Carmel Valley Ranch
At a Glance
Excellent for families and couples alike
Pete Dye 18-Hole Golf Course and 7 Tennis Courts
Perfect for exploring charming Carmel and Monterey-by-the-Sea
Sustainable Pinot-Noir vineyard, organic gardens and bee hives that supply the ranch
Horse ride through the valley from the resorts own corral
Superb base for the wines of Santa Cruz
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Carmel is an all-year destination if you like fine dining and shopping. For nature lovers, the coast is wonderfully wild in winter and you can go whale-watching and birding; spring sees wonderful flower displays, and there are a host of watersports to be tried at the beach in the summer; autumn brings harvest bounty and temperatures are usually still balmy. The fog is present mostly in May and June, but usually burns off by lunchtime.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Carmel Valley Ranch or take a look at our itineraries to California
Carmel Valley Ranch is nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the leafy vineyards of Carmel. An ideal base to explore the Carmel and Monterey region, the resort offers both a superb chance to relax and explore.
Carmel Valley Ranch is wonderfully positioned to both explore the local area, from quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey Bay, Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. Be sure to visit Monterey’s National Marine Sanctuary with its kelp forests and marine life from seals and sea lions to dolphins and whales, and for a mesmerising experience, visit the #1 US Aquarium. Take a stroll along Ocean Beach in quaint Carmel and step back in time with its traditional cafés and boutiques. Drive, cycle or walk the 17-mile drive on the stunning Pebble Beach peninsula stopping at Bird Rock for the harbour seals and the Lone Cypress, perched precariously for 250 years on the ostensible piece of rock. Besides the coastal scenery, star attractions include the world-famous golf courses of Pebble Beach – Scott Dunn can arrange for guests to play.
Carmel Valley Ranch also offers a huge amount to do within its own 500 acre grounds. Head off on hiking trails past wild deer and turkeys before returning to learn about beekeeping. Play a round of golf on the Pete Dye designed course or play on one of the many tennis courts. At night, sit around the fire and learn to make s’mores. For the little ones, there is the River Ranch Camp and activities galore as well as daily child-care.
Carmel Valley Ranch’s 181 suites are tastefully furnished in an earthy, natural style. With private decks overlooking the forest or valley, you have the space to sit back after a day exploring. Add to this a 42-inch flat screen, iPod docking station, WiFi and fireplace you have all the gadgets and creature comforts to make for a truly relaxing stay.
Carmel Valley Ranch is home to the Lodge restaurant and the River Ranch café, as well as offering light refreshments in the Golf Clubhouse. They focus on using the very freshest produce sourced from the Monterey Coast and they even have hands-on cooking demonstrations for the budding Gordon Ramsays of this world.
There are three sun drenched salt-water swimming pools to splash around in (one for families and two for 16+ yrs), and for some quiet time a superb spa along with fitness centres. The family pool is located a little further away from the suites and the spa so that noise and fun is unrestricted. There is a sustainable four-acre pinot noir vineyard, year-round organic garden, and a world-class bee apiary where guests can visit the hives in protective suits. For the active, scenic hiking, biking, and running trails, wind through nearly 500 lush acres of resort grounds.
There are 181 suites at Carmel Valley Ranch. All rooms have a private deck, fireplace, 42 inch flat screen TV, iPod docking station, separate shower and bathtub, WiFi, coffee maker, robes, safe, iron, and bath amenities.
There are 30 brand new guest suites and studios. Each one will offer a serene outdoor living area with valley and vineyard views, some with concrete soaking tubs, indoor-outdoor fireplaces, day beds, rocking chairs, and rustic, elegant furnishings. A selection of these will be able to be configured as connecting suites, as well as two bedroom suites with kitchenettes.
Room rates are based on double occupancy (2 adults per suite). A charge will be added to the nightly room rate for each additional person sixteen (16) years and older.
Suite rates include daily breakfast for two. Additional breakfast is charged a la carte.
Carmel Valley Ranch has an inspired children's programme designed by certified schoolteachers, providing unforgettable experiences and plenty of freedom for young minds to be creative and put their imagination to work. No homework or tests here, just a huge natural playground where you can't help but learn a few new things along the way! Ages 2 to 5 years can join the Busy Bees on an hourly basis, 6 to 12 years can join the Ranch Hands Kids Club in the Hunter's Work Shop down by the river banks for half or full days, and for the teens aged up to 16 years, they can join these outdoors activities too and there is Wii, Xbox, PlayStation, karaoke, fussball, games, movies, art projects and more. Child care is available throughout the day, and teens evenings until 10pm. Two of the swimming pools are for 16 yrs + but there is a family-friendly junior Olympic-sized pool open to all ages.
Hotel facilities include a restaurant, a bar, 24-Hour front desk, terrace, shops in hotel, tennis courts, equestrian centre, horse back riding, fitness centre, golf course (within 3 km), spa, outdoor swimming pools. The resort has an adult only swimming pool and a separate family swimming pool which is located a short distance form the suites so that noise levels do not need to be restricted.
The resort's main restaurant has recently been redesigned, and offers casually elegant, fresh, home-inspired dining - and chef Tim Wood was voted Best Chef in Monterey County 2015.
Hotel Services include Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Centre, Babysitting/Child Services, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Ironing Service, Souvenirs/Gift Shop, Fax/Photocopying.
Carmel Valley Ranch is a playground for all ages, and while some guests may seek joy hiking in the oak forest, others may find the most restorative takes place at Spa Aiyana.
Spa Aiyana is nestled in the treetops overlooking pastoral Carmel Valley below. The spa spans 10,500 square feet and has 11 treatment rooms, most of which have private outdoor terraces. There are three couples treatment rooms, grouped in the same wing, allowing them to be sequestered for private functions, such as pre-wedding and birthday spa celebrations. The spa also features private men's and women's locker rooms, with steam saunas, as well as a co-ed Relaxation Lounge and Fitness Centre.
As the only Pete Dye design Golf Course in Northern California, the 18-hole, par-70 course has earned a reputation for its stunning views, friendly wildlife, tactical challenges and playability. Experience championship-level play at a course rated among the "Best US Golf Resorts" by Travel and Leisure's "World's Best" readers' survey.
For tennis enthusiasts, the tennis complex includes 7 resurfaced hard courts and 2 clay courts, plus a "sport court".
Many other activities and experiences are on offer including archery, bird watching, a butterfly garden, yoga, organic culinary garden tours, bee-keeping, guided hikes, Equine Perspective - horsemanship workshops, The Art of Being with Horses, as well as wine programmes within the four-acre pinot noir vineyard.
Lucie Polwin (Staff)
Carmel Valley Ranch is a great base from which to explore Carmel and Monterey, being just a short drive away from both. Being tucked away in Carmel Valley you can enjoy stunning views and really feel away from it all. This resort is so well set up for families with plenty of activities on offer to keep everyone busy! Relaxing by their fire pit with a smore is the perfect way to finish the day.
Lucie Polwin (Staff)
A fantastic choice for families who like to 'do things' the resort is spread over acres of land and really does have something for everyone. The food here is incredible, we had one of the best meals we had on our entire journey with impeccable restaurant service and a huge choice of wine. The resort has many staff members on hand at all time, and a nice relaxed feeling in the evening outdoor area with fire pits. The main pool near the restaurants is adults only - this is to keep noise down around the nearby spa. But the family and childs pool located in another part of the resort is fantastic with a kids rooms, lots of activities and lots to keep everyone entertained.
Jules Maury (Staff)
Perfect for families this hotel sprawls over a wonderful estate with views from the uppermost cabin/suites. There is something here for everyone, from golf to the fantastic activities offered down at the Ranch area where there are two pools, a cafe, tennis and a children's club for the little ones. There is another pool and Spa for adults, and a lovely restaurant with open deck area to sit by the fire pits at night and look at the stars whilst eating their delicious s'mores. Whether you ride, want to learn how bees are looked after, have tennis lessons, just relax or visit their fantastic herb garden, this is a perfect hideaway just 17 minutes from the quaint town of Carmel and a great place for a holiday.
Camilla Swift (Staff)
Nestled in the valley just outside the coastal village of Carmel, lies a truly unique resort a place dedicated to the idea of play. There's no doubt about it, Carmel Valley Ranch's 500 acre playground offers something for everyone.
When I visited in November, the resort was buzzing with a gentle hum of contented guests. Adults and children alike looked rejuvenated and relaxed; Children were amazed and excited by the range of activities on offer, little ones played in the Splash Zone, and down at the River Ranch adults carried gym bags and tennis rackets as they moved from one activity to another, or sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a coffee or smoothie at the River Ranch Cafe. It really did feel like one big summer camp!
Guests here can also explore the sustainable four-acre pinot noir vineyard, year-round organic gardens, miles of scenic hiking, biking and running trails, and get to know the newest additions to the Ranch up at the Corral where you can learn to ride the Western way on one of Carmel Valley Ranch's new horses.
One of the most unique and exciting activities on offer is the opportunity to become a beekeeper for the day. After donning a bee suit, you can walk into the apiary which houses 60,000 honey bees and learn all about the bee colony. You will also perform hive duties, help to harvest the honey the bees have been busy making, and even sample some of the signature Carmel Valley lavender honey.
Playing at Carmel Valley Ranch really does make you feel human again.
Monterey Aquarium - The US #1
Monterey's aquarium is located on the former site of a sardine cannery; much more than a collection of glass tanks, 200 gallons of seawater provide homes to sea life from kid-tolerant starfish to friendly penguins, sea turtles and hammerhead sharks.
Scenic 17-Mile Drive by Pedal-Power
The Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail follows the shoreline above Cannery Row and around the marina. Cycle all the way to the Del Monte Forest and on the bike lane around the 17-mile drive, stop for a picnic or lunch in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea!
San Francisco, Yosemite, Carmel, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica
from £5800 pp inc flights & transfers for 13 nights
- Take in all the highlights as you waterfall watch in Yosemite, cycle over Golden Gate and hike the Hollywood Hills
- Ideal from April through to September - popular Easter or summer holiday
- Marine wonders await - kayak with sea lions, spot whales and dolphins, explore tide pools
San Francisco, Carmel Valley, Morro Bay & Santa Monica
from £3000 pp inc flights & transfers for 8 nights
- A shorter version of the classic route, ideal for families or couples
- Visit both San Francisco and Los Angeles
- Drive down the iconic Big Sur to explore secret beaches, watch sealions play, or hike inland through ancient redwood forests
Location & directions
Located on Old Ranch Road in the Carmel Valley, at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, California.
How to get there
11-hour 15-minute direct flight from London to San Francisco, with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Carmel Valley Ranch is a 2-hour drive from San Francisco International Airport.
Carmel is located at the northern end of the iconic Pacific Coastal Highway through Big Sur towards Los Angeles.