I am incredibly lucky that I have the chance to go to my wedding venue all the time. After getting married at Holman Ranch I started doing a lot of wedding coordination, planning and design work there and I absolutely love every second of it. After getting insanely familar with the area, I now would have done some things different for my own wedding. I don't regret what I did at all, but I thought I would share for all you Holman Ranch or Carmel Valley brides that need a little direction with booking rooms
We stayed at a small cottage style hotel in Carmel-By-The-Sea for the wedding. It was super cute & quaint and all my girls and I fit into the suite at the hotel. Though it was utterly my fault, in the end, that was my biggest regret. First, I wouldn't have put myself in the suite. People were coming in and out of there all night the night before and all morning the day of because it was the only room that could fit 20 people and it has cute balconies. All I really wanted was just a little peace and quiet, but unfortunately the big suite turned into the party spot!
Second, we booked out the entire hotel. I really like the idea of everyone staying in the same spot, and I used to think booking out the hotel was awesome, but I have since changed my tune a little. At night, everyone wants to hang out with the guests of honor in the biggest room on the property. I'm not saying I didn't want to hang, but it would have been nice to escape for 5 mins to a little peace and quiet if I wanted to. The morning was equally overwhelming the morning of the wedding (becuase of all the people that wanted to hang out in my room while I was trying to get ready!)
If I did it again, I would have booked my room at Bernardus Lodge, and left it as option for people if they wanted to spend that kind of money. It is very close to Holman Ranch and it has since become one of my favorite spots to go.
There aren't tons of rooms but the grounds are large giving people a few more options than hanging out in my suite the morning of the wedding. They have a pool, bocce ball, huge patios with firepits, and a restaurant which would have given me the fun factor I wanted, but also the space I needed at times. Since it is only 10 minutes from Holman Ranch instead of 30, it also would have been much better for the schedule. :) Which I was a crazy person about following.
That is what I would have done. Another great option is the Carmel Mission Inn. It is pretty nice and actually fairly inexpensive giving a good alternative to Bernardus pricing.