A wine lover's paradise in Carmel Valley
55 Rooms / 2 Suites
Tucked among vineyards in the scenic Carmel Valley, Bernardus Lodge & Spa has long been considered one of the finest winemaking estates in California and now, after a multimillion-dollar facelift, the lodge is brimming with earthy-chic charm. The updated aesthetic comes through in details like Italian linens, marble-clad soaking tubs for two and limestone fireplaces in each of the guest rooms.
The spa offers an indoor-outdoor experience with a body-temperature soaking pool and treatments infused with wine grapes and lavender, which are grown on the property. In the center of the resort, you’ll find a pool, Jacuzzi and compact gym with new Precor workout machines.
The destination restaurant Lucia, named after the nearby mountain range, is a sleek space with a full cocktail bar, a café overlooking the garden and an intimate dining room where you can enjoy acclaimed chef Cal Stamenov’s seasonal California-Mediterranean fare paired with the finest wines.
Bernardus Lodge is located in the Carmel Valley off a winding thoroughfare — it’s an ideal location nestled in a wooded valley that runs through the Santa Lucia Mountain range (but still just short drive to the Pacific Ocean). The area’s unique microclimate makes it a perfect place for growing chardonnay grapes, like the ones near the entry. Shopping and dining are a 20-minute drive away in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea, while the epically scenic trip to Big Sur will take about an hour.
Retreats unto themselves, guest rooms at the luxury hotel are well thought-out and warmly inviting. During the recent renovation, each of the 57 rooms was updated from the floor to the furnishings. Shimmering pale gray velvet sofas anchor the eclectic décor that mixes tribal dhurries and arabesque-patterned slipper chairs with softly industrial occasional tables and lamps.
Beds feature diamond-pattern charcoal velvet headboards, Fili d’Oro damask stripe sheets and cozy mohair throws. In-room technology includes 42-inch flat-screen TVs hung over Italian limestone fireplaces and a Beats pill speaker. A generous assortment of nibbles and drinks, including two Bernardus Winery selections, is tucked away in modern sideboards with a gleaming lacquer-like top.
But the showstoppers are the bath suites — the Carrara marble basket-weave floors have radiant heat, central soaking tubs are roomy enough for two, and large rain showers are stocked with locally made toiletries.
The crystal drum chandelier hanging from the arched entry signals the new ranch rustic-chic vibe at the Carmel Valley hotel. So do the sleek house Mercedes-Benz coupes and SUVs waiting in the porte cochere.
The curvy woven patio furniture on the porch and the expansive glassed-in patio filled with dramatic water features and fire troughs make Bernardus feel like a boutique hotel that just happens to be nestled in a valley tucked into the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Indoors, textures like grass cloth, split face limestone, and weathered French oak floors along with leather seating and burnished metal pieces give the lobby and Lucia restaurant a luxe, natural atmosphere — ideal for lingering by the fire with a glass of complimentary sauvignon blanc.