Carmel Valley Retreat

From our Guest Book ...

Photo Tour

Thanksgiving, 2011

We had a terrific time with our family and friends, two of whom had never experienced Thanksgiving before. It ws a great place to initiate them to this all American holiday. The kitchen offered so many pretty dishes and seving pieces and all the tools a cook could want, and that was truly appreciated.

Thank you for sharing this lovely spot with us.

Miny and Jim Cavanah with family and friends from London, Shanghai, Germany, San Francisco, New Zealand

P.S. Love all the books!

November 3, 2011

Our family arrived 'en masse' from Michigan to attend a beautiful wedding at the Holly Farm. Carmel Valley had saved up its best 70+degree weather with nonstop sunshine. We hiked, saw the sights and enhoyed the house and grounds--couldn't have been more perfect for a group of ten adults--many private and comfortable spaces. If we get back this wqay again, we would love to repeat the stay. Thanks for all yur special touches.

The Hoffman and Gano families

October 10, 2011

Dear Lynda and Chuck,

This home is so perfect! Thank you for opening and sharing this with us. We are here for our daughter's wedding at the Douglas Ranch--the whole event was just amazing. Our 4 grandchildren and other daughter stayed here with us--kids ages 20, 11, 9, 8. The boys shared the guest house and the rest of us stayed in the main house. They had a great time in the pool. This was the perfect place as far as they were concerned. I enjoyed the peace of the home and the property. Getting up before everyone else and sitting outside to watch the birds and see the grey squirrels, listening to the water from the pond--pure tranquility. I hope that we have a chance to come here again.

My son and wife stayed at the Lodge next door and when they saw "our" house, they really wished they had stayed here. They brought their other 4 footed family member with them, a 40 lb. English Bulldog, so were not able to.

Thank you again. Everything was wonderful.


Pat and Kevin Donnellan

July 24, 2011

Thank you Lynda and Chuck for this beautiful vacation weekend! Our group came for the motoGP race at Laguna Seca--some have been here many times, othes only a couple, however we have all found a new favorite place to stay. We have tried hotels, motels and campsites and unanimously agree this house was the BEST CHOICE!

You must know already that the grounds here are beautiful, serene and relaxing. You must also know that the furnishings are more than adequate--we had everything we needed. What you may not know is how much fun we were able to have here. We came from all over the state to spend the weeekend here together and had an amazing time thanks to this WAY COOL HOUSE!!

We barbequed each night, hung out on the deck, swam in the pool, listened to the music and bonded over meals and household chores. We all say forget the hotel! We want to come back here!!

Thanks again--we loved it here!!

Much love,

Mike and friends

January 16, 2011

Girls' Retreat 2011

What a wonderful place to spend our (annual) 21st Reunion--

Thank you very much for: (many voices callin out in unison)

  • serenity pool
  • grounds, lovely
  • view decks at top of property
  • hot tub
  • comfortable, beautiful furnishings
  • good stuff in kitchen
  • artistic decor

This was a very relaxing place. You can tell it is well-loved. Good Karma place!

AHSClass of '74

Winnie, Jan, Terrie, Lori, Stacie, Kathryn & Janelle

November 28, 2010

Thanks for sharing your beautiful and peaceful home. From humming bird to goldfish, we noticed the peaeful pace and thoughtful detail. The kitchen did not disappoint! and was lovingly used--as food is a focal point of our family festivities. Enjoyed browsing the books, both familiar and new. Babies enjoyed napping in their strollers out by the fish pond under the watchful eyes of their reading moms! We barely went out to explore(except for the aquarium) because it is so nice here! We hope to return again.


January 1, 2009

Another opportunity for 8 boomers to see the New Year arrive ... Thank you for giving us the perfect setting.

We also celebrated Christmas with family and friends. We have ...

  • Lasting memories
  • hopes for the new year
  • a new perspective
  • resolutions to keep
  • and a big thank you to Chuck and Lynda for providing the idylic setting.

Collis, Domped, Cochranes, and Goodriches

October 19, 2008

What a wonderful place! This is truly a sanctuary and a perfect retreat. We had a celebration for my Mother-in-law's 60th birthday and it was the most relaxing and serene setting for this occasion. We live in Carmel Valley and this place made us feel like we were somewhere far far away. What a treat. Some women even swam in the freezing cold pool (not heated in the winter)! Very refreshing! Thank you for opening up your home and sharing this amazing property.

Thanks! -- Ria Garneau

6,7,8, October, 2008

This year, we were a group of ten. Two are Swiss, two are German, four are French, and two are from California. We met in 1997 on a cargo ship in French Polynesia. We were strangers when we met, but have become good friends. Each year (since 1997) we get together for a reunion. Because most everyone is from Europe, we meet there. This year it was our turn to host (USA). Monterey/Carmel was our choice. Carmel Valley Retreat could not have been a better place for all of us. We have enjoyed every aspect of our surroundings. It really is a "home away from home."

Linda Danzig

September 22, 2008

Thanks to this lovely home our book club enjoyed one another's company once again. We first came to stay in September 2002 and hope to continue our visits for many more years. Thanks --

San Francisco | Marin | East Bay Book Club

26 years and still going strong!

Holly, Sheila, Betsy, Nancy, Annie, Judy, Traci, & Janet

1 September, 2008

Dear Chuck and Lynda,

Six of us had an excellent week here. You really have a beautiful home, very peaceful atmosphere and for us it has been an excellent place to relax as well as verturing out. Pool is great - very swimable as well as attractive. We love Carmel Valley; hiking in Garland Park, kayaking in the bay was amazing, some of us rode horses in Pebble Beach, aquarium first class, scenery beautiful.

Thanks again for making it possible to stay somewhere like this!

Simon, Sue, Jenny, Jo, Cathie, Hannah from England

August 9, 2008

Dear Chuck and Lynda,

Our family loved staying in your home. You've created such a lovely place -- a pool to swim in, a showering greenhouse, and even a frog pond! We envy the bluejays, hummingbirds and cotton-tails that call this their home year-round. We'll be back!

Thank you,

The Fischer-Badger family

March 2, 2008

What a lovely home! This was the perfect home base for us to marry off our children on February 29th at Hiddeen Valley Music Institute.

Parents of the Bride and parents of the Groom


May 25, 2006

Dear Chuck and Lynda,

We want to express how we loved your retreat house. My girlfriends and I have been vacationing
together every May for the last 8 years. We have stayed at Inns, private homes, and all were lovely-
but everyone felt that this was a truly special place.

As we entered the gates, it felt like a private sanctuary. As soon as we turned the corner, our breaths caught in our throats. The Zen garden was so beautiful, and so serene, that we just stood there for several moments. As soon as we entered the light-filled kitchen, we knew it was going to be a fabulous weekend, EXACTLY as you had promised. The house is exquisitely decorated with beautifully appointed things. Each and every room had something wonderful about it. From the beautiful furnishings, to the great literature, the fully stocked utensils, the informative labels that were legible but non-intrusive, the gardens, the silk flowers, to the flashlight by the entrance- everything was so perfect.

We can't wait for next year to be in your lovely home again. Although we had a truly gorgeous time at Bernardus Lodge where they treated us like royalty- we felt that your home was every bit a spa. We ate at the Wills Fargo Saloon restaurant the first night and loved it. Juicy thick steaks and twice baked potatoes with well dressed salads and a lovely bottle of wine made it a perfect evening. The next night we ate at the Village fish house. It was a teeny intimate farmhouse that had Excellent fish. The proprietor, Rose was warm and welcoming. The third day we dined by the pool at the Bernardus Lodge from their award winning kitchen- and it was not only exquisitely plated but fresh tasting and delicious. That night we ate at Casanovas. We sat in the back room and had a truly memorable night. The service was lovely and professional,yet we felt so at home. The food was unforgettable. There was a huge 50th birthday party in their beautiful garden that looked like they were having the time of their lives.

Your Housekeeper came at a quarter to 10. She obviously is an expert at what she does because the house was immaculate when we got there. This was SO appreciated because since we are all moms- this is one time we didn't want to have to clean! I am glad we left it to your satisfaction- most of us are neat freaks! And, we wanted to honor the beauty and presence of your lovely retreat.

Thank you so so much for sharing your retreat home with others. It truly was a blessing.

With warmest regards,

The Mom's Group

May 14, 2006

Nine women spent three wonderful nights here laughing, sharing, getting to know each other better. It's Mother's Day weekend and we are on our way home but we can not thank you enough for providing such a relaxing place for us to spend our 20th reunion of getting together as a group. We are already planning next year's return to this wonderful house. Thank you for opening your home to us.

The Foster City Women

June 25, 2005

Thank you for opening your home to us. Just from staying here it seems we know you. It is absolutely enchanting. Each day we find something new and exciting on the grounds. We are all avid readers so the book collection was fantastic. The trees - what can you say about fresh fruit right off the tree? The children from ages 12-17 lived in the pool. We came from Missouri and didn't care if we left this house to sight see or not! You thought of absolutely everything. This has been an experience we will never forget thanks to your generosity, meticulous planning - a spectacular home, grounds, pool, etc.

Thank you again for a most enjoyable vacation. We would love very much to come back. As for suggestions, I can't possibly imagine what you could improve on - a perfect paradise.

-The Brandons & The Moores

October 2005

Thank you for welcoming us into your absolutely beautiful home! The ambiance, peace, and tranquility of the home and gardens were well needed for all of us. What a wonderful escape from the fast paced city life that we all come from. We particularly enjoyed the visit from four deer one morning to drink from the pond, the fascinating hummingbirds, and of course, Buddha by the pool. Hopefully, some day again, we will all be able to return to this magical escape retreat ...

- The Santillo Family

October 2004

I just wanted to let you know, albeit a little late, how much we enjoyed the house at Carmel. It is in a beautiful spot, so quiet, yet easily accessible from the village. We loved being able to explore the area -- hike in Garland Park, play tennis in the village, check out Bernardus Lodge, and of course, shop in Carmel. But the house is a lovely respite in and of itself. It is beautifully decorated and so soothing to the soul. We would like to visit again about the same time next year.

The Sambucetis

August 17, 2003

Many Thanks for a wonderful stay in Carmel Valley! Your website does not do justice to the true beauty of your home -- it was even more than we expected. Everywhere we turned there were thoughtfully arranged details to make this home a beautiful escape. We appreciate your sharing your lovely home and hope to return again.

The water lily bloomed 1 day during our stay.

- The Powers - Boston, MA

January 1, 2002

What a beautiful setting and lovely house! We've had a true retreat in this exquisitely furnished and completely equipped home. This is a real oasis and we plan to return in the summer when we can use the pool (though the hot tub is certainly nice in the winter).

We appreciated all the beautiful and tasteful touches in the decor of the house and will look forward to our next Bay Area/L.A. family reunion here.

Thanks for all the thoughtful, artistic touches and the great selection of books!

- The Metzners/Delshads

December 10, 2001

Thank you for letting us share in your warm and friendly house. You have certainly created a happy place here - we enjoyed every aspect of our stay, including the daily visits by the deer, the elusive glimpses of a fox, the quail, and all the other birds. The pool and the hot tub, especially, were added bonuses.

We leave with regret and thank you for the courtesy extended to us and our family.

With Aloha,

Edeaa and Preston Barnes - Papaikou, Hawaii

Sept. 22-28, 2001

We came tired, stressed and white, and left 5 days later relaxed, refreshed, and bronzed (or pretty pink!).

We've had a wonderful time, viewing wildlife from the house, pool, and hot tub; exploring the locality and meeting very friendly locals. It was a fantastic treat to be here and long live the WWW that led us here!

Thanks for the truly memorable stay and we only wish you were a couple of hours drive from London and we'd book in for weekends!

All the best,

Rachel & Douglas Black - London

Sept. 14-17, 2001

A wonderful weekend for everyone. We especially enjoyed your hot tub and pool. Two of us fell in love with Café Rustica and want to return for dinner. We all want to come back next year. Thanks so much for offering the perfect place for us to enjoy the serenity and peace of Carmel Valley.

Emily and John Belmont, CA

Sept. 14-17, 2001

What a wonderful escape from "the maddening crowd!" After a heartbreaking week, 9/11/01, it was just great to come here. The house and its beautiful surroundings was simply a haven for all of us - five couples from the Bay Area! It offered a chance for all of us to reconnect with each other. We enjoyed great music (you have a fantastic collection!), relaxed in the hot tub, great home cooked meals, and most of all - savored all of life's great joy - our friendship!

We only stayed two nights, but it was great! We;ll return again, you can bet on that .. we're already planning "some time next year!!"

- Clift & Lilly Chan

P.S. The flowers were a very special touch!

Sept. 14-17, 2001

Coming to Carmel Valley after the horrific week, (the Trade Center & Pentagon terrorist attacks) helped us begin to find strength in each other. We laughed and cried.

Ten of us came down from the Bay Area and after entering the gate felt that we were far from the worries of the world. The view from the upper decks is beautiful. I never got to see any foxes (the others did). This is a beautiful home and area.

Thank you,

Mickey & Pat Lum - Fremont, CA

July 13, 2001

We couldn't have picked a better "retreat" to escape to during the hectic wedding week. We found everything we needed behind your wooden gate.

Thanks so much for sharing your special place.

Hal & Diane Payne - Signal Mtn, TN

July 5, 2001

From the moment of our arrival, we felt completely at home. The pool was wonderful, and made it very difficult for us to venture out. Everything was perfect and we would love to come back again next year.

Thank you,

Mary Bartlett

July 7, 2001

We had a great time in Carmel Valley!! We even saw Clint Eastwood at the gas station in town. How cool! I will always remember the good times we had here. Thanks for the memories!

Angela Cardinale Bartlett

10 Oct., 2000

This is such a wonderful place to stay for the weekend! It was the perfect place to enjoy with my close friends for our yearly getaway trip. I loved seeing the deer come and eat the foliage outside, the birds chirping, and just the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Thanks for sharing your home with us. We truly enjoyed ourselves.

Maria L. - 8th Year Girls Getaway Weekend - San Francisco, CA

18 Aug, 2000

The only regret is that we didn't have a longer stay! The 10 hour journey across the Atlantic was worth every moment to arrive at such an idyllic setting. The house is lovely, the wildlife suburb, especially the deer who visited regularly. We have visited the Pinnacles National monument, the aquarium at Monterey as well as Big Sur and Carmel itself. We were certainly very pleased with our visit and very appreciative to have been able to have enjoyed just for a small time your beautiful home. If there is any criticism at all, it is that your website does not truly do your home the justice it deserves.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Pool and garden lovely!

Thank you,

the Camerons, Cortens, & Woods from Sout Wales, U.K

11 Aug, 2000

Thank you for the use of your home. We have spent 6 very relaxing days enjoying the home and surroundings. The seven of us have enjoyed the peace and quiet as well as the array of activates the area affords. The hiking in Garland park was an excellent start to the mornings - just be aware the map is not to scale, but trails even at the top are well marked. Everyone enjoyed kayaking in Monterey. My wife and I both are avid gardeners, as climate is quite different. We enjoyed some of your plants - especially the lavender. The deer supplied much entertainment. They certainly like your apples. You have some very nice trees/shrubs especially the plums by the pool.

the Marasse & Jenkins families from Parkridge & Chicago, Il.

23 July, 2000

Thank you so much for allowing us to be guests in your beautiful home! All ten of us, most especially the kids, practically lived in the pool, enjoying both fun in the water and the gorgeous scenery. We looked forward to visits from the local foxes and deer - what a treat for us city folk! It truly has been a "retreat" for us this week, one that we will remember with fondness. Again, thanks for opening up your home to us; it served us very well!

the Yuers, the Joms, the Hueys

Photo Tour

last updated May 21, 2013