I became acquainted with Vichy Springs through the AAA travel magazine. I have always been fond of the Indian Springs Spa (in Calistoga) so I was naturally curious about this historical landmark.
Upon arrival, we were lucky and got upgraded to a cabin, which made our stay very convenient because we had food to avoid leaving the room (once in spa mood we don't like to drive to restaurants).
Trails. We love hiking so the first night we decided to explore the waterfall trail. It was a little intimidating because we were the only ones there and it was close to getting dark. When we finally reached the falls it was a pitiful scene without any running water. On the way back we encountered a man with a dog. The dog kept jumping all over us but otherwise behaved. The man gave us tips about the other trails. I wondered the presence of a dog on the grounds when pets weren't allowed.
Next day we decided to go to the mine. It is a challenging trail with lots of bifurcations but again barely any signs. I don't think it would be too costly to post them and it would make more sense for the price of the stay.
The last morning we did the vista trail. Again very few signs but the view was worth it.
Baths. We were told that we could drink the water that comes out to fill the tub however, we were prudent enough to wait and not to do it right away. When we went to the tubs the first day, we couldn't find any private room on the left side so we decided to go to the ones on the right.
Once we entered we discovered that there wasn't any way to lock both doors (which could be easily attained). After soaking for a while we were kind of disappointed because it was sort of flat. Then we tried again and found a couple of tubs, in the open area, on the left side. After juggling a little bit (the system is different depending on the side), we managed to get into the tubs and then discovered the bubbles which was a nice experience.
We tried again in one of the covered rooms, once it became available, and this time we decided to share one tub to see if the level could go higher. Since the system is old, we were able to observe that the water flow, powered by gravity, changes with demand hence, when people start to fill up the tubs next door, some of our water is sucked back into the feeding system (yes, you guessed... turning it undrinkable).
I don't think that any cleaning is done, at all, since the water is constantly running, and the tubs are emptied after each use. Needless to say one can encounter hair and other things so I would recommend rinsing the tub before each use (and bringing a cup for that purpose only). The bubbles are not guaranteed every time either. I am not sure why but it has forced me to guess if the water is stored before filling the tubs and goes flat after sitting there for long periods of time.
We ended up figuring out that the best way to do it was to fill up one tub, get in for a few minutes, and then get out for a few minutes, to see more water rush in to have a full tub nevertheless, the water continuously flows back and forth throughout the soaking time and there is no way to prevent that unless there was an extra plug.
What ticked me the most was to see cups, and a ladle, inside a locked room that I always attempted to enter because I thought that was the drinkable water for the guests. Upon arriving to the office to check out, we encountered the dog again and, I was finally informed that those cups were actually for the owner's use only because the source needs to be protected however, of course, one is always welcomed to drink it from the tub... I left speechless...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vichy Springs is the best of two worlds a country inn and a hot springs resort. Rooms and cottages for overnight stays include full use of the naturally warm and carbonated Vichy mineral baths, hot soaking pool, Olympic size pool in summer and 700 private acre reserve to walk and explore. Breakfast is included in the morning, WIFI and telephone. Massage, facials and hot stone massage are available from 8am to 8pm daily. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Vichy Springs Hotel Ukiah
- Vichy Hot Springs