There are plenty of memorable parts from our stay at the Carmel Valley Ranch, but the one that remains at the forefront of our memories is definitely the light. Whether at sunrise or dusk, the light in the valley – over the rolling hills and filtered through the branches of the scraggly, old live oaks, bathes every part of the property in richness and warmth, and helps its visitors settle into a perfect state of relaxation.
We chose to stay at Carmel Valley Ranch because of its fantastic Central Coast location, but the property itself turned out to be yet another highlight from our joint 30th birthday trip to California. The setting, nestled into the valley, took us away from the pace and population of Carmel and Monterey, but left us at a great jumping-off point to explore places like nearby Big Sur or Point Lobos. The aesthetic was minimal and modern without overstated design, but with just the right balance of local character and natural comfort. Although we spent much of our days exploring the region, returning to such a beautiful property was a welcome way to spend our afternoons and evenings.
The expansive 500 acre property was recently renovated around the concept of a place “dedicated to the idea of play.” Given its size and amenities, the ranch has succeeded in providing a beautiful and extensive haven of play for all ages. No matter what one is searching for on vacation – hikes with panoramic valley views and local wildlife, relaxing pools, recreational activities, family-friendly areas, or just delicious food and wine – we think it can be found at Carmel Valley Ranch.
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.