Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, California $$$$
Carmel Valley , California
Tel: 831 658 3400
Tel: 888 648 9463
Fax: 831 659 3529
Concierge.com's insider take:
Gourmands and oenophiles tend to choose this place, an extension of the eponymous winery. Here, it's all about the grape: Each of the 57 rooms has a "wine grotto," with several complimentary bottles, and the first order of business at check-in is wine tasting, not credit-card swiping. The rooms occupy nine two-story stucco buildings that sit around a central croquet lawn and flowering gardens. The white-walled interiors are a bit stark, but lines are crisp and the fabrics soft (beds are dressed in Italian linens), and there are plush sofas by the fireplaces. Alas, bathroom lighting relies too heavily on fluorescents, but the oversize soaking tubs compensate, as do the signature handmade tangerine and lavender soaps. Upstairs rooms have more privacy, with vaulted wooden ceilings and decks; downstairs rooms have patios. All face either the croquet lawn or the vineyards and forested hills surrounding the lodge. The pluses here include a top-notch spa, the excellent Marinus restaurant, and frequent culinary- and wine-education events, especially during lavender and tomato seasons.
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