Part wine country estate and part private spa sanctuary, the recently renovated Bernardus Lodge & Spa is in a class of its own.
Originally opened in 1999 and a longtime favorite of wine country vacationers and couples seeking romantic getaways, the Bernardus Lodge & Spa has reached new heights.
Tucked in the heart of the Carmel Valley, the Forbes Four-Star resort reopened last summer, boasting 14 new guest lodgings. Set on 28 lush acres, filled with vineyards and spacious gardens, you can spend an entire day and barely see anyone.
The vibe is ranch-chic and decidedly elegant. With a 3-to-1 staff ratio, service is at the core of this experience. Ask and you shall receive—whether it’s a butler, complimentary Mercedes-Benz convertible or an alfresco rain shower.
With sophisticated furnishings, rooms and suites are the kind you never want to leave and, indeed, many guests don’t. A private entry leads to a secluded infinity jacuzzi and fire pit with mountain and/or vineyard views. Notable highlights include master baths featuring hammered copper, freestanding soaking tubs.
The spa, with its new “Dozen Roses” treatment, is an experience not to miss. It begins with a full-body rose clay application, an ancient tradition to remove impurities and hydrate the skin. While the clay dries, guests are pampered with a stimulating scalp and foot massage. Following a warm rinse, there’s a Swedish-massage application of Moroccan rose aromatherapeutic body oil. A glass of Bernardus’ blush rosé wine is the coup de grace.
There is a ton to keep you entertained and knee-deep in “om.” Two swimming pools, and croquet and bocce courts are on the property. Big Sur is just a 26-mile drive and more than 20 wine tasting venues are in nearby Carmel Valley.
The Lucia Restaurant & Bar features farm fresh California country cuisine. Helmed by Chef Cal Stamenov, the eatery effortlessly pairs dishes with wines from its extensive cellar. The chef pulls veggies and herbs daily from his 2-acre organic garden, as well as a cache of local fishermen and foragers.
Despite all the bells and whistles of a first-rate resort, it is the setting that makes Bernardus so special. It’s remote and warm, with the buildings shrouded by mature trees and enveloped in fragrant lavender. Add the fact that every room has stunning views, and you truly feel removed from the real world.
Planning a Visit
Location: The Monterey Peninsula is 330 miles north of LA
Fly Into: Monterey Regional Airport or San Jose International Airport
Accommodations: 73 guestrooms, suites and villas
Room Size: 525 to 2,100 square feet RATES: From $425 to $2,500
For More: Visit bernarduslodge.com
Lions and tigers and bears—oh my!