Rave: Indian Springs Calistoga

Napa Valley is a pretty common escape for us City-folk. It’s an easy enough day trip from SF, but if you’re drinking wine (and why wouldn’t you be?) and especially if you’re wine tasting in the fall, in November, say, when the grape leaves start turning their most vibrant colors — you’re going to want to stay overnight.

But where? Napa lodging tends to be expensive and most hotels require you to stay two (pricey) nights. I’m happy to pay more to stay somewhere special, but I can’t stand the faux French chateaus or faux Tuscan villas that are so prevalent in Napa. I don’t want a ceramic rooster in my room, nor do I want to sleep in antique four-poster bed with an f-ing teddy bear.

My tastes tend to be more modern and simple — ideally, with a bit of vintage-style — and that’s just what I found at Indian Springs in Calistoga, my new favorite place to stay in the Valley.

Just look at this sweet cottage:


Isn’t this the cutest?! This is the Colbert Cottage (cottage #3).

Inside, there was a bright red couch in the living room, a full kitchen (we’ll make better use of the kitchen next time), great linens (Frette, if you care about such things), and a sweet back deck where you can read the Chronicle, delivered each day to your doorstep.

We stayed one night in Cottage #3 and another night in Cottage #11.* Cottage #11 was smaller and lacked the back deck and the kitchen stove, but it had a cozier layout and more vintage charm, like the sweet jade green and burgundy tiled kitchen and bath.

As much as I loved our cottage(s), the real star of Indian Springs is the warm mineral pool:


The pool is open from 6am to midnight so we began most mornings with a dip and every night, we returned to swim in the steaming waters and look up at the stars. Dreamy, I tell you.

After floating one evening, Mr. WholeHog pronounced himself the most relaxed he’s ever been.

The one thing we didn’t do enough of this trip was simply lounge — a shame since Indian Springs has many, many places to veg. Cottage #3 had its sweet back deck and in the back yard, there was comfy hammock. In front of the Bath House, you could sit under big orange umbrellas. Or up at the pool, you could stretch out on chaise lounges in the sun or in the shade.

This particular option was calling me right about the time we were checking out and preparing to head back to the City:


Now Indian Springs might not be your thing. Maybe you like to stay in a flowery B&B. Maybe you can’t sleep without a teddy bear nearby. Maybe you had a bad run-in with a mullet in Calistoga a while back and now stick to the more upscale parts of the Valley. That’s fine and dandy.

Go get your free bottle of Beringer and that continental breakfast. I’ll be here, maybe on the back deck of the Colbert cottage, or floating in this gigantic bathtub pool, or taking a little nap on a chaise lounge in the weak winter sun.

*There’s no two-night minimum at Indian Springs, but we decided to stay another night and take advantage of their ‘winter’ special: stay a weekday night (we stayed Sunday night) and get free mud baths!


One Response to “Rave: Indian Springs Calistoga”

  1. Nikki Says:

    Now THAT was a review-thank you. That was just what I needed to get me booking at Indain Springs! I do NOT want a rooster and flowery curtains and all that Tuscany crap. Thanks!!

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