CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF., 2017 – Boasting the largest resort collection of Italian honeybee colonies along the California coast, Bernardus Lodge & Spa puts a sweet spin on the season with its new apiculture program flush with 180,000 Italian honeybees and buzzy new ways to lap up the local nectar.

Known for its scientific superpowers, the golden elixir of honey has held sway overhumans since ancient times.  Egyptians used the nectar to treat skin and eye ailments, Greek Olympians used it as a power and race recovery source and the Spanish honored the honey bee with paintings dating back to the Middle Stone Age.  Today, these small wonders are credited with pollinating roughly one-third of the U.S., food supply.

Guests can tuck into this Forbes triple Four-Star property just nine miles from the Pacific and enjoy a variety of bee-centric adventures.  Tie in a sweet deal with luxury accommodations starting at $395.00.

Bee Inspirational Walks

Set on 28 acres of lush florals and vineyards, 100 fruit trees, a two-acre organic garden and 2,000 English, French & Spanishlavender plants, Bernardus Lodge’s newestresidents have hit nirvana – given each honeybee can visit up to 5,000 flowers a day.  Three colonies, maintained by teen entrepreneur Jake Reisdorf, Beekeeper, Owner and Operator of Carmel Honey Company — and chef Cal’s two personal home hives — ensure the property is well steeped in the sweet stuff.  Beginning June 3, 2017 and continuing every Saturday throughout the summer, resort guests can tap into a complimentary educational bee walk with chef Cal or Jake and learn the ins-and-outs of apiculture, as well as touring the heady organic vegetable and rose gardens.  12:00 p.m., complimentary.

Colony Cocktails

Lucia Bar, an open-air craft cocktail hub known for its garden-to-glass ethos, rolls out three new libations to kick off the Buzzed at Bernardus season.  For the ultimate feel-good fix, the EpiPen features Abomination Whiskey by Lost Spirits, fresh lemon, garden honey, bitters and soda water, served on the rocks.  Tequila is a perfect foil for nectar as well.  Tap into Mezcal Vago Espadin, fresh lemon and Angostura bitters with a float of honey, served shaken for the sultry Smokey Stinger.  Guests can also get buzzed on a refreshing Queen Bee — served butler-style on the bocce lawn — featuring Darjeeling Gin, fresh lemon and honeycomb bitters.  $15.00.


Named after the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains which provide the dramatic backdrop to the 2,300 sq., ft., restaurant and alfresco dining terrace, Lucia’s contemporary dining room is the ideal stage for chef Cal Stamenov’s cuisine.  Classically trained with an eye to sustainability, the menu plays off locally-sourced ingredients with the essence of the dish taking center stage.  A back pocket of local farmers, foragers and fisherman keep Lucia’s kitchen at a steady simmer.   This season, chef Cal will showcase his raw, organic honey in a variety of entrees and desserts.  Highlights include a savory Garden Mache with local mushroom, fingerling potatoes and black sage honey and bacon vinaigrette, Chilled Bing Cherry Soup with Honey Ginger Ice Cream and Black Truffle Cheese Cake with a Chicory Side Salad.  Fragrant Honey Florentines and a sinful Honey Chamomile Ice Cream are also on tap; $12.00 – $55.00.

Buzzy Body Treatments

The nourishing nectar of organic bees has long been used for body treatments by ancient Greeks and Egyptians.  Honey is a humectant, so it naturally attracts and retains moisture making it ideal for skin treatments.  New this season are two treatments certain to hydrate, restore and rejuvenate all skin types.  Set in the award-winning Forbes Four-Star, 5,200 sq., ft. spa, the new Honeybee & Sunshine Massage steps up with a relaxing full body massage using Sun body oil with notes of sweet blood orange and golden amber to quench thirsty skin, followed by an age-defiant wild honey face mask to purify, hydrate and restore.  The service culminates with a delicious honey nectar serum infused with grapefruit and calendula which packs potent antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage.  The Spa will also feature a Honey Bee & Blossom Facial enhancement which includes an age-defiant honey mask; $185.00/50 minutes; $25.00, respectively.

Top Health Benefits of Raw, Organic Honey

     Raw honey has been used as medicine since ancient times.  The benefits of organic honey are enormous, including:


  1. Antioxidant Powerhouse:  Honey contains polyphenols shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.


  1. Powerful Probiotic:  Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of Bifidobacterium. This may explain many of the mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.


  1. Ultimate Healer: The natural antibacterial agents of raw honey react to the body’s fluids to produce hydrogen peroxide, which is inhospitable to bacteria assisting in wound and ulcer healing.


  1. Nutritional  Superstar:  Used as an energy source for runners in the Olympics in ancient Greece, natural honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, vitamins B6, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin which helps to neutralize damaging free radicals while maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time.


  1. Skin’s Super-Agent: Honey’s natural anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin and when used with the other ingredients, can be excellent in moisturizing and nourishing.


  1. Allergy Armor:  Since bees pollinate plants, it only makes sense that honey is a fast-track allergy preventer.


  1. Sleep Promoter: Consuming honey before bedtime restocks the liver’s glycogen supply and prevents the brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, thus waking one.


  1. Perfect Balancing Act: Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4,000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful in improving eyesight, weight loss and curing impotence.


  1. Blood Sugar’s Best Friend: Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.


  1. Soothing Qualities: Honey is a natural cough and throat soother and can alleviate the nasty sidebars that accompany a cold.


Perennially recognized by discerning readers of Travel and Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotels” and Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Hotels” and as well as a Wine Spectator Grand Award & Best of Award of Excellence recipient (2001-2017), this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property has long set the gold standard for wine country vacationing.   Originally opened in 1999 and restored in 2015, Bernardus Lodge and Spa is set on 28 pristine Carmel Valley acres awash with vineyards and lavender featuring 73 luxurious guestrooms, suites and villas, signature Forbes Four-Star Spa at Bernardus Lodge, Forbes Four-Star Lucia Restaurant & Bar, swimming pool & adults-only infinity jacuzzi, an alfresco croquet and bocce court and 4,300 sq. ft. of meeting space.  Woodside Hotels (, an operator of a portfolio of distinguished independent luxury properties throughout Northern California, is the management company for the property, which is located on the Monterey Peninsula, 120 mi./193  km, south of San Francisco and 330 mi./531 km., north of Los Angeles.  For information, contact Bernardus Lodge at 831-658-3400 or visit

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