There are several luxury hotels in California. The Bernadus Lodge, located in the Carmel Valley, is one of the most impressive ones in my opinion. It offers extremely cozy rooms, a perfect service, a lovely little spa as well as good food. If you are driving up or down Highway number 1, be sure to check out this hotel. It will be worth it!
When we arrived at the Bernadus Lodge in Carmel Valley on a cold February night (cold for California, not cold for a German), I didn’t feel like being at a luxury hotel.
The area was extremely quiet, there were no big buildings and there was not even a doorman awaiting guests. Due to that, we left the car outside and went into the lobby.
After some seconds of searching, we found the receptionist sitting on a little table. As soon as he recognized us, he jumped up and greets us very friendly. As it was pretty late (midnight), he was the only guy present at the time. Anyway, he did a brilliant job by taking us and our baggage to the room (they got little golf carts to do this job).
When we entered the room, we were surprised pretty positively. (That’s always a good start for a hotel review!) It was one of the coziest rooms I’ve seen in a time, as there was a fire place, a lovely couch and a perfect balcony.
Even though it was too cold to sit outside, sitting inside was a pleasure (a bottle of Californian wine was provided complimentary), as the fire place made the atmosphere so nice.
The bathroom by the way is awesome as well. Both, toilet and shower, are detached. There are two sinks and a big bathtub and even a little wale inviting me to take a bath with him (I still got this one, the wale is one of my nicest travel souvenirs!)
The next morning, it was time to test the breakfast at the Bernadus Lodge to get a good impression for the review. In my opinion, it was nothing special as it was pretty American. There was no buffet and not much choice, also the á la carte breakfast was way too expensive in my opinion. The offered food though (I had eggs and pancakes most days) was very good and the seating (at least outside) was nice, too.
Sitting inside was not really special as it was a little dark and the tables were pretty small. Same goes for dinner that takes place at the same restaurant. Even though I didn’t have dinner at Bernadus Lodge, I’m not sure if I can recommend it in terms of gastronomy. The breakfast was not good enough for a luxury hotel if you ask me.
A very positive aspect of the Bernadus Lodge definitely is the Spa. Many premier hotels do just offer a pool and some loungers, at Bernadus Lodge, you can really enjoy your time even when not paying extra for a massage. The luxury Spa consists of two pools (one for swimming that was a little cold in February and one for just chilling), saunas, a steam bath and a lovely chill-out area.
You can enjoy the complimentary water as well as nuts and some dried fruits. Also, there is hot tea offered. If you are looking for getting something else, you may also order drinks or food á la carte. Once again, there were fire places in the Spa area that made me want to stay there forever. Not only the room, but especially the Spa was one of the coziest I’ve seen all over the world.
In my opinion, it is the value for the money that makes the Bernadus Lodge one of the best luxury hotels in California. While several hotels (e.g. Shutters on the Beach or San Ysidro Ranch) do offer a very nice experience as well, they are way too expensive in my opinion. At Bernadus Lodge, the rooms are not very modern but extremely cozy. The Spa is not too big but it offers everything I need.
The only thing that was not good enough for a luxury hotel in California was the breakfast that was just too boring and too expensive. Overall, I’d definitely come back when travelling California with my girlfriend. If you’re a solo traveler, you may consider other hotels as the Bernadus Lodge is located far away from other cities.