Carmel Valley Ranch Hyatt Unbound Collection. Bottom Line Review.

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Carmel Valley Ranch, Hyatt Unbound Collection is an all-suites resort in Carmel Valley, California.  We stayed 3 nights in the off-season (February) at a cash rate of slightly over $300 per night through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.  By booking this way, we received early check-in, $100 property credit, $60 per day breakfast credit, and a room upgrade.

Carmel Valley Ranch Bottom Line Review

Excellent high-end yet unpretentious California resort.  My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Carmel Valley Ranch.  We booked a junior suite, but were upgraded to a large and very comfortable 1 bedroom corner suite.  We were impressed with the beautiful property itself, the solid and unpretentious service, and the delicious food.

Our bedroom unit didn’t have much in the way of views: our deck looked out only at trees and other units.  Elsewhere around the resort, though, there are gorgeous views of the property and surrounding valley.  That said, it’s worth noting that if you’re looking for ocean views, you won’t get them here. You’ll have to drive about 10 miles west to find some of the most stunning ocean views in the world.

  • Points Price: Category 6, 25,000 points per night standard, 21,000 off-peak, or 29,000 peak
  • Location: Very good
  • Resort Dining: The main restaurant features excellent but pricey food.  A little market offers a small selection of tasty and reasonably priced sandwiches (including breakfast sandwiches).  There are additional food options at the Golf Clubhouse and the River Lodge (activity center), but we didn’t try either.
  • Bedroom: Excellent.  Lots of space.  Comfy bed.  Comfortable couch and chair in living room.
  • Activities: The resort has several free activities and quite a few available for an extra charge.  Free activities include guided hikes, farm & nature talks, evening S’mores, and various exercise options (yoga, etc.).  The only paid activities we opted for were the Whiskey tasting ($20) and Falconry ($135).  I highly recommend both.
  • Pet friendly: We didn’t bring a pet, but there were many dogs on property and they were clearly treated very well.  I wish I had taken a photo of the amazing looking breakfast that was served to a dog in the restaurant!
  • Service: Excellent
  • Turn-down service? Yep, but they didn’t include mints or any other treats.
  • Resort fee: $45 per day, includes parking.  Keep in mind that Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees on award stays, so you can save extra money by booking with points.
  • Misc:
    • Welcome gift: We had notified the resort ahead of time that we would be celebrating a major anniversary and so they delivered a bottle of Swing Pinot Noir from their own vineyard. We enjoyed it and appreciated the gesture.
    • Surprise gift: On the second day of our visit they randomly brought us a small bag of chocolate chip cookies.  I assume that they do this for all guests, but I’m not sure why it only happened once on a three day stay.
    • Recreation center: The resort includes a recreation center called the River Lodge which includes sports like tennis and basketball, kid-friendly pools, games, exercise options, and more.  Unfortunately, the River Lodge is quite a hike from the main part of the resort where the guestrooms and main lodge are located.  You can drive to the River Lodge or request a golf cart ride.
  • Hyatt Elite Benefits: I don’t know. We used Fine Hotels & Resorts which offered excellent elite-like benefits.  I expect that Hyatt Globalists will get free daily breakfast, waived resort fees, a suite upgrade, and probably a welcome gift.
  • Would I stay again?  Yep!  If I return I would probably mix a few nights here with a few nights at an oceanfront property such as the nearby Hyatt Carmel Highlands.

Photos and captions follow…

King Forrest Suite Living Room. Since the weather was often chilly while we were here, we loved having gas fireplaces in both the living room and bedroom. The breakfast nook was a great feature too.
King Forrest Suite Bedroom.  The room was spacious and the bed was comfortable.
Huevos Rancheros breakfast.
Infinity Hot tub with a view
Whiskey tasting with Josh. Josh is super knowledgeable about Whiskey and he told entertaining stories while we sipped from our heavily poured glasses.  If you like Whiskey at all, I highly recommend this $20 activity.  My wife enjoyed sitting with us to listen to Josh’s stories even though she wasn’t participating in the tasting.
The Falconry activity wasn’t cheap at $135 per person, but my wife and I loved it. The falconer was entertaining and the birds were magnificent.
Breakfast menu at Carmel Valley Ranch’s Valley Kitchen
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