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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
Carmel Valley Ranch is a gem of a property perfect for a few nights stay. My kids loved our family “deer walks” at dusk where we encountered deer everywhere . I loved the tennis drill and match play with Chris . And the pool area for families is great. HOWEVER, I was super disappointed by the extremely rude Falconry guy, Antonio Balestreri. My husband and two children participated in the program ($315). I am scared of birds and just wanted to take some pictures . He could not have been more RUDE! He stopped his instruction twice to tell me that I needed to stand away so I wasn’t getting the program for free! It was hardly free when my family was spending $315. It was the last thing we did at the ranch and has left a very bad feeling . He was a totally rude guy and I hope someone reads this and skips the falcon experience with this arrogant jerk. And it wasn’t cool experience .
Situation in a valley surrounded by gorgeous views is Carmel Valley Ranch. It lives up to its name with many of its menu offerings grown on the property....Pinot noir from the vineyards....delicate honey from its bee hives, home made ricotta cheese from its creamery. The multiple pool areas offer many options, infinity edge hot tubs and pool service. Full service spa sits adjacent to the pool area which I found convenient. The ranch has acres and acres of land, farms and vineyards surrounding it. The main building has an open floor plan and is beautifully decorated. Individual rooms and suites are situated at very levels throughout the property. Golf carts are available to take you where you need to go. A full menu of daily activities is well planned and appropriate for many interests. I especially loved the outdoor tub and fireplace offered in my room. It was the best.....
Very bad service. Had to move 3 times due to broken AC. They claimed 1st room was fixed, it was not. They claimed 2nd room AC worked, its did not. Finally had to demand general manager get involved because at $1,000 a night the least we they could provide is AC on a day of record heat of 105.
Our two night stay at Carmel Valley Ranch with our 3 kids (5, 3, 7 months old) was lovely. We enjoyed much of what the resort has to offer, including the stunning views from the balcony of our room. The children's activities are not located near the main lodge/rooms, so be aware you will need to drive or use the complimentary shuttle to get to them. The family pool was great (heated) and there are 3 hot tubs of varying degrees, which was great for our kids. We also enjoyed playing basketball and the family change room was perfect. Room was very spacious with a gorgeous wrap-around deck with view of the valley. Very nice escape.
Whether you visit Carmel Valley Ranch for a couples getaway or with a group, the facilities are spectacular and the tennis instruction is the best. Chris and Ben make tennis a joy with their personalized instruction.