Napa Valley and its environs are an irresistible delight to any serious gastronome. A seemingly endless array of some of the best new world wineries and fine dining establishments could keep one happily occupied for days on end. However, as tantalizing as its charms are, there are times when the legions of visitors can overwhelm, with traffic slowing to a crawl on the two lane highway 29 snaking up from Napa in the south to the northern reaches of St Helena.
Guest Post by Mrs W
Tucked away in 157 green, wooded acres, in a peaceful stretch of Calistoga Valley,Calistoga Ranch is a sanctuary away from it all. Truly serene places where one can take a gentle pause from life and all its madness, while still being surrounded by an insulating blanket of excellent service and comfort, and maintaining a strong sense of connection to the setting and local community, are rare. The staff are infinitely knowledgeable and welcoming, and make it clear that your happiness is their utmost priority.
Calistoga Ranch’s one and two-bedroom lodges are dreamy modern day luxury tree-houses that have lost none of their natural charms. Woven into the landscape and cosseted within a protective embrace of pine and oak trees, the lodges, with their two cosy drawing rooms, one indoor and one outdoor, complete with fireplace and overstuffed banquettes wrapped around generously proportioned granite topped dining tables, are California indoor-outdoor living at its best. Natural stone and wood abound, and each lodge’s private jacuzzi invites late night stargazing.
Calistoga Ranch is all about outdoor living – its army of gardeners and staff tame the surrounding landscape to an immaculate state of natural. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the simple art of doing nothing more strenuous than quiet reading or contemplation in your tree-house sanctuary, the property’s miles of hiking trails, outdoor yoga, excellent Lakehouse restaurant, serene swimming pool, and the deliciously low key award winning Boathouse spa with its two thermal fed soaking pools, where my sister and I managed to while away an entire day – starting off with the blissful, signature 150 minute Calistoga Cure treatment, followed by an extremely long, lazy lunch lounging on a private terrace nestled softy into the trees, provide ample diversion. If the call of Napa Valley’s best wineries and restaurants is too strong, simply glide your way into one of the property’s extensive range of Mercedes (generously provided by the resort for the convenience of all guests) and drive the convenient 15 minutes into civilization.
The resort’s subtle and unique beauty seep slowly and irrevocably into your consciousness until you are completely seduced by its quiet charms. Tempted to maintain stronger ties than as an occasional guest? The 23 two bedroom owner residences (a select few which are available to rent as 2 bedroom hotel suites) enable you to be part of an exclusive community of owners, who have the opportunity to further their appreciation and experience of the region on a very personal level. The resort frequently arranges events with some of the Valley’s most in demand vintners and master chefs for its guests and owners; during our stay, we were fortunate enough to have an intimate wine tasting of Robert Egelhoff’s sublime creations, in the company of a jovial and charming group of owners and fellow guests.
Calistoga Ranch allows its guests and owners to experience having a home away from home, with a real sense of place within and insight into the local community, never forgetting for a moment the holy triumvirate of what makes Napa Valley truly great: a seamless blend of nature, fine wine and cuisine, basking in the endless golden glow of Californian sunshine.