After taking in the fun-though-crowded hubbub of Carmel-By-The-Sea to the west, or the rapturous, rawness of Big Sur to the south, winding through the quiet beauty of Carmel Valley gently soothes one into this ranch resort of the same name. The public areas and accommodations in this all-suite resort are sophisticated contemporary, while inviting at the same time, with ebony-toned, wide-plank floors, sheered, native stone fireplaces and firepits, and thoughtfully intriguing paintings, framed photos, and sculpture. Check-in is brief and convenient with one of the friendly and personable staft, at one of two desks with guest chairs. Close-in parking is available and once parked, one uses the resort transportaion (surreyed golf cart-type trolleys from suite to lodge and motor coaches to outlying attractions and Carmel-By-The-Sea). The pushbutton, natural stone gas fireplaces in the suites compliment the leather furniture, dark plank flooring (again), stone-topped endtables, and bronze-fixtured floor and table lighting. The basket of nutritious treats in the suites and the bottled water everywhere are complimentary. The bathrooms in the suites are generously sized and conveniently appointed, with water-preserving fixtures that are generous in force and delivery and proprietary toiletries that are lavender and other herbs-infused. The bedding is luxurious and the oversized, padded headboards and spot tasklighting make reading and watching the oversized flatscreen a dream, especially with the cozy throws and stackable pillows and bolsters.
Besides the golf, spa, and swimming options that are routine at resorts, Carmel Valley Ranch also offers experiential offerings in honey, lavender essential oil, and lavender soap production in 60 to 90-minute small groups (depending on the class), with easygoing yet knowledgeable onsite boutique farmers John and Yoko (yes, really, and though they have heard every "Ballad of John and Yoko-type" reference hundreds of time before, they still laughingly take it all in stride, being the gentlefolk they are). Their "bee experience," which the resort really ought to amp up publicity on, is especially entertaining -- adults and children both love it, and fearful types do "get over it" when being suited up in protective, beekeeper gear. If time, regrettably, is too short for one of John and Yoko's classes, then even walking through the ranch lavender fields, which John designed and harvests, and vineyards is a treat.
Farm-to-table dining is in store here, with even room service being impressive: after stoking the fireplace (i.e., simply turning it on) and nestling in under one of the throws, order up the roasted vegetable risotto entre and roasted artichoke starter, with its three equally rivaling dipping sauces.
A replenishing two days are good here, but three are ideal -- if only to try out the infinity view spa, and eat and rest some more. After check-out, 17-Mile Drive is easy access and is also en route to the user-friendly Monterey County Airport.
- 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