SOMETHING SPECIAL: Treating your nearest/dearest to a surprise weekend away for an anniversary or birthday or a just-because-ery takes some crafty planning, the ability to not spill the beans at inopportune moments, and a sparkly sense of the splurge. If you're going to do it up, you want to do it up on the fancy side, but if your flavor of fancy is more about a rustic setting, rather than city lights, look to a batch of new villas and suites in Carmel Valley.
THE 14 FRESH ADDITIONS... to Bernardus Lodge & Spa were unofficially unveiled in the early part of August 2016, following a renovation of the hotel's rooms and public spaces in 2015. This is property that rambles over 28 acres, acres that encompass wine-nice vines, fragrant lavender, and the sort tawny, hill-rolling loveliness the region is famous for. So to walk your sweetheart up to a "ranch-chic" suite in this singular setting could be accurately considered highly birthday-worthy.
THE OUT-IN-THE-CALIFORNIA-COUNTRY FEEL... of the roomy spaces include "alfresco fire pits" and "master baths featuring hammered copper free-standing soaking tubs" and heated floors, as well as views of the Santa Lucia Mountains (mountains that are often lit by the quintessential golden light that seems to belong solely to this particular valley). And while those design and detail touches qualify in anyone's book as tony, there are some truly tony touches on top of the room's stylish appointments. Those extra-mile details include...
BUTLER SERVICES... during your villa or suite stay, as well as use of a Mercedes Benz convertible (that's gratis, with no fee on top). Is there a private rain shower outside, the better to soak up some of that soft Carmel-y sunshine while you bath? There shall be. If you need anything for your room, or suggestions on sightseeing, or a dinner reservation, will that be difficult to obtain? The staff-to-guest ratio is an impressive 3-to-1. To get started on your sweetheart's surprise weekend, and to snag a peek at these pretty new spots dotting the property, begin here, luxe-minded road-trippers.