After a long day (or three) of wine tasting through the Napa Valley, nothing is better than a “detox” spa treatment — indulging in a mud bath made from 100% volcanic ash and soaking in the geothermal mineral springs at the oldest operating spa in California. Calistoga’s Indian Springs Spa, located in Northern Napa Valley, named after the Wappo Indians that first settled in the area, was built in the 19th century and their legendary Olympic-sized Mission Revivial-style mineral–rich pool was added in 1913. The 230-degree geysers keep the mineral pool at 102 degrees in the winter and 92 degrees in the summer. Purchasing a spa treatment automatically gives you a daily pass to the pool.
Insider Tip: Indian Springs has reasonably-priced accommodations, including 15 original cottages, 24 newly renovated Lodge rooms (adults only), and two houses for larger gatherings. By staying in one of the guest rooms, you can end your wine-soaked evenings by taking a late night swim in the soothing pool until midnight.
Before You ‘Take the Waters’
Upon entering the locker room, you are greeted by plates of delicious California orange slices and a large dispenser of lemon cucumber water. The locker room facilities offer standard amenities like robes, flip-flops, combs, hair gel, and hair ties. Once you are in your robe, you can wait for your treatment by the tranquil Buddha Pond in the back of the property. The large Buddha Pond provides several cushioned chairs and chaise loungers and features a cozy, covered outdoor fireplace area surrounded by plush couches and a refreshments area.
Insider Tip: If you forgot to bring facial cleanser and/or moisturizer (all the heat from the treatments can dehydrate your skin) ask the front-desk attendants for a skincare sample from the various lines the spa carries in their boutique.
Get Muddy and Soak
Indian Springs’ not-to-be-missed signature treatment is their Volcanic Ash Mud Bath ($85), which starts with stepping into a large concrete tub filled with volcanic mud where an attendant will pile mud on top of your body as you further immerse into the tub. The mud feels like hot non-sticky marshmallow fluff and acts as a great detoxifier. After 10-15 minutes you are led to a claw-foot tub filled with mineral water. Once you are soaking, the attendant will give you cucumber lemon water and a cuticle stick and nail brush to clean the mud from your nails. After 10-15 minutes you can optionally enter the eucalyptus and lavender-scented mineral steam room to further chase the toxins from your system. Once you are done steaming your attendant will wrap you in a towel and lead you to a quiet little room with a bed where she will wrap you up like a burrito in flannel blankets and place cucumbers on your eyes for a short siesta.
Insider Tip: If your skin is oily or acne-prone, make sure you ask the attendant to apply mud to your face. If your skin is sensitive or dry, skip this step since the mud is quite active.
If the idea of immersing yourself in mud makes your skin crawl, the spa is also known for their skilled massage therapists. If a facial is more your scene, the Rejuvenating Oxygen Infusion Facial, though pricey at $195 is not to be missed, especially to prepare for a special event.
Indian Springs Spa is open daily from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information or to book a spa appointment, call 707.942.4913.