Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley

Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley

In my last Rich Life Travels post, I wrote about my visit to the charming and affordable, Vendange Carmel Inn and Suites. My husband and I stayed in their lovely Holman Ranch room that, coincidentally, was where we headed the next day.


Several miles inland and up in the hills above Carmel Valley sits the tiny town of Carmel Valley Village. Known for art galleries, wine tasting rooms, and quaint restaurants, this darling town is also home to Holman Ranch. Holman Ranch is a private 400-acre estate that includes lodging, event and wedding facilities, 21- acres of vineyards, a large horse stable, a winery, lodging for guests, olive groves, nature gardens and more.


I was invited to be part of a group media visit, my first time reviewing a property as part of a group of bloggers and travel writers.

My husband and I picked up the key to our guest room at the Holman Ranch tasting room, located in the village, and moved into to our room. Once we saw the porch, we knew we’d be spending most of our free time relaxing in the rocking chairs.


The guestrooms have a 1940’s Western feel, both inside and out – very charming as well as comfortable!


When not watching the world go by outside on the porch, I enjoyed relaxing in the spacious sitting area. Holman Ranch is so peaceful. With the door open, you could hear the nothing but the breeze blowing the leaves in the trees.


Once we were settled and unpacked, owner Nick Elliot, met us outside our rooms to take us on a guided tour of the property.


We passed by the beautiful pool, which is considered the oldest in the area. Many Hollywood stars visited Holman Ranch in the 1940s and ‘50s, including my favorite actress from that era, Joan Crawford, who most likely swam in that very pool.


Holman Ranch has a rich history. It was established in 1928 by a San Francisco businessman, Gordon Armsby. He commissioned an architect to build a stone hacienda where he entertained his guests who included stars, Charlie Chaplin and silent film star, Theda Bara.


The hacienda is simply stunning!


I love all the stonework and added touches like vintage lighting and potted plants and flowers.


My husband liked this bronzed statue located between the Ceremony Lawn and the hacienda.


While these darling metal hearts caught my eye. It’s such a romantic setting at Holman Ranch, ideal for weddings.

holman ranch carmel

In the 1940s, the ranch was sold to Clarence Holman. Holman continued to host many guests on the ranch. It passed through the hands of another owner, then in 2006, the Lowder family purchased the ranch. They refurbished the property while retaining its charm and history. Masculine yet inviting, much of the artwork and some of the furnishings remain from that time.


Nick told us that Holman Ranch is a sought after wedding venue and I can see why. Look at this beautiful lawn and the Ceremony Veranda.


Seeing this gorgeous setting made me want to come back and say “I do” to Bill all over again! We decided to pretend instead.


During one part of our tour, we visited the wine caves and did some barrel tasting. We tasted wines in various stages and listened to Nick tell us all about the wine-making process.


The Lowders planted 21 acres of grapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. All Holman Ranch wines are estate wines, meaning they are made with grapes grown on the property.


After our tour concluded, we were invited to relax and unwind until dinner. The Lowders recently purchased Wills Fargo Steakhouse and Bar. It’s such a charming place! The media group enjoyed dinner with Nick and his wife, Hunter Lowder. We had a wonderful meal and such a great time getting to know fellow bloggers and travel writers.


We also enjoyed plenty of fantastic Holman Ranch wines. Thankfully, we had a driver to take us back to the ranch!


The next morning, after a restful sleep, I made a new friend. This Holman Ranch kitty kept my lap warm while I sipped my coffee. She made it even harder to leave this beautiful property.


Before we packed up the car, I took a walk around and enjoyed the stunning vistas one last time. I am sure anyone who has the chance to visit Holman Ranch will find the experience unforgettable.


Holman Ranch is not open to the public, except during special events. Visit their events calendar page to stay up-to-date on their fun festivals, music events, picnics and more.

Become a member of their Grand Estate Club, and receive many benefits (and lots of wine!) including a two-night stay in one of their guest rooms.

In addition to weddings, Holman Ranch is available for family reunions, retirement parties, corporate meetings and retreats and more. Choose from a variety of themed and all-inclusive packages or customize your own.

For more information, visit the Holman Ranch website or contact them at info@holmanranch.com.


Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: Our visit to Holman Ranch was part of a sponsored media trip. Our lodging and meals were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 



  1. January 17, 2015 / 7:32 am

    What a relaxing and wonderful place to unwind and refresh! So important in our hectic days. (One of the most relaxed photos is of you and that cute little kitty!) Thanks for sharing!

  2. January 17, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Look at that pretty kitty with you. This Inn looks charming. California has so many wonderful places.

  3. January 17, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    What an amazing place. Your outfits are inspiring and your gorgeous hair reminds me I am willing to get a decent haircut and some highlights!

    Take care.


  4. January 22, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    what a beautiful spot, love seeing all these vineyards.

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