Best Hotels in Carmel for Group Getaways

Best Hotels in Carmel for Group Getaways

The Monterey Bay-Central Coast area of California can claim any number of items that attract waves of visitors, and famously so. One other thing it provides, with all the quality and a fraction of the recognition, is great group lodging. The venues that go above and beyond in that category function well on a number of fronts, from unforgettable settings to scalable conference space to accessible entertainment. Here are our Group Getaway Hotel winners in Carmel Valley and Carmel-by-the-Sea, selected by our editors.

Featured photo courtesy of Quail Lodge & Golf Club. 

Carmel Valley Ranch-Monterey Peninsula-Group-800x450-credit Carmel Valley Ranch
Photo: Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch

Want to try your hand at archery? Falconry? Beekeeping? Or maybe you just want to play a round of golf on a par-70 Pete Dye-designed course? Spread across 500 acres in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Carmel Valley Ranch has space for it all — including three different swimming pools. The almost overwhelming activity menu also might include cooking classes, foraging hikes, or yoga in a hilltop pavilion. The extensive fitness program includes barre, circuit training and water yoga while the menu at Spa Aiyana features ten different types of massage — making it one of the best hotels for wellness as well as luxury. Among the resort’s 181 rooms are a variety of accommodation styles and levels, many featuring fireplaces, private decks or both for a true hideaway vibe, meaning you can add it to the list of the region’s best hotels for romance, too. 

HIGHLIGHT: “Equine experiences” involve interacting with the ranch’s five horses as a form of relaxation and learning. Therapist Robert Magnelli, who calls himself The Horseman, developed the programs, which include the adult-oriented Growing Awareness and the family-friendly Getting to Know the Herd. You can also hang with the herd of goats, alpacas, cows, chickens and their babies born on the property. 

Carmel Hyatt Highlands in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Hyatt Carmel Highlands

A hillside compound in Carmel Highlands, just south of the spectacular Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and only a 10-minute drive to Carmel-by-the-Sea, Hyatt Carmel Highlands has had several incarnations since it opened in 1917. Today its 48 luxurious guestrooms, scattered across rustic buildings, include 11 suites, 32 ocean-view rooms and five garden-view rooms with modern Mission-inspired furnishings; some have full kitchens, as part of the onsite Hyatt Residence Club (which goes by the resort’s original moniker, Highlands Inn.) The highly esteemed, California-inspired Pacific Edge restaurant provides a sweeping vista to the striking shoreline just across Highway 1.

HIGHLIGHT: The heated, sheltered pool and three outdoor hot tubs provide great gathering places to relax after a day of hiking in Big Sur, shopping in Carmel or wine tasting in Carmel Valley. You can also toast your adventures in style at the appropriately named Sunset Lounge, which offers a wall of windows overlooking the Pacific and live entertainment on weekends. The site of many special culinary and wine events over the years, the inn has a reputation for top-notch food and drinks.

Golf Cart on a path at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Quail Lodge

Quail Lodge & Golf Club

Picture 93 ranch-style bungalows set amidst 850 acres of verdant valley that was once a working dairy and you’ll have a sense of Quail Lodge & Golf Club, a Carmel classic since 1964. Closed in 2009 after 45 years of operation, Quail Lodge reopened in 2013 following a ground-up renovation and redesign by Barry Design Associates, the design team behind the Beverly Wilshire and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Vaulted ceilings and tall windows nod to Eichler, framing spacious rooms with plenty of living space ranging in size from 395 to 650 feet. Although it’s luxurious, its rates are among the more moderate.

HIGHLIGHTS: In addition to the 18-hole golf course (updated in 2015) that put Quail Lodge on the map the grounds incorporate three tennis courts, pickleball, bocce ball and a nine-hole putting green. The on-site restaurant, Edgar’s, celebrates sustainable seafood and locally grown produce serving up grilled octopus and shrimp, Monterey Bay sand dabs, and farmers market salad.

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