The IHG Hotels & Resorts brand will be taking over the former Aetna Springs Resort, named after the natural thermal springs discovered in the 1870s, and which thrived until the 1970s as a natural spa destination.
Slated to open in 2026, Six Senses Napa Valley will welcome guests to the western edge of a vast 3,000-acre estate. The existing structures will be sensitively preserved, and the landscape regenerated to bring back the beauty and functionality of the natural mineral springs, with a focus on native planting.
For the historic resort itself, architecture firm Olson Kundig will work alongside California-based Architectural Resources Group, and a developer of multiple historic projects, Weller Development Partners, to ensure the structures are preserved and adapted to suit the next chapter in its story.
There will be a choice of 95 rooms and suites, including 10 tent-style structures, with interiors designed by luxury hospitality specialist, 1508 London. There will also be 16 branded residences, which will be serviced by Six Senses and, alongside all the resort amenities, enjoy access to a dedicated lounge.
With a retreat vibe and location, wellness will be front and centre at the resort, which will revive the historic mineral springs with indoor and outdoor thermal experiences and bathing. Restored greenery will enable pockets of privacy for a secluded post-swim lounge on the surrounding decks.
The indoor bathing facilities will incorporate local herbs and essential oils into hot and cold therapies, while the sensory Alchemy Bar will blend spa scrubs and soaps using natural ingredients picked from the resort’s organic garden.
One of the four food and beverage outlets will be an open-plan Dining Hall featuring long communal tables and cosy corners among totem poles. Another, The Well, will be an informal and open-air space to celebrate the history of Aetna Springs with mineral water bottling and distilling.
Plus the Juice & Brew Bar will offer in-house liquid alchemists crafting homemade and herbal tonics and tinctures, detox juices, artisanal and draft beers, and original and classic cocktail recipes.
The investment group, comprising Weller Development Partners, Pegasus Capital Advisors, and IHG Hotels & Resorts, will work with expert partners in sustainability to restore the recreational green spaces, vineyards, and agricultural activities supporting the resort.
A water bottling programme will tap into the natural springs and offset operational water requirements. Practices such as rewilding zones and the use of sustainable design and materials will help the resort achieve LEED certification.
Luxury and landscape
Marc Weller, founding partner and president at Weller Development Partners, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about our ongoing partnership with Six Senses and Pegasus Capital Advisors. As we continue to strategically expand our hospitality division nationally and internationally, the Aetna Springs development in Napa presents a phenomenal opportunity to marry the top luxury hotel brand in the world with one of the most incredible natural landscapes in the United States.”
David Cogut, partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors, commented: “We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Six Senses, as they embody our ethos of sustainability, health, and wellness. Six Senses Napa Valley will create an extraordinary experience that will stay with guests while restoring and revitalising the property.”
According to Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs: “Six Senses Napa Valley will marry the region’s beauty with the unique natural resources of the original Aetna Springs. Working with Weller Development Partners, Pegasus Capital Advisors, and committed sustainability partners, we have the right energy in place to revitalise this precious jewel in the Napa crown as a destination to rewild our guests back to a connection with nature, each other, and ultimately themselves.”
Tom Kundig, principal/owner and founder of Olson Kundig, added: “There’s so much about this site that I find deeply inspirational, from its layers of history as an agrarian and resort community to its stunning natural beauty. This new project provides a great opportunity to craft an authentic experience for visitors that centres around deepening connections to this special landscape.”
The luxury brand is making several additional forays into the North American market in the coming years. In the US itself, Six Senses New York at One High Line will occupy the east of a pair of twisting skyscrapers in the metropolis, bringing 137 keys online in Q4 2024.
In the Caribbean, the 200-room Six Senses La Sagesse will throw open its doors in Victoria on the island of Grenada in Q2 this year; and in the Bahamas, Six Senses Grand Bahama will deliver 45 villas within a 36-acre site which is due to complete in 2026.