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12 - 17 of 1,805 reviews
Reviewed 10 November 2018

This was a golf vacation through Golf Moose, Stay and Play package. The price was wonderful for golf and lodging. Our room however, although large, it was very worn and windows and sliders were filthy and doors did not lock.

Date of stay: November 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Culture36355042871
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CVRManager, Managing Director at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Culture36355042871,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch for your golf vacation! I am happy to hear you found the price great for lodging and golf. I do apologize for the inconveniences you referenced during your stay such as the windows, sliders, and unlocked doors. I have made notes of these comments to discuss with our engineering department this week. I hope you will visit our 500-acre playground in the future!

Warm regards,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
Carmel Valley Ranch

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2018

2nd stay here and it's always a great one. Love hanging by the pool and walking the grounds. Strongly recommend for anyone looking to relax or looking for a jumping point to explore the Carmel Valley!

Date of stay: November 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank A8966TGnickf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CVRManager, Managing Director at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear A8966TGnickf,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch for a repeat visit! I am happy that you were able to relax and explore during your stay. We hope that you will keep us in mind for future visits and look forward to welcoming you back to our 500-acre playground in the future!

Warm regards,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
Carmel Valley Ranch

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2018

Pleasant stay. Deer everywhere, smelled like lavender on the property. Enjoyed the fire pits and smores at night. Also rooms with fireplace were a nice touch. A few housekeeping issues, but I would stay here again!

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Voyager36543865136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CVRManager, Managing Director at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Voyager36543865136,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch and for leaving a review of our 500-acre playground! We are happy to hear that had a pleasant stay. We love our friendly friends on our property and fireside s'mores are a must-have treat at The Ranch! I apologize for the housekeeping issues you experienced during your stay. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Warmly,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
Carmel Valley Ranch

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2018

My wife and I celebrated 20 years together by visiting Carmel and Napa for a week. Carmel Valley Range was simply one of the best resorts we have ever experienced and we have traveled extensively... this resort simply gets it! The service is top notch and the staff (from A to Z) provide what appears to be some of the most genuinely positive service we have ever experienced... literally 100% of the staff we encountered appeared to be totally content with their role on the staff... simply a must visit resort!

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Escape32489630266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CVRManager, Managing Director at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Escape32489630266,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch for your stay! We are happy to hear that you celebrated your 20 year anniversary with us. To know you enjoyed outstanding and genuine service is music to my ears. We hope you will visit our 500-acre playground in the near future.

Warmly,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
Carmel Valley Ranch

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2018

I am not a member of Carmel Valley Ranch. That is not important to me. Seeing as you’re reading this review, I suppose you’re not a member either. And I imagine you probably also think that’s not important. But…. it seemed supremely important to the staff of the Ranch. Repeatedly I heard it whispered, “I’m a member here” or spoken more stridently “I’m a member”. And in response… better tables were rustled up or bar staff jumped to it, whilst ignoring the poor benighted folk who merely pay to stay there.

This is going to take a while to get off my chest, so bear with me:

We were staying for several nights. A family with more kids than is prudent, we could just squeeze into one of the enormous, and beautifully appointed, suites here, but we decided to take two rooms close by each other instead. I have suffered enough of my kid’s bathroom antics to know that some distance makes for happier holidays all round.

We were looking forward to this leg of our trip. The Carmel Valley Ranch website promises that this is where “luxury suite living meets the call of the wild”. The call of the wild sounded great. Maybe walks in the 500 acres of grounds; some encounters with Turkey Vultures or deer - who knows?

So…. we weren’t expecting a view of the car park from our rooms. And the back of some other rooms. That didn’t seem very wild, and the only calls I was hearing seemed pretty domesticated. I might have felt a little less grouchy if the rooms themselves appeared more attractive from the outside. Although vast, their exteriors resemble a row of rooms at a centre parc (which I love btw, just don’t expect for a resort that’s multiples more expensive). It’s no accident the exteriors of the rooms don’t feature widely on the website.

No problem. A mistake surely had been made I thought. Call to reception, “we’d like to move rooms, wasn’t hoping for a view of the car park and some grim rooms etc. etc.”. Of course I couldn’t use the magic phrase “I’m a member”. Some time later a call back… “We’re very busy sir, but I could move one of your rooms to a better view on the other side of the resort”. Which of my children should I leave to fend for themselves, separated by a 15-minute walk from their parents? Maybe my 7 year old would go feral; that would be a saving…. Mrs. Lawyer, perhaps fearing the direction of travel, intervened. You can’t leave under age children to fend for themselves, and why were the hotel even suggesting such a thing. Could they think again and let us know? “I’m really sorry that’s all we have.” It’s late; we’re tired. Maybe the car park will have moved by morning. In the meantime we drop a line to our travel agent to see if she can make magic. Surely not; the resort is busy and “that’s all we have” after all.

We went for dinner at the River Ranch Café. There’s a “Taco Tuesday” event on. The kids like tacos. My wife likes wine. I like them all to be happy (and tacos and wine). It’s chaos. The staff have been surprised by a sudden influx of guests, arriving in time for an advertised dinner event. Who could have known? There is (almost) no food and the two staff at the bars are overwhelmed. We let our 7 year old go first, in a rare example of familial generosity. The elder kids, unable to eat, exact revenge by ‘banter’. I go to the bar. Liquids will help I think. Once I get to order, (I am bumped by one of the “I’m a member here” crowd), I order my wife a large glass of white wine - $20 - which arrives . . . in a disposable plastic cup. There is a pool in the distance it’s true. Separated by …. oh …. 40 feet of lawn from the terrace I’m sat on. Broken glass could be an issue I suppose . . . by the pool . . . 40 feet away. So I can see why they’d want to serve my wine in a plastic tumbler. And warm.

Still there was better news. Our travel agent has spoken to the Ranch staff and miraculously she has secured us two new rooms – one minute’s walk from our current location – over looking the golf course and not the car park. There must have been a fluke cancellation at the last minute, because the resort was busy and “that’s all they have” after all. Or maybe our agent is a member. Housekeeping will move us in the morning.

Breakfast at the Valley Kitchen next day started ominously. “Do you have a reservation sir?” “For breakfast, at 8 am, on a weekday. No. . . I’m not a member, no. But I am a paying guest here if that helps”. After quite a lot more huffing and puffing than normal for a hotel accommodating a hotel guest for breakfast at its own hotel restaurant, we get a table. The pictures of the valley Kitchen on the website show a roaring fire, an attractive bar and comfy seats around large tables. Looks nice. But…without some careful strategizing, you won’t be sitting there. Maybe outside, with the patio warmers and some blankets (the sun’s barely up, it’s really cold). Maybe round the corner, in the Valley Kitchen’s equivalent of Siberia where junior staff wait on mere plebeians. It took me a day or two to work out the system. Those tables you see in the pictures … those are (i) reserved for members and (ii) those staying in the rooms with the highest rack rate. When I say “reserved”, that is not in the sense of “reserved” like you or I might say when we have reserved a table at a restaurant, but more like set aside in case any of these extraordinary, garlanded super-people should walk in. Front of house have zoned maps of the dining room in order to know who can sit where. An English couple in front of me, looking out on a sea of empty tables, was told they could only sit in Siberia or outside because those empty tables by the fire in front of them were “reserved”. They left an hour or so later, walking past the self same empty sea of tables. On visit number three to the Kitchen I pushed back; how about one of these tables here? “Ah . . . they’re reserved..” “You mean you’ve set them aside for room categories above mine. Which seems odd to me… seeing as I’m paying for two rooms, not merely one, and I’m here a lot of nights.” I couldn’t say I was a member, but this call to basic economics did seem to make the penny drop.

We were moved rooms during the day. Our new room did not have a view of the car park. This was an improvement. But the “premium view of Carmel Valley” our room was promised (© 2018 Carmel Valley Ranch website) was actually the view of the back of a vast, uncropped tree. See the photos. There was no “view”, unless maybe you are a passionate arborist or have a fear of open spaces. I could have been in Basildon for all I could see. We chose not to move rooms again. There are limits.

A day at the pool perhaps? That would be restful. After all Carmel Valley Ranch is sold as a family friendly resort, with “play for all ages from junior ranchers upwards”. The ranch has three pools. Kids under 16 aren’t allowed in two of them. One, close to the Taco Tuesday café catastrophe, does allow kids. It’s 5 minutes by car from the rooms. Hotel guests with kids can use it. So can local members of the Ranch. And they certainly do and in large numbers. We just got loungers (but only just) at 10.00 am, and watched a steady stream of bewildered families turn up and then leave. The early birds – members all no doubt and wise to the shortage of basic amenities – also knew the drill at lunch. Order early and order often, for fear of being forgotten. We waited an hour for lunch. And by the time we left the pool was a clutter of over heated bodies, abandoned plates and left-over food. We didn’t go back.

The final straw was check out. I like resorts and hotels that surprise me. A surprise drink. A surprise bottle of wine. A surprise snack. These surprises I like, and generally put in the “evidence of a hotel trying” category. I am much less keen on surprise bills. We had paid in advance for our rooms. I expected to pay for meals and drinks of course. But not over $1000 (inc. taxes) of additional “resort fees” and “charges”. The inexperienced young man at reception, although charming, couldn’t explain any of these extra charges, and having spoken to a manager reduced the $1000 by roughly two thirds. I paid under protest, explaining that it seemed bizarre that I should be being charged fees no one could explain to me, and that reducing a mystery surcharge by two thirds didn’t alter that what remained was still a mystery surcharge. This surprise I put firmly in the “evidence of a hotel that doesn’t care about its guests” category. Still, I figured that’s what credit card charge backs are for. It’s hot, I have a long way to drive, and my family have learnt all they know about patience from Miss Piggy. I mentioned the fees and charges to our travel agent in passing later that day, and she had us reimbursed pretty well straight away. By this stage I was sure she was a member. Or a magician.

Pause there for a moment (you’ve read this far I’m optimistic you can wait one more paragraph). Twice in my stay, the Carmel Valley Ranch staff ignored the reasoned and civil requests of their fee paying guest . But a travel agent, who sends them guests regularly – oh that they listen to. What better evidence could there be of this place’s priorities? The guest can go hang. But the agent or the member . . . “but of course”. Status seems to matter here unduly. The room you stay in, your membership or some other unseen and half-baked measure of guest value seem to determine far too much, invisibly, about your stay.

And this is such a competitive area for great places to stay. I can’t fathom why you would come here, unless you’re a “member” or you like subsidizing other people’s green fees. We ended our trip at the infinitely superior Calistoga Ranch a few hours north. The young, enthusiastic and well meaning Carmel staff should be sent there for training. And the Ranch owners sent there to see what some investment and a change in attitude could achieve.

Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Lawyersontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CVRManager, Managing Director at Carmel Valley Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Lawyersontour,

Thank you for choosing Carmel Valley Ranch and for leaving a thoughtful review of our property. I want to thank you for taking the time out day to leave a thorough review of our property. Firstly, I want to apologize for the shortfalls you had during your stay. The experience you described is not something we pride ourselves on.

I will be sure to discuss your review with my staff directly. I take ownership of each and every experience as the Managing Director of Carmel Valley Ranch. As a father myself, I am saddened to know that your stay ended in disappointment. If you have any additional feedback we welcome it with open arms.

Sincerely,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
Carmel Valley Ranch

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