Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Spring 2018

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Page 184 of 219

L ush herbs, greens, flowers and fruit trees fill two acres of organic gardens on the Bernardus Lodge & Spa grounds. Individuals who wander through the vibrant plots might fall into conversation with kitchen staffers gathering ingredients for that day's dishes. Resort Chef Cal Stamenov leads summer Saturday garden walks here, too, exploring the local produce, honey, grapes and other elements that grace his restaurant menus and wine lists. Some travelers plan entire stays around seasonal dinners and annual Bernardus culinary events that celebrate lavender harvests, rosé wines and heirloom tomatoes. Two wide, gnarled stumps are tucked in one corner of a garden parcel near the resort's main entrance. When a pair of century-old eucalyptus trees fell in a 2017 storm, groundskeepers opted not to remove them. Instead, Bernardus controller Mike Butler put his woodworking hobby into practice by hand-carving seats into each stump. From whimsical outdoor chairs to winding garden pathways to spacious accommodations with sweeping Santa Lucia Mountain views, Bernardus Lodge & Spa builds on its bucolic Carmel Valley setting. This year's Forbes Travel Guide Awards recognized the resort with a four-star rating, hailing it as "a wine lover's paradise" that's "brimming with earthy-chic charm." Dutch-born winemaker, Olympian and former Porsche race driver Bernardus "Ben" Pon opened Bernardus in 1999. A full resort renovation wrapped up three years ago, followed by a 14-suite expansion that wel- comed its first guests in August 2016. The projects created a fresh look for the 28-acre, 73-room luxury property. "We brought the outdoors in, introducing more of an easy-living atmos- BERNARDUS LODGE & SPA C a r m e l Va l l e y, C a l i f o r n i a B Y R E N E E B R I N C K S D E S T I N A T I O N S C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 183 Photos: Courtesy of Bernardus Lodge

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