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“a refreshing getaway”

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Carmel Valley Ranch
Ranked #2 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
1 review
“a refreshing getaway”
Reviewed September 19, 2010

The Carmel Valley Resort was a refreshing, relaxing, beautiful and unique getaway. The staff was very friendly and did a wonderful job taking care of us. The food was amazing, and very unique and fresh, you could eat every meal there and never get tired of the food. As far as entertainment the resort offers various activities throughout the day that are worth the time. One of the activities I did was a 'bee experiment' where you got to go look at a beehive and learn about bees and how they make honey. It was truly fascinating! The various exercise classes at the river house are definitely worth your time and the pools offer an incredible view. I was really impressed with the resort and with the staff, it was a wonderful weekend away from Texas!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank akwestervelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed September 16, 2010

I took my mother here for her birthday. We thoroughly enjoyed all that the property had to offer, the food, customer service, activities (hikes, yoga, lavender pressing, fitness center, s'mores, etc.) and especially the breathtaking view from our room. The staff was extremely friendly, attentive and did not miss a beat! From the moment we arrived everything was seamless. We were so pleased with the check-in process, the complimentary golf cart ride to our room and the resort fee, which eliminated the stress of tipping and created a classy atmosphere. We even toured the meeting space and were quite impressed with it! Both my mother and I have traveled extensively nationally and internationally and found Carmel Valley Ranch to be one of the best places we have had the pleasure to visit.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank TRVLARND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed September 8, 2010

I stayed in the rooms located by the lodge and new pool area. The main issue was the incomplete spa and being woken up early on the weekend do to construction noise. Found out that the constractor (Devcon) was not supposed to start until 8am, but many mornings were 7am or earlier. The one bright spot was the rooms manager (Nefratiti) who was pleasant, polite, friendly and cared about my stay. Her attitude seems to be rubbing off on other hotel staff as they are all polite and very helpful.
I am anxious to stay again maybe early next year once all renovation is complete and the hotel can run for a few months to work out the kinks.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank traveler817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
Reviewed September 2, 2010

This resort is under new management who is making drastic and impressive improvements. I came to this resort for a long weekend with my girlfriends, and I will continue to come back as often as possible. While I don't have a family yet, I can see this as the perfect place for family vacations. The swings throughout the property and the fire pits with free s'mores create such a relaxing and fun environment. There is an entire area of the resort dedicated to families and personal fitness. They also have tennis courts, basketball courts, a spa and a golf course.

The food was also INCREDIBLE! I've eaten at some nice restaurants and this was by far the most fresh and delicious meal I've ever had. Get the Anchote shrimp and avocado salad. Yum! The wine list is extensive and the property is also just starting to grow it's own vineyard.

Rooms were also really spacious and clean. I'm a bit of a bed snob and these beds definitely met my standards.

The place is currently still being renovated so there are a few projects going on in common areas, but they seem to be almost complete. The staff was accommodating with my room location and the noise really didn't disturb our relaxing time by lodge pool (there's another at the family/fitness area). Any loud noise was for a relatively short period of time and not too bad.

All in all, this property is BEAUTIFUL, FUN, and RELAXING and has the most DELICIOUS FOOD. I'll continue to come back and cannot wait to see how the vineyard and garden grow through the years!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SLB64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
home
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2010

This is a lovely facility and will be great once the renovations are done BUT - in the meantime - be careful about which unit they give you. Even though I specifically requested a room in a quiet location - away from the construction - we were awakened one morning at 7:30 a.m. to the sound of hammering, etc. at a nearby unit. In addition, we did really miss being able to order room service, etc. Also, again be careful about the location of your unit. We reserved a big corner room with the wrap-around deck. Some have lovely, unobstructed views of the golf course and the valley while the view from ours was quite obstructed. When I brought this to their attention, they admitted they knew that they needed to do some tree trimming, etc. When we complained about the noise and the view, they gave us a modest discount which was the right thing to do.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kathysmail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2010

I'm afraid I have to agree with the most recent review: the Carmel Valley Ranch is a work-in-progress that needs to be avoided until the management finishes its renovations and works out its service kinks.

My family -- me, my brother & sister-in-law, and their two toddler children -- booked the hotel's Carmel Valley Grand Suite for my brother and his kids and a Ranch Suite for me. A few days prior to departure, I decided to double-check the hotel's reviews on TripAdvisor and was very alarmed to read the comments about ongoing construction. I immediately e-mailed the hotel to confirm that our accommodations were not adjacent to construction, but sure enough, the Grand Suite is indeed adjacent to space currently being renovated -- not at all good when you're traveling with two noise-sensitive toddlers, but really not good in general. While I appreciate the hotel management's offer to move us elsewhere in the complex, I think it's asinine for them to be making their highest-end accommodations available, *period*, until the adjacent construction is complete, and they most definitely should have informed us of this state of affairs without me having to ask in advance. As a former professional hotel critic, I am aware that the standard in the five-star hotel category is to completely cordon off sections of a hotel during major renovations; if an entire floor is being redone, for instance, both the floors above and below it are blocked off from reservations during the interim. Although the Carmel Valley Ranch is single-story and spread out over a fairly wide area, I do not consider it acceptable for the hotel to be offering ANY accommodations within close earshot of buzzsaws and the like. While the suites we ended up with were near the far edge of the property and nowhere near construction, that doesn't change the fact that some guests are still having to put up with this racket. Particularly at rates in excess of $500 a night, again, this situation is not acceptable.

The service during our stay was a totally mixed bag as well. Upon our fairly late arrival, we needed to put the kids to sleep immediately; however, the cribs we had requested earlier in the week not only weren't there, but also took 20 minutes to arrive after calling to request them. I had two breakfasts at the hotel over a four-night stay; the first bordered on farce in terms of terrible service quality, but the second was excellent (and my brother's breakfasts with his kids were all perfect, given that they arrived right at the dining room's 7am opening time - I ate later both times when the room was nearly full). When I visited the pool one afternoon, I asked the pool attendant if food and beverage service was available; she indicated that it was. Although one would think this would be a cue to send a waiter over to my chaise, none ever came over (though to be fair, the attendant did immediately bring over ice water and kept my glass filled during my visit). Finally, the maid service was good with the notable exception of a pile of construction dust in one room, apparently from drilling an electrical outlet into a wall, that remained uncleaned during our entire visit. (I am assuming we were likely the first guests to use that particular room post-renovation.)

The rooms/suites have been nicely renovated, with spacious marble-clad bathrooms, large flatscreen TVs and even walk-in closets, but with one major caveat: wood floors. At least in the section of the hotel where we stayed, the rooms are built on a pier-and-beam foundation. Although carpet throughout would have ameliorated any noise issues, the wood floors found in about half of the suites' square footage (at least in the Santa Lucia suites we ended up staying in - living area and long hallway, specifically) instead amplified them; I had a family with young kids in the suite next to mine, and I could very audibly hear them pounding around. The floors look great, granted, but there's a reason you rarely see them in hotels, and noise would be a key factor there. Not good for a property that emphasizes serenity. Also, there is presently no room service at the hotel (which we were made aware of in advance), nor are there any minibars (which we weren't).

I'm also perturbed by the property embracing the nickel-and-diming "resort fee" of $25 a day (for pool usage, wi-fi, etc.). While I know this is becoming increasingly common, and arguably even the norm, in the resort-hotel industry, on principle alone I don't think mandatory tack-on fees of this sort are appropriate in the five-star category, particularly considering that the hotel's pool apparently wasn't even open until recently and its wi-fi is spotty at best (worked fine in my bedroom, got no signal at all in the living room).

I would probably give this hotel four, if not five, stars a year from now if they finished their renovations, got their service kinks worked out and carpeted the entirety of every suite, but particularly vis-a-vis the very strong competition at the nearby Bernardus Lodge (whose success the Carmel Valley Ranch is clearly trying to mimic - the property is in the midst of constructing on-site vineyards), I can't currently rank the hotel any higher than two stars.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jeff K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2010

This place should be closed, it is under construction, no really, they are digging up the road ( a long one), while we were there, with no notice, they ripped up the road to the entrance of the lodge. So at checkout time, I could get to reception, not auwful if they hadn't just dug a 3 foot trench around the parking lot, thinking there was another way out.. after 30 minutes they built a ramp to get us out, but don't apy for this abuse.

I wonder who was running this nightmere, the folks at the front desk were clueless.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank jalanr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SuzannaCarmel, Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 27, 2010
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch for your recent visit. We sincerely apologize that you experienced a very unfortunate incident at checkout due to our ongoing road work.

Our main road repaving was completed the following day, and the final minor procedures are on schedule to be completed by first week of August.

While your travel agent was notified of our ongoing renovations and construction, we take full responsibility for your experience and wish to let you know how disappointed we are that your stay was not to the levels to which we aspire.

We have reached out to you to make accommodations and hope that we will be able to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. We once again apologize for the inconvenience during your stay and hope that you will allow us the opportunity to provide you the experience that Carmel Valley Ranch envisions for our guests.

Sincerely,
Suzanna
sgabulyan@carmelvalleyranch.com
E-Commerce & Leisure Travel
Carmel Valley Ranch
Report response as inappropriate
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 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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