Located just 120km north of San Francisco in California’s famous wine region, the Napa Valley, is a hotel that’s the most charming take on the old-school ‘motor lodge’ we’ve seen since the Austin Motel in Texas. Laid-back, a little retro and very cool, the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is anything but your usual staid wine-country hotel.
Embracing colour, witty interior details and the fact that it’s situated in an area that’s very much one of the USA’s adult playgrounds, the Calistoga features rooms in three sizes: Camper King (with a king-size bed and seating area), Camper King Suite (which sports both a king-size and a double bed, and sleeps up to four people) and Camper Double Queen (with two plush queen-size beds).
All the rooms feature rainfall showers, complimentary minibars and custom-blended bathroom products. They’re all dog-friendly, too. Design-wise, they are clever updates on the classic camper van, complete with vintage-inspired fabrics, bold carpets and bench seating that, in some rooms, coverts into your bed in the evenings.
The hotel’s sleek yet casual public spaces include the lobby which, as at many other up-to-the-minute hotels these days, is more of a social hub than a mere place to check in. There’s a great mix of locally made goods for sale here, and you can also borrow one of the vintage board games and enjoy playing it with friends old and new at the farm-style table.
Or take it outside – there’s Giant Jenga (and many other games) to play, afternoon yoga classes on offer and much more to do outdoors, including taking a dip in one of the Calistoga’s three mineral pools. These pools, which are fed from one of the geothermal hot springs for which the surrounding area is well known, are kept at three different temperatures, so you’ll definitely find one that’s ‘just right’ for you.
Speaking of mineral soaks, there’s also the MoonAcre Spa and Baths on site – a spa with a mission to ‘serve up bliss with a dose of whimsy and relaxation without the fuss’. It certainly doesn’t hurt that in terms of design, this is one of the most charming vintage-style spas we’ve ever seen, with tiled walls, claw-footed baths for medicinal soaks and a mosaic-lined steam room. All of which makes it the perfect spot for a ‘Mix Your Own Mud Bath’ treatment – or a cutting-edge facial, for that matter.
In 2018, the hotel is due to launch Fleetwood, its own restaurant, which will be centred on an open, wood-fired kitchen and beer garden. And before that happens, the property is within walking distance of town attractions, including shops, galleries and restaurants. It’s also a short drive from some of the area’s best wineries and restaurants, including Tank Garage Winery – where you’ll find yet more brilliant retro styling – and The Fremont Diner.
For more information about the Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa, click here.