California, the home of the road-trip, can be considered one of the most picturesque and fascinating parts of the world. Who doesn’t dream of driving down the coastal highway in a convertible listening to some old classics? When traveling to the west coast – why not discover some hidden secrets and enjoy what the laid-back Californian lifestyle truly is about. Even though Carmel-by-the-sea might be on your list, we recommend to discover the magnificent Carmel Valley just a stone throw away from the charming beach town. Here you will find yourself in absolutely beautiful natural surroundings from incredible hills to the endless skies of California.
Vivez Luxe discovered an absolutely exquisite hotel right in the heart of the Carmel Valley – the beautiful and truly unique Bernardus Lodge and Spa. This charming property spreads over 28 fragrant acres of lavender orchards and vineyards, overlooking the impressive Santa Lucia mountains. After driving through the lush valley, which feels like miles away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities, you will arrive in a place that will make you feel just like at home with a glass of their own wine upon check in. Walking through Bernardus, you will soon realize that the hotel is just the right size, it offers wide spaces, but still feels very cozy and intimate – the perfect location for an intimate getaway.
From the beautifully manicured gardens, to the Mediterranean-inspired colors of the buildings that reflect the surrounding landscape of the valley, you are guaranteed to fall in love with the place. Bernardus has a rustic yet chic und understated vibe to it, which gives it a feeling of authenticity that oh-so many hotels are missing. You will see a magnificent blend of clean contemporary lines and warm tones with rich Italian stonework, mosaic tiles, French oak floors, luxurious chandeliers and so much more.
Since the Hotel had a full revamp two years ago, every little detail has been carefully thought of – you will be able to tell that this is true luxury from the bathroom floors to the exquisite sheets.
But the true highlight are the 73 guest rooms and villas: Once you step in, you are entering a place of comfort and tranquility, where an assortment of delicacies and wines are waiting for you next to the warm and cosy fireplace. The decor is elegant and inviting with incredible detailing complemented by stunning paintings from local artists. Who doesn’t dream of spending an evening in front of a fireplace? For everyone who loves some pampering time – at the Bernardus Lodge you don’t only have a superb spa to choose from, but your own bathroom will be a heaven of relaxation in itself with an outdoor shower, incredible bathtub and so much more. Each villa has been carefully positioned to give their guest as much privacy as possible. You can lounge on the terrace, relax by the outdoor fireplace and just dream with the rugged mountains in front of you – simply divine.
When staying at the Bernardus Lodge, there is one thing you cannot miss: the culinary creations of chef Cal Stamenov. Make sure to book a dinner at Lucia restaurant, where you will be able to enjoy the finest fusion of local and international flavors in a unique and creative way – and do not forget the incredible wine selection for that perfect pairing to your meal.
It is always a good thing to know that a hotel has its own organic garden where the chef personally selects the right ingredients. Try the chef’s tasting menu and enjoy locally sourced international fusion cuisine on a true gourmet scale.
Vivez Luxe Travel Tip: For the most unique dining experience, book the chef’s table located in the main kitchen, where you will have front row seats and discover the rush of the kitchen.
While sitting in the booth of the chef’s table, don’t forget to look up, just next to you, on the wall, you will find the signatures from fellow visitors and fans of the Bernardus Lodge (such as Leonado DiCaprio, Julia Child and many others).
Another incredible activity you certainly don’t want to miss is to take one of the hotel’s Mercedes cars for a drive. Depending on your preference, choose either a SUV or a stunning convertible. Either way, you will absolutely love driving them while taking in the scenery along the coastal highway, or the 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach.
Looking for the perfect escape during a California road-trip with your loved ones? Bernardus Lodge & Spa is the most stylish and intimate retreat in the area and will surely inspire you, as it is a place curated for true epicureans and romantics. To find out more and book your next stay at this magnificent hotel click here or take a look at the Vivez Luxe Travel Series video on social media:
Photography courtesy of © Bernardus Lodge & Spa