Michael Woods, owner of the historic Mount View Hotel in Calistoga, has been overseeing his staff of 26 for more than 30 years. The hotel, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is unique in that it is one of the few hotels whose mineral rich waters are fed by Calistoga’s world-famous hot springs.
Michael and his wife, Stephanie, fell in love with Calistoga thanks to its clean air, peaceful life and community environment. “There’s nothing else like it,” Michael told Visit Calistoga. “It has a great mix of tourism and local community that create interesting culture and conversation. Everyone is willing to strike up conversation and share their story”.
The Woods are firmly committed to green initiatives and preserving the environment and these efforts are visible throughout the property. Guest rooms have glass water carafes to use at the refillable hydration station instead of the more common plastic water bottles. All unused shampoos and soaps are donated to Clean the World – an organization that distributes hygiene products to people in need. Prior to COVID, Mount View guests also had the option to support a green stay where they could choose to opt out of changing linens, towels and other housekeeping items, and all guest rooms are equipped with recycle bins and trash cans to properly sort waste. There are charging stations for electric cars, and recycled paper and ink cartridges are used for printing and copies. And the two restaurants on property, Johnny’s and Veraison, recycle and compost.
So how does Michael relax when he’s not overseeing the property and spa? “I spend time with my family. Whatever we are doing – cooking, reading, gardening-being together is the best way to unwind.” He has also been known to travel the world playing tournament handball and has an enormous collection of opponents t-shirts, a unique tradition of the tournament competition.
Michael’s approach to life and reflections on his youth are fairly simple: “I would tell my younger self to be patient and let things unfold naturally,” he tells us. And what does #ThisIsCalistoga mean to him? “Its about sharing the special experiences found in Calistoga. It’s a way for us to communicate the warmth, authenticity and charm of our city as well as celebrate and support our community.”