Carmel Valley Ranch
What We Love
- Chef Tim Wood’s Valley Kitchen’s focus on local organic fare
- The full-service Spa Aiyana’s couples suites, complete with fireplaces
- The Pete Dye championship-level golf course is open year-round
What To Know
- Carmel Valley is very quiet, residential, and rural, so don’t expect local businesses to stay open late
- The resort is a 10-minute drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, this sprawling 500-acre Carmel Valley Ranch is an activity-filled resort offering world-class golf, clay-court tennis, mountaintop yoga, gourmet cooking classes, and a luxe spa. The wood swing hanging from the thick oak tree outside the main lodge sets the stage for a playful escape in this sun-drenched rural refuge where the Cali-chic look is pervasive and the access to the valley’s wineries, art galleries, and boutiques is unbeatable. Suites are spacious, with sloped ceilings, leather upholstery, fireplaces, private decks, and spa-like bathrooms. When John Pritzker, son of the late billionaire Hyatt founder, bought the 139-room Carmel Valley Ranch in 2009, the purchase and subsequent multimillion-dollar renovation caused quite a buzz—and not just because it added a 120,000-bee, honey-producing apiary to the grounds. The renowned Pete Dye–designed, championship-level course still anchors the resort to the valley, with its rolling fairways weaving through vineyards, lavender fields, and oak groves. There’s much more to do here than just golf, though: eight tennis courts, two state-of-the-art fitness centers, three salt-water swimming pools and an equestrian center. Opportunities to learn abound as well, whether working in the honey-producing apiary, harvesting herbs in the organic garden or taking cooking lessons with gourmet chefs. It’s all sure to work up your appetite for dinner at Valley Kitchen where Chef Tim Wood, local culinary darling and Bernardus Lodge alumnus, pairs hearty, hyperlocal seasonal cuisine with the best California vintages, including The Ranch’s own wines from its four-acre vineyard.
In the Area
In-the-know foodies make the winding 45-minute drive up the mountain to Cachuga Store on Monday nights for chef Michael Jones’s fresh, innovative fare and the always-convivial ambience. Winery-hop without the worry about getting behind the wheel with the Grapevine Express (24 Carmel Valley Transit bus) between Carmel Valley Village and Monterey Conference Center — an all day pass costs $8. Tip back whiskey, beer or locally made wine in a saloon scene straight out of the Wild Wild West at the Running Iron. For hiking and horseback riding, visit the 4,500-acre Garland Ranch Regional Park, 8.6 miles east of Highway 1 on Carmel Valley Road. Stop by the Farm Stand at Earthbound Farm for organic produce, ice cream, salad bar, bakery goods, flowers and cut-your-own herbs.
How to Get There
Absolutely wonderful! I loved the location best. Waking up on the side of a mountain surrounded by nature was truly amazing! The farmer and chicken coop talk was so much fun! Despite it being rainy, the location near Big Sur and Carmel Valley made it that much better! Would definitely go back!
Everything was perfect! Great Golf course. Valley Kitchen restaurant is amazing, great menu. Loved that this is a dog friendly Hotel, adds to the charm and creates more guest interaction. My wife loved the spa.
Not impressed with the quality of the room, no housekeeping before 5pm, or the hour wait for food regardless of time of day. For $850 a night, no thank you. There are better options in the area, do your homework
If you're going to charge premium prices, please ensure your service, and cleaning staff also provide the same experience for guests. This has been my most disappointing stay at any premium country club or resort.. Immediately upon arrival, we noticed large ants roaming around the walls and the bathroom. There were piles of dead ants where it appears the staff had tried to kill them but not deal with the problem. The group staying to the immediate left of our room had a dog, which would bark uncontrollably throughout the day which made for a difficult teleworking environment. The reading light on the left side of the bed was completely broken, appeared to be torn off and shoved back into the holding cubby. When trying to use, it almost cracked my laptop screen when it swung down sharply while i was working. The turn down service and requests/packages were completely ignored and we needed to explicitly ask for the amenities. Lastly, our in room dining for dinner came stone cold while breakfast was delivered completely wrong with a different order all together. Only after phoning for in room dining did they apologize and bring the correct meal offering no explanation or apology for the delay and ordeal.
Incredible property, incredible staff, incredible experience. Close enough to Carmel and Big Sur. Ton's of activities to join, incredible sweeping views, and the friendliest staff! Will be returning to Carmel Valley Ranch and will be sharing with other my incredible experience.