L’ART DE VIVRE THE AUBERGE BLOG

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In Nature’s Footsteps at Calistoga Ranch

Aug 15, 2016

At Calistoga Ranch, the lifestyle comes from the land.

To visit the Napa Valley is to be awed by the power of the land. From season to season, its energy is in a constant cycle. The silvery-grey quiet of winter when the vineyards seem asleep. The burst of springtime green when anything feels possible. The ripening days of summer, each ending as cool mists drift over the Mayacamas Mountains. The busy anticipation of fall, with its fast-moving schedule of harvest and crush. This is a place where senses spring to life, from sight and sound to touch and smell: the intriguing tang of the Pacific Ocean, the slight astringency of eucalyptus, the unmistakable richness of the foil. Here something as simple as a nap on a sun-dappled deck becomes a transformative experience.

Beauty surrounds our resort in Napa, which is tucked back in a steep-walled canyon and almost invisible from the Silverado Trail. This seclusion creates a mystique about the Ranch, a 157-acre wooded site that once accommodated a private campground. That legacy as well as environmental concerns inspired Scott Lee of SB Architects to build around the heritage oaks and other trees, saving 90 percent of those on the property. Rather than level hillocks and dips, the architects nestled the buildings into the topography. To be at home here is to be suspended in a magical, almost dreamlike state, both indoors and outdoors. Near a stream or floating out from a hillside, the structures are integrated with their natural surroundings. “It’s all about the gorgeous land,” says an owner in the Private Residence Club at Calistoga Ranch.

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Calistoga Ranch, in addition to offering hotel accommodations, features marvelous owner’s lodges; each lodge has one third of its space dedicated to the outdoors, including a comfortable living room with a large fireplace. The rooms are connected by redwood walkways balanced above the canyon floor. Lodges are set on pilings rather than on traditional slabs or perimeter foundations.

The configuration ensures privacy as the bedrooms are at opposite ends of the unit with the kitchen and living area in-between. No matter how boisterous the gathered crowd, it is difficult to sense neighboring lodges scattered throughout the woods. This is privacy as a sophisticated indulgence, one that comes from man’s design bowing to the natural surroundings.

This enchanting environment is what makes Calistoga Ranch such an appealing place to own, particularly when comparable properties in the Napa Valley are few. Drive up, hand over your car, and you’re home, unfettered by the chores of home ownership, free to succumb to Calistoga’s pleasures. Calistoga Ranch’s ambiance begins to embrace people as they make the drive through the Napa Valley. In a place where winemaking dominates, the Calistoga Ranch lifestyle is one that embraces the same cycles of daily sun and nightly fog that nurture the vines.

In this area of abundance, food becomes more than mere sustenance. At the Lakehouse – the private restaurant for owners and hotel guests that overlooks Lake Lommel – fresh, organic ingredients, many from nearby farms, make for a menu of exquisite elegance. Offerings tease the eye with color. Textures dance about the tongue. Paired with imaginatively selected wines, meals are a breakthrough: simple perfection.

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It is an attitude that permeates Calistoga Ranch. Every details reflects a profound respect for the surroundings. The open-air gym with television-equipped treadmills overlooks the Ranch’s vineyard. Some two dozen vintners are social members of the Ranch. Owners can, if they wish, become involved in all phases of winemaking, from pruning to bottling. They can also participate in exclusive vintner events, designed specifically for Calistoga Ranch, which may include luncheons at the vintners’ private estates, bocce parties at their wineries, and pairings with the winemakers themselves.

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Fitness extends to individualized yoga sessions on platforms built high in the canyon for panoramic views. At the Bathhouse, the spa in Calistoga is set back into the canyon’s intimate embrace, and uses the mineral-rich waters to enhance treatments. Experiences may include something as simple as dreaming in a private, cedar-walled outdoor shower before or after a Warm Herbal Infusion massage, which incorporates aromatherapy, or the detoxifying Calistoga Ranch mud bath.

Much of this indulgence can be had in the privacy of an owner’s lodge. The staff can prepare and serve meals for special occasions or just because. Massage therapists, healers who have devoted hundreds of hours to studying anatomy and physiology, can provide private in-lodge treatments, a necessary indulgence after a day of bicycling through the surrounding vineyards or hiking the trails situated up to and along the ridgeline that defines the Ranch.

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Time and again, the potent combination of the landscape and the fullness of life lived here overwhelms the hurly-burly that exists outside Calistoga Ranch. And this soothing spell is why people who come here as hotel guests so often decide to buy.

That was the enchanted path so many owners followed. After visiting Calistoga Ranch as guests, they investigated ownership and bought. Greeted by name upon arrive, handed a glass of wine, the Ranch’s owners belong. All owners enjoy the full rights and protections of a deeded interest, which means they can sell, but not subdivide, their interests. Auberge Resorts maintains the Ranch and also provides owner services. These are extensive. Owners may store personal effects, which Ranch staff will layout in their respective lodges before arrival. Other services range from provisioning the lodge for arrival to cellaring at the Wine Cave, which is often the setting for musical entertainment due to its sublime acoustics.

Swept away by the serenity of the site, the facilities, and the warm, gracious staff, owners find at the Ranch a place that resonates to their very core. They find meaning in connections made with local winemakers and often bicycle to nearby vineyards to enjoy a glass of wine, a pleasure that gives a deeper appreciation of one of mankind’s oldest passions.

At Calistoga Ranch, you will instantly feel at home. Learn more about ownership opportunities at the Ranch by clicking here.