Sometimes the phrase “less is more” fits very accurately on the most luxurious hotel experiences. Such an experience was our stay at Calistoga Ranch. This Auberge Resort nestles in the hills of the beautiful Napa Valley region in California, and it’s a true reminder that nature can be a sole provider of the finest luxury experiences available. Come join us for a two night stay on the West Coast.
The Silverado Trail takes you through the picturesque scenery of Napa Valley. If you want to get to Calistoga Ranch though, you will have to leave the trail and follow the winding roads up the mountains. Suddenly you are greeted by a beautiful ranch with luxury lodges scattered all over the 157-acre property, and somehow you feel relaxed just by passing through the old oak trees at the entrance.
After parking our car we were welcomed by two friendly staff members in a golf cart, who brought us to the reception. Golf carts are the only mean of transportation on the property and guests are offered a lift almost anywhere – if they don’t prefer to walk around the site. The staff in the reception were equally warm and friendly, and we were even offered a glass of house wine. A short lift to our lodge then followed and our Calistoga Ranch experience could begin!
The whole concept of Calistoga Ranch evolves around the term “responsible luxury”. Nature and the serene surroundings play a vital role, and guests will find themselves 100% relaxed after just a few hours here. The indoor/outdoor living experience is quite different from that you see in other resorts – and it really works!
After a quick tour around the property we were ready to indulge in our own private lodge with jacuzzi, sun deck and an indoor/outdoor fireplace. The bellman opened the doors and we were immediately captured by the serene purl of the small river running just next to our lodge. 24 hours before we were California dreaming on the beaches of Santa Monica – now the settings had changed completely. Calistoga Ranch offers an amazing nature, which resembles the one in Canada a bit. The altitude makes it quite chilly, especially in the night, so do remember a sweater or a jacket if you plan to visit.
Private luxury lodges
If no one had told us we were part of a resort during the 42 hours we spent here, we wouldn’t have noticed. The wooden lodges are all individual units making it the perfect getaway for honeymooners or couples in need of a little privacy.
The sun deck of the lodge was my favorite. With big, soft couches, a heated jacuzzi and a peaceful view to the forest, I could’ve probably stayed here for a good week or so. Or at least I like the idea. The lodges are divided in two – on one hand you have the bedroom with a flat screen television, a spacious bathroom with plenty of room for both him and her, and an outdoor shower. Last-mentioned would probably make the top 3 on things we need to install in our own future home! Why? You may ask. Well, a morning shower with a view to the mountains and the rising sun just seems to be the best start of the day – especially when it’s followed by a delicious breakfast delivery!
The other part of the lodge consists of a living room area with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a kitchenette and a toilet. And of course guests have access to wireless internet and 24 hour room service. One of my favorite features was the in-room iPad, from which it’s possible to place a room service order, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack. We had the pleasure of ordering breakfast twice during our stay, but of course guests can visit the restaurant instead, if they prefer.
Speaking of restaurant; Calistoga Ranch has its very own called ‘The Lakehouse’, which is exclusively open for resort guests and lodge owners. On the day of arrival, we enjoyed a lunch on the open terrace overlooking Lake Lommel, and during one of our night here we could indulge in a four course meal accompanied by wines from the on-site vineyard. If you prefer to enjoy your lunch or dinner “at home” in the lodge, there’s obviously a solution for that as well.
Last, but not least the ranch houses its own spa; The Auberge Spa”. I have tried many spas in my career, but surroundings as serene as these are a rarity. The uniqueness of the spa doesn’t come from the luxury treatments or the facilities; Mother Nature is the one to thank. A pool is a pool, but when it’s overlooking a creek filled with oaks and the sounds of wild animals, what’s left to ask for? We have to say nothing.
A stay at Calistoga Ranch is not just another five star experience; it’s the ultimate luxury if you’re craving simplicity, great service and a unique location far away from the hectic everyday life. Check in, unwind and let the serenity take over your body and mind. It’s simply impossible not to.
Calistoga Ranch is part of Auberge Resorts. For more information go to www.calistogaranch.aubergeresorts.com.
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