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Hidden Valley Inn
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Reviewed October 22, 2007

Four of us enjoyed the tranquil, country setting of Carmel Valley. We were about 20 minutes from Carmel -- close enough to enjoy the shops and the beach, yet away from the traffic.

Country Garden Inns has two properties: Acacia Lodge and Hidden Valley Inn. We had two rooms at Hidden Valley. The rooms are dated, but spacious, with carpeting and fixtures that are a bit worn. Walls are thin so noisy neighbors can be problematic.

As a place to sleep, Hidden Valley was fine. Not great. Not awful. It was OK. We appreciated a property that would take a one night booking; many others require two nights. Breakfast was a nice surprise; the waffles were a big hit with our group. The breakfast room was comfortable with some attention given to creating an inviting setting.

This isn't a destination hotel, but it does fine as a place to sleep while spending most of your time enjoying the nearby amentities of the area.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Calif_Rocket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeeper102, Innkeeper at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2007

Dear Guest:
As the Innkeeper, it is important to me to get feedback from our guests. A forum such as trip advisor is a good source for this feedback.
I can not address the two negative comments written a few years back as that was before my time. However, I would like to respond to the most recent review posted on October 22. I am sorry our guests were not totally satisfied and I agree that there still is work to be done. Actually it never ends.
I would like to share with you that since our new team took over a year ago many improvements have been made. Both pools have been redone and our gardens are absolutely beautiful.
Upgrading the rooms is an ongoing process. Many rooms have been re-carpeted and refurbished. The remaining rooms in need of refreshing are scheduled to be done during the winter and spring season.
We will continue to make every effort to provide a satisfying experience to all of our guests. Thank you for your comments.
Dirk Oldenburg
Innkeeper

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

What a wonderful getaway spot surrounded by beautiful flowers and scenery! The host/manager ,Dirk, treated us like royality. It reminded us of some of the quaint bed & breakfast we stayed in on our last trip to the south of France. In the morning, Dirk's made to order eggs were delicious and the waffles were light and fluffy. After seeing the beautiful sights, we came back to the wine and cheese hour where we could relax and decide what restaurant to enjoy. We are already planning our next stay!

Stayed: August 2007
1  Thank shellseeker3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2007

We wanted to get-a-way during the Memorial Day weekend. A late decision and consequently we had a hard time finding a hotel. We finally decided to book the last available room at the Acacia Lodge, in spite of a bad review we saw on the internet. The room was clean, and furnished with wicker furniture, which I happen to like very much. It had alll the amenities one expects. There was an iron burn in the carpet, strange I thought, as there was an irnoning board along with the iron in the closet. The flowers in the garden were beautiful, the pool was great and heated. Apparently, it was just refinished. We enjoyed the breakfast which included a waffle station and soft or hard boiled eggs. Just like we had them in Europe. We thought at $149.00, this was a very good experience and will return next time we want to escape.

Stayed: May 2007
2  Thank Alohagermangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2007

We made last-minute plans to go to Carmel over a holiday weekend. Pretty much everything was booked in Carmel by the Sea, but we found a couple rooms here in Carmel Valley so we figured we were getting something not so desirable.

This place is old, dirty, and a bit scary to sleep in. We paid about $200/night for it which I believe for that price you should expect a 3.5-4-star hotel. This place is barely a 2-star. If you get this place for around $50-$90 then you're OK, but that's what I think it's worth.

The check-in lobby is off the main road, but the actual rooms are about 1/4 mile up. I thought that was a bit weird, but I suppose it helps finding it.

The Acacia lodge where we stayed is pretty old and in need of some major repairs & renovations both inside and out.

Interiors:
* The rooms have that old building smell.
* They were using cheap commercial carpet like you see in older offices. It was old, a little stained, and not padded.
* The bathroom cabinets were in pretty bad shape. There was some water damage on them and the wood was rotting. Even if they were new, they were cheap looking cabinets that it looked like some amatuer carpenter slapped together.
* They used the water saving shower head. I appreciate conserving water, but those shower heads make you feel like you're just being misted. Oh well, it works, eventually.
* The blankets looked a little old and worn out. I'm not sure if it was the pattern or if they were stains on it.
* Our room had a queen or full sized bed. I think it was queen, but it's a little tight but OK.
* They had some wicker furniture which was fine.
* Overall, the interiors looked like they were constructed by an amatuer or bad carpenter who's just trying to save money by using cheap materials and appliances. It reminds me of those garage-converted in-law apartments you see in Sunset/Richmond district San Francisco (Chinatown II & III) that they build really cheaply by amatuer/do-it-yourself contractors & carpenters.

Exteriors.
* The building's old. It looked like they were doing something to the roof, but it was either in progress or some patchy work.
* They looked like they were working on the pool. It was out of commision but that was OK b/c it was too cold anyway.

The Good
* It's dog friendly.
* The guy at the check-in desk and the lady at the dining hall were very nice and accomdating.
* Although it's not at Carmel by the Sea, the little area the inn was at seemed to have lots of small shops, eateries, cafes, and services although we didn't take advantage of any of it.
* The breakfast was OK (bagels, cereal, pastries, etc....no eggs or anything cooked).

I wish they had:
* Internet service in the rooms. They have it in the dining hall, but you have to be in there to use it.
* Newer blankets.
* Hot stuff on their breakfast menu.
* Larger bed.

If you're looking for a luxurious & romantic stay, then go elsewhere. If you can tolerate an older non-luxurious place then this might work for you. But if you're paying over $100/night for this place you're getting ripped-off (like we did!)

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank OdellQuigley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2007

We just got back from a weekend stay at the Hidden Valley Suites of the Country Garden Inns. We read the other reviews before booking (pickings were slim from San Luis Obispo to Carmel for this gorgeous Presidents' Day weekend), and were a little skeptical about selecting CGI.

Speeding up the 1 after a visit to Hearst Castle, we made the late checkout of 8pm at 8:45pm. The young man at the front desk was refreshingly cheery, and checked us in with no problems.

Apparently, it's important to know that there are two lodges. It seems the negative reviews are of the Acacia Lodge, not the Hidden Valley Suites which are just down the driveway, where we stayed. Our room was clean, pleasant, and simple. The evening was a little noisy, with kids getting settled next door, and people driving up--you can hear everything. I wouldn't call it "nice," and I wouldn't call it a "dump." The atmosphere is a little dated, and everything was remarkably clean, which is more important to me than decor. We are not 5 star travelers, but we would never book 1 or 2 stars if we can help it. This was actually a pleasant surprise.

The breakfast (pastries, cereal, bagels, soft-boiled eggs) was decent and we got there early enough to sit at the nice table you see when you walk in with a stunning mountain view. We did not think much of the coffee, but headed out to Carmel Valley Coffee in the Crossroads shopping center (Hwy 1 at Carmel Valley Road with the big Safeway) for excellent espresso drinks.

If you are thinking of staying here, I suppose just ask for the Hidden Valley Lodge explicitly. The staff is very friendly and the location is great.

Stayed: February 2007
3  Thank msrockefeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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