Newly Renovated Indian Springs Resort & Spa Adds More Charm to Calistoga

There’s new, sophisticated bohemian style shining in Calistoga, where Indian Springs Resort & Spa has undergone a $20 million renovation and expansion. The property has long been popular with visitors seeking rejuvenating volcanic ash mud baths and an authentic geothermal swimming pool, and now, the 17-acre oasis caters to higher end customers seeking luxury lodging, too.

Built in 1861 by Gold Rush millionaire Sam Brannan, this is California’s oldest continuously operated pool and spa facility, anchored by the original spa, mud baths, and water plunge that is now an Olympic-sized mineral pool. With the revamp, there are now 75 additional guest rooms, and the resort’s first restaurant and lounge, Sam’s Social Club, named for Brannan.

The grounds were spruced up, spanning hills and ponds, olive and palm trees, roses, lavender, and even a kids’ playground area behind the cottages. Guests can walk pathways all around, up and over a viewpoint hill, or ride on stylish bikes from San Francisco-based Public.

A variety of rooms showcase the modern luxury feel. The Geyser View rooms are particularly popular, set on the second floor in a collection of one Mission Revival-style lodges. Balconies farmed with privacy curtains overlook a pond and active, steaming geysers, and the rooms themselves are posh, in earth tones, and boasting huge shower baths trimmed in tile.

For a taste of history, explore The Lodge, a 1930s Spanish-style lodge renovated this year for modern décor like stone-floor baths, or The Cottages, which are the original lodgings at Indian Springs, complete with front porches.

A few years ago, The Bungalows were built, as a trio of upscale retreats spanning 1,200 square feet, with two bedrooms en suite, and private gardens. The Houses are even more luxurious, as stand-alone homes.

Whichever your room, don’t miss the Olympic-size geyser-heated pool, built in 1910, and the new steam room, set with wood plank benches above another gently bubbling geyser. The thermal geysers produce rich mineral water and deposit pure volcanic ash that is hand dug for restorative massages, body wraps and facials.

Also plan a night of dining at Sam’s Social Club, with appetizers like grilled octopus with romesco sauce, crispy potato, Castelvetrano olives and arugula, or market ceviche with avocado, sweet potato chips and lime pickled onions. Entrées entice with signatures such as pan seared California sea bass with forbidden rice, braised leeks and fennel, blood orange and saffron carrot broth, or house-made Mafalde Bolognese pasta with oxtail, breadcrumbs, pecorino-romano and Calabrian chile.

Tip: Come by on Mondays for the nightly special of fried chicken, and any day for breakfast, when the chip whips up a marvelous egg in a hole of crispy-fluffy Parmesan crusted house-made brioche atop mushroom fondue and arugula with a side of fruit or potatoes.

1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, 707-942-4913,

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Carey Sweet


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