Napa's trendy hot spot
89 Rooms / 6 Suites
As the scene in Napa’s northernmost town of Calistoga reaches toward the liveliness of its neighbors Yountville and St. Helena, Solage, An Auberge Resort has become one of the area’s top hot spots — both for wine aficionados from around the world, and locals who spill out of its trendy and delicious Solbar restaurant and lounge.
Calistoga remains the most rural area of Napa, and Solage celebrates that with sweeping outdoor spaces that are some of the most beautiful spots around for grabbing a bite or a cocktail. The views are spectacular: The resort sits on 22 acres and is surrounded by mountains and vineyards in the heart of northern California wine country. Meanwhile, creative spa treatments are a nod to Calistoga’s famously restorative mud baths.
One of the biggest reasons to visit is Solbar. It hosted the 2015 Calistoga Food and Wine Event, led by the restaurant’s executive chef, Brandon Sharp. And where better to throw the fabulous Grand Tasting? Renovations that premiered in January 2015 doubled the size of the restaurant’s outdoor seating and added a new patio, making this wine country resort a great locale for a party. Sharp’s menus (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are divided into “lighter” and “hearty” options, offering mouth-watering seasonal fare such as grilled diver scallops with local citrus and cashew-butter-pickled Fresno chilies. The pool menu, too, provides fun eats like slow-roasted pork shoulder burritos, plus a local wine list that includes local favorite Phifer Pavitt’s Sauvignon Blanc.
Speaking of wine country, the main dining room’s impressive 22-page wine list (handily organized from light to full-bodied) is a can’t-miss from sommelier Scott Turnbull, who also forged a cocktail menu for imbibers who are vino-ed out after a day of tastings. Sit at the new open-air chef’s table atrium for a special treat — there you may order tasting menus, including one focused on pescatarian fare, another on lamb and one on vegetarian offerings.
The Calistoga resort’s $2.3 million renovations cemented Solage as a hangout for in-the-know locals, who chat outside on the woodsy-feeling patio. In the main dining room, new accents include rustic bookshelves, antique mirrors and a redesign of the signature fireplace, which is now framed by driftwood logs. Pull up a new brass-studded leather barstool to enjoy panoramic views of the dramatic Palisades Mountains.
You’ll find airy, contemporary accommodations tucked inside little cottages. All of them are bathed in white with vaulted ceilings, local wood and pebble-floored showers. If you seek a nature-inspired escape, the Adara Studios sit amid oak groves, and you can appreciate the quiet in front of your own gas fireplace. For the ultimate wine country resort getaway, book one of the relaxing Capella Suites. The separate living room and fireplace are grand, but the outdoor patio really sets this suite apart. Stretch your legs on the comfy outdoor furniture, or take a dip in the heated two-person hot tub. Each room also comes with two bikes so that you can do your own exploring (you’ll notice that the room attendants also use cruisers to shuttle all of their supplies across the Napa hotel grounds).
Spa Solage has long been known for its creative take on Calistoga’s revered hot springs and mud baths of volcano ash, the local specialty. Reopening in May 2015 after extensive renovations, the new design features 3,000 square feet of luxe enhancements, including a 1,409-square-foot indoor/outdoor coed relaxation room, expanded locker rooms and two new outdoor showers. We suggest booking the spa’s Mudslide treatment, which may be enjoyed alone, as a couple or even in a group. Start with a mud body mask made of the regional specialty volcano ash and mixed with a custom blend of essential oils. Then have a soak in the geo-thermal mineral waters of the hotel’s own spring, before snuggling into a reclining sound/vibration chair to recuperate.