Wine, Romance at Carmel Valley’s Holman Ranch, Review

Holman Ranch hacienda
Holman Ranch stone hacienda in Carmel Valley, California

Tucked away on a 400 acre parcel of land in Carmel Valley, California sits the stone hacienda known as Holman Ranch. This “Casa Escondida” or “Hidden House,” resting under the outstretched arms of majestic oak trees, has been a retreat for Hollywood celebrities since the days of Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford and Marlon Brando.

Authentic Carmel found at Holman Ranch

Today, an overnight stay at Holman Ranch is a chance to glimpse into the past of old Carmel Valley. While the ranch has changed hands several times, the original character of this 1928 Spanish hacienda shines through. From the inner courtyard of the main building, with its fountains and rose bushes, to the carriage house, once a former stable, the property blends its cowboy past with modern day elegance.

Holman Ranch great room
Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley was built for celebrations.

Romance found at Holman Ranch

Holman Ranch was built for celebrations. From weddings to family reunions or corporate retreats, the ranch and surrounding grounds lend themselves to memorable gatherings.  Ten themed guest rooms line the property. From the two bedroom cottage, to the Charlie Chaplin room with its two queen beds, bridal parties or grandma and grandpa, along with a posse of grand children will feel right at home on the private estate.

All rooms offer complimentary wi-fi, flat screen tv’s, showers, ironing boards, safe deposit boxes and housekeeping service. There is also bocce ball, a horseshoe pit, fitness center, swimming pool (not heated) and indoor game room offering a dart board, pool table, plasma tv, bar, jukebox and fireplace – an ideal bachelor pad for boys and girls, young and old to play.

Traveling with Fido? Holman Ranch is pet-friendly, to any size dog, for a price of  $250.

Three’s not a crowd at Holman Ranch

"HR Charlie Chaplin Room"
Charlie Chaplin has stayed at Holman Ranch. The Charlie Chaplin room.

Three is not a crowd at Holman Ranch. In fact, the more the merrier for you and your wallet! Be advised that Holman Ranch is more of a package deal. You’ll need to reserve all ten rooms to stay on the estate – think weddings; special events in Carmel, Pebble Beach or Laguna Seca.

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My room, the Charlie Chaplin room with two queen beds, rented for $375 per night on weekends, including full, hot breakfast, and $325 week day rate. Not interested in breakfast, subtract $25.

Holman Ranch Vineyards

What’s a wedding celebration without California wine? Holman Ranch has a small estate vineyard of primarily chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes under production in the Carmel Valley Appellation. The 19 acres of grapes produce estate wines for wine club members. The property also features Tuscan varietal olive trees, resulting in extra-virgin olive oil; again, only available to wine club members. Am I detecting a pattern here?

"water bottle"
Holman Ranch stainless steel canteen.

Insider tip

I am not a fan of the tap water in Carmel. It tastes bad.  Thankfully, Holman Ranch has its own water system on the property and the water quality is excellent. Mindful stewards of the land, Holman Ranch includes two stainless steel canteens in rooms for guests to use, enjoy on the ranch and take home as a reminder of their Holman Ranch vacation.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter .

If You Go:

Holman Ranch  (831) 659-2640

60 Holman Ranch Road

Carmel Valley, California 93924

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Holman Ranch.

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