I recently discovered an idyllic hotel and it is too good not to share. Calistoga Ranch, nestled in a canyon in Napa Valley, delivers rustic luxury at its finest. It feels like a world away, but in reality you are less than 2 hours from San Francisco. North of Yountville and St Helena, it’s a lovely destination for escaping some of the busier parts of Napa.
Upon arriving you are whisked away in a golf cart to settle in to your room. The rooms are all built around outdoor spaces. Our room - on the creek side (highly recommend over forest for the privacy and more immersion in nature, we could hear the river running from the bed) - was two spaces separated by a large wooden deck. One room had the bed and a large bathroom, the other was where you’d hang out with the couch, coffee table, kitchenette, desk and half bathroom. A unique set up for sure, but it was refreshing to spend so much time outside - even though one of the days we were there was super rainy!
There are lots of special touches around the hotel - a glass of local wine upon check in, a on-site chicken coop and pen with two baby goats for the kids to check out. The pool is beautiful, set on a large grassy knoll, with views of the surrounding woods. We didn’t spend much time there due to the rain, and having a one year old! But would love to go back and enjoy that beautiful space.
The on-site restaurant The Lakehouse is reserved for guests of the hotel, so it felt very quiet and intimate, but the food was outstanding. It’s set all the way at the top of the property - up a big hill. If the weather permits, definitely sit outside on the deck and enjoy the view of the lake. We ate there both nights.
Last but not least, the spa is worth a mention. The Calistoga area is known for healing mineral waters, and the spa has several soaking pools of different temperatures for guests to soak them in. I indulged in a fantastic massage that was equal parts relaxing and therapeutic.
— IF YOU GO —
Details… 2 hours north of San Francisco, this intimate property boasts 50 freestanding lodges immersed in nature. Outdoor showers, gas fireplaces and private hot tubs are a few of the many amenities. The highly attentive staff delivered impressive service and will accommodate any need.
Pack… A swimsuit for soaking in the mineral waters or relaxing by the pool.
Plan Ahead… Book a massage and spend some time at the spa to take advantage of the mineral waters.
Day Trip… Explore the small, charming towns of Napa Valley. In St. Helena, try a breakfast sandwiches on the famous English Muffins at Model Bakery, lunch at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch or burgers at Gott’s. Further south, check out La Calenda, the newly opened Mexican restaurant from Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame), the always indulgent Bouchon Bakery or one of my all time favorites Ad Hoc for a delicious family style meal.