Friday, July 8, 2016

Romance in Napa Valley

Calistoga Ranch is a luxury resort located in the upper Napa Valley.  It's about hour and a half north of San Francisco.  The resort is about 157 acres with lots of oak trees dotted around the property.  If you like dry heat, this is a great place to be in the summer as temperature definitely gets up there.  The property is divided into two areas.  On one side is the resort.  The other side is the residences.  There is a river that cuts through the middle part of the property which basically divide up the property.  I believe the residences part is essentially luxury timeshare.

Each home is outfitted exactly the same.  The difference between each category is: location of the lodge, the size of the deck, and if you have an additional living room or not.  What Calistoga Ranch doesn't say on their website/ brochure is that this resort is essentially a collection of trailers.  Or what I jokingly call the most expensive trailer park in the world!  The reason why it was built this way was because the town of Calistoga didn't want Auberge Resort to build a luxury resort there.  To skirt around the rule, SB Architects devised an idea.... why don't we build whole bunch luxury trailers with decks!  So town of Calistoga got out maneuvered and Calistoga Ranch was born.  Because each trailer is exactly the same size with same finishes, the only way to have a different category of rooms is by the size of outdoor space and how many pods (trailers) you get.  Deluxe Lodges get zero deck but they do have enclosed outdoor showers.  Deluxe Hillside Lodges gets a deck.  The One Bedroom Lodges gets two pods: one of them is a bedroom plus bathroom, the other one is a living room.  The option above One Bedroom Lodges is One Bedroom Oak Creek Lodge which gives you a deck with an oak tree piercing through plus a bit more privacy.  Then after that is 2 Bedroom Lodges.  This gives you four pods: one bedroom with bath, one bedroom with bath, a kitchen, and a living room.  The Estate Lodge, which essentially is their presidential suite, consist of everything 2 Bedroom Lodges have plus privacy.  The estate lodge I stayed at was actually located at the very end of the resort so it was incredibly private with no one looking in.  Simply put, I can live in my lodge for months on end because it's so fabulous.  While I joke that this is the most expensive trailer park in the world, the finishes are topnotch and honestly, with decks and all, no one can tell you are sleeping in a trailer.  SB Architects was very smart in their design and blended the outdoor and indoor spaces seamlessly.

The food at their restaurant was good.  I thought the view was quite nice; nothing beats eating outdoor under moonlight next to a small lake.  I had a facial at their luxurious spa.  The facility was quite pretty and again, the architect blend the indoor and outdoor area really well.  The resort also seems to have a very good wedding facility.  There is a wine cave where you can have an indoor reception.  You can also do it outdoors next to the small lake on a gentle hillside.  In fact, while I was there, I saw a wedding next to the lake.  It was quite pretty and I'm sure bride and the groom had a marvelous experience.  If you are into hiking, then this is a good resort to do so.  I believe there is two or three hiking trails inside the resort.  There is also a large swimming pool next to the check in area with a bar.  I didn't use that part of the facility but it did look nice from outside.

Overall it's a fantastic resort which I would have no problem of recommending it to my other high maintenance friends especially if they want to splurge and stay at the Estate Lodge.  I look forward to coming back to this resort sometimes in the future.    

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