Bernardus Lodge is an amazing winery & resort just outside the beautiful Carmel area. Another review said "that is you cant relax here, there is something wrong with you", I would have to agree. We came for a wedding for some very dear and close friends of ours..more on that later. I rated a 4 of 5 as there were a couple minor things that I think did not warrant a 5.
The service was amazing...as amazing as you can get in America that is, but not with everyone. We aren't "money", we don't drive a Mercedes, we didn't use valet parking, and we carried our own bags. We didn't show up in evening gowns and suits, or flash a Rolex, and because of this we (I stayed with my wife and two of her girlfriends) felt that we were treated a little bit differently by some staff members, particularly the women who worked the front desk the entire time we were there. She was blatantly rude to us, as that is where I will leave that. But the rest of the staff was very helpful, and respectful.
We have stayed in expensive hotels before, and I would say that I expected a bit more from this room. Don't get me wrong...it was very nice. The fireplace, the view to the mountains in the morning, the bathroom was unforgettable, and the complimentary bottles of wine were a nice touch. But I will go along with other reviewers and say that the beds were not very impressive at all, in fact, really disappointing. We stayed in one of the two double bed rooms they have, and the full size beds (not queens) weren't spectacular at all. The sheets were very soft, and the pillows were decent, but the mattress at the La Quinta we stayed at in San Fran the night before was just as good. The room didn't have a microwave, but they said one could be brought in at no charge...why not just have one in the room?
I called the day before we arrived, and asked about breakfast. Looking at the Menu, it would have cost $50 for breakfast for my wife and I. So I asked if they have a continental breakfast at all, or if there are some local restaurants close by. She said we could order items a-la-carte and when I asked if we could get breakfast for 6-8 bucks a person, she laughed....literally...and told me "no hun, you are looking at about $50 per two people, even with the a-la-carte items". This was the same girl who gave us an attitude at the front desk. I asked her if there is a fridge in the room and she said just the wine fridge but there would be no room for food. I asked her this as we were going to bring some food to put in the fridge, but we just chose to bring non refrigerated items. When we arrived, the fridge was a good size...and nearly empty, basically a blatant lie. Also in the room, the Iron, looked at if it was 15 years old, it had calcium buildup on all the irons pores, and it leaked.
The property was amazing though. You should easily be able to relax here, though I thought that it was missing a much needed hot tub, but the outdoor fireplace partially made up for it. They had a green that was set up for croquet, which was really cool, though we didn't have time to play.
The wedding was amazing...personal wedding details aside, the outdoor wedding was moved indoor because of the rain. One of the restaurants was transformed into the wedding area which was really beautiful, as they got married in front of the fireplace. The reception was in a larger room behind the main lodge and was set up very nice. The service was pretty great, probably better than any wedding that I have been too. They served all eight-10 dishes on the table at once with 4-5 servers, which was first class. The food was really good. We didn't have anything bad. The tenderness of the steak.....wow!
Overall...it was a very nice and relaxing couple days at Bernardus. Would I stay there again...yes...but only if I am making about 100k a year more. I would rather stay in a luxurious all inclusive in the Caribbean for that amount of money. If you stay and don't plan on leaving....between Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with Drinks, expect an additional $200-$250 a day on that, in addition to your Minimum $500 room. Would I recommend Bernardus to someone that can afford it, absolutely. It was a wonderful place, with great food and drink, amazing views, amazing wines, and the stay was good.
- 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