SEP 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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Page 26 of 124

SPA HOPPING 24 DAYSPA | SEPTEMBER 2016 NAPA COUNTY Head north from Central California, past San Francisco, and you'll fi nd Napa and Sonoma counties, homes to some of the best-known wineries in the world. Napa opened its fi rst commercial winery in 1859. Today, the area houses an estimated 500 fully operating wineries (nearby Sonoma comes in a close second at 425). My fi rst stop was Calistoga, located at the north end of the region and famous for its natural hot springs, as well as its specialization in hot volcanic ash ("mud") baths. I'd been told that there was no better place to sample that specialty than Solage Calistoga Resort and Spa (, which has provided guests with a rarifi ed blend of modern lux- ury and wellness-based "nature immersion" since its founding in 2007. A visit to Solage presents seemingly endless choices: Should one check out the yoga studio fi rst, or head directly to the 130-foot swimming pool? Perhaps it's time to learn bocce ball on one of the property's two regulation-size courts, or simply hop onto a compli- mentary loaner bike to tour the area more thoroughly? I headed over to Spa Solage, where I was booked for the signature Mudslide service (60-90 min./$110- $160). The three-part detoxifying treatment started at the mud bar, where a staff member customized my "mud" (mineral-rich volcanic ash mixed with my choice of essential oils). In a heated private chamber, I applied the mud to my face and body (this can also be done by a therapist or, in a couples' treatment, with a partner), and stretched out on a surprisingly comfortable stone lounge as the mud baked into my skin, after which the chamber's multiple built-in showerheads rinsed me clean. Next came a luxurious soak in an extra-deep geothermal tub, followed by the fi nal phase: a blanket- wrapped rest in a state-of-the-art sound chair. After a blissful night in a beautifully appointed Solage Resort bungalow, it was time for the next stop: Auberge du Soleil (, located in the community of Rutherford. I was more than curious to experience the property that U.S. News & World Report rated No. 1 on its 2015 Best Hotels in Napa Valley list. Opened in 1985, this "resort on a hill" affords famously stunning views from its tastefully appointed, earth-toned rooms and suites; fi ne dining at its award- winning restaurant; and a level of customer service that most of us have only dreamed of. Case in point: Thanks to Auberge's partnership with Mercedes-Benz, I was provided with a top-of-the-line model to drive around in at four-hour intervals throughout my stay. Auberge's "pleasure is healing" philosophy is incorporated everywhere—especially at the spa, which features three outdoor temperate springs overlook- ing that breathtaking view, and treatments employing seasonal, garden-grown herbs and house-infused essential oils. Explains Karen Ray, Auberge director of spas, "'Pleasure is healing' is always woven into our treatment experiences. Our spa atmosphere, with our purifi cation circuit including three soaking pools and two eucalyptus steam rooms, lends itself to deep relaxation and contem- plation. Our mission is to preserve this atmosphere, nurture it and maintain a high degree of privacy for our guests. This element of privacy and deep relax- ation is very healing." I was booked for the Seasonal Spring Luminos- ity Facial (90 min./$300), which con sisted of a specially customized skin- care protocol topped off Solage Calistoga Resort and Spa PHOTOS COURTESY SOLAGE CALISTOGA RESORT AND SPA

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