Indian Springs Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Therapeutic volcanic mud baths and mineral water soaks in the calming spa
- Charming, vintage-style cottages and bungalows for private getaways
- A naturally heated Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool fed by a geyser
What To Know
- Couples looking for romance stay here; so do families with young children
- It’s not for nightlife mavens — after 10 p.m., downtown Calistoga is deserted
- Great base for exploring wine country
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A modern take on a classic California resort, this historic property mixes Mission Revival style with mid-20th-century cottages and newly built bungalows. Spanish colonial red-tiled roofs and whitewashed adobe-esque walls hark back to California in the 1800s, when this hot springs resort was founded. Croquet wickets and bocce and shuffleboard courts on the grassy front lawn add to the yesteryear vacation atmosphere. Crackling fireplace nooks, porches set with Adirondack chairs and orange-curtained cabanas by the pool all invite lounging.
Bed and Bath
With just two dozen spacious rooms, the resort’s two-story main lodge dates from the 1930s. Rooms have been fully renovated in a crisp, contemporary style: sea green linens, tawny cloth window shades and faux animal-skin wingback chairs. Special view rooms are dashed with arty accents, a glass walk-in shower, and a private patio or porch. For a more intimate experience, retreat to one of the historic cottages (some stand-alone, some duplexes) or bungalows scattered around the gardens, where flowering fruit trees grow. Most cottages have front porches for relaxing, while inside the decor is fashionably shabby-chic and outfitted with wicker and rattan.
The resort’s centerpiece is undoubtedly its famous spa. Slip into a plush, terrycloth-lined pinstripe robe and get ready for a volcanic mud bath ritual, complete with a eucalyptus-lavender steam, followed by a stroll around the contemplative Buddha pond. Guests can swim in the natural spring–fed pools — one Olympic-size, the other reserved for adults only — until midnight daily (seasonal hours may vary). The brand new Sam’s Social Club restaurant and lounge is named for the resort’s founder, legendary San Francisco character Sam Brannan. Crafting rustic New American and Mediterranean cuisine, the lovely indoor/outdoor restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
In the Area
Guests can borrow a free bicycle or simply stroll to downtown Calistoga, a rustic Napa Valley outpost with boutique shops, creative restaurants and lively bars lined up along the main street. The town makes a convenient base for unrushed, lazy-day wine country explorations. Drive down Highway 29 to the haute food, wine and shopping villages of St. Helena and Yountville, the latter boasting revered Michelin-starred restaurants. Wind along the scenic Silverado Trail to visit some of Napa’s biggest-name wineries, such as Stags Leap, Mumm and Robert Sinskey. In downtown Napa itself, the indoor Oxbow Public Market is a not-to-be-missed taste of wine country’s revered artisanal food makers.
How to Get There
I'd never been to Calistoga, but had only heard great things, so figured I'd check it out for a birthday celebration. The enormous price tag for a one night stay at Indian Springs made me hesitate (over $800 including tax), but I decided to splurge and treat myself, expecting for sure that I would be staying in a luxurious, relaxing, and peaceful setting. Boy, was I duped!
The room was anything but luxurious - so surprisingly basic and small for over $800. And to top it off, the neighbors were up half the night partying. They were so loud, kept us awake well into the early morning, and really ruined what I hoped would be a relaxing getaway.
Besides the accommodations, we were also so surprised at how dated the resort was. It felt like we were transported to the 1950s, and some of the common areas looked like they hadn't been maintained since then, either. The landscaping of the property was very well done, but some of the buildings needed TLC.
We had appointments for mud baths at the spa, and for what we paid, it was a joke. Yes, the mud soak felt good, but the overall experience was not impressive. There was no opportunity for privacy/modesty; the environment was not Zen-like in any way (hard to relax while the staff cleans/mops right next to your head as you soak), and the space was so uninviting.
I wish I had better things to say about the resort, as my expectations were so high for a special getaway. But it was such a disappointment, and I'm really sad that I'm out $1k for a one night stay and a couple mud baths.
Let's start with the good - room product is good, location is proximal in Calistoga, food is good at Sam's Social Club, and I enjoyed my massage at the spa (although the locker rooms could stand to be updated). Here was the big con - the pool. The hotel markets itself as a place of relaxation and the pool as a main amenity. My husband and I just went for our babymoon for our second and the main purpose was to spend the entire main day at the pool. We situated ourselves at the adult pool hoping for some quiet and knowing it was a busy day so the main pool would probably be chaotic. However, this was not the case. There were no fewer than 4 children at the adult pool at any given time and no one enforcing it. While I am all about bringing my daughter to a range of types of places, I think locations with age restrictions should be respected. There was also a 40th birthday party group, and while I am also all about having fun, they brought in loads of coolers of outside drinks, got increasingly loud and drunk throughout the day, blasting music from a speaker they brought, and repeatedly cannonballing into the pool. Behavior more suitable for a private house or houseboating than a shared space. Lastly, there were other rude guests that continued to try to make us move out of our seats in the shade (despite my telling them I was pregnant and needed the shade) so their friends could sit there. I really do feel that a lot of this could have been remedied by having actual pool side service and attendants (this would also create a nicer vibe of not having to hike to the pool store every time you want a beverage or snack). The situation got so out of hand it felt like I was in Vegas on spring break at Encore Beach Club, not a relaxing babymoon. I provided this feedback at checkout and got a "oh sorry, that does sound unpleasant, we heard complaints from other guests as well, we will pass it along" and nothing else. I wanted to ensure the feedback made it to management, so I emailed two different groups upon return home and never received a response (over a week later). I would think that a hotel that typically charges $450+/night with a two night minimum would at least respond. At this point, I would recommend staying at Solage, Andaz, Archer, or Las Alcobas, which is where we usually stay.
We were only here for one night but we left feeling so relaxed. Our room was charming and we loved the bicycles around the property. We had dinner on site and it was great. Everyone seemed obsessed with the mushroom cap churros. We couldn’t get enough.