We stayed at Calistoga Ranch in the prime autumn time when the foliage was brilliant, there was just enough crisp in the air to require a sweater, and during the grape crush when you can smell a faint grape scent circulating in the air around certain parts of the valley. This is such a romantic and cozy time to come to this region.
Calistoga Ranch seems to be perfectly located in Napa Valley; easy drives to literally dozens of wineries (both Napa and Sonoma). At the Ranch, everything is new and modern, but maintains a rustic, "outdoorsy" charm. There is no shortage of wood burning fireplaces, both outdoors and indoors, with ample sitting space which makes for perfect wine-sipping, book-reading, or time spent just catching up with friends in a really great setting. The property is very spread out, which means calling the golf cart butlers pretty much every time you need to go anywhere... they are usually there in a matter of a couple minutes to take you anywhere you need to go on the property.
Located at the base of the property near the lobby, the hotel pool and hot tub is quite stunning and there appears to be enough lounge chairs for everyone (all very nice quality). The fitness facility is half indoors and half outdoors (overlooking the hotel pool) and is really impressive - everything you could want. They have a wide variety of cardio machines, each with their own personal TV, and ample weight lifting machines as well. All equipment is new and state-of-the art; again, *very* impressive fitness facilities. Located on top of the hill of the property (take a golf cart if you're tired!) is the hotel spa. We unfortunately didn't have time to check out the services, but we heard from friends that everything about it was fantastic.
For our accommodations, we had one of the least expensive "lodge rooms" (all are separate structures); room 136, which was about $750 or so per night (yes, a definite splurge). Our room had a nice large front porch with outdoor fireplace and outdoor furniture which was a really great touch (they hang your morning paper on the door to your porch each morning). Our actual lodge interior was divided in two main spaces: half for the beautiful large bathroom with his and hers sinks and a nice closet and half for the bedroom. This division of space seemed a bit odd as the bedroom was pretty tiny and cramped (but still very nice and well appointed). The bed was great; fantastic linens -- we slept quite well. One of the best things about our lodge (and every lodge, we believe) is the huge outdoor 'rain forest' shower. It's completely private and there are towel hooks and a place for the *amazing* Calistoga bath products...this shower experience is truly one of the best things about each lodge, especially when it's a little cold out. If you're not into it, never fear as there is a regular shower and bath inside each lodge, as well. Room 136 is especially nice if you're attending a wedding at Calistoga as the reception Wine Cave and the main hotel restaurant are literally 20 feet from your doorstep. All in all, a very nice lodge, but the living/sleeping quarters were definitely cramped.
The only meals we ate at Calistoga were breakfasts and they were a solid 9 out of 10. Service at the restaurant was great and the ambiance and view overlooking the valley of Calistoga was beautiful. NB: order up a plate of "well done crispy bacon" and you won't regret it.
Service, in general, at Calistoga was a solid 9 out of 10. They lost half a point in two areas: a) again, because the property is so vast (and steep), you'll need to rely on the golf cart drivers to take you from here to there...they are usually timely, but about a third of our calls for a ride took several minutes which was a little frustrating (perhaps they were understaffed?) and b) the friends we were traveling with had a frustrating check-in process...their room wasn't ready when we arrived (the hotel check-in time is technically 4:00...however, because the rest of the wedding party's rooms were ready, this was also frustrating and it would have been nice if the hotel offered them a complimentary glass of wine or something to ease the blow after a 6 hour flight and 2 hour drive). The Ranch did have a very high standard of service in all other areas and one to make special note of would be the concierge staff. Greg, in particular, helped line us up with a wonderful wine tour of Quintessa, Opus and Clos du Val chauffeured by "Gia," with a stop at the Oakville Grocery Store and it was a very memorable day (NB: Ask Greg to mention another winery called "Constant;" it's also one of his favorites and sounds spectacular).
All in all, we are very happy with our choice to stay at Calistoga Ranch for this trip to Napa. The other super luxe resort in this region would be Calistoga's sister property, the famous Auberge du Soleil, about 20 minutes from Calistoga, which is also supposed to be fabulous [NB: For those not wanting to spend quite so much, I'd highly recommend checking out The Villagio Inn & Spa 10 minutes away in Yountville, where I have also stayed -- beautiful property at a much lower price point].
- Also Known As:
- Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Hotel Calistoga
- Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Hotel
- Calistoga Hotel
- Calistoga Ranch
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Calistoga Ranch is a luxury resort tucked into a private canyon in the Upper Napa Valley on a 157-acre site marked by ancient oaks, majestic hills, a rock-hewn stream and a private lake.• 48 free-standing guest lodges• Exclusive resort restaurant with a "land to table" philosophy open for breakfast, lunch and dinner• Luxurious private spa • Multiple heated swimming pools & sundecks• Fitness center, yoga deck and daily fitness classes• 10 pristine weddings and events locations including a private wine cave. ... more less
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