Revitalise your senses in the Santa Lucia Mountains
Take the Pacific Coast Highway South from San Francisco and you’ll encounter sand-and-surf beach towns, artists’ enclaves, shopping meccas and iconic theme parks.
With over 2 million unique places to stay in 190 countries, we used the rental marketplace HomeAway to find somewhere truly special to stay on the West Coast; Bernardus Lodge & Spa in the Carmel Valley.
Tucked among 28 acres of rolling vineyards, orchards and gardens, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is an intimate, charming small-town resort that stirs the senses and soothes the soul.
Surrounded by the tranquil Santa Lucia Mountains, the beauty of which you can view from the adults-only, hilltop infinity jacuzzi, it’s easy to lose all sense of where you are in the world at Bernardus Lodge & Spa.
Explore the Carmel Valley by making use of Bernardus Lodge & Spa’s complimentary Mercedes-Benz drive programme or taking part in a complimentary weekend hike in the hills.
Follow the winding path through the wisteria, we were blown away by the expansive 1,050 square foot Vineyard Suite (such space being a commonality when you book a property or apartment via HomeAway) and the pairing of rustic ranch country-chic with warm sophistication. With two fireplaces, a terrace complete with fire-pit and dining table, a free-standing copper bath-tub, wet room and outdoor rain shower, there is virtually no reason to leave the Suite.
The highlight? The additional outdoor shower in the private bathroom patio that provides a reinvigorating experience first thing in the morning.
On arrival at Bernardus Lodge & Spa, we were met with a sparkling wine from the surrounding Vineyard and, in our room, a cheeseboard, fresh hummus and crispbreads; the perfect welcome after a long drive down the PCH.
Though Lucia Resturant offers a French-inspired menu, we opted for the sultry Lucia Bar where we sat at the large communal table and enjoyed hand-crafted cocktails and food inspired by the region’s bounty while listening to live music (Friday through Tuesday).
Set aside from the rest of the resort, the Bernardus Spa is an intimate, sun-drenched sanctuary that follows a garden-to-treatment philosophy.
Surrender to a signature treatment using ingredients from the Vineyards or press pause in the private pool as we did.
What’s more, the fitness centre is open 24 hours a day as part of their Wellness Program which sees guests invited to join mindful wellness rituals including guided hikes to fuel your active lifestyle, soulful sunrise stretch yoga classes and garden meditation; this truly is the pinnacle of finding your balance.