Luxury Lodging for Less in California: Carmel Valley Ranch

Stephanie WeiAug 7, 2018

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Carmel Valley Ranch is a popular luxury property in Carmel Valley, California, conveniently near Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey and Big Sur, but also a true destination in and of itself. Think on-site hiking, activities, spa packages, kids camp, great food and wine, luxe accommodations and more.

But how do you stay there for as little as possible? NerdWallet knows!

Remember your timing

Offseason and midweek reservations are the best ways around the $500-$700 per night price tag.

  • Pay $200-$300 per night: April through September is peak season for the resort, so consider booking between September and April/May. This works great for many who live within driving distance or are in the area for business, especially for long weekends.

  • Pay $225 per night: Carmel Valley Ranch has a California resident deal special (the Good Neighbor package) for Sunday nights and a midweek special (the Play Hooky package) that includes breakfast and activity credits.

Know your discount travel booking sites

Carmel Valley Ranch has a track record of running discounts and deals on third-party booking sites like Travelzoo, Secret Escapes (in partnership with Jetsetter) and HotelTonight.

HotelTonight has the lowest rates we’ve seen (around $200), but obviously this works only if you can travel last minute and mostly during the middle of the week.

Secret Escapes and Travelzoo have dropped rates as low as $249/night, mostly during the offseason.

Maximize value and perks with programs

If you do have to pay full price, the best way to maximize value is to book through programs like American Express Platinum’s Fine Hotels and Resorts and Virtuoso. Benefits can end up being $160-$500+ depending on how long you stay.

Benefits include free breakfast, room upgrade if available, late checkout, free third or fourth night and a $100 property credit.

Stay in touch

The best way to find out about Carmel Valley Ranch’s deals is to sign up for its email newsletter, called the ECLUB, on its homepage. Here are a few that we’ve seen this past year:

Cyber Monday: Rates started at $250. December specials: Buy two nights, get one free.

Spring Fever Countdown: Special offers for stays Feb. 12 - May 31, 2018. Thirty percent off if booked by Feb. 18, 20% off if booked by Feb. 25, and 10% off if booked by March 4.

Screenshots by Stephanie Wei.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NerdWallet or its partners.

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