Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel Valley, CA

Many of us know Carmel, California for its beautiful coastline, storybook-style architecture, fine art community and abundance of hotels, restaurants, and shops. The beauty of this area draws people from around the world and is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth.

What many people don’t realize is that there is an entirely different side of Carmel. Just a few miles from downtown is what could be considered the rural side of Carmel, known as Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley offers a distinctively different experience with its serene countryside setting, rolling hills, vineyards, golf courses, equestrian trails and so much more that make this a perfect destination for the outdoor and wine enthusiast wanting to experience the peaceful, slower paced lifestyle of this beautiful region.

Tucked away in the tranquil foothills of this valley, you will find a hidden gem on a sprawling 500-acre property called the Carmel Valley Ranch.


The Property

The Carmel Valley Ranch {CVR} is a gated resort community which consists of privately owned residences, an 18-hole golf course, vineyards, and the Lodge with all the amenities one would expect of a first-class, luxury resort.

The spacious grounds have a very serene atmosphere and the extraordinary setting encompasses lush oak trees, four acres of vineyards, lavender fields, a colorful organic garden, ponds, and miles of hiking trails throughout the property.

The Lodge is designed in what can be described as ranch-style luxury…just enough rustic elements to make it comfortable and relaxing, along with the elegant touches that make it feel luxuriously decadent as well.

The staff is friendly, professional and extremely accommodating. The Lodge is also very pet-friendly and four-legged friends are welcomed anywhere on the property.

Guest Rooms

The Lodge offers 181 guest studios and suites with an average room size of more than 800 square feet and the ability to go up to a 4 bedroom suite.

The rooms are designed in warm earth tones with clean lines. All suites and studios include travertine fireplaces, limestone bathrooms and decks overlooking the valley or the forest. Suites feature a variety of decor from cathedral ceilings, separate living rooms and master bedrooms, custom-made furnishings, oversized private decks and alfresco soaking tubs. Complimentary amenities include:

  • In-Suite Wireless Internet Access
  • Wireless Internet Access in public areas
  • Daily New York Time on your door
  • Shuttle Services within The Ranch
  • In-Suite and Lodge self-service coffee
  • Local and Toll-Free Calls
  • In-Suite complimentary water replenished daily

I stayed in Room 302, a Hilltop Ranch Suite {Bluff Suites} named for its high location and views. The room was quite spacious with a separate living room area, writing desk, and wall unit with a flatscreen tv, Keurig coffee maker, and refrigerator. The bathroom was large and luxurious with its limestone features, a separate soaking tub and shower along with a large walk-in closet. The wonderful lavender bath amenities are created on-site and add an indulgent element.

Each room is provided with complimentary bottled water and snacks. My room had a nice sized deck with an alfresco egg-shaped soaking tub that was a sweet surprise and I must say was extremely comfortable and so relaxing to soak in while stargazing. My room had some large oak trees in front of my deck which took away part of my view, yet at the same time, provided some privacy on the deck so that is something to consider when booking.

Insider tip: For rooms with the best views, I would suggest the Bluff or Valley Suites {on an upper level if applicable} directly overlooking the 11/12/13th fairway. The Treetop Suites are convenient to the common areas at the Lodge if you prefer to be in close proximity to the hub of the resort and the rooms are surrounded by the oak trees…hense the name Treetop Suites.

In the early evening, it is a pleasure to watch the deers, turkeys and other wildlife emerge from the hills and roam around the resort and they seem to be accustomed to and coexist with the humans on property quite well.

The Lodge offers three dining options along with room service. The main restaurant on property is the Valley Kitchen.

Located off of the lobby, this stylish restaurant offers a comfortable atmosphere for indoor or poolside dining {B/L/D} along with libations at the bar which houses an impressively displayed wine collection with rare allocated labels enough to earn a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The restaurant is guided by the farm-to-table concept and utilizes local sources from the Monterey Bay, along with ingredients grown on the property.

The restaurant focuses on sustainable ingredients from their organic garden, vineyard and olive trees. CVR grows much of the fresh produce and herbs used for their restaurant dishes, eggs from their chickens, honey made from the 60,000 Italian bees that are housed on-site and goat cheese from their goats. Their Lavender fields provide the ingredients for some specialty items such as creative cocktails/dishes, soaps, lotions, and other amenities used on the property. The ranch also grows three varieties of grapes {Pinot Noir, Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc} on the property’s 4-acre vineyard for their own produced wines. It’s really a quite impressive self-sustaining environment, not to mention the visual beauty the gardens and vineyards provide.

After dinner, grab a libation and/or make yourself a gooey s’more at one of the many large, stone firepits that are located on the property and enjoy the cozy evening atmosphere.

The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse is located at the golf course and offers a bar and full menu for breakfast and lunch and a very nice golf shop. There is a large patio overlooking the driving range with inviting large stone firepits. This is a perfect stop after a golf-game or for a casual lunch or libation.

The River Ranch Cafe

The River Ranch Cafe is the most casual venue and is located near the lower pool area. Here you will find quick-grab drinks and snacks along with a casual lunch menu…a perfect option for a day lounging around the pool, or a quick pick-me-up after a game of tennis or golf.


My favorite features of this property are the pools. There are three outdoor saltwater swimming pools and two hot tubs on the property.

The main pool and infinity edge spa are located between the lobby/restaurant and the resort spa. The large pool is surrounded by comfortable upholstered lounge chairs just begging you to have a seat, and complimentary private cabanas are sprinkled around the outer edge. Bright orange umbrellas add a vibrancy and energy to the space that adds a fun element and music is filtered in for additional ambiance. There are two other pools that are just as nice located near the River Ranch Cafe.


Spa Aiyana is a 10,500 square foot, full-service spa featuring 11 treatment rooms and 6 mani/pedi stations. The spa has a central location near the Lodge’s lobby and pool and is open daily. A cozy waiting area offers comfy seating with a healthy snack bar and many of the treatments incorporate salts and lavender made from ingredients from the property.

In addition to the spa, there is a state-of-the-art 5,200 square foot fitness center for those health conscious individuals who don’t want to miss their routine workouts. There are dozens of complimentary fitness classes offered daily.


The activities offered at CVR are too numerous to name. The whole premise here is to inspire, nurture and offer their guests activities that offer authentic experiences unique to this region.

A few highlights of some activities are:

18-Hole Classic Pete Dye Golf Course

9 Tennis Courts

Equestrian Center

2 Bocce Ball Courts


Miles of Hiking

Hilltop Yoga Platform

Numerous Children’s Programs

Nightly S’mores Bar

See {here} for current activities available.

Pet Friendly

CVR is arguably one of the most pet-friendly resorts I have ever been to, they unconditionally welcome furry friends of all shapes and sizes. Welcome beds, bowls, and treats await your pet upon arrival. The Lodge allows well-behaved dogs anywhere on the property which I found really refreshing. It’s such a pleasure when a resort treats your pet like the family member that they are for most of us.

Unique to Property

Adventure Kitchen Home to Garden-to-Table Cooking Demonstrations

Night Golf with Neon Balls

World-Class Bee Apiary

Organic Garden Tours

Hen House “Chicken Chats”

Salt House Talks


I had not been to this property for quite some time, and I have to say that it has developed into a first-class luxury resort, offering a unique, peaceful setting that feels so calm and spacious. Guests of the Lodge have access to all amenities within the gated 500-acre property which provides endless possibilities of activities.

The next time you visit the Carmel region, I highly suggest considering the Carmel Valley Ranch. This pet-friendly lodge offers all the beauty the Carmel countryside has to offer with an understated elegance that is sure to offer you a great time.

Carmel Valley Ranch

One Old Ranch Road

Carmel, CA 903923


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