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“Not up to its reviews” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Bernardus Lodge

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Bernardus Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   415 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Carmel Valley
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Not up to its reviews”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2007

We selected this hotel for the Christmas holiday based in an article in Travel & Leisure listing it as a top choice small boutique hotel. The grounds are beautiful and we loved some of nice touches like an huge stone outdoor fireplace. The room we had was nice but not great- a small TV (not plasma or flat screen) . The amenities are good, with a wonderful deep tub. We did like the fact that the wine from the hotel's vineyard was complimentary as were the goodies - in fact that was one of the nicest touches. The service in the 2 restaurants was less than stellar. We had an 8pm reservation at Wickets, the lesser priced and more casual place, and waited at the bar for a while for our table. The hostess spent most of her time chatting with other staff members and ignored us and a table that became available until we had to go and remind her we were waiting. She looked surprised to see there were guests still waiting! The other restaurant had a fabulous wine list and a helpful sommelier, but the price fixe was expensive and the food portions were miniscule. Dessert was one of the 4 courses that came with but we were never asked whether we wanted coffee or tea. We asked for a cafe au lait to take back to our room that never materialized so we finally just left. All in all- its a lovely hotel but it doesn't have 5 star service.

Stayed December 2007
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335 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Boston
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2007

We were traveling to Carmel for a friend's wedding and decided to stay for a long weekend (4 nights) to do some wine tasting.

We had a completely fine stay--had a nice meal at Bernardus, a few breakfasts and lunches at Wickets, massages at the spa. But I agree with other posters that it isn't as luxurious as we expected. The glass of wine upon arrival and the bottles of wine in our room along with snacks were a lovely touch. The bed was fine as was the large bathroom. We enjoyed the fireplace in the lobby as well as the outdoor fireplace. (And the gas fireplace in our room, while not the same as a woodburning fireplace, couldn't have been more convenient. With the flick of a switch, you have a fire!) The concierge and front desk were always polite and helpful with directions. But something seemed to be missing that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it was that the views shown on the website were not to be seen on the property (or at least not from the common areas or from our garden view room). Maybe it was that while the staff was nice, they didn't seem to go above and beyond. For example, while we were sitting by the fireplace, it would have been nice if someone would have stopped to see if we wanted anything. Like I said, I have no real complaints but I think that Bernardus could be better than it is.

As an aside, there are lots of nice wineries in the area, including Bernardus's tasting room, which is down the street. Some of our favorite wineries were Chateau Julien, Talbott and Georgis (which are close by). Paraiso and Smith and Hook were two others that were enjoyable (but farther away). We wanted to go to Pessagno and Chalone but both of their tasting rooms were closed on the day we were out there. (I also think Chalone might require advance notice.)

Overall, I would recommend Bernardus, however if I were traveling back to the area, I might stay somewhere else just to get a different experience.

Stayed October 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2007

Lovely hotel and lovely service. The one drawback of the hotel is that they do not have adjoining rooms for families. However, the rooms were very nice, the service high quality and we very much enjoyed our three nights there.

Stayed August 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, Mo
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2007

We found the Lodge to be very romantic with a first rate restaurant. The staff was polite and totaly accommodating. The outside dining area was great for afternoon wine drinking and just lounging about. Our room was excellent and the weather was beautiful. On Friday night we enjoyed (as a wonderful surprise) one of our favorite musicians -Martin Headman on the piano in the main room of the Lodge. Carmel Valley is a beautiful area with the town of Carmel nearby. Our stay at the Lodge was completely enjoyable and we intend to return.

  • Liked — Atmosphere
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

We recently met my son and his family for a weekend stay at Bernardus, the warmest of the Carmel Valley lodges, and it was just about perfect. The price is sky high but the place is fresh and lovely and their attention to detail makes it worth it. Luggage is spirted to and from your room, concierge is efficient and effective, and everyone seems anxious to do something more for you. In the end we loved the $20 resort fee that left one free to enjoy any and all services without fretting about tipping. Our rooms were elegant, baths lovely and fruit and drinks in the minibar ours to use without (further) fee. Excellent pool, tennis, bocce ball, etc.

My only quibbles are these. Although the outdoor dining scene was quite magical, the food was only good, not outstanding. Also during the weekends local people host parties at Bernardus and there were several going on during out stay. Adult groups were fine but several kids parties on Sunday resulted in quite a few children in the pool and masses taking over the lawn games, so be prepared to share.

Stayed August 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2007

We have travelled fairly often and have stayed in many different places in a bunch of different countries. Without a doubt, Bernardus ranks up there in terms of comfort, food, service, spa, relaxation and weather. There are not many places in the world we would go back to, but this is one of them. While Carmel was completely socked in with fog for the time we were there, Bernardus (Carmel Valley about 10 miles away) was completely baked in sun (no clouds) and 10 degrees warmer....we were told that this is completely normal and the usual summer weather pattern. The restaurant, Marinus, was sonderful. albeit pricey. The room is stocked with wine, snacks, soda "free of charge" (included in room rate). The only downside: While this is not an "adult only" resort there were a few kids there (hey, we're parents too, but wanted to get away from the kids for a few days) which was a little distracting because there is hardly anything for them to do. It truly is a couples place as opposed to a family place.

  • Liked — the service was impeccable
  • Disliked — the kids!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2007

We stayed at Bernardus for our honeymoon, and can't wait to go back. Staff was above and beyond attentive and helpful -- from valet to concierge to wait staff, all were terrific. The room and grounds were very nice and replete with all sorts of lovely touches. The food, however, was out of this world. Even the room service breakfast and dinner were terrific -- I mean, some really exceptional food. However, it was dinner at Marinus, their upscale restaurant, that sealed things for us. The staff had drawn up a special menu for us that made mention of our wedding, which started out things nicely. We selected the chef's tasting menu along with the sommelier's pairings and had, with no exaggeration, the best meal of either of our lives. We are now huge devotees of Chef Cal Stamanov, and are eagerly awaiting either his first cook book or his first restaurant in Southern California. It was a bit pricey for a regular vacation get-away, but we can't wait for another special occasion so we can return and indulge again.

  • Liked — Understated luxury -- indulgent without being stuffy
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bernardus Lodge

Address: 415 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Carmel Valley
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Carmel Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bernardus Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lodge is widely recognized as one of the top winemaking estates in California. Founded by celebrated winemaker Bernardus Pon, the Lodge resembles a classic European country inn, with 57 suites, a luxurious spa, award-winning restaurant and the Bernardus Winery and Vineyard. For a relaxing getaway, an off-site retreat, or romantic wedding, discover why Bernardus has become the luxurious heart of Carmel Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bernardus Hotel Carmel Valley
Bernardus Carmel Lodge Valley

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