California, Carmel, Monica Byers, Stay, USA — January 31, 2012 at 2:22 am



The Lodge at Carmel Valley Ranch (photo by Tony Byers)


CARMEL, CA – Miles removed from Highway 1, Carmel Valley Ranch is like a hideout amidst the trees.  As we drove into the Carmel Valley – seemingly miles off the beaten track – I said to my husband, “Man, this sure is far from everything.  I hope it’s worth the trek.”  It is.

Carmel Valley Ranch sits atop a hill in a gated residential community.  Included on this 500 acre property are an 18-hole golf course, two swimming pools, a hiking trail, a lodge (including restaurant, gift shop, and library), a vineyard, a spa, a gym, assorted gardens, and – of course – hotel rooms (over 150 of them, all designated as “suites”).  All the suites include a private deck or balcony, bathrobes, free wi-fi (please, can we send a memo to other hotels about the free wi-fi?), a fireplace and other luxuries.  We stayed in one of the Ranch Suites, which sits amongst the treetops and has a private balcony (making you feel as though you are staying in a very well-appointed treehouse).

Pool and fire pit at Carmel Valley Ranch (photo by Tony Byers)

Restaurant at Carmel Valley Ranch (photo by Tony Byers)

The restaurant serves good food and wines at pretty reasonable prices and also on offer (included in your resort fee) are guided hikes, yoga and various other fitness classes and s’mores (yes, s’mores) prepared every evening around an outdoor firepit.  For an extra fee, you can take tennis classes, play golf, attend a wine tasting or have someone watch your kids.  Last, but certainly not least, the property is loaded with trees and, from these, hang an assortment of swings – free for those who dare engage their inner child.

What is the little thing that makes it worth a stay?  Luxurious tranquility.

Where is it?  One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA.

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