Originally built in 1999 by Bernardus Pon, the iconic Bernardus Lodge sits on 28 acres of vineyards and gardens set against a backdrop of the Santa Lucia Mountains in the heart of Carmel Valley. Dave Roche was an integral member of the team that orchestrated the landscape planning and design for the hotel while working with Jack Chandler & Associates, devising a landscape plan that included a sweeping arrival sequence, all hotel buildings, spa, pool area, outdoor fireplace and restaurant terraces, wedding venue and pavilion, and competition croquet lawns.
The new hotel, set amidst an existing winery and vineyards, was designed in a warm Mediteranean architectural style, with an architectural design approach that was equally sophisticated and rustic, formal and laid-back. The design for the landscape and grounds enhances the refined ranch experience, emphasizing a soft palette of natural plantings.
The entry to the resort is marked by low walls constructed of warm Carmel Stone. A crushed gravel drive lined with Olive trees gently sweeps up past vineyard rows to the hotel entrance. Throughout the resort, walls cloaked in Boston Ivy are punctuated by distinctive Iceberg Roses, framing individual moments within the expansive grounds. The hotel entry and restaurant terraces are planted with reclaimed heritage Olive trees. An expansive outdoor wedding venue includes a rose-covered pergola placed to frame the view of the foothills.
To maintain the landscape, the team integrated a system to convert grey water for irrigation, in a process that was groundbreaking at the time.