HOTEL REVIEW: BERNARDUS LODGE & SPA

A couple of weeks ago, I was in California for a work retreat and we were lucky enough to have rooms booked at the idyllic Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley. An easy escape from San Francisco, the lodge is set in the valley hills, about 2 hours’ drive south from SFO, and just 15 minutes from the coastal towns of Carmel and Monterey (the setting for the mini-series of Big Little Lies – for all the fans out there!).

IMG_6444

The Rooms

The lodge’s 73 guest rooms are nestled among the property’s 28 acres of vineyards, orchards and gardens. And even the most basic room includes a sitting area, dining table, and fireplace. For larger groups or families, there is also the option to book larger suites or 2-bedroom villas. The furnishings evoke rustic California charm with a modern twist.

IMG_6413IMG_6411IMG_6415

Around the Resort

Off the main patio, the Bernardus has a manicured lawn offering guests the opportunity to play bocce ball, croquet, or practice their putting.

IMG_6429

Just a short walk from the game field, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical garden, growing flowers in addition to vegetables and herbs used by the kitchen. I was lucky enough to visit when the roses were in full bloom.

IMG_6434

IMG_6449

The Bernardus even has their own resident honeybees which produce local honey for guests to enjoy.

IMG_6439

In the on-site restaurant and bar, guests can sample a variety of Bernardus wines made from grapes grown and harvested right on the property. Or, take a trip down the road to the Bernardus Winery for a more formal tasting.

IMG_6440

Lucia Restaurant & Bar serves delicious farm-to-table cuisine with both indoor and outdoor seating options. As mentioned above, many of the vegetables and herbs are sourced directly from the on-site garden.

IMG_6445

After dinner, guests can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire pit, adjacent to the pool.

IMG_6452

Or take an early morning dip in the Bernardus pool.

IMG_6450

And of course, no visit to a resort would be complete without a trip to the spa! Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the spa on my trip, but I heard wonderful things from other guests.

Outside the Grounds

Perhaps the most amazing amenity offered by Bernardus Lodge is the complimentary Mercedes that guests can ‘rent’ for a couple of hours. These cars are perfect for an afternoon exploring the Monterey Peninsula and the famed 17 mile driveIMG_6443IMG_6505

Don’t miss the iconic ‘Lone Cypress’, thought to be almost 250 years old.

IMG_6526

In keeping with the car theme, you can also book a lesson with the nearby Land Rover Driving School.  One of three in the country, instructors will teach you off-roading techniques in top of the line Land Rover models.

IMG_6477

And of course, California is full of wineries, so don’t miss sampling some wines in the Carmel region. My favorite was Folktale Winery which offers a very affordable wine tasting alongside curated cheese and charcuterie platters and live music in a comfortable outdoor setting.

IMG_6516IMG_6522

The Carmel Valley is a perfect escape from city life and Bernardus Lodge & Spa is the ideal setting to unplug and relax for a few days.

IMG_6442

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.