Where to Soak: 5 Hot Springs in Calistoga

Calistoga is a wellness mecca renowned for its hot springs and mineral pools. The magical waters were discovered when the area’s original residents, the Wappo tribe, settled in Calistoga some 8,000 years ago. Calling the land coo-lay-no-maock (“the oven place”), the Indians would steam and soak in the baths, believing that the geyser water had healing powers.

Anyone who’s enjoyed a Calistoga hot springs or mineral pool experience can attest to its therapeutic benefit. There’s even a nifty word for it: balneotherapy. Besides offering deep muscle relaxation, balneotherapy helps with rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, and skin conditions like psoriasis. Also, the calcium and sodium bicarbonate minerals are said to boost healthy blood circulation, promote sleep, and reduce stress.

Splish splash!

CLASSIC COMFORT – Baths at Roman Spa – Private or couples’ tubs beckon, brimming with geothermal water that bubbles up from deep in the earth below the spa. Jets add extra relaxation benefits, while fluffy tub pillows keep your head and neck comfy. After you cool down in the meditation room, you’ll feel a sense of wellbeing. Go for ultimate benefits by adding the new Antioxidant Facial, including a mask enriched with green tea and lavender to prevent and diminish cellular aging.

CONTEMPORARY – UpValley Inn & Hot Springs – An in-depth renovation means stylish aspen wood and European ledge-stone accents in a sauna that shimmers with black and white mosaic penny tile in the steam room and showcases sleek, sunbathing chaises on the garden deck. The geothermal hot springs mineral pool and whirlpool remain soothing as ever, enhanced by spectacular mountain views. And hot, indeed – the well water reaches up to 230 degrees in its natural state before being cooled for guests enjoyment. Take note of the calming, healing essential oils automatically dispersed with mist in the steam room.

WHIMSICAL MEETS LUXURY – Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa – A chic 1950s vibe surrounds the outdoor lap pool, wading pool and indoor whirlpool, each fed by the resort’s hot mineral springs. The property’s Moonacre Bath & Spa is more contemporary in design, and features a lavish spa garden with couches and a wood trellis; inside, guests may enjoy indoor relaxation rooms trimmed in colorful tile. Amenities include an array of bath salts from around the world, a mud bar and rubber duckies to float in the sleek claw-foot tubs with private curtained partitions around each tub.

CUSTOM SOAKS – Calistoga Spa Hot Springs – How hot do you like it? Four outdoor geothermal mineral pools offer choices ranging from a cozy 80 degrees in the multi-lane lap pool to a steamy 104 degrees in the whirlpool. The look is modern and sophisticated, with lovely mountain views for daytime swimming and dramatic lighting for nighttime soaks. While anytime is a great time for a mineral bath, the whirlpool is particularly wonderful in the winter, protected from rain by a covered patio.

IN-ROOM RELAXATION – Golden Haven Hot Springs – Hot springs are the focus at this low-key, lodge-style spot that eight of the 28 rooms boast their own two-person, hot springs Jacuzzi tubs plus spring-fed showers. The water comes from the geothermal aquifer burbling beneath the spa. At 150 degrees, the water is cooled down before filling the herbal mineral baths infused with aromatic bath salts, and the indoor hot springs pool and the two hot springs whirlpools.

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