Dr Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort reveals transformation details

by | 11 Sep 2020 | Projects

The iconic Dr Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort in California’s Napa Valley has outlined what guests can expect following a major revamp of the property, which is being assisted by the likes of SB Architects, EDG Design and TLEE Spas.

The famous Calistoga resort is set to enter a bold new era as Dr Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs. We take a look at the specifications of a project that promises to make a big splash in one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions.

A new era in Calistoga

When co-proprietors Robert Kline and Maki Nakamura Bara and San Francisco-based hotel investment firm The Chartres Lodging Group announced details of this ambitious transformation project, they painted an exciting picture of a reimagined experiential destination for happy and healthy living in the heart of wine country.

Debuting in autumn 2020, this storied destination, which dates back to 1952, will soon pair its uniquely Calistoga spirit and original ethos with a new offering fit for modern travellers. The resort’s famous mud-bath treatments, developed by wellness experts ‘Doc’ and Edy Wilkinson, will now be joined by a new ‘detox and retox’ experience.

“Dr Wilkinson’s has provided the Calistoga community and travellers to Napa Valley with a wellness-focused respite since 1952, so it’s important to us that we honour the resort’s vibrant past and beloved status in California’s first resort destination as we modernise the experience for today’s discerning customer,” said Robert Kline, co-proprietor and CEO of Chartres Lodging Group.

Maki Nakamura Bara, co-proprietor and president of Chartres Lodging Group, added: “Wellness is not a trend for us – Doc and Edy founded the resort with wellness in mind all the way back in 1952. Our goal is to embrace Doc’s pioneering spirit and time-honoured, stress-alleviating and health-balancing treatments in a completely reimagined environment, with every element of the resort experience designed with integrated wellness in mind. Dr Wilkinson’s will continue to be the resort destination where wellness meets happiness.”

Fusing the old with the new

The resort will ensure it still balances recreation with relaxation as travellers continue to seek out Calistoga’s healing natural spring waters. A redesign led by SB Architects will emphasise the resort’s history while introducing modern aesthetics and making the most of the outdoors.

Meanwhile, Marin-based EDG Design is leading the resort’s branding and interior design, which blends features such as mid-century elements and vintage decor with modern amenities. A curated collection of art will highlight local artists and a water tower in the new lobby will honour the property’s history.

The resort will have 50 reinvigorated guest rooms overall, including standalone bungalows and a Victorian bunkhouse sleeping up to 15 guests. Additional features will include an expansive backyard area for outdoor games and picnics, a newly developed restaurant and a retro-inspired lobby with apothecary products to purchase from wine-country purveyors. Doc Wilkinson’s favourite car, the 1952 Buick Special, will also be located onsite.

In addition, the spa will continue to serve as a key element of the resort experience after undergoing renovation work by TLEE Spas. Upon reopening, it will offer a range of treatments in a revitalised setting with four mud baths, three geothermal pools, eight new mineral baths, falling water treatments and new outdoor treatments rooms in a spa garden.

On top of all this, new restaurant concept House of Better is being set up in partnership with well-known chef Trevor Logan. This dining venue will offer locals and resort guests a menu of healthy, Southwestern-inspired dishes including wood-fire flatbreads, ‘booster bowl’ salads, traditional new Mexican fare and the pies of Chile Pies Baking Co, which Logan is also behind. Through its use of produce, the restaurant aims to highlight local partners.

“When I was approached by the Dr Wilkinson’s team to helm the restaurant concept at the renovated resort, it felt truly serendipitous,” said Trevor Logan. “Not only does wine country hold a special place in my heart, as the home of Chile Pies Baking Co, but the resort’s ethos – rooted in approachability and modern wellness – complements my culinary philosophy seamlessly. I’m looking forward to bringing a synthesis of everything I love about healthy modern California comfort food and New Mexico cuisine to Calistoga locals and visitors alike at House of Better.”

The resort, which is currently closed for renovations, is accepting reservations for stays beginning in mid-October 2020.

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