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Discover Holman Ranch: where the past is always present

Driving past the stables, lake and red barn, guests get their first glimpse of the bunkhouse quarters. There is a rustic charm with a liberal dose of luxury.
Driving past the stables, lake and red barn, guests get their first glimpse of the bunkhouse quarters. There is a rustic charm with a liberal dose of luxury.
Photo by Patricia Steffy

I recently set out on a road trip that covered more than 1,000 miles of California terrain. I went from oceans to mountains to deserts, and found myself falling in love with the state all over again. One of the highlights of my trip was a stay at Carmel Valley’s Holman Ranch.

The sign leads the way through 1 of the 20+ acres of grapes now growing on Holman Ranch.
Photo by Patricia Steffy

Holman Ranch has always been an event venue—from the moment it was established in 1928 to the current, revitalized version. Even though it has an intimate B&B feel, you can’t just book a single room on the 400-acre property. If you want to meander through the vineyard and olive grove, hang with the horses, or sit in the rocking chairs standing sentinel outside of your quarters (my favorite pastime), there needs to be a special occasion brewing.

The good news is that while it is an exceptional venue for weddings, the ranch is actually quite flexible in the types of events that are welcome. Awards galas, charity events, holiday parties, girls’ weekends, networking, wine lovers’ retreats and executive retreats are all possibilities (among others). And it isn’t hard to see why organizers want to get in here—the incredible grounds, rustic (yet luxurious) accommodations and fantastic management makes the entire stay memorable.

Think about your last team building event—was it in the sub-basement conference room of a high-rise in the city that still cost the company a fortune because of the price of hotel rooms? Did team building turn out to be teeth pulling instead? Think in the Holman Ranch direction next time. The privacy of the place brings a focus to the business portion of the day, and traditional BBQ and bonfire night actually adds fun to the bonding experience. Wouldn't you rather compete in the Holman All Terrain Adventure Race or trivia game than build a tower out of office furniture?

Ladies, want to try a wine week getaway? How about a place that offers fantastic wines within walking distance of your accommodations? Swimming near the vines as the sun comes up is a great way to start the day, and because you are there on a private retreat – it’s all about you. You don’t have to share the wine with the ten other couples on tour. You don’t have to compete for gym equipment or a spot on the lounge chair. The tours are about you. The meals are what you want. The activities are geared toward your interests. What could be a better retreat from the world?

Take a look at the brief slideshow, and stay tuned as I reveal more secrets of Holman Ranch over the next few days!