Dr Wilkinson's - established in the 1950's- was a pleasant surprise for me. Traveling on a road trip with two of my sons and my Japanese exchange student daughter and her new husband (Ai and Toshi), I booked a room at Dr Wilkinson's because Ai wanted a spa experience and the mud baths sounded quite unique and very un-Japanese-like. I was a bit hesitant that the rooms might be old and run down, but they were nice and well kept. The bathroom was OK- (no tub, just a shower) and could use some upgrading, but was very clean. Our beds were very comfortable, and the motel rooms faced inward to a nice courtyard where wifi was available (wifi was harder to get in the rooms since the walls were concrete block with rebar in them). Our rooms had a fridge and coffee maker (don't remember if there was a microwave), and an older style TV. There were 2 outdoor pools and 1 indoor pool available that was nice although we didn't use them. The motel is situated in the heart of Calistoga and you can walk to some great little restaurants nearby.
We did, however, use the spa a mudbath facilities. I was VERY pleased with the spa experience. First- when you check into the office, the receptionist will take anything valuable for you and check it into their safe/locked room: the changing rooms have lockers for your clothes, but no locks. When you go back for your treatment, you'll go into a "quiet area" where you'll take off your clothes and put on a robe. From there, you'll go into the segregated mud bath area (one side for men, one for women) and take a quick shower to wet your skin, then you wiggle into the mud bath. The mud is made of volcanic ash, mineral water, and Canadian peat, and is a bit smelly. But the room is quite clean: the attendants are constantly spraying down the floors and areas to keep them clean. After you wiggle into the mud and get all covered up, the attendant puts a mud mask on your face, cucumber slices over your eyes, and finally a cold cloth on top of the cucumbers, and then grapefruit essence is spritzed over the mud to freshen its' smell. You're offered ice water before and after you're in the mud to keep you hydrated. You'll soak in the mud for about 10 minutes - it's an interesting feeling: you feel the weight of the mud yet you're kind of floating in it. Next you get out and shower -- it's a little uncomfortable because the shower doesn't have a curtain, but hey- those attendants have seen it all already. And they're not staring at you anyway. So shower well. Next you go into a hot mineral bath with bubbler for about 10-15 minutes (and if you didn't get all the mud off you, it's going to be a muddy bath. Again, you have ice water beside you at all times. The mineral bath was quite warm and I had to keep my feet out of the water occasionally so as not to overheat, but Ai got a little faint due to the temperature. If you're getting too warm- stick your feet out of the water and this should help. From the mineral bath, you move to the steam room (again- fresh ice water for you) where you can stay as long as you like. Next, you move to a resting room where you're wrapped with a flannel sheet to cool down gradually and relax. Then on for a massage -- your choice 1/2 hour or full hour. We each did the 1/2 hour massage and the therapist asked what areas you wanted focused on. She was very good and very professional.
All in all, the rooms were very comfortable and well appointed, the location was excellent, the price was reasonable, and the mud bath was a hoot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Calistoga landmark offering contemporary lodging and wonderful treatments and pools! Contemporary rooms with easy access to three sparkling mineral water pools. Located in the heart of historic downtown Calistoga within steps of numerous restaurants, shops and tasting rooms. Dr. Wilkinson's is a mid-century modern icon in the Napa Valley. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dr. Wilkinson`s Hot Springs Hotel Calistoga
- Dr Wilkinsons Hot Springs Resort
- Dr Wilkinsons Hot Springs Hotel