Tucked away off scenic Foothill Boulevard/Hwy. 128 just south of Lincoln Avenue, The Bergson is a hidden oasis, looking like a private home with its gracious white clapboard façade, stately columns, and French farmhouse windows and doors. The intimate mood continues inside, with just 21 rooms and suites sprawled over several buildings, each uniquely decorated in elegant country touches like classic patterned wallpaper, antique four poster or carved headboard beds, and ornately framed mirrors.
That’s exactly the magical mood owner Steve Patel wanted, after he and his family purchased the property seven years ago. As he was modernizing what was the former Christopher’s Inn built nearly 90 years ago, he found himself thinking of the early 20th century French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson. Bergson convinced other illustrious thinkers of the time that human reality relies more on unforeseeable novelty, creativity, freedom and personal experiences than being driven by rationalism and science.
Such ideology may seem like an unusual one for a quaint inn, but Patel has imbued his B&B with creative, experiential “surprises” such as carved sculptures and fountains in the gardens, and a massive, magnificent stained glass window at the foot of an interior stairwell. Here, there is plenty of novelty being celebrated in the one-of-a-kind destination.
“I first stepped onto the property in 2012, and instantly fell in love with the landscape and architecture of each building” he said. “The guest rooms all had unique furnishings, and it felt as though so much heart and soul had been poured into each space.”
He quickly set out to add extra luxuries and more modern amenities. Accommodations feature private patios or balconies, feather beds, plush Telegraph Hill bathrobes and L’Occitane toiletries, with many rooms also offering jetted tubs, fireplaces and private patios or balconies. And there are no hidden fees: rates include complimentary Wi-Fi, DirecTV and parking.
Complimentary daily breakfast is another highlight, offering seasonal feasts such as fresh-baked quiche, savory and sweet pastries, bagels, Greek yogurt, eggs, fruit, cereal and homemade granola, all served in the lovely garden courtyard.
Even with its tranquil, private setting, The Bergson offers an exceptional location within easy walking distance to historic downtown Calistoga. That means top restaurants, shops, wine tasting rooms, art galleries and the Sharpsteen Museum are just minutes away, while a complimentary shuttle service offers on-demand door-to-door transportation to some 17 local wineries along Hwy. 128, Hwy. 29 and Silverado Trail.
Be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s concierge service, as well, for coordinating adventures such as bike rental, hot air balloon rides and VIP winery excursions. Or reserve a special Bergson package, like the romantic L’amour Calistoga, including welcome sparkling wine and dinner for two at the acclaimed Evangeline restaurant.
“Calistoga has been a big part of our family’s life for the past 35 years,” Patel said. “We have been so proud to continue to provide a relaxing retreat, amid all the new amenities.”