Historic Napa hotel restored by husband and wife offers spa treatments and a mineral jetted tub
Hotel at a Glance: Mount View Hotel & Spa
After exchanging their vows, newlyweds Stephanie and Michael Woods fell in love with their reception venue, Mount View Hotel & Spa in Calistoga. In fact, they were so enamored that they decided to buy the boutique hotel. From the moment you enter the hotel’s airy lobby, it’s easy to see how one could fall in love with this place. A thorough face-lift in 2007 has rejuvenated this 100-year-old dame of a hotel, which has seen its share of celebrities, including early Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow. Art-deco light fixtures hang from the tall ceilings, and funky furniture competes with retro wallpaper for attention.
- Where you’ll stay: a sleek guest room, a deluxe winery suite, or an artist’s cottage complete with easel and paints.
- Soak up some sun by the heated pool.
- Raise a glass of a Napa Valley wine at the onsite wine bar, Indie Blue Salon.
- Treat yourself with a trip to the hotel’s spa; services include the Deep Muscle massage or Radiant Glow facial.
Calistoga, California: Down-to-Earth Hamlet in Northern Napa Valley
The story goes like this: 19th-century developer Samuel Brannan wanted to create a West Coast version of Saratoga Springs (renowned at the time for its mineral spas), but he had been drinking when he made the announcement and so the name came out garbled as the “Calistoga of Sarifornia.” This origin myth sounds a little fishy, but nevertheless, Brannan’s vision of creating a relaxing-and-therapeutic Napa Valley getaway was eventually realized. Thanks to the area’s natural hot springs, a slew of spas sprang up, offering restorative mineral soaks and mud baths. You can still find many such businesses peppered among the restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries lining Calistoga’s quiet main street, which is set against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Those hills are home to some of Napa Valley’s more than 400 wineries, many of which lie within a short drive of downtown Calistoga. The curious wine lover can choose from an array of vineyard experiences, ranging from tours to tastings at wineries modeled on English castles and Tuscan villas. One word of warning: many of these places require reservations, so be sure to book in advance.