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
The perfect place for those who love to enjoy the outdoors. Wonderful hiking trails and the entire property is a delight to walk around. Very well maintained outdoor areas to dine, relax, walk/hike. Ideal for those with dogs. Dogs are not just welcome they are celebrated though not at the expense of those who don't have dogs. A perfect balance. Rooms could use a little TLC. Beds, great. Size of rooms, great. But overall there is a feeling of needing a bit of a refresh (older tub within an otherwise lovely marble bathroom, outside of some suites looks like they need to be repainted)
I enjoyed a couple of days here on a business trip with a group of more 100 people. The whole venue is beautiful and offers a plenty of opportunities for both business and leisure with absolutely professional and friendly staff.
The most friendly staff in all of Carmel... food, service, room accommodations, and overall beauty exceeded my trip. There's so much to do on the ranch, but if you have to leave the staff will always give you the best places to go...
Great time in the Ranch. The only negative points are :- temperature in room at night (either too cold or too hot).- quality of sound during the business presentations in the RedWood room.Staff always helpful and smiling which is really pleasant (from drivers, to cleaning people...).
For us, being in that area and not near the ocean is a huge drawback. But if you love any of the many activities on this enormous property, you will probably love it. Another drawback for us was the rooms are dated. We definitely had several issues when we stayed here, the worst being extremely uncomfortable sofa bed. If a hotel is going to have a sofa bed, it better be usable. We had to squeeze a cot into the tiny living room area because the sofa bed was so bad. Shout out to the valet people. Every single one of them was awesome! Shout out to the restaurant. It was fabulous.