10 Best Places to Find Calm (and a Killer Massage) in Napa



In many ways, Napa Valley is all about indulgence. It's a place where drinking fine wine is almost an obligation, the food, while not always serious, is taken pretty seriously and the view is gorgeous everywhere you look, encouraging lazy hours spent on a sunny veranda somewhere sipping a cabernet and gazing out at acres of vineyards. An afternoon, or day, or week, spent in eucalyptus or lavender-scented bliss perfectly complements all that Napa has to offer, whether you're wine tasting, or biking a hundred miles through the hills. It all goes together in holiday perfection. 

The next question then is how to choose a spa. it's hard to know which one is going to be exactly your speed, the right size and vibe. Napa's spas have plenty to offer, from spots to retreat to, where you can spend the whole day lounging, soaking in the peace and quiet, to others that take advantage of all that grows in northern California, offering treatments that center on grapes or local herbs. There are some that will tailor your treatment to meet you exact needs, like the spa at Solage Calistoga, with its highly acclaimed "mud bar," and others that take advantage of cutting edge technology to slough off dead skin cells and make you glow from head to toe. 



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The spa at the Milliken Creek Inn is straightforward--simple and luxurious. It's an ideal place for pampering. Book an appointment for their most popular treatment, the Milliken Trio "Head, Hands & Feet," where a blend of massage, hot stones and aromatherapy work triple to dispel tension so you feel leaving utterly rejuvenated and relaxed. They also have seasonal treatments. In the winter, the offerings are deliciously dubbed chocolate decadence and peppermint decadence. Their treatments are only available to inn guests, however it doesn't take much arm twisting to stay at the beautiful bed and breakfast--just one evening of their "magic hour," complimentary wine and cheese at dusk, makes you realize what a special place this is.


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Napa Valley Massage & Wellness Spa


 

There's something incredible about spending an entire day at a luxurious spa, dipping between pools, sipping fruit and herb infused water, lounging between treatments in a fluffy robe. However, there are times, when all you really want is a massage that gets out all of those knots in your back from hunching over a computer for too long, or one that treats your muscles well after a long run or bike ride. There are times when you when you want something that's a little more no nonsense. For those occasions, there is the Napa Valley Massage & Wellness Spa. It's where Napa residents go when they've spent too many hours in their vineyards, or worked too many double shifts at one of those famous restaurants. They offer great value, often have packages and are flexible with booking in advance.


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The spa at the Indian Spring resort is focused around their Buddha Pond--something of an oasis, created from blowoff from the four geysers on the resort, that encourages reflection and tranquility. That said, the treatments themselves are pretty spectacular, and include volcanic ash mud baths, mineral baths, facials, body polishing and exfoliation treatments, as well as a variety of massages like deep tissue massages and reflexology. It's the perfect place to leave both relaxed and invigorated after taking advantage of all that the resort has to offer, from the spa treatments, to the pools of varying temperatures, to the blissed-out Buddha Pond.


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The Carneros Inn
Photo courtesy of George Arriola


 

A day spent at the Spa at the Carneros Inn is pretty much the easiest way to feel a million miles away, while only driving a scant 45 minutes from San Francisco. The spa is set among the resort's many acres of vines, orchards and farmland and manages to utilize so much of what is harvested and flows nearby. In their treatments they take advantage of what grows--everything from olives to apricots to herbs and flowers, as well as minerals that populate the soil (and produce delicious wines), the healing capabilities of grapes, and the soothing properties of dairy, including milk and goat butter.


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To say that the Meadowood focuses intently on its guests is a bit of an understatement. At the Restaurant (it has three Michelin stars) there is no menu, the talented chefs in the kitchen craft an exquisite meal for each diner. This emphasis on personal attention extends to the spa as well. It's about as peaceful and luxurious as it gets. Their selection of treatments is thorough and thoughtful, however its the grape seed harvest wrap that's the standout. Through a series of steps that make use of the oil from the seeds the region's cabernet grapes, the skin winds up smooth and nourished and you wind up extremely relaxed.


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Everything about the Auberge du Soleil resort is exquisite, from their perch, high up on a hill, which affords them spectacular views, to the their food, to the service, and naturally, the spa. All of their treatments are wonderful, however those set in La Pagode, a secluded gazebo-like structure set into olive groves and grape vines, approach extraordinary. Take advantage of the secluded location for a yoga or pilates class, or a thai or couples massage. They also have a spa-focused suite for couples or a group of friends who want in-room treatments and access to a private, heated soaking pool.


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CondeNast Traveller called the Spa at the Solage Calistoga the #1 spa in North America and the Caribbean and the #10 spa in the entire world. It's no surprise then, that everything there is pretty much perfect--the atmosphere, their approach to health and wellness, and the treatments. Oh my, the treatments. Like everywhere else in Napa, seasonality rules, and they take care to include herbs, fruits and vegetables that grow locally (think sage and lavender body polishes and pumpkin and papaya facials in autumn). Their signature treatment is the "mudslide," a three part series that begins at their "mud bar," where a mud body masque is specially concocted for you with minerals and essential oils. The next step is a relaxing and rehydrating soak in geo-thermal mineral water, and the final phase is a lounge in a state of the art vibration chair to restore harmony.


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Designed by Francis & Alexander, the team behind the spas at Auberge du Soleil and Solage Calistoga, 29 Spa at the Mansion on Peachtree, The Spa at Palmetto Bluff, and The Spa at One Steamboat Place, the North Block Spa is modern and luxurious, fully embodying the principal that when people are "rested, relaxed, and happy we are able to give to others from a place of fullness, creating a more gracious and kinder world to live in." Try out their signature treatments: Un-Corked utilizes freshly ground grape seeds for exfoliation, as well as corks as part of a practice of reflexology. The North Block Playful Passion is a massage and exfoliation treatment for two.


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Yountville


 

So many elements at Bardessono feel spa-like in themselves--the serene, minimal decor, the overall peacefulness, their philosophy of being gentle on the earth (they're LEED-Platinum certified!), the actual steam showers and spacious bathrooms in the rooms, that it's no surprise that the spa itself is excellent. Their spa combines both eastern and western traditions and massages can include deep tissue Thai treatments, reflexology, warm stone massages. Other therapies draw from the surrounding vineyards and include champagne and chardonnay grape seeds. They also have a skin clinic, which features treatments that help you put your best face forward.


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Calistoga is one of the country's historic spa towns, thanks to its natural geo-thermal hot springs. People have been flocking to this northern Napa enclave for decades to bathe in the rejuvenating mineral waters. Like the other resorts in the area, Calistoga Ranch has embraced the area's natural beauty and healing powers in a more refined, luxurious way. The resort's spa, The Bathhouse, reinvents the classic idea of "taking of the waters," as a way to restore balance to a person's body and psyche. The setting of The Bathhouse is serene, and includes soaking pools looking out over a creek and stands of mossy oak trees.


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Meet Brooke Lewy

Brooke moved to California for the food. After spending the last two years getting her masters in international affairs, she realized that there’s nothing she loves better than bringing people...  More About Brooke

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