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“The Casa Lana Culinary Experience is Soul Food”

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Casa Lana Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #12 of 27 Calistoga B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Casa Lana Culinary Experience is Soul Food”
Reviewed 30 June 2009

For my thirtieth birthday, my parents paid for a culinary vacation to Napa Valley. I spent a year researching the options and chose Casa Lana because I felt it was the best way to get the experience I needed to improve my cooking. The course did not disappoint!

I signed up for the Boot Camp experience and boot-camp-like it was, California style, that is. We spent five glorious days preparing dishes to die for and learning the basic techniques of preparation and cooking. There was a lot of information exchanged, and Lana took great pains to create a take-home binder that recounted each step so we novices didn't feel lost once back in our own kitchens.

Lana is knowledgeable and experienced; there wasn't a question I had she couldn't answer (and I had a LOT of questions). She was quick to offer supplemental books to read, and shared loads of cooking secrets, those not-in-a-book-kind of tips that make cooking such a pleasure (and a pain).

For me, the best part was a planned excursion to Chalk Hill that was, well, life changing. Chalk Hill is incredible. The food, the conversation with the chef, the grounds -- the GARDEN!

We stayed with Lana at Casa Lana the final Friday and Saturday of our trip. The accommodations were perfect: convenient to town and the valley wineries, reasonably priced, and quiet. (The high thread-count sheets and double-fluff bed wasn't bad either.)

I continually commented to my significant other that it felt as though we were in Italy what with the gorgeous weather and parallel landscape. And, isn't that what a vacation is about: being transported someplace far from ordinary life?

I would recommend the cooking courses at Casa Lana and staying with Lana without hesitation.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sbhopton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, CA
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2009

This was a wonderful cooking school. The best part is when you stay at CasaLana you only have to walk a few steps to the kitchen. If you've never taken a cooking class I would highly recommend this one, not to mention the fabulous B&B. It was only blocks from town and many great restaurants! And the wine country is at you doorstep! I would definitely recommend this B&B and Cooking school! You won't regret it.

B. Anderson, San Jose, CA

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank bethanderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2009

This is a very quiet, peaceful and comfortable bed and breakfast. It is walking distance to downtown Calistoga but not near enough to be bothered by all the tourist traffic. The hostess, Lana Richardson, is a very gracious and accomodating as well as readily available if needed. She went out of her way to arrange some wonderful trips for us while we were in the Napa valley. Lana made us breakfast each day according to our schedule and all the meals were sophisticated, healthy and energizing. Our room was spacious, clean and the bed was amazingly comfortable. I miss it now that I am home!!! The location is lush and green and can be a nice respite in and of itself but there is easy access to all Napa, Somona and Alexander Valley have to offer. The attached cooking school was fun, challenging and informative. We will definitely be back in the future.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fxrfxr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poway, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2009

I wanted to give my wife -- who loves everything about cooking, including reading about it, preparation, ingredients, etc. -- a special treat, so I purchased a 3-day "culinary vacation" at CasaLana in the Napa Valley for her and a friend. (Little did I suspect she'd choose me to be the "friend" -- but I really enjoy wine and visiting wineries, so it worked out for the best.) I had searched many Web sites for recommendations in the Napa Valley, and settled on CasaLana after reading some rave reviews. I now agree with them wholeheartedly: The three days we spent at Lana's place were among the best vacation days we've ever enjoyed. We rose every morning to a wonderful breakfast cooked by Lana herself, and then spent an hour or two sightseeing before coming back for cooking class. The hands-on classes were fairly small (4 couples in our class, from around the country), taught by Lana and a great guest chef (Cindy), and surprisingly rigorous but never daunting. We didn't just watch the two chefs, or listen to a lecture -- we received the necessary pointers, and then got right into the dough (or the beans, or the fruit tarts) and made everything from scratch. We'll never forget the resultant lunches on the back patio, overlooking a beautiful river, accompanied by lots of laughter and wine. We took a tour of the Culinary Institute just up the road, and were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beringer winery that was eye-opening. If you stay at CasaLana, Calistoga's downtown is a short walk away. Lana was a gracious host, very helpful in pointing out some local wineries and eateries that we might have otherwise overlooked. All in all, it was a relaxing-yet-exhilarating time, and we can't wait to return.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Appellateatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
1 review
Reviewed 27 May 2009

My partner and I researched gourmet retreats all over the world, and what initially led us to CasaLana was the layout between cooking and leisure time. We wanted an experience where we could actually cook during the day, and play during the late afternoon evening - and CasaLana was the perfect venue for both.
What impressed us the most was the diversity and attention to detail that CasaLana offers. One participant had a wheat allergy, and so Lana (the Chef), added gluten free desserts and meals to the menu along with what we were making. This came in very useful, later, when we cooked a dinner for someone who was also allergic to wheat!
Lana is beyond knowledgeable, creative, patient and was willing to accommodate our needs. The class sizes are small enough to where each participant receives continuous personalized instruction. We didn't even have to wash our own dishes! :-)
We stayed at the bed and breakfast at CasaLana and had a fantastic experience. It is clean, the breakfasts are prepared by Lana -- delicious!! -- and we never needed for a thing. She is truly a gracious hostess!
Hands down ---- the BEST vacation we have had in years!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank trippweb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2007

Overall our party loved Casa Lana. Eating breakfast in Lana's lovely garden was the best part of our visit to Calistoga. The room was meticulous and the beds heavenly. There are only a few complaints (not to be petty but the room for two days was over $600 so one would expect not to have any.) First, figuring out how to turn the ancient digital clock off that blasted us awake at 5:30AM was not fun. Also, the offered tolietries smelled mediciney and were very measely in size. In addition, because of the low shower pressure, it took forever to wash one's hair. However, the breakfast more than made up for what was lacking. The charming housekeeper welcomed us with fresh orange juice and coffee. Breakfast was served warm on the patio next to a beautiful herb garden. The food was amazingly tastey. Despite not being a fan of scones, I found myself reaching for seconds. None of us wanted to leave such beautiful and serene space. Definitely consider staying here.

  • Liked — Beautiful gardens & fabulous breakfast
  • Disliked — Shower pressure and toiletries
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank yrwehere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2007

We felt so comfortable it was like being in our own home but better! The room is beautiful and the bed OH SO comfortable. The riverside setting is private and relaxing, the gardens are magnificent and the breakfasts are delicious! Warm, gracious hospitality and excellent recommendations. What's not to love? When we return to Napa Valley we will definitely choose CasaLana.

  • Liked — The hospitality and excellent breakfasts
  • Tips/Secrets — follow the recommendations - you won't be sorry
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank southernway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Lana Bed & Breakfast

Property: Casa Lana Bed & Breakfast
Address: 1316 S Oak St, Calistoga, CA 94515-1543
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Napa Valley > Calistoga
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Calistoga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Lana Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience luxurious privacy and a Gourmet Retreat in the Wine Country. CasaLana B&B is located in a tranquil river setting, minutes from downtown Calistoga. Each spacious guest room has a private entrance, private bath, TV, VCR, in-room coffee and refrigerator stocked with complimentary beverages. Gourmet Retreats at CasaLana offers hands-on cooking classes in the B&B's professionally equipped kitchen. The culinary courses are geared to avid home cooks and food enthusiasts at all levels of experience. ... more   less 
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