- Singapore Airlines SQ34 Singapore to San Francisco A350-900 – Premium Economy
- Carmel Valley Ranch
- San Francisco Marriott Marquis
- United Polaris Lounge, San Francisco International Airport
- Singapore Airlines SQ1 San Francisco to Hong Kong 777-300ER – Business
- SilverKris Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport
- Singapore Airlines SQ1 Hong Kong to Singapore 777-300ER – Business
- The Haven, Changi Airport Terminal 3
I am the first to admit that I’m a city traveller. Resort-ish place has never appealed to me – its a combination of too much sun and the feeling that nature / landscape kind of almost looks the same. But this stay at Carmel Valley Ranch changed my opinion. But perhaps its the weather?
Address – One Old Ranch Road, Carmel, CA 93923. Website.
** Check out other properties in Carmel now! **
Location – Other than being 2 hours from the airport, the property seems to be 10-mins from Carmel by the Sea, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small beach city on California’s Monterey Peninsula. It’s known for the museums and library of the historic Carmel Mission, and the fairytale cottages and galleries of its village-like center.
Marketing spill about the property:
We’re serious about play, but we also know that everyone plays differently. There’s the family that wants room for revelry and reconnection. The couple looking for a quiet, intimate getaway. And the corporate team seeking privacy in order to focus and create. Our 500-acre playground has room for everyone, with distinctive family areas and pools, secluded romantic spots, and flexible meeting spaces. The Ranch is for the kids at heart, the kids themselves, and those who just need to get a little work done before finding their inner kid, too.
Basically, the massive property is designed to be an all-inclusive experience with everything you need for a relaxing time regardless of your length of stay.
The property map shows you just how big the property is:
Getting Here – we had a chartered bus that took us from SFO to the property directly and was a total of 2-hour drive. In the dark, I’d imagine the property would be really hard to find as there was not much lights in the vicinity. The first sign of life would be the guardhouse which I presume checks who is entering the property.
Price – My room as part of the corporate booking but a dummy check using similar Sun-Thur dates showed USD364++ per night for 1pax for my room type.
Arriving at the lobby – I got a glimpse of how gorgeous the property is once we stepped into the lobby. A living room-isque set up welcomes you with a fireplace and sofas with warm lighting – really sets the mood! (I arrived at night when its too dark so the pictures below are taken the following morning).
Check In – Rather fuss free but I was tired, cold, and hungry after such a long journey and it felt a little too long.
Room – Arriving at night, my room, Bluff Suite 338 was a good 5mins ride away from the main lobby at one end of the property. Basically your room number tells you how near you are from the main lobby – the 100s are nearest, the 200s are further away but still walkable, and the 300s are at the far end and takes 10mins walk.
On the official website, Bluff Suites are called “Hilltop Ranch Suites” instead – it sure feels like its advertised 74SqM comprising of a separate (and under-used) living room, a huge double sink bathroom with bathtub and showers, and a super cosy bedroom with plush king bed, my personal fireplace, and sweeping views of the property. The entire space was spotless.
Kind of dark in my picture but I’m sure it can sit 6pax comfortably. Not in the picture was a nespresso machine and capsules are generously re-stocked daily.
Huge space, well-stocked amenities, and shower and shampoo were house-brand and smelt really amazing. Forgot to try the bathrobe!
1 giant king bed, a personal fireplace with a TV on top, and a day couch at one corner of the room. USD ports are available on both sides of the bed on the lamp stamp.
And this is what I woke up to every morning:
I have to say the fireplace is amazing. It’s electric and comes with a 3 pre-set timings of 30mins, 60mins, or 120mins. Its really therapeutic to watch the flames and feel the room warming up as you take in the amazing views.
Facilities – Omg where should I begin? The place is packed with facilities!
This is where the main lobby is, which also houses the main restaurant. There is an outdoor fireplace, a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a mini mart of sorts where you can purchase their house-made products like their honeys, cheeses etc. Right out the Lodge is where guests arrive when they first get to the place and also request and wait for your shuttle service to your room if need be.
This is where the gym is, inclusive of fitness / cycling studios for classes where schedules are listed on their website. There is no need to pre-register: you basically just call for a shuttle to send you there slightly before time. Do note that this is not really within walking distance of the rooms especially if its a 6am class and the sky is still really dark.
The place also contains a charming little min mart of sorts where you can grab a coffee, some snacks, and even buy yoga attire if you wish to (I did!).
Lastly, there is a second pool here and another hot tub!
Service – I found the service consistently good and warm. Staff were all smiley including housekeeping and everyone seem genuinely happy to help.
Breakfast – I did not experience the restaurant’s breakfast as mine was a corporate package ie limited catered buffet selection but I’d imagine the quality to be similar to the benchmark: eggs, bacon, potatoes, alongside with a good dose of healthy election eg yoghurt, muesli, fruits. (sorry no pics!).
Shuttle service – I thought this was worth a mention as this was how I got around the property during my 5-day stay here. Being situated 10-mins walk away from the lobby meant the shuttle was critical for the earlier parts of my stay, especially to the River Ranch. The transport type you get depends on where you are heading to: the buggy takes you to rooms quite easily but anything further than rooms you’ll get actual SUVs or cars marked with the property name. All guests are picked up from the nearest carpark to their rooms. The wait time depends on your luck – there was a few times where I had to call a second time to ask if its coming at all, and then there are times where it appeared after 5mins. This is due to the transport picking up all other requests in the vicinity as they drive around so the combination of all these makes it really hard to predict. I waited a good 20 mins during super peak times so do take note.
Activities – The property also offers a whole host of activities to keep you entertained including bee tours, farm stuff, hiking (the Huff & Puff trail is challenging!) and various workshops. There is an in-room brochure which will explain these more.
More pictures of the pretty place:
Check Out – Check out was fuss free and quick even when I have some incidentals to settle.
I didn’t expect to like the place so much. It is the perfect combination of a ranch property which allows you to get so in touch with nature, with the luxuries you’d expect from a 5-star hotel. I am already missing my fireplace back in hot sweltering Singapore and I’d definitely come back if I get the chance to.
Check out the most recent reviews for Carmel Valley Ranch here!