Carmel Valley Ranch: A Hyatt Hidden Gem

Official Photo by Hyatt

For our 4 year anniversary, Jen and I decided to plan a short getaway. Being the main travel planner and points junkie, I set my eyes on Carmel Valley Ranch, a Hyatt property under the “Unbound Collection”. I had heard wonderful things about this property and decided it would be amazing spot to celebrate our anniversary.

Booking

The Carmel Valley Ranch by Hyatt is a category 6 hotel with standard award nights at 25k World of Hyatt points. I earn most of my Hyatt points through the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase(Full review of the card coming soon). Cash rates for a basic room at the property tend to be around $1000-$1200 a night on the weekends so this was a great use of my points. In addition, if you are short on Hyatt points, you could also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points over to the World of Hyatt Program.

I booked our two nights with points which also meant avoiding the hefty resort fee of $55 per night due to my Hyatt Globalist Statues. Using 50k points, we got about $2200 in value giving us a redemption value of over 4 cents per point.

Check-in

Carmel is only about 2 hours from San Francisco so left early in the morning with lunch plans in Monterey before hitting the property. Although the standard check-in is 4 PM, we arrived around 2PM and checked in and were told to come back later when our rooms were ready. The front desk did provide us with maps and a custom Hyatt Carmel Valley Ranch tote bag with two plastic reusable water bottles and explained how Hyatt Globalist complimentary breakfast worked(plot twist there’s no real limit to what you can order) and told us they would text us to get us our keys when ready.

Check in was quick and easy and within minutes we were on our way to explore the gorgeous property.

The Room

Using points, Jen and I were booked into a Vineyard Studio with Outdoor Tub. Normal base rooms do not include an outdoor tub. Our room was nicely decorated and completed with an amazing shower and tub. Our room also included a Nespresso Machine which has become the standard for Luxury Hotels. To complete the Valley Ranch vibe, our room also include a gas fireplace that we did end up using.

The Amenities

While the room was spectacular, the best part of the trip was taking advantage of the property’s complimentary fitness classes and activities. Often times, Jen and I only use a hotel as a launching spot for our vacation, so it was nice to thorough enjoy all the activities offered for free by the property.

On our first day, we were able to use the adult pool which include 4 lanes of standard short course lengths. On the second day(our full day) we had morning “Hilltop Yoga” which included a short but steep hike to a ridge and then a solid 40 minutes of yoga. We also had the opportunity to meet some of the farm animals and walk through both the property’s vineyards and organic garden later in day. Finally on our last day, Jen and I decided to challenge ourselves and took two fitness classes back to back. This was only made possible through 4pm late checkout for Hyatt Globalist. The amenities offered really gave Jen and I time to enjoy each other’s company while also exploring all that the resort had to offer.

Food

Hyatt Carmel Valley Ranch has several different food options including a grab n go market, River Ranch a quick and easy joint, and Valley Kitchen a more luxe restaurant that was slightly overpriced. During our visit, Jen and I were given a $100 credit to spend as we pleased and we ended up using it on a dinner at Valley Kitchen.

Garlic Clams at the Valley Kitchen were reasonably priced at $24 and were solid.

Nice and Juicy steak that was a bit overpriced.

In total our dinner came out to $100 after tip and tax.

Breakfast on the other hand was complimentary and rather than eating at one of the properties restaurants, we ended up ordering room service( the property calls it “in-suite dining”). There was no real cap on how much food we could order but we tried to stick to 4 items tops along with juice and coffee. I did leave a tip for the delivery service, but upon receiving the final bill I was not charged for the tip I left. I’m not sure what that means.

For the both days, Jen had the two eggs with potatoes and bacon, while I had the smoke salmon bagel, and we shared the fruit platter. I also ordered a yogurt bowl to snack on during the first day.

our wonderful breakfast spread PC: Jennifer Lee

Final Thoughts

While the property did end up costing me 25k points a night, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and felt like I got amazing value. Overall in addition to the $2200 per night I would have paid for the rooms, I also ended up getting every meal on the property free of charge which would have otherwise came been about $350. The fitness classes were also complimentary and would have probably been a small fee at a normal club so overall I felt that I got over $2600 in value from 50k points.

In addition to getting great value, Hyatt Carmel Valley Ranch offered a quiet getaway with a relaxing atmosphere. When traveling or taking a quick getaway, I’m looking for the opportunity to relax and I found that the secluded nature of the property really added to that feeling. I had a wonderful time and I am definitely going to be returning to the property in the near future(2022?)

Leave a Reply