Life is eco-consciously sweet (and suite) at the Solage Calistoga resort in the Wine Country. Soaking in the geothermal mineral pool under the stars, I thought to myself, “If this is eco-living, then why wouldn’t everyone want to sign up!” If you are seeking a rejuvenating getaway that is healthy for body, soul and planet, then look no further. Your spa robe and cruiser bikes are waiting.
If you care about green, then you will be pleasantly surprised at every twist and turn of the resort’s path. Ahhh, a stunning luxury vacation getaway with reclaimed woods, recycling bins, solar panels, and salt pools. My heart skipped a beat. If green is not your top priority, then you will simply think that Solage is one of the best modern resorts in which you have ever stayed. That is the Holy Grail. Your favorite hotel is “oh by the way” ultra people-friendly (no toxins) and planet-conscious (green design).
If we think about it, that’s what a spa should be to fulfill its mission. How can a spa be healthy if it is slathering you with chemicals and feeding you an apple with pesticides on top? Luxury is living in harmony with oneself and the outer world. Luxury is green. Speaking of, here are the many ways Solage Calistoga treads lightly on the planet while providing a superb experience for its guests.
Geothermal energy heats the pools and spa. The West Coast has a plethora of geothermal power under the surface, so why not put it to good use. Rooftop solar panels power two main resort buildings. The Bathhouse has both radiant heating and passive cooling architecture, which eliminates the need for A/C. This is a marvel in the warm climate of Calistoga.
The locally-made bath and body products are all-natural without parabens and are dispensed in bulk containers to minimize waste. Salt pool systems are in effect so you don't leave smelling like chlorine. Green non-toxic cleaning products are used by housekeeping. The Spa features eco-friendly nail care (SpaRitual) and skin care products (Eminence and Marie Veronique). The Gift Shop is filled with green goodies as well, from organic t-shirts to pure beeswax candles.
Food & Beverages
Local organic produce and sustainable seafood are served at the magnificent Michelin-star rated SolBar, which many say is the top restaurant in the area. Filtered water is provided at Spa Solage and SolBar. And my favorite, you can order a delicious green smoothie by the pool.
Solage is a beacon of green design. Reclaimed woods are used extensively throughout the resort. LEED-approved bamboo flooring grounds the Gym and Movement Studio. The walls are painted with low-VOC paints for easy breathing. Interface carpet tiles keep guests’ feet warm. Wool rugs with natural jute backing give an eco-conscious look without off-gassing. Natural Stone countertops are visible in the bathrooms. The chairs are made by Cherner and feature FSC-certified wood. The tables are constructed by Brent Comber with beautiful reclaimed woods. Hemp drapes in the Spa flow with the wind.
Drought-tolerant plants form a beautiful landscape native to the area. The minimal irrigation is done with reclaimed water from the City of Calistoga. Many gorgeous 200-year-old oak trees were spared during construction and now serve as the heart and soul of the resort.
Recycling containers are present in each guest room, always a pleasant surprise to find. The resort also recycles extensively, especially wine bottles! Recycled paper is used for resort materials. Soft CFL and LED lighting is discreetly present. Low-flow toilets save water in an area with regular 80-degree temperatures, which are paradise when looking to escape the San Francisco fog.
Cruiser bicycles are provided for all resort guests. Ditch your car for the weekend and cruise around town on your bike. The main mode of transportation for resort employees are, of course, the bicycles!
Solage Calistoga is an eco-oasis with a huge Heart of Green. Solage supplies filtered water throughout the property. It would make a wonderful and elegant impression if arriving and departing guests were offered a real glass of filtered water with lemon. Or perhaps if conscious guests had their own Sigg water bottles, they could fill up right there. How impressive would that be!
Besides the superior spa treatments, fabulous service, and delectable meals, my unexpected favorite part of the Solage resort experience was visiting the old oak trees on the grounds. There is a serene spot with a bench in between two large oak trees that are 200 years old. Sitting underneath the branches, time stands still. Only peace exists. I went for the mineral pools and am coming back for the trees. And here’s a secret tip. Ask for guest cottage No. 32. It has its own private, outdoor hot tub for soaking under the stars. www.solagecalistoga.com