The Best Reason to Visit Wine Country, Other Than the Wine: Indian Springs
Oh my goodness, I still dream of this pool. I never wanted to get out. It was pure luxury. The mineral pool at Indian Springs in Calistoga, California, is an olympic-sized, crystal clear pool, that’s naturally fed by a hot spring and warmer than bath water. I could float in it for hours. Just thinking about it brings about a feeling of pure relaxation.
Indian Springs claims to be California’s oldest continuously operated pool & spa facility, and is a fabulous resort with beautiful, lush, private grounds. In addition to the famous mineral pool, they also have an additional adult-only pool, a full spa facility, a restaurant (Sam’s Social Club), and plenty of unique and gorgeous accommodations. The room we stayed in was a small cottage with a cozy white shabby-chic decor.
Relax in the Mineral Pool
We spent most of our time at the main mineral pool. You do have to get there early in the morning to claim a lounge, especially if you want one in the shade. There is also a small menu of items the staff will bring you so you can eat poolside or drink cocktails.
Try a Spa Treatment
The spa area is beautiful and serene. From the main building you are led to a locker room where you don the comfy spa robe that you will remain in during the extent of your spa visit. When you are ready, you are led through beautiful gardens and along paths made of wooden planks to your individual spa room. My husband and I enjoyed a couple’s massage which was splendid, then sat in lounges by the large pond in the center of the spa in our robes just enjoying the peacefulness.
The spa offers massages, facials, body treatments, and is most famously known for its mud and mineral bath. I was not brave enough to try the mud bath. The mud is a combination of volcanic ash mined from the site and their mineral water. Other guests shared that the mud bath was very hot, to the point that they almost had to request to get out of the bath. It’s just not my thing to be immersed in nearly boiling hot mud. Also, be aware that booking spa treatments is separate from booking hotel accommodations. They are run as two separate entities and do not share their calendars, so the hotel cannot remind you what time you booked your massage.
Enjoy the Ambiance at Sam's Social Club
The resort has a relatively new restaurant on-site named “Sam’s Social Club.” It’s a gorgeous building with seating both inside and outside. The restaurant is a bit expensive. We ate dinner there one night and it was pretty good, but probably not worth the price.
We spent two nights in one of “Sam’s Cottages” (cottage #4). It is a studio room with a front and back porch, queen-sized bed, single bathroom with shower, and sitting area. The cottages are single-story duplexes, so you only share a wall with the cottage next-door. I would highly recommend these cottages. They are lovely. There are also rooms at the lodge and what they refer to as “View rooms,” and bungalows and houses for rent. Our trip to the resort was san kids, so if you’re bringing kids, be sure that they can accommodate them in the room because some rooms are designated as adult-only. And full disclosure, even though there were some kids there during our weekend, it really is geared for a romantic getaway.
Walk to Town
Indian Springs is located near the end of the main street in Calistoga, Lincoln Avenue. The street is lined with restaurants and little shops, so we walked to downtown to eat and window shop. The resort even has cruiser bikes that you can borrow to ride around town. We enjoyed breakfast at the weekly Farmer’s market one morning and Café Sarafornia the next, and dinner at Brannan’s Grill. There are many yummy places to eat in Calistoga, but that is a post in itself...
Location: Downtown Calistoga, California on Lincoln Avenue (1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515)
Price: It’s not cheap. Rooms start at over $300 per night. We visited to celebrate our anniversary, and that was a perfect excuse to splurge.
Why you should visit: Just go to float in the Olympic-sized mineral pool. Even if you do nothing else, it’s completely worth it.
Does not really accommodate children: The resort does technically welcome children, however, I believe they would have to be very, very well-behaved and not make any noise. Hence, I’d leave the kids at home because who wants to be well-behaved and quiet on vacation? Plus, they are only allowed in certain pools, certain rooms, and not the spa. See, no fun for them.
Where to eat: You can try the on-site restaurant, Sam’s Supper Club, one night, but I highly recommend venturing out to downtown Calistoga for some unique eating establishments.