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“Good Family Ranch”

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Carmel Valley Ranch
Ranked #5 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 August 2012

We stayed 4 nights in a Forest Suite with our 3 children. Good location just outside the fog of Monterey & Carmel so you get bright sunny afternoons once the sun burns through. Ranch setting beautiful, overlooking picturesque valley. Food very good and they were very flexible with the children's meals. Toasting marshmallows over the fire in the evening a fun activity (complimentary). Would recommend a suite with a view. We just had trees in front of our balcony. The walls are very thin between the suites, if you get a noisy neighbour (young kids) you could hear them easily through the wall. Sleeping set up not great either. The bedroom (which was lovely and lodge-like) had 2 oversize singles and a rollaway bed for our 3 kids. This left me & my husband on the sofa bed in the sitting room which was really uncomfortable. The sitting room also has velux windows in the ceiling so gets light early - not suitable if your kids wake up with the light. We got another rollaway so that at least we didn't have to squeeze onto the sofa bed. You all share one bathroom.

Kids loved the kids pool, basketball court, tennis courts (you have to pay for these), hot tub etc at the Club. Good food there as well. Visit the Aquarium whilst you are there, Big Sur for amazing hiking and Carmel. We tried a boat to see whales but cold, foggy and no whales...

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank SKleHW
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 reviewResponded 20 September 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Glad you enjoyed the food. Much of the cuisine is harvested from our on property garden which really makes for a tasty experience. Really sorry to hear that you did not get a chance to see any whales! Come back again soon! Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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1,104 - 1,110 of 1,391 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2012

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.

Room Tip: Ask for a treetop room. They do not come with the view premium but are very private with you feelin...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Russ D
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 reviewResponded 20 September 2012

I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to write this review, the length and quality of which are spectacular. We are delighted that you mentioned our location. Inland about 7 miles, we really don’t get the foggy dreary weather that the coast gets. Hope to see you again soon! Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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Reviewed 30 August 2012

This hotel, golf, and spa resort is a cut above the average. It is expensive, but you generally get what you pay for in life. The rooms were huge, and beds very comfortable. The auto log fires were a nice touch. The restaurant serves excellent food, although service can be a little slow.
The bar area is great and the bar staff very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the local wines.
The overall setting is beautiful, and an oasis of luxury in a pretty part of California.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank HertsNeil
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 reviewResponded 20 September 2012

Thank you so much for your fantastic review! We continue to get positive comments about the size of our rooms. As an all-suite property this is definitely something that sets us apart from the rest of the properties on the peninsula. Also glad you got a chance to taste some local wines while you were in The States! Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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Reviewed 27 August 2012

Carmel Valley Ranch is one of my favorite places to stay. I love their giant suites and the relaxing atmosphere. I wish I could stay here all the time, but it is on the pricey end of the spectrum. Great for a Romantic Holiday! Make sure to book a Swedish massage in your room and enjoy the over-sized bath-tubs!!

Thank Stephanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

Just returned from another fantastic trip to Carmel Valley Ranch. Only a quick visit this time (just one night), but a great retreat.

Our room was in the 200 area of the property, which was close to the reception area (just across a short pedestrian bridge). Room was fantastic as expected. Spacious living area with a small refrigerator and sitting area. The bedroom is very nice, with a comfortable bed, fireplace and large flatscreen TV. A very nice private outdoor sitting area that overlooked the golf course.

We had dinner and breakfast in the main lodge. Dinner was very good. We ordered a wide variety of appetizers and salads so that we could try as many things as possible. Breakfast was also great. There is a breakfast buffet (which is a bit on the pricey side), but a much more reasonable ala carte option as well.

Two new experiences at the ranch. First, there is a very nice little vineyard that was recently started near the main lodge. Don't know if they have produced any wine yet, but its nice to wander through. Also, I took a morning hike around the property after breakfast. There is a nice little loop (about 1-2 miles) on the hills above the property that has some very nice views and picnic areas.

Overall, another great trip and looking forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ElectricMayhem
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 reviewResponded 14 September 2012

Thanks so much for posting about your stay. We really value our repeat guests and your review is part of what keeps us going! Glad you liked the dinner, sampling many different appetizers is a good way to go at The Lodge Restaurant because everything is so good! We hope to see you again soon! Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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Reviewed 23 August 2012

This is an amazing resort. This was our first visit and we loved every minute of it. Rooms are spacious and stylish with great views of the valley. Rooms were very quiet and although our neighbors brought dogs and kids we heard nothing the entire time we were there. Restaurant has wonderful dinners and feature their own grown vegetables from the garden. Staff is friendly, professional and helpful. We enjoyed this as a couple and wished we had brought our kids along. A great resort for families as there are kid friendly activities to keep the whole family busy. Since they had a adult pool and hottub we enjoyed the adult quiet. The family pool is in a separate area and we thought that was a brilliant solution so both adult travelors and families and co-exist in this great resort. Wonderful hikes directly from the room into nature. The spa was incredible, we had the best massages ever. Don't miss the classes offered, we took a Lavender Distilling class and had great fun. We would give it a 10 out of 10, and we will be back with kids and dog in tow for sure.

Room Tip: All good rooms, can't go wrong.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sunki
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 reviewResponded 31 August 2012

I want to sincerely thank you for this review. You hit on all the points that make Carmel Valley Ranch special. We are so glad you enjoyed the hikes and the lavender distilling classes. These are activities that really make our resort unique. One of my favorite reviews yet! Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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Reviewed 17 August 2012

This was our second visit to Carmel Valley Ranch (CVR) and I am sure we will return again.

The setting of CVR is fantastic and the views from the rooms beautiful. The staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms tastefully decorated and furnished and the leisure facilities first class.

We played tennis most days and joined in the "Doubles Mixer " with some of the very friendly and welcoming local members.

The ranch has it's own bee colony and it is well worth attending the honey gathering experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank bisham
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 reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Thank you for your fantastic review. The bee hive activities are really special. How many places can you put on a bee suit and go hang out with 60,000 bees! Glad to hear you enjoyed the tennis. The program they have down at the River Ranch was just rated top 30 by Tennis Online Magazine. Thanks for staying at The Ranch. Sincerely, Melanie Cooke, Director of Revenue Management

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Additional Information about Carmel Valley Ranch

Address: One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA 93923-8579
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Monterey County > Carmel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Business Hotel in Carmel
#2 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#2 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#6 Family Hotel in Carmel
Price Range: £307 - £724 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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