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
This resort lodge has it all. Ample activities for the kids, beautiful family pool that even on a crowded day didn’t feel overwhelming, s’mores at night, wildlife, engaging learning experiences, and of course plenty of space and environment to RELAX and UNWIND! It was perfect.
Spent a long weekend at the Ranch. WE love the location as it provides a warmer weather experience than along the coast. The option of tennis and a fabulous lodge pool without kids was a nice respite.
We arrived at this beautiful hotel and were escorted from reception by a very nice member of the team up to our room. This consisted of a large bedroom with corner windows and and a large wraparound balcony overlooking the valley. We also had a lounge with an eating table and some tea and coffee making facilities.
The restaurant in the main building was beautiful with a fantastic selection of organic food and an amazing breakfast.
We had an issue with one of the fires in the bedroom which they tried to sort but offered to move us to a new room. We decided as we were happy the room we had.
Service was extremely nice and made our stay very memorable. Nathan who was one of the team was very nice to my son coaching him on some basketball techniques.
Overall a five star resort.
I came here with my 6 and 7 year old. We got a great deal mid-week (thanks to Cassandra recommending the Play Hooky package). I wanted to make sure I felt safe travelling alone with the kids but also that my son had a lot of room to explore. The kids had a blast here and were truly sad to leave. They've done a great job of creating an atmosphere where adults can relax and enjoy higher-end amenities while kids are entertained. Very well run with super friendly service.
We only spent 24 hours at the resort and we had an amazing time from start to finish, upon check in (at around midday) the lovely check in staff greeted us and made us feel welcome, as I expected our room wasn't quite ready but the lady suggested popping down to the ranch pool and she would call as soon as our suite was ready, no sooner had we settled into our sun loungers that she called and said the room was ready, we had just got in the pool so she said there was no rush at to come back when we were ready - we actually ended up spending 6 hours by the beautiful pool area, dipping in and out of the pool and admiring the stunning surrounds, after a spot of lunch and numerous basketball/table tennis games with our children we suddenly realised we had been their 6 HOURS ! what a wonderfully relaxing day. We drove back to reception and collected our keys and our luck was in as she said we were just in time for the s'mores, what a treat for our kids and the big kids too. After finally checking into our beautiful suite, we walked down to the restaurant at the main lobby and enjoyed a lovely meal whilst playing cards. PERFECT FAMILY TIME. After eventually retiring to our suite we decided to order breakfast to be delivered in the morning at 8AM as we then planned on a hike around the property before checking out and we are so glad we got up early to enjoy the property grounds as we were greeted by a family of beautiful deer's just walking around, then we hiked the horseshoe loop and admiring the stunning views, stopping birds of prey and turkeys among other wildlife ! PARADISE