Carmel Valley Ranch Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Carmel Valley Ranch is a 500-acre property offering modern luxury in a rustic, bucolic setting, with tall oak trees, organic gardens, and rolling vineyards. It's a great spot for families, with large rooms featuring flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and Keurig coffeemakers -- plus enormous bathrooms, small private decks, and travertine fireplaces. The ranch's many features include two outdoor pools -- the River Ranch Pool, featuring a splash zone for kids, and the Lodge Pool -- as well as an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye. There are seven fire pits perfect for nightly fireside s'mores, and endless activities -- tai chi or beekeeping, anyone? -- that can keep families entertained. Plus, there's a kids camp as well as evening activities for kids, tennis courts, and a basketball court.
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The centrally located Hyatt Regency Monterey is one of the largest properties in the area, which means it has tons of on-site amenities to make families happy. The hotel is located on a golf course, and features tennis courts, two pools, and a Camp Hyatt for kids three to 12. Families can also rent bicycles on the property and the Hyatt brand offers baby products available in the room if you order in advance -- everything from diapers to formula. The 550 rooms are spacious, attractive and modern with sleek design touches -- such as behind-the-headboard uplights, backlit bathroom mirrors, and stylish contemporary art.
Bernardus Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This 57-room rustic-luxe retreat in Carmel Valley sits in a lovely setting among rolling hills and vineyards. Details such as vaulted beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and country-inspired decor help create an atmosphere that is homey and cozy. Though the lodge attracts largely couples looking for a romantic getaway, families are sure to find plenty to do. The resort features tennis courts, a bocce ball and croquet lawn, and an attractive outdoor pool. Rooms are spacious, so even families with tots in tow can find one that will suit their needs.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The 144-room cliff-side Hyatt Carmel Highlands offers awe-inspired views unrivaled anywhere else around Monterey and Carmel -- some could even argue the entire West Coast. Accommodations are seemingly as roomy as the stunning ocean views they offer, most complete with working fireplaces and stocked with simple yet modern amenities. And the on-site family-friendly amenities include a pool and free bicycle rentals. Plus, the Hyatt brand offers baby products available in the room if you order in advance -- everything from diapers to formula.
Casa Munras, a Larkspur Collection Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
This upper-middle-range hacienda-style hotel in Old Town Monterey claims to be rich in Spanish heritage, but looks more like a traditional chain hotel -- but the kids won't care! The ivy and flower-covered exterior is pretty, and the hotel features plenty of family-friendly amenities, including a sunny outdoor pool area (complete with a poolside mini basketball hoop) and free movie nights in the summers with popcorn and blankets. The rooms are spacious enough for families and feature some modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and DVD players (with DVDs available to borrow), free Wi-Fi, and some have cozy fireplaces.