The Best Place to Stay On Your First Trip To Wine Country

receptionFrom Meadowood to Bardessono, there is no shortage of amazing places to stay in the Napa Valley. However, hands down, no questions asked, for your first time visiting wine country you have to stay at the Solage Calistoga. Ok, you can also stay at the Solage if you have been to wine country a hundred times, but it’s a great introductory hotel to the entire Napa Valley experience. Why? Keep reading to find out.

It’s in Calistoga. Calistoga is the most laid back, unpretentious region in the Napa Valley making it 100 percent approachable to the novice wine drinker. There’s almost a hippy vibe to the sleepy town that differs from the sleek showmanship and culinary hustle of nearby Yountville, St. Helena, and Rutherford. The wineries in Calistoga may not have as many accolades, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy world-class bottles. After all, Calistoga is the home to Chateau Montelena, the winery whose Chardonnay shocked the world when it beat out French wines at a 1976 blind tasting France. Other wineries worth checking out on your visit? Envy, Tamber Bey, Schramsberg, and Frank Family Vineyards.

relaxationroom731It’s got an at out of this world spa. The spa alone is reason enough to book a couple of nights at Solage. This recently remodeled wellness center is decorated in all white with silver accents. It’s incredibly serene and quiet with a relaxing outdoor garden, reinvigorating soaking tubs with geo-thermal mineral waters, and private bathhouse with two pools, one where clothing is optional. There’s an extensive list of treatments, from a signature mud bath to an aromatherapy massage where you get to create your own essential oil blend to an oxygen infusion hydration facial to guided floating meditation. Couples and evening treatments under the stars are also available.

Solage_Solbar_20150305One word: Solbar. With one Michelin-Star, the restaurant at Solage, Solbar helmed by chef Brandon Sharp, is not to be missed. Chef Sharp is incredibly passionate about using the most in-season, hyper local ingredients and the resulting food is California cuisine at its finest. As it is the hotel’s restaurant, Solbar is open all day offering exciting and delicious menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of the menus have something for everyone whether your in the mood for a decadent breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, melted fontina, perigord black truffles or are in need of a healthy housemade granola with yogurt and banana. With sardines, caviar, scallops and duck, the dinner menu also has an assortment of scrumptious and decadent dishes. The atmosphere at Solbar is relaxed refinement with sky blue booths, dark wood chairs and tables, enlarged circular chandeliers made from foraged branches, and a cozy fireplace for chilly evenings. As it’s Napa, there is also a top-rate wine list and plenty of craft cocktails to toast with.

solage_may2012_0480It’s accessible year round. While some people may only want to visit Napa in the warmer months, Solage offers year round relaxation. It’s an exceptional escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city — life in Calistoga slows down tremendously and you can’t help but feel more tranquil the moment you set foot on property. The soothing spring waters of Calistoga are warm year round and the spa’s treatments are equally as soothing in hot or cold weather.

Bikes! Each guest room, which are more like private houses than an actually hotel room, has a set of bikes. Solage guests are invited to use the bikes to wander around the property and can take them off site for an adventure in town or at a nearby winery. It’s energizing to be able to ride a bike around Calistoga and the entire time you’re at Solage; you’ve no need to get behind the wheel of a car!