My wife and I just returned from our stay at the Calistoga Ranch after celebrating our anniversary there with a 3-night stay. Prior to choosing CR, I spent significant time researching other resorts in the area, eliminating some very good ones in the process. CR seemed unique to me, with its individual lodges and vast, beautiful property with its own hiking trails. Now that we have experienced this wonderful resort in person, we couldn't have been any happier with our selection.
The service at the resort was top-notch from the moment of booking when we received an email from their outstanding concierge, Gregory, asking if he could be of any assistance in making dinner reservations, planning activities, etc. Not knowing Napa particularly well, I gave Gregory full reign in choosing our dining destinations. Not only did Gregory make excellent selections (there wasn't a sub-par meal in the bunch), the weight of his involvement in the reservation process was felt everywhere we went. We were always very warmly greeted by the restaurant staff who knew of Gregory and were seated at what were seemingly the best tables at each restaurant. Well done, Gregory.
The resort itself is truly remarkable in its beauty. Pictures do not do it justice. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the resort's hiking trails provide some stunning views of the valley (we particularly recommend the Canyon Trail. The view at the end of the trail is breathtaking). A handful of reviews have bemoaned a lack of privacy in the accommodations. At least in our experience, we did not find this to be the case at all. We stayed in a Hillside Deluxe Lodge at the top of the property that literally abutted a very large hill. We did not see nor hear a single guest during our entire stay in the lodge, with the exception of the family of deer that would occasionally wander down the hill to graze on some trees. Truly tranquil.
The service by the staff was also exceptional. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. It seems as if our lodge had been cleaned, straightened or restocked every time we left. We were also provided with not one, but two bottles of champagne for our anniversary, one when we checked in and the other on the night of our anniversary itself. Also of note, the first round of items in the well-stocked minibar were all complimentary, including a very nice bottle of CR's own Chardonnay. There were also complimentary Clif bars and fresh fruit available in the fitness center. Wi-Fi is also free. It's nice when you encounter a resort of this caliber that doesn't nickel and dime you at very turn. The Fairmont in San Francisco should take a cue....we were charged daily for Wi-Fi AND it was $15/day just to use their fitness center.
CR also has a fleet of Mercedes available for its guests to use, a perk my wife and I took full advantage of. We simply called down to the front desk 15 minutes or so before we wanted a car and it would be waiting for us, with chilled water bottles inside. One of the day managers, Heith, was always very helpful in arranging this for us, and in providing some excellent lunch recommendations. He was one of the staff that really stood out in his helpfulness.
A final note about the cost of the resort. A few reviews on this site have made this a focal point of their complaints. One gentleman who gave the resort only two stars described the nightly rate as "an outrage" and that he would have preferred the resort much more "at $200/night." Really!?? I would much prefer the 7-series at $30K than $80K, but that's not particularly realistic. I can only attribute this way of thinking (and complaining) to either a lack of worldliness or sheer delusion. A simple Google search will quickly reveal the types of accommodations (and their stark differences) at various price points in expensive destinations like Napa or Manhattan. The bottom line is that a resort of this caliber is going to be very expensive, no matter where it's located. The resort does not bait and switch its rates. A guest knows full well what the rate is at the time of booking. If it's too expensive for your comfort level, book elsewhere. The cost is certainly not a valid reason to dis a place after the fact.
My wife and I would absolutely stay here again and very likely will. It was an outstanding experience across the board. We're already plotting our return for our next anniversary.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Calistoga Ranch is a luxury resort tucked into a private canyon in the Upper Napa Valley on a 157-acre site marked by ancient oaks, majestic hills, a rock-hewn stream and a private lake.• 50 Free-standing guest lodges• Exclusive resort restaurant with a "land to table" philosophy open for breakfast, lunch and dinner• Luxurious private spa • Multiple heated swimming pools & sundecks• Fitness center, yoga deck and daily fitness classes• 10 pristine weddings and events locations including a private wine cave. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Hotel Calistoga
- Calistoga Hotel