While working the previous weekend and late nights last week, I had one thing to lift my spirits–vacation. Even though they’re small trips, we still consider them vacation. As soon as we came home from work on Friday, we packed up and headed south for a weekend getaway, screaming “We’re on vacation!” I’ve had my eye on Carmel Valley and Big Sur for months now. We’d done Mendocino, wine country, Tomales Bay–all north of the city. I wanted to go south this time. Even though I’d scoured the web for deals and called periodically, the very best rate came through when I called on the day of. They offered $100 less than their best available Triple A rate online. Good things come to those who wait.
Getting to Carmel Valley Ranch was a jagged, misty trek which is a hotel I’m not sure I’d do again. The sprawling facility has gone through a recent $35 million renovation. Our fireplace room with a deck was really nice, but I was quite disappointed that the bar closed at 10pm on a Friday night. Sure, we’d brought a couple bottles of wine, but it would have been nice to have a drink at the bar! They don’t yet have the kinks worked out. For example, their brunch menu says that all egg dishes come with hash, toast, and bacon. When my green eggs and ham came out without a side of bacon, I screamed bloody mary. Our nervous waitress did her best to explain, “Your meal already has ham–the meat–so we don’t do the bacon. The regular egg dishes without meat get the side of bacon. I know, it’s not worded correctly on the menu.”
“The menu says that every egg entree comes with a side of bacon. I ordered an egg entree,” I emphasized with a look that told her I was ready to call the manager over.
“Sure, of course, I’ll bring that right away.”
The spa is pretty nice with a posh women’s locker room. Even better, we enjoyed the outdoor hot tub looking out over the golf course and frolicking deer. But I’m close to snagging a deal at the other high end Carmel Valley hotel, Bernardus, to make a fair comparison.