, 2012
Thank you for your spectacular and extremely thorough review! It’s great to know that our staff is scoring high marks with a seasoned traveler like yourself. We look forward to your next stay. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Washington DC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

We planned to spend a few days at Carmel Valley Ranch as part of a trip from LA to San Francisco. We were looking forward to a few days of relaxing and playing golf. The photos on the hotel website are beautiful and we were expecting a laid experience at a place with a little bit of luxury but not too fussy.

Our stay started out great. They had champagne and strawberries waiting for us in recognition of our wedding anniversary. Thank you! Our room was nice - but nothing special. (note - the bathroom floor is stone and was freezing cold! Ordinarily this is not something that I would write about - but these are the kinds of details that you would expect to be addressed at a place of this caliber.) We played golf for 2 days and enjoyed the course. It is short (not too many par 5s) but fun and very scenic. The golf course staff were friendly and nice. I wish we could have said the same for the other guests - but they were rude and snooty. We definitely did not feel welcome and debated about playing a second day vs going to another course. Perhaps it is a generational issue (we're in our 40's and everyone else playing seemed to be retirees).

We also had an odd experience grabbing lunch after golf the first day. They were power-washing the patio and no one could be bothered to let us know when we walked in, or point out a place where we could eat without having the noise and spray interfere with our lunch, etc. I understand these things happen and maintenance is a part of the day-to-day - but it just felt weird. We moved our seat twice because we didn't know what was happening, where they were going to wash next, etc. A simple "welcome, glad you're here, you may want to sit down by the pool until we are finished cleaning the patio" would have been sufficient.

Maybe we'd come back to play the course, but I don't think we'd return to stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank vacagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, June 1, 2012
Thank you for your review. At Carmel Valley Ranch we take guest satisfaction very seriously. Please accept my sincere apologies about the pressure washing. The staff should have informed you of what was happening. We usually alert our guests to routine maintenance on the property, particularly if they will be affected by our actions. This clearly did not happen in this case and I apologize. Rest assured that I have shared your comments with our team here at The Ranch. We look forward to making your next stay flawless.
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Louisville, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 28, 2012

My husband and I sadly left on Tuesday morning after a lovely weekend of hiking, eating, hiking, eating, bee keeping, exercise classes, eating, and more hiking…and ok, eating more s’mores than we should have! 
 
Our final day summed up our trip…a beautiful hike recommended to us by your concierge, with a delicious picnic lunch also recommended by your team, a massage with Bridget (that will become my new benchmark for massages), a fabulous dinner poolside plus s’mores topped off with a soak in the infinity hot tub…with the grand finale sitting by the fire wrapped up in a towel.  I fell asleep there…and I sometimes can’t fall asleep in my own bed!
 
Our bag was lost courtesy of Delta and your team showed such concern and empathy.  They helped us find a place where we could shop (other than at an expensive Carmel boutique) and asked us each time they saw us if we had received our bag. 
 
The property is incredibly special and you keep your guests well hidden so we felt like we had the run of the place…even on a very busy weekend. 
 
We want to come back and hope we can do that soon!   Please thank your team – reception, concierge, housekeeping, servers, hosts, bartenders and your very helpful valet/bell staff who helped us back to our room after too many s’mores.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank beaner02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2012

We stayed at Carmel Valley Ranch in April and had a wonderful time. The king suites are spacious with amazing views if the valley. I loved the feel of this property: lots of trails to roam, deer grazing throughout the property, and wild turkeys walking around.
The restaurant and pool area are nicely appointed and everything was good that I had in the restaurant. Service was top knotch, unobtrusive yet attentive.
We had the opportunity to take a beekeeping workshop on site and found it to be one of the highlights of the trip. I loved getting an understanding of the bee world and the opportunity to interact with the hives, in full beekeeping attire! I would recommend this resort to anyone in the Carmel area who wants a little more solitude for their hotel stay. It's about 10-15 minutes drive to Carmel by the sea, so close enough to enjoy the beach. But far enough removed to really enjoy the serenity and nature that the valley has to offer.

Room Tip: This is a family friendly resort, so expect to see some kids around. Resort is dog friendly. :-)
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank blackcat1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
We appreciate your taking the time to write this review. The Ranch in Spring can be a magical place and we are glad you got a chance to experience it. Thank you for highlighting our service, your comments were very well received when I shared them with our staff. We look forward to your next visit. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Tampa, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2012

Checked in back in December with my wife and two kids. It can be a rough drive coming from San Francisco given the slowness of the road, but it is pretty senic. Arrived at 2 in the morning and they were waiting and got me checked in in under 5 minuts, which was key given the two sleeping kids in the car. Rooms have a great view of the area and are large when you take their larger options. Our room had a separate living and sleeping area, each with their own fireplace. Daily smores was a plus for the kids. They also have a small playground that is good for little kids. Just make sure you have the car handy as some areas can be a hike from your room.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Thank you for the kind words. We were glad you and your family enjoyed your experience at The Ranch. The size of the rooms on our all suite property is really something special. Remember, relaxation is just a couple hours away! We look forward to your next visit. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Orlando, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 6, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the ranch for the last two days of our 10 day california adventure. Upon entering, we were immidiately impressed with the grounds, location and privacy. The rooms were very large and very nice. The fireplace was a nice touch and it made a great fire. After our brief stay, we both wished we had planned a little bit longer at the ranch.

My only small complaint is that the ranch should offer a little more diversity to its activity schedule. The bee experience was unfortunatley closed and most of the other activities revolve around physical tasks. My wife and I had had virtually hiked every day in California and could of used some laid back activities at the end. All in all; we still loved it!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Thank you for the kind words, we are delighted that we could be a part of your California Adventure! We are always working on building out our portfolio of activities and appreciate your valuable feedback. We look forward to your next stay at The Ranch. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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Washington, DC
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2012

By booking through the Amex Platinum Fine Hotels service, we were upgraded to a wonderful room with two fireplaces, a light-filled bathroom, a spectacular view and wrap-around deck. The morning hike through the vineyard and up a ridge was worth the trip by itself. Landscaping with abundant local and fragrant plants was beautiful. Lavender was in bloom everywhere. Had a personal tour of the chef's garden, which was really well-done. Dinner in the Lodge was quite good. The pools and fitness facility were tops. Loved the many roaring campfires around the property, including the one with make-it-yourself s'mores. Spent only two days here, but relaxed thoroughly.
A few glitches: because were were a male couple (we are married), we were asked not once but twice when checking in if we were registering for one or two rooms. Note to hoteliers: if two guys arriving together want two rooms, they will let you know. Do you ask male/female couples that question? We booked spa treatments by e-mail and had the e-mails to prove it, but the spa neglected to make the booking. Finally, the clock radio alarm sounded in the middle of the night (and woke us) as housekeeping did not check it to see if the previous guest left the alarm set. Despte the glitches, still found the stay very, very nice.

Room Tip: Be sure to request a view of the valley. Some of the rooms have sub-optimal views.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Capcityman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
831-625-9500, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us here at The Ranch. Your comments illustrate the wealth of amazing outdoor activities that are unique to our property. We look forward to making your next stay with us flawless. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management
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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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