A stay at Bernardus Lodge proves that Napa hotels don’t have a monopoly on California’s premier wine country. The romantic 57-suite Bernardus is ideally situated in a lush mountain valley between the Monterey peninsula and the Big Sur coast (about 160 miles south of Napa Valley) and close to the region’s well-regarded wineries and celebrated golf links. The all-suite accommodations blend antiques and wood-beam ceilings with the requisite high-tech touches, plus plush beds, soaking tubs, and wood-burning fireplaces. The lodge’s Marinus restaurant, with chef Cal Stamenov at the helm, has evolved into one of northern California’s premier dining spots, serving California natural cuisine: dishes include Sonoma duck and grilled quail served with risotto, chanterelle, and foie gras sauce, and Carmel Bay prawns and shellfish bisque flavored with cilantro and jalapeño, paired with prize-winning Marinus Estate Bordeaux-style wine from the lodge’s own vineyard. There’s plenty to keep you occupied in the immediate surroundings, from hikes and horseback riding in the nearby Santa Lucia mountains to tennis, croquet, or bocce on the lodge lawns, but who wants to leave your perch overlooking vineyards, rolling hills, and lavender blossoms?