A Trip to… The Spa at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, CA

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Spa at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel, CA

I have no problem admitting when I need a break.  So when a charity event I had planned on attending canceled last minute I took myself to the spa.  I had never been to Bernardus before and had heard great things about it.  After a quick view of their menu, I decided on a lavender bliss scrub, Vichy Hamam, Nuskin Fitness facial, and a Thai massage.  I wanted an Aqua float but they didn’t have a therapist to perform it.  Booking online was super easy and I received a confirmation call the next day.  The staff was nice and knowledgeable about their services.

pool side lounge area


locker room

I went for the 10am start so I could arrive a bit early and take advantage of the water treatments. They had a beautiful locker room with steam and sauna.  Along with a nice warming room with a fireplace and treats, plus an outdoor space with a warming pool and loungers.  I love when a spa is empty and I have the place to myself for a bit. Starting out with the sauna and steam before my Thai massage started, I was ready for my day to begin.

Suana, Steam, Showers
Indoor warming area with fire pit.
warming room
Massage Room.

I thought I would get a bit of studying done, I was wrong.  I spent the day in a lazy haze.  After steaming for a bit I vegged out in the warming room.  Right in front of an amazing, indoor fire pit.  My therapist found me and we started my first treatment.  ***NOTE**** bring loose clothes for the Thai massage.  I wasn’t instructed to do this when I made my appointment, and everywhere else I had received a Thai massage an outfit was provided.  Thankfully I wore yoga gear to the spa instead of my usual maxi dress.  After a quick outfit change and a brief run down, we got started.  The room was beautiful, but a little bright.  The therapist was amazing, it was clear that he enjoyed his craft.  The massage was amazing.  Studying, and performing a lot of lash extensions at work had taken a toll on my body.  My neck and upper back were killing me.  After this massage, I felt renewed and relaxed.  The stretching alone was worth it.  For those that are a bit more modest, this is a perfect treatment.  You stay fully clothed yet receive a deep and therapeutic massage.  I was sad when it ended.

Steam room goodies.

I returned to the sauna and vegged out a bit more before taking a nap by the pool.  The only bad thing I have to say about the spa facilities is there is nowhere to really lounge, except outside.  As someone who does not like to be in the sun, this was a problem.  They have a warming area with couches but chaise lounges are so much more comfortable.  I felt awkward attempting to layout on the couch with other people around.  It was just hard to unwind and relax.


Steamy Hamam Vischy
Soapy bucket.


My next treatment was the Vichy hammam.  A truly unique experience.  A steamed wet room and Vichy shower in one.  I had the same therapist, and he seemed super excited about the treatment.  He explained in detail about it and the history of it in the middle east.  Here is how it went.  A table is in the middle of a steamed filled room, where I was covered in a traditional towel/blanket.  A bucket of soapy water was next to me, with a linen towel and a silk loofah like thing. First I was scrubbed with the silk and then he swirled the linen piece in the air creating a bubble/balloon-like thing and scrubbed my skin with it.  It was such a unique and cool feeling.  Like being massaged with a cloud.  After I was rinsed with the Vichy shower and a light blood orange lotion was massage in.  I can’t wait to go back again!  I could and would totally do this every weekend.  The treatment ended poolside with a pot of peppermint tea served in a traditional tea set and a yummy middle eastern pastry.

Outdoor warming pool.

I followed that with a lavender salt scrub… I could have done without this.  My skin had a reaction probably because I had the hammam already and really it was a hard treatment to follow.

After all that I was hungry so I ordered a grilled chicken Cesar with no dressing just lemon.  It was perfect.

I finished the day with a NUSkin Fitness Facial.   The esthetician was amazing, the products smelled great and I didn’t break out!  I didn’t see any dramatic results like the machine claimed so I am not sure if I would return for it.  A big plus was that she went over proper homecare and sent me home with recommendations.

Overall I LOVED Bernardus and can’t wait to go back. If I could improve it, I would suggest lounge chairs and a cold pool offset all the warm treatments.


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