Concierge.com's insider take:
From the folks who brought you Auberge du Soleil comes the Calistoga Ranch. Set amid tall pines and gnarled oaks in a narrow canyon southeast of downtown Calistoga in Napa Valley, the 46 private guest lodges have open layouts, private patios, indoor/outdoor showers, fireplaces, and large, well-placed windows that overlook dense woodlands. Because it's zoned as a trailer park, though, the property had to fit the existing footprint: Rooms are close together, small, and built on blocks—and though they're adorned with copper trim and cedar shingles, they still look like side-by-side storage boxes from the outside. To compensate and provide extra floor space, designers connected each suite's interior rooms with big outdoor decks under the canopy of oaks. On the grounds are walking trails, bocce courts, and an outdoor pool; the guests-only dining room overlooks Lake Lommel. The Bathhouse Spa gets its water from local hot springs, and all the treatments use indigenous ingredients such as bay laurel and eucalyptus. Some decry this property as garish and showy, and service isn't as tight as it should be at this price, but Calistoga Ranch still makes a great hideaway for a romantic retreat.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:This collection of 47 high-luxe cottages at the north end of the valley will be even better once the plantings mature; at the moment, they impart a newbie air that's at odds with the area's frontier-era pedigree. Rooms start at 600 square feet and include a bedroom and bath in a freestanding cedar-shingled structure connected to an expansive deck that functions as an outdoor living space; a second, utterly private deck off the master bath has a copper rainfall shower head. Guests not inclined to perambulate the wending wooded paths that connect the spa and restaurant at one end of the property to the lovely gym and pool complex at the other are whisked about on golf carts by the eager young staff. Apart from the uninspired though comfortable condo-style decor, quibbles include room service that isn't round-the-clock and the kind of nickel-and-diming ($10 for a DVD?) that costs more in goodwill than it nets in revenueat least at these near-usurious room rates.2005 Hot List
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