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“Great Weekend Getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bernardus Lodge & Spa

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Bernardus Lodge & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   415 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924   |  
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Breakfast for two
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Carmel Valley
Sonoma,CA
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Weekend Getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was our second time at Bernardus and we had a wondrful time. We booked a romantic weekend package and it was great, started with a wine and rose pedal bath on arrival and a couples spa treatment on Saturday. The massages were fantastic!! We will be back again soon.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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371 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
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English first
Asheville, NC
Top Contributor
324 reviews 324 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

I booked room six at the Bernardus Lodge as a surprise for my wife on our two week vacation of Northern California. This room is absolutley beautiful. It has a King bed, large seating area, beautiful bathroom with two person shower and two person soaking tub. It has a fireplace and the room comes stocked with wine and snacks as part of the rate. However, the coolest thing about this suite is that it has a beautiful outdoor private patio and garden with an in-ground hot tub. We stayed here for two nights and we didn't want to leave the room / hot tub. When we did leave the room, the employees were out of this world friendly and helpful.

On our first day, we enjoyed an 80 minute couples massage which was great. The spa, while a little small is very well appointed, with a warming pool, a nice waiting area with fireplace and nice amenities. A little later, nod-nod, wink-wink, my wife and I dined in Marinus, the fine dining restaurant. We enjoyed the tasting menu paired with wine. It was amazing. I would place it just a hair below the French Laundry, where we dined last week. However, the price was a third of the French Laundry.

During our stay, we ate lunch and breakfast at the casual restaurant-Wickets and both were great. We worked out in the fitness center both mornings and it was adequate for us but small. If crowded, we never would have been able to get on the equipment. The pool area is nice and they also have Bocce and croquet.

This was ana amzing property and we will stay again.

Room Tip: Choose room six!!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ringwood, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

This property is a hidden gem. A very small, 57 rooms, hotel that is quiet and relaxing. A short ride to Pebble Beach or downtown Carmel. Rooms were beautiful and nicely decorated. The staff was friendly and at your disposal for anything you would need. We had dinner and it was very good and different. Not your normal menu but a variety of different dishes you would not normally see. Not a place for kids which makes it extra nice if you are there to rest and enjoy peace and quiet.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Woodside, California
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We have been going to the restaurant for some time, but this past trip was our first time to stay at this lodge. Certainly the rooms were fine, but not great for $500/night. They were really dark, and we could hear the conversations and comings and goings of our neighbors. They did offer a lovely basket of goodies, including home-made brownies and a few half bottles of wine. It is always good to stay on the property where we dine. The rooms were a short walk to the main lodge. The staff were warm and helpful.

Carmel Valley Ranch still remains our Carmel Valley favorite. It's not as high touch as the Casa de Palmero at Pebble. Both rate above Bernardus.

Room Tip: Do ask to stay upstairs, and in the back. The condo-style rooms are fairly close together.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

From the moment we arrived, we felt at home at Bernadus Lodge. We had two lovely rooms (26 and 28) located above the swimming pool. The gardens are beautiful, all the staff deserve a big thank you for their proffesionalism and friendlyness. Only downside: While there is a steam room and sauna in both the male and female locker rooms, opening hoursbofnthose facilities are coupled to the Spa opening hours. In our case, this was at 5:30pm at the first evening amd 6:30pm the second. I love to excercise or work out in the evening, followed by a steam and/or sauna before dinner. This was not an option in either case. Maybe the locker room hours could be de-coupled from the Spa opening hours?

Both restaurants are very good and the service is phantastic.

So I'll be back when travelling to California next time.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Forestville, California
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
207 helpful votes 207 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I’ve been fortunate enough to have stayed at some exceptional properties like Meadowood in Napa Valley and the Ritz-Carlton on Nob Hill in San Francisco, and my recent experience at Bernardus Lodge was in the same superlative category. One of the components that made it so was the wonderful staff at Bernardus: Graciously professional, warmly hospitable and openly eager to assist with questions and requests. From the time that we arrived and turned our vehicle over to the valet till the moment we (very reluctantly) checked out and drove away, we felt incredibly well cared for. In fact, the attentive treatment had begun even before we arrived when I received an inquiry about whether we would be celebrating a special occasion and what type of pillows and comforters we would prefer. Nice considerations! During our stay we had enjoyable conversations with staff members including the reception host, the banquet manager, and the head gardener.

Arriving at the valet parking area in front of the main building, one is immediately struck by the beautiful serenity of the property with its architecture reflecting a melding of Mediterranean and Old California styles, its sumptuous foliage, and its artistic fountains. Check-in was so pleasant and congenial, more of a reception than a perfunctory process. We were warmly greeted and immediately offered a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. (Notably, Bernardus Winery is under the same ownership as the Lodge). Our host provided a brief tour and narrative regarding the Lodge’s facilities and guest services, and then we were escorted to our room which was located in a building a short walk from the reception area. I was impressed by the attractive furnishings, and by the beautifully landscaped grounds and mature trees (inc. a number of lovely Chinese elms). Within 10 min. of arriving at our room, our luggage was delivered. There is a reasonable $24 per day resort fee which covers gratuities, parking, Wi-Fi and amenities. A very notable inclusion is a complimentary guest bar and pantry in each room. The frig and counter contained beverages and snacks which guests are encouraged to enjoy during their stay and also to take any of these items with them when they leave. There were (2) bags of popcorn, (1) bag of potato chips, a round of goat cheese, a package of toast slices, (2) regular cokes, (2) diet cokes, a split each of Bernardus Pinot Noir, Marinus Red Blend and Bernardus Chardonnay. I believe there was also a package of something sweet like a biscotti, but we ate that before I made note of it(!) There were also apples and oranges in a bowl on the dining table. An extra nice touch was having a large bottle of filtered water for both drinking and coffee/tea preparation.

Our room (#30) was within the “Santa Lucia” group on the 2nd floor with views to the scenic Santa Lucia mountains as well as overlooking Bernardus’ lovely main pool, picturesque trees and verdant gardens. The 500+ sq. ft. room had a vaulted ceiling and was bright and airy. French doors opened to a balcony that spanned the length of the room and had 3 chairs and a table (all of attractive wood). It was such a pleasurable and relaxing experience to enjoy our wine and snacks, and coffee the next morning out on the balcony. Our room had an attractive gas fireplace with raised concrete hearth. The weather was quite mild during our stay but having the fireplace on later in the evening and early the next morning created a nice ambiance. The heating/cooling system was quietly efficient and we didn’t need to touch the controls after the initial setting. Heavy Roman-style shades would provide late sleepers with protection from the light.

We had a super comfortable King bed with large wooden headboard. Other furnishings included: (2) bedside tables, chest (containing the TV), sofa, console table, breakfast table and (2) chairs, coffee table and a upholstered swivel chair. This last item was really too large and heavy for where it was placed and impeded one’s normal passage. Had we stayed longer, I would have asked the staff to move it to a different location. Room decor melded traditional and contemporary aspects and was done predominantly in taupe, beige and chocolate with accents of cinnamon, persimmon and olive. Amenities included: iPod dock, clock radio, Aomni flat panel TV, (3) phones inc. a cordless and a bathroom wall phone, in-room safe, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, bathrobes and slippers, coffeemaker, free Wi-Fi and freshly cut roses in a vase.

The artwork in our room was not very inspiring and I had expected items of more unique quality, perhaps by local artists. There were large format images of vineyards, hills and a barrel room which all looked to be basic stock photographs. A couple of pretty but mundane botanical prints decorated the bathroom.

Illumination for reading was adequate with a fixture at each side of the sofa and bedstand lamps. There were several electrical outlets in the room inc. those conveniently located above the bar area. An attractive armoire provided a fair amount of closet space as well as a good quantity of hangers.

Our bathroom was very spacious. It had tile flooring and white ceramic tile in the shower and tub surrounds. There was a long marble counter with 2 sinks. A large mirror above the counter and a full-length mirror which both added to the impression of generous space. A large soaking tub and oversized, walk-in shower were luxurious delights. The shower had a wonderful temperature control feature: the ability to dial in a specific water temperature so there was no guesswork or waiting around to make adjustments to achieve just the right temperature. I set the control on 102 degrees and it was perfect! GREAT feature. Water pressure was very good. The ventilation in the main area of the bath could have been better as the room steamed up when the door was closed. The toilet was in a separate cubicle with sliding door enclosure, fan/light and wall phone. Lighting in the bathroom was bright enough to comfortably apply makeup and there was also a small window above the tub that let in some natural light.

We took a leisurely walk thru the extensive property and reveled in the spectacular garden areas. The main pool’s water was a little on the cool side for us, so we didn’t go in, but other guests seemed to very much enjoy the water. We visited the fitness room with its array of exercise machines, the beautifully serene and spacious spa facility with its secluded, personal-size pool, tennis courts and croquet lawn. The garden areas were exquisitely maintained and replete with fountains, flowing wisteria vines, many varieties of blooming ornamental plantings, vegetable garden, walkways shaded by statuesque trees, and much more!

Bernardus’ stellar restaurant, Marinus was closed the night of our stay (they’re open Wed. thru Sun.) so we dined at the very casual bistro/lounge, Wickets. It happened to be “pizza night” but I was too full from lunch to order what appeared to be quite a generously sized individual pizza. Instead I had a glass of Chardonnay and a tuna burger which was good but not outstanding. The evening was a little too cool to sit outside--that would have provided a nicer ambiance than the inside area which has a typical bar/lounge atmosphere.

In the morning we had a relaxed, simple breakfast out on the patio and it was quite a nice experience. The service was a bit slow but other than that it was a great way to start our last day in the area before heading back home. It felt good to be able to savor the remaining time at Bernardus.

Since returning to Sonoma County, I’ve shared our Bernardus Lodge experience (and photographs) with a number of friends who are now longing to stay there. Bernardus is that kind of very special place where you can be completely content to never leave their property from the time you arrive until it’s time to check out. Bernardus is so much more than fabulous lodging with great service and amenities; it’s a total experience of relaxation, well-being, tranquility and beauty. How can you possibly beat that?

Room Tip: Room characteristics do vary quite a bit at this property so be sure to tell reservations what is im...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen Denmark
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
195 helpful votes 195 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We recently stayed for a month in SF, and during our stay we decided to go for a 2 day trip to Big Sur. While searching for a suitable place to stay we received an offer from Vacationist that suited us very well (we are 2 adults and one 12 YO)
We are into modern places where the architecture is of high importance. Bernardus Lodge is more homely, but we liked it a lot. What we especially liked was the view from our balcony, the croquet lawn (GREAT amenity when traveling with kids!!), the pool, the tennis courts, the lovely bathroom products, the complimentary minibar and wine, the fireplaces and the overall relaxed ambience. We did not like the decor too much, a bit outdated for our taste, but the feel of the place is lovely, so we did not mind much.
we had dinner at the more casual of the two restaurants, it was delicious but nothing out of the ordinary. Breakfast was great, home made bread and pastries and good coffee, and on our second morning the weather was so good that we were able to sit outside.
Location is great for visiting the area - a short drive to Monterey and a very scenic drive further down Big Sur. The area is breathtakingly beautiful with rolling hills, trees, eagles and the coast nearby. We went on a whale watching tour from Monterey which was great, but we kept talking about getting back in order to catch a game of tennis before dinner and having time to relax on the balcony.
The staff is amazing, thank you so much for making our two days a true "holiday within our holiday".

Room Tip: I guess all the rooms are lovely, but I would go for one on the second floor to have the best view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bernardus Lodge & Spa

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 & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 57
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
Bernardus Lodge

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