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After a $35M renovation, the Carmel Valley Ranch is truly a divine getaway for families. With nearly 500 acres of land, “The Ranch” offers more activities than we were able to pack into our 2-night stay. The new owners of The Ranch have taken great care to create a relaxing and unique experience for the whole family, including youngsters like our 4-year-old son.
Carmel Valley Ranch Activities
The Carmel Valley Ranch likens itself to a camp because of its many complimentary activities. From guided hikes to the iconic tree swings to pilates to S’mores at night, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy at this resort. Our son’s favorite experience was the unique Bee Experience in the apiary. He was excited to wear a “spacesuit” for the adventure, watching as the bee-keeper opened the hives. In fact, he was so excited that he patiently listened to a 45-minute bee tutorial on how these bees would gather nectar from the lavender plants on the Ranch before we even entered the apiary. I was amazed! My favorite part was getting a taste of the lavender honey from these busy bees. Delicious.
We also loved the River Ranch. It’s a huge, kid-friendly fitness complex that includes a swimming pool, splash area for little ones, bocce ball court, basketball court, tennis courts, and fitness center. The Kids camp and childcare facilities are also located here, which is convenient if you’re trying to fit in a work-out. It’s a great place to find some playmates for your kids too.
And of course, my husband’s favorite… the GOLF COURSE! If you like the golf, you’ll love staying here. Not only do they have a fantastic course, but also they often offer complimentary golf clinics during the summer busy season.
If you’d like to explore the surrounding areas, The Ranch is also conveniently located just 15 minutes from Carmel Beach and the beautiful Point Lobos State Reserve, and 20 minutes from Monterey and the aquarium.
Carmel Valley Ranch Accommodations
The rooms are all HUGE, one-bedroom suites. We stayed in the Garland Suite, which was a better lay-out for us compared to the Ranch Suite where we stayed during our last visit. This time the bathroom was located in a hallway between the living room area and the bedroom (versus being connected to the bedroom) and there was no tiptoeing past any sleeping babies – a nice touch! The beds, including the sofa bed, were comfortable, and a large leather coffee table is certainly kid-friendly for cruisers or new walkers.
There are three eating options on-site: The Lodge Restaurant, the River Ranch Café, and the restaurant at the golf club. The food at the Lodge was excellent, with an eight-item children’s menu with favorites from mac-n-cheese to healthier options like grilled chicken with veggies. The portions are large for both adults and kids, so come hungry.The River Ranch Café is located at the River Ranch and has a variety of salads, sandwiches and burgers. The food was tasty, but be mindful of the 20% service tax that is charged even if you’re just taking the food to-go.
We didn’t get a chance to try the food at the golf course, but the views from the club are stunning.
Bottom Line: We’ll be back. The Carmel Valley Ranch is a 5-star stay that caters to every member of the family.