We stayed here August 26-30 for 4 nights. We had several reasons for wanting to stay here; looking for peaceful surroundings around our room, an excellent fitness center, and a place that is above the fogbelt surrounding Carmel and Monterey. The CMR delivered on all counts.
We had a room (240) that was in the tree tops but had a limited view of the golf course and valley. Virtually no noise from the room next door.
The fitness center was excellent especially compared to 98% of the hotels out there. Fitness classes of all types available mostly in the morning and a large well thought out room with weights and aerobic equipment. I did indoor cycling 2 days and my wife and I did Yoga one day. Heidi is an excellent indoor cycling instructor! It is a gym that is open to memberships to local residents, but there is no way to support such an excellent facility without an arrangement like this. Unlike other reviewers, every local we met in the restaurant or fitness center was friendly and courteous.
The only day it was foggy in the morning it burned off by 11. We loved the 78 degree days and 55 degree nights. It was wonderful after baking at home for most of the summer.
The restaurant was an unexpected bonus. Dinner had lots of healthy choices including seared Ahi salad, veggies with pasta, and fish with a substantial portion of kale and other vegatables. Everything was excellent and allowed us to eat heartily without gaining the usual 5 pounds of vacation weight. Save your money on dessert and go outside to make a s'more!
We stayed in a Garland Suite. It was spacious and exactly as the website describes it. The furnishings are nice and the buildings are laid out so you have lots of privacy even with the shutters open. The bed was top notch, not too hard and not too soft. It didn't jiggle either when rolling over so you could tell it way above average. All in all I'm not sure if I would pick this room type again only because of the premium paid versus their Ranch Suites. Except for sleeping we were there only 2-3 hours per day. It was a lot of room, most of it wasted, for only 2 adults.
There were only a couple of very small negatives and if we were staying at a low end Marriott or Hilton I wouldn't even think twice about it. But when paying prices that are comparable to a Four Seasons it shows that there is a small amount of work to do in order to have true 5 star service.
On the evening we arrived they were fully booked for dinner, even though there were always at least 3 tables available during the 2 hours we ate at the bar. We sat at the bar and waited 10 minutes for the bartender to wrap up a discussion with another customer. Finally an attentive employee wearing a suit jacket (restaurant manger?) came over and asked if we had been helped. I didn't catch his name and appreciated him appearing, but no way should we have been waiting that long to be acknowledged given the bartender was not hustling, just not paying attention. Help arrived promptly after he appeared. Also they do not keep Champagne at the proper temperature. It is at cellar temperature and they chill it on demand so you can wait around 15-20 minutes for the bottle to be ready. It was not a fluke because this happened twice with two different brands on two different days. You would think they would keep a bottle or two of each type chilled at all times or they need to cut down on the 10 or so different types they offer.
The only other small issue was walking into the mens locker room at 9:15 in the morning and it was obvious it had not been taken care of from the night before. Used towels overflowing the basket and all over the floor. Water from the showers needed to be squeegeed from the hall floors as everything was puddled. Counters had not been wiped down in quite some time. Normally you would expect locker rooms to be tidied up the very first thing in the morning or the night before. Again, these are small issues and out of character with our overall experience.
The staff we interacted with at check-in, poolside and the fitness center were all first rate. They made sure we had everything we needed. Everyone in these areas truly had an attitude that their job was to make our stay comfortable and memorable. Our stay was relaxing and the location is an excellent base to explore Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur.
- 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