Bernardus Lodge: A Honey of an Experience

Join the apiculture program, learn about bees, and indulge in honey-themed treats at the elegantly rustic Carmel Valley ranch.

Omar Photos/Bernardus Lodge

IF YOU'RE ENJOYING HONEY... in a hotel setting, chances are great that you're pouring a touch into your morning tea or spreading some golden sweetness on a slice of toast. You might even savor a honeyed sunset, if the property has a memorable natural setting, the kind that's made for observing twilight, if you want to spread the proverbial honey a little further and a little thicker. But you're not likely learning, at least while staying at a hotel, about the wondrous world of honey's BFF, the industrious, amazing, here-there-everywhere bee. But bees are the A Game when you visit the memorable natural setting found at Bernardus Lodge & Spa, a 28-acre spread that's tucked into Carmel Valley, a place that is known for its lushly wild side, as well as a perfectly honeyed evening sky. There's a fresh-as-dew apiculture program on the elegant destination's to-do roster, and it is fully focused on connecting we humans with those fuzzy jacket'd, honey-mastering marvels of wind and air.

"BUZZED AT BERNARDUS"... is a new experience includes a host of bee-autiful happenings, from spa treatments (the Honeybee & Sunshine Massage is luxe, all righty, and if you're looking for a wild honey face mask, followed by a "delicious" honey nectar serum for the skin, you've found it) to a "Colony Cocktails" (the Queen Bee boasts honeycomb bitters, as well as Darjeeling gin and fresh lemon, and is served on the bocce ball lawn, by a butler no less). If an invigorating constitutional is more your style, look into a complimentary noontime Hive Walk, which happens each summer Saturday. Some 180,000 Italian honeybees call the flowery, fresh-of-air stretch home, and you'll discover more about them, with either Chef Cal Stamenov or beekeeper Jake Reisdorf at the lead (Mr. Reisdorf is the owner of Carmel Honey Company). And a number of dishes at Lucia, the lodge's upscale dining room, rock a "Hive-to-Table" vibe, meaning that organic honey — make that honey that's both organic and raw — will star in a flurry of foodie temptations like Chilled Bing Cherry Soup with Honey Ginger Ice Cream. "Bee"-n there, done that? Not many hotel-loving travelers can claim that they communed with the bees, and all manner of marvelous honey, while relaxing at a tucked-away bucolic, and bee-colic, resort.

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