Most people know what a hot spring consists of (a natural source of hot or warm water), and that Calistoga is known for its mineral baths of all kinds. But how does it work, and why is this relaxation practice good for you?
One thing we’ve learned is that because heated water holds more dissolved solids, hot springs have a high mineral content, which means it’s all the better for a soak. And while there may not be a ton of scientific research into its health benefits, we do know that this practice of using heat to release toxins is tens of thousands of years old.
With its geothermal hot springs of mineral water running underground, Calistoga has a renowned history as a place of healing. Over 50 years ago, members of the Wappo tribe were the first to discover a natural volcanic hot spring near the foot of Mount St. Helena. The rest is spa-history, with visitors coming from far and wide to take part in the curative powers of Calistoga, by relaxing in a mineral-rich hot spring or a volcanic mud bath.
The health benefits may mostly be based on folklore and anecdotal evidence, but there’s no denying the zen-like state one emerges with after a long, hot soak. If it makes you feel better and more relaxed, that’s half the battle, isn’t it? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite spa experiences that offer that famed Calistoga mineral water for your next trip to Wine Country. Get ready to soak, steam, rest, and repeat.
Golden Haven has private, mineral mudbath rooms to accommodate duos, as well as individuals who want a little silent soak time. For a more communal, less muddy experience, check out their hot springs pool, which is heated by the hot springs mineral water and emerges from the ground at between 140-150° Fahrenheit.
With 28 rooms, Golden Haven also has space for an overnight stay, so you can remain in that totally zen state of mind. For the truly exclusive experience, book one of their hot springs rooms, which feature a private, two-person whirlpool spa. Best of all, the water that feeds this hot tub comes from the same underground hot springs source used throughout the resort. Doesn’t get more private than that.
1713 Lake Street, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-8000
Because one healing geothermal mineral pool isn’t enough, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs has four, and each is heated to a different temperature to suit all preferences. Have a soak in the outdoor whirlpool, which can get as hot as 104° F (perfect for year-round dips), or enjoy the Soaking Pool and its 100° F waters. If you’re itching for some exercise as well as rejuvenation, the multi-lane lap pool is heated to a cool 80° F, and the wading pool is perfect for wee spa guests.
Insider Tip — If you have a friend who just wants to join in on their geothermal mineral pools, they can accompany you as your guest for a $25 fee.
1006 Washington Street, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-6269
Commitment is the word we’d like to use for UpValley Inn & Hot Springs, as they are one of the few properties which have their swimming pool and whirlpool 100% fed by Calistoga mineral water drawn from their onsite geothermal well. Once you’ve soaked to your heart’s content, indulge the body a little more with their brand-new, handcrafted dry sauna and steam room. And with the crisp, refreshing decor and tranquil guest rooms on site, you’ll never have to rouse yourself from your sense of zen.
Feel like exploring beautiful Calistoga, but haven’t made plans past your spa experience? Fear not, you’ll be able to with the town’s complimentary shuttle service, providing on-demand transportation to dining, wine-tasting, shopping, and other Wine Country activities, creating the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
1865 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-9400
To make relaxation an art, start your getaway at Mount View Hotel & Spa. Take a dip in the mineral waters of the hot tub and then recline in style in a cabana by the heated pool. There are also a myriad of bath-related treatments to choose from at the spa, from oxygen baths to mineral mudbaths. And for those who want a little more outside the box experience, the spa also offers Cannabidiol (CBD) oil massages. We’re willing to bet you don’t see that on the menu at your local day spa.
Mount View Hotel & Spa has also adopted a “cause integration” to hospitality and donates 50% of its profits to charity, to causes such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ole Health, Project Ceres, and more. So if you’re civic-minded, you can relax easy knowing that while you’re laying your head at night, your stay is changing the world for the better.
1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-1500
This indulgent resort experience is tucked away in an Upvalley canyon on a 157 acre spread of land. If that seclusion alone isn’t enough to find your inner zen, enjoy your dip in the mineral waters of Calistoga while nestled away in the woods, or soothe soaking with a view of a creek and moss-laden oaks, or sample rejuvenating spa treatments in restful, private rooms. Auberge Spa pays homage to the centuries-old legacy of Calistoga healing waters with natural geothermal baths and treatment rooms integrated into this serene sanctum of a resort. Bring nature to the forefront of your relaxing vacation, with the elegant appointments of Calistoga Ranch blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor, creating a unique intimacy with the beautiful environment.
580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, CA 94515, (855) 942-4220
Another Auberge Resort that takes the experience of mineral springs of Calistoga up a notch, Solage is the sophisticated-chic sister to the more secluded Calistoga Ranch. Artfully designed and ecologically conscious, Napa Valley Spa Solage includes updated twists to the renowned Calistoga mud and mineral water therapies. If you’re in town celebrating a romantic weekend, check out the Starlight at the Bathhouse experience, where you can soak, steam, and retreat in private under the stars. Sparkling wine and a shared dessert too? Don’t mind if we do.
When you’re ready for some social interaction, take advantage of Solage’s social events, with pool parties, sound meditation workshops, film festivals, and of course, learning to be a winemaker for a day.
755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA 94515, (866) 942-7442
The Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa is newly reinvented and captures the adventurous spirit of a classic American road trip. If you’re in it for the sleek 1950s period vibe, we won’t blame you. The MoonAcre spa on site is similarly whimsical and relaxing, with cheeky signage and enviable digs no matter if you’re enjoying the outdoor swimming pool, wading pool, indoor whirlpool (all fed by the property’s own mineral spring, naturally), or the classic bathhouse. (We even sent one of our writers there to get down and dirty in the mineral mudbath and see what all the indulgent fuss was about. Spoiler: it was me, and it was awesome.)
1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515,(707) 942-0992
Cover image courtesy of Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa