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Articles by Fran Miller

Stop and Smell the Roses at Calistoga's Solage, An Auberge Resort

May 17, 2017 - By Fran Miller

Calistoga’s Solage resort and spa makes it easy to stop and smell the roses – quite literally.

The property, at the northern most end of Napa’s famed Silverado Trail, is blanketed in a sea of thousands of white blooms that, thanks to late spring rains, frame every inch of this gracious Auberge Collection Resort. Set amongst the area’s vineyards and in the shadow of the majestic Palisades Mountains, Solage’s breathtaking rose-covered terrain instantly summons in its guests a sense of serenity and calm. There is no doubt upon arrival that this is a place to unwind, recalibrate, and even if just for a weekend, view the world through rose-colored glasses.

Solage, An Auberge Resort

This stunning yet understated addition to rustic Calistoga has elevated the rural destination without compromising the town’s unofficial motto - “Relax…it’s Calistoga.” In fact, Solage, with its geothermal pools, yoga and wellness studio, spa offerings, and bocce courts, has arguably succeeded in amplifying the town maxim. 83 casually elegant ‘studios’ and six one-bedroom suites are sprinkled throughout the resort’s 22 beautifully and sustainably landscaped gardens – the center of which is the resort’s sumptuous spa and outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant Solbar. The wide variety of activities, treatments, and special events might dissuade guests from exploration beyond the resort, but its hard to deny the ‘calling’ of the pair of cruiser bikes parked outside each studio. Go ahead, pedal to town (or glide on one of the resort’s URB-E electric scooters) and take-in Main Street’s boutiques and cafes before returning to your Solage home base. Everything you could ever desire is all right here:

Solage, An Auberge Resort

Your Studio: Each serene retreat of neutral tones features the finest linens and sumptuous robes. Some have fireplaces, and all have gracious patios with sitting areas framed by nature. Large televisions, iPod docking stations, internet access, and nightly turndown service (whereby a personal beaker of mint-leaf water and a gourmet chocolate are left bedside) complete the picture. Vaulted ceilings add spaciousness, and large bathrooms feature rainfall showers. But you’ll be tempted to take a bath in the large soaking tub, if only to utilize the provided fizzer bath tablet. Nespresso coffee makers and a selection of waters and sodas are at the ready. And don’t forget the bikes – two very easy-to-ride black cruisers for complimentary use during your stay.

Solage, An Auberge Resort

Spa Solage: Don’t let the yoga and wellness studio - with its extensive menu of daily complimentary classes, and state-of-the-art fitness center with every conceivable piece of equipment - pressure you. If working out is your thing, Spa Solage has options. But if you prefer to simply relax, follow the proverbial rose petal strewn path to the geothermal Bathhouse pool and separate male/female clothing optional hot tubs. An olive-tree oasis, the Bathhouse is THE spot for those for whom a dip into warm mineral water is the ultimate elixir. Enhance the experience with a Spa Solage signature ‘Mudslide’ mud bath (a twist on the treatment for which Calistoga is perhaps best known). Spa Solage also offers an extensive menu of both traditional and unique treatments – each intended to promote the ultimate in wellness. And don’t forget the resort’s other pool – a Calistoga landmark that is central to the property. Olympic in size, and surrounded by palms, it’s spectacular, and the largest in Napa.

Solage, An Auberge Resort

Solbar – The resort’s urbane Michelin-starred restaurant is a favorite of both hotel guests and locals, for so many reasons. Executive Chef Massimo Falsini recently replaced Brandon Sharp in the kitchen, and is gradually making the menu his own, such as his offering under the first course dinner selections - ‘agnolotti in carbonara’ - playfully highlighted with a quote: “Chef grew up in Trastevere, Rome…You should try this carbonara.” And you definitely should. The entire menu is prefaced with a welcome and an assurance that healthy, lighter dishes (such as the Monterey wild salmon crudo, or the chilled minted sweet pea soup) will nourish body and soul, and hearty cuisine (i.e. Mishima Wagyu New York strip, or the seared Sakura pork chop) will comfort. Be sure to allow Solbar’s amiable sommelier and beverage manager Scott Turnbull to select perfect pairings from his immense wine list. For lighter fare, pull up a stool in the Solbar Lounge, and watch the Warriors as you dine on ‘munchies’ such as Hawaiian Ahi tuna poke, duck bahn mini, or rustic pizzas. In the morning, grab a table next to the outdoor patio’s linear fireplace and order a basket of Model Bakery (a Napa favorite) breads, or wholly original egg dishes. At each and every Solbar meal, the freshest, local, seasonal ingredients are put to creative use.

Solage, An Auberge Resort

Special Events: Solage never fails to surprise and continues to find itself on the cutting edge of Napa Valley entertainment with its varied selection of special event offerings. Pool parties, spa specials, culinary events, and live music are all part of the ongoing scene. Kick-off summer 2017 with the “Summer of Solage” schedule of events and discover for yourself that life at Solage is truly a bed of roses; just make sure to smell them:

Thursday, May 25: Summer Kick-off
Wednesday, June 21: Summer Solstice Event
Thursday, August 24: Hawaiian Luau
Thursday, September 7: Harvest Pool Party
Friday, September 29: Oktoberfest Party


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