When you want to get away to the great outdoors but don’t want to sacrifice luxury, head to Calistoga Ranch in Upper Napa Valley. Outdoor living doesn’t get any better than it does at this 157-acre retreat nestled into a private canyon and marked by ancient oaks, majestic hills, a rock-hewn stream and private lake. It’s hard to believe that this luxurious oasis was once a family-owned campground. Opened in May 2004, this sanctuary now boasts 72 well-appointed bungalows—50 guest suites and 22 owner lodges—that blend into the pristine environment. After you drive through the tree-lined entrance, attendants will stash away your car for the duration of your stay. Here are four reasons you need to book your great escape here stat.
The Estate Lodge
Whether you book a deluxe lodge, one-bedroom lodge or two-bedroom lodge, rest assured your accommodations at this exclusive hideaway will make for a refined yet rustic, relaxing stay. We particularly love the outdoor living rooms and outdoor showers that offer privacy while you soak up nature the way it was intended. Go all out and book The Estate Lodge. A pathway lined with wisteria, dogwood and century-old oaks and redwoods leads you into nirvana. Make yourself at home in this two-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot, creekside retreat nestled at the top of the rustic ranch. A fully-equipped gourmet kitchen complete with a marble island and Sub-Zero refrigerator, six-seat dining table and laundry room provide the essentials here, though the real draw is the expansive deck that includes a private hot tub, a fireplace, overhead heating, marble tables and plenty of seating. Though you’ll want to luxuriate in the large shower garden for an extended period of time, please do remember, there’s a drought. The Estate Lodge comes with the exclusive use of a Mercedes-Benz and is the only accommodation with its own parking spot adjacent. This haven is also perfectly positioned with easy access to the spa and restaurant, both which boast private entrances.
The Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch
Be sure to carve out time for a relaxing trip to The Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch. This hotel is, after all, is in one of the nation’s historic spa towns. The spa takes advantage of its surroundings by using local ingredients, including organic honey from the resort’s hives and the region, mud and mineral salt, in many of the treatments. To experience them for yourself, we suggest you book these popular treatments: The Calistoga Cure, Calistoga Mud Wrap or Honey Dream Bee Well, or partake in a signature bath rituals with Milk & Honey, Purifying Mud, Detoxifying Salt. It’s hard to resist either of the summer spa specials: Summer Body Quench & Massage [90 minutes, $250] where a hydrating Sorbet Body Polish is designed to cool and quench summer skin leaving you glowing from head to toe, followed by a full body fusion massage with deep rhythmic pressure and yoga inspired stretches. The perfect ending to this summer-inspired experience is the house made sorbet and a refreshing beverage. The other special this season is a Cooling Hibiscus Facial [60 minutes, $175; 90 minutes, $250], which includes a hydrating neck and shoulder massage. Enjoy a candied hibiscus iced tea to conclude your experience. Afterward, retreat to the relaxation deck surrounded by such lushness that we’re sure you’ll forget about any worries back home. Take advantage of the complimentary fitness and wellness offerings, which take place in a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor fitness center and include yoga, meditation classes, qigong, mat pilates, zumba, guided hikes and personal training.
Only hotel guests and owners are allowed to experience The Lakehouse, Calistoga Ranch’s elegant restaurant that celebrates Napa Valley’s authentic food and wine culture in a serene setting overlooking Lake Lommel. We loved The Lakehouse before but love it even more now that the talented Bryan Moscatello has come onboard as executive chef. He brings with him serious culinary clout after arriving from Element 47 at The Little Nell in Aspen, where he received a Forbes Five-Star award this year. His career accolades include a “Best 10 New Chefs in America” honor in 2003 from Food & Wine. With a passion for crafting elevated yet approachable dishes that embrace the authentic flavors, foods and spirit of the local landscape, he’s out to maximize the bounty of produce and herbs from the resort’s own garden as well as the incredible access to the food artisans of Napa Valley to inspire new menus with dishes that include: Roast California Quail – with T&J orchard apricots, lavender from Calistoga Ranch, goat cheese crisps, California Halibut – with wood roasted allium, puffed rice, Santa Barbara uni pudding; and Liberty Farms Duck – with textures of brioche, local plum gastrique, charred garden greens.
We dare you to grow bored at Calistoga Ranch! We think it is impossible with the bevy of activities that await you. Take a dip in the pool, which is reserved only for hotel guests and owners, play bocce ball, go on a hike, cycle through nature, sign up for a wine-blending class, go on a private photography exploration, have a plein air painting lesson, view wildlife or do a locavore cooking exploration. These are just some of the exciting possibilities that await you after you check into Calistoga Ranch.
We loved zooming from San Francisco to Napa in this beautiful 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FWD S tronic. The “Shiraz Red” metallic exterior [an additional $550] was the perfect hue for our wine country getaway. The Chestnut Brown interior, included in the $35,600 base price, is luxurious with a sleek finished look. You’ll definitely want to upgrade to the A3 Prestige model for an additional $8,450 because we know you’ll enjoy these features as much as we did: 18″ 10-spoke design wheels, heated front seats, auto-dimming driver side exterior mirror, LED interior lighting package, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, parking system plus with rearview camera, Audi side assist and Bang & Olufsen sound system to name a few. We were so impressed when the power-folding and heated exterior mirrors automatically folded in when we put the car in park. Also, when we put the car in reverse, the volume on the radio automatically decreased. We don’t know about you, but we always turn the car radio down when we’re backing up. You don’t have to with this car as it does it for you! Now that’s haute!
Calistoga Ranch, 580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, (707) 254-2800; http://calistogaranch.aubergeresorts.com
Calistoga Ranch Photos Courtesy Calistoga Ranch