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Experience Pure Bliss At Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley

Image Source: Tripadvisor

When you think of Carmel, you might envision the picturesque cottages and sandy beaches of “Carmel-by-the-Sea.” However, there’s another side to Carmel that shouldn’t be overlooked. This Carmel is warmed by the sun, unlike its coastal counterpart, and offers attractions such as hiking and biking trails, championship golf courses, working ranches, a 4,000-acre regional park, and the renowned Bernardus Lodge & Spa.

Situated in the heart of Carmel Valley, surrounded by the breathtaking Santa Lucia Mountains, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is a sanctuary adorned with lavender fields and grape vines. This twelve-star establishment, recognized by Forbes Travel Guide, provides everything you need for a luxurious and relaxing getaway. From a lavish spa and fitness room to a sprawling 10,000 sq. foot bocce lawn, a heated pool, and two hot tubs, Bernardus Lodge & Spa ensures that you have a truly indulgent experience. Explore the verdant gardens or find a cozy nook by the fire to unwind. Each visit brings delightful surprises, like a hammock nestled in a shaded corner or a charming children’s garden where little guests can sow vegetable seeds.

For wine enthusiasts, there are more than 20 Central Coast wineries and wine tasting rooms nearby. The popular hiking spot, Garland Ranch Regional Park, is located right next door. You can also visit Refuge, a two-acre water park with thalassotherapy pools, just a short drive away. However, once you step foot on the Bernardus property, you may find yourself reluctant to leave. The warm welcome begins at check-in with a glass of Bernardus Rosé, followed by complimentary in-room snacks, beverages, and turn-down chocolates, a genuine display of hospitality.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa offers 73 spacious rooms and suites, designed to indulge even the most discerning traveler. With views overlooking the main pool, the bocce and croquet lawn, or the rose and chef’s gardens, each room exudes a chic ranch house aesthetic, complete with refined decor, comfortable furnishings, and heated bathroom floors for added luxury. If you desire more space, the resort’s villas are an excellent choice. These deluxe accommodations provide quick access to the adults-only infinity whirlpool and fire pit, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and vineyards. Ranging from 1050 to 2100 square feet, the villas feature vaulted ceilings, French doors, large master baths with free-standing hammered copper soaking tubs, al fresco showers, double-sided fireplaces, and fully furnished private patios with fire pits.

Indulge your taste buds at the on-site Lucia restaurant, a destination in and of itself. Whether dining on the enchanting all-season, al fresco terrace or in the chandeliered main dining room, you’ll be treated to a culinary experience like no other. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Christian Ojeda, formerly of Montage Deer Valley Resort, Lucia showcases a progressive style with a fresh twist on classic dishes infused with local and seasonal influences. Many ingredients are sourced directly from the restaurant’s two-acre organic garden, including Meyer lemons and fresh herbs. The menu even features honey from the property’s own apiary program, housing Italian honey bees. With a 15,000 bottle wine cellar and a garden-to-glass craft cocktail program, you’ll find the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

To further enhance your relaxation, make sure to visit The Spa at Bernardus, where wellness takes center stage. Indulge in treatments that incorporate botanical ingredients sourced from local vineyards and on-site gardens. Before or after your treatment, take a dip in the spa’s private warming pool or relax by the larger pool overlooking the bocce courts and outdoor terrace. Don’t forget to explore the spa boutique, offering a fantastic selection of clothing and gifts, including eye-catching women’s swimsuits designed exclusively for the resort.

One of the most endearing aspects of Bernardus Lodge & Spa is its staff. While the hospitality industry has faced challenges in recent years with staffing, Bernardus Lodge has managed to maintain a dedicated team. Many employees have been with the resort for up to 20, 15, or 10 years, creating a family-like atmosphere where every guest is welcomed and appreciated.

In 2024, Bernardus Lodge & Spa will be celebrating its 25th anniversary! Watch out for a variety of upcoming festive food and beverage programs to mark this grand occasion.

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Image Source: Tripadvisor

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