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“A amazing place with some missteps...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Carmel Valley Ranch

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Carmel Valley Ranch
Ranked #4 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
New York, NY
Level Contributor
65 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“A amazing place with some missteps...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

First of all, I really enjoyed my stay here - my family can't wait to go back. That in and of itself speaks volumes. The resort is really peaceful and makes you feel like you are a million miles away from everything. There are a lot of activities for families with children, but it's also a nice relaxing getaway for couples as well. I felt the food was all very good for a resort, although you are paying resort prices. The pool area for families was a little strange in that it was separate from the rest of the resort. While it easy to get to because the shuttles were always quick to do pick ups and drop offs, it still felt a little cast-off. Also the entire pool area had more of a country club feeling than a high-end resort. For example, nobody was around to serve beverages, etc by the pool. Everything about it was self-service. While the pool wasn't too crowded even on a weekend in the summer, most of the other patrons seemed to be locals who have bought a membership to use the pool and tennis facilities. Nothing in particular was wrong with that, my only point is that the pool area felt a little less like a high-end resort.

One thing to note about the rooms is that many (most?) of the suites have a living room area and a bedroom area. The layout is actually great - bathroom between the two and more spacious than I expected. However, most of those living rooms have skylights in the living room. Kind of a strange choice considering that they must know that many people may choose to have somebody sleep in that living room (the couch is a pull-out bed).

About those missteps. When I realized that the skylights were a problem, I called the front desk and asked about rooms without skylights. My issue is that the person I was speaking to seemed completely uninformed about the most basic questions about the room types (i.e. - referred to a room without a separate living room as a "one bedroom suite"). Then the front desk told me that a two bedroom suite was available and then minutes later somebody else told me that it had never been an option. Then, the front desk also failed to tell housekeeping about an issue that I had wanted fixed. I had to follow up on it myself a couple of times. I will say, that the manager Kevin really went above and beyond to make amends for the errors of the staff, which is why I still had a very enjoyable stay. I just wish that there weren't so many fumbles. I expect a more polished, informed staff from a high-end resort. But as I started out by saying, even these little issues did not stop me from having a great time and we will be back!

Room Tip: Try to get a room that is near the main lodge but still feels remote (doesn't look upon any othe...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jaizee
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. In addition to the many wonderful things you spoke of, it is your mention of the 'missteps' that I also greatly appreciate. This is how we can continually improve and please know that your comments have been shared with our team members to ensure we are all responsible for being knowledgeable about the resort, and for providing accurate and helpful information. Thank you again and we look forward to your return visit. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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1,108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (264)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cutchogue, New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

My husband I stayed at this resort for our 25th anniversary. The staff was very friendly and greeted us with congratulations when we checked in. They even left us chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine in our room. The bed was by far the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on. The room has a view of the hills and we could sit outside on the balcony. Overall, I highly rate this hotel.

Room Tip: If you want a great breakfast in the area, try Jeffrey's in a small strip mall not far from the...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Klpaulick
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 The Ranch for this special occasion in your lives. We hope to welcome you back for many anniversaries to come. 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
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

I love this resort. It is one of the most peaceful places I have been to. I would actually have never chosen to visit this location, had it not been for a wedding, but I am glad that I did. I hope to return sometime soon. The resort is absolutely beautiful. Perhaps the only thing better than the views are the smells. The resort is covered with fragrant flowers and herbs and you instantly relax just by driving onto the property. Lavender is one of their staples. All of the bath products are grown and made at the resort. Definitely take a visit to the hotel shop to bring home some fragrant oils and candles.

The resort is very laid back. It is quiet. Not the place to go if you are looking for a ton of party activity, but that being said, they do have activities if you wish to participate.

There are scheduled hikes, cooking tours, nature walks, yoga classes, etc. They also have events around the fire pit in the evenings and twilight rubber ducky races for the kids at the entrance.

This is a resort that has something for everyone. Golf, spa and kids activities.

The room was a rustic but luxurious "cabin" style. The finishes were very much high end, but you feel comfy and cozy as if you were staying in a friends country home. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with a huge wrap around balcony. We had coffee each morning out overlooking the valley and watched as the sun burned off the haze. Each room has a fireplace which is on a timer, so we feel asleep each night to the nature glow of the flames.

The room also included a living room and kitchenette. The bathrooms were huge and luxurious.

My only compliant about this resort is that it is so spread out. If you want to go from your room to the main building it is a bit of a hike (not so good for those having trouble walking). The resort does have golf carts that will pick you up, however you may need to wait for them, depending on the time of day.

If you wish to go to the pool or the kids area, it is a LONG walk. We drove or took the golf cart. I would guess that it is about .5miles away. Going down the hill is not so bad, but coming back up is tough especially with kids.

From a food perspective we only had room service and breakfast (besides the wedding food). Everything was great. My son's mac and cheese was perhaps the best we have had anywhere. It is the chef's special homemade recipe and it shows. Fresh ingredients kept us coming back for more.

The resort is self contained. There is not much around other than the resort. There are some farms, but the majorities of activities in this area (e.g.: Monterrey) are about 20 minutes away.

I highly recommend this resort for a 3-4 night stay for anyone looking to relax and get back to nature in luxury style.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of the valley. You will have a balcony in the trees and it is a magical view...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SassyTraveler999
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 detailed review and for touching on so many of the things we offer and hope to achieve for our guests when they visit The Ranch. Magical, peaceful and relaxing - you said it best and we thank you and hope to welcome you back. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

The Ranch was the most perfect place to stay! From the moment we arrived, everyone was so friendly and helpful. The surroundings are beautiful and our room was perfect! The view of the hills was spectacular! The front desk was so helpful in guiding us to Big Sur, Carmel and other surrounding areas and offered many hints of places to go, things to do, and where to eat. We had on small issue with noise in that construction was being done right next to us...but when we called the desk to ask for the hours of the construction, we were quickly moved across the ranch to a quiet spot. My only regret was that we did not build in enough time into our stay to take advantage of all that the Ranch has to offer. We had planned to sight-see in the surrounding areas. Next time I want to come and just hang out and the Ranch and relax. I did get to walk through the lavender fields and look at the gardens. It was heavenly! This place is my absolute all time most favorite place I have ever stayed! I hope to come back some day!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen B
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 Karen for taking the time to post your review. I am happy we were able to make your stay so memorable and we look forward to welcoming you back again. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Level Contributor
129 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

location, setting, amenities,....:just great
our suite was large and lovely, with great views of the valley from our wraparound balcony
dinner in the lodge was super (the chicken plate is to die for); family breakfast in the club house good value
nice swimming pool(s), well equipped fitness.
ideal location for a family holiday - our 4 nights stay was (too) short

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ErwinFromBelgium
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 Erwin - you are correct - there is so much to do here that 4 nights does not seem enough! We hope to be able to welcome you back in the near future for an extended visit. Thanks for taking the time to post your review. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
112 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
1 Thank Aydenwood
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Pmpb1
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Peninsula > 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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