Spa Review: Napa Valley’s Spa Solage

Bathhouse at Spa Solage Entryway

“At the end of a sunny day, you should smell like dirt.”—There’s a reason I’m recalling this quote from author Margaret Atwood, and that’s because on a stunning spring afternoon in Calistoga, in Northern California’s Napa Valley, I’m covered from my neck to my toes in a slick of gray mud. It’s better than it sounds, especially considering that the sludgy concoction I’ve painted on my limbs smells like freshly cut lavender with rich overtones of earth. This upscale dirt promises to soften my skin, feed it nutrients, coax months’ worth of toxins out of my body and leave me glowing. Adding to the fun, the tiled, quiet room I’m in is delightfully heated like a sauna, and from the floor-to-ceiling windows of this private chamber, I can see a glorious sweep of hillside and wine-country flora—olive trees, old-growth oaks, rosemary bushes—and a private outdoor shower. Here, at Spa Solage, mud is not dirty. Here, mud is heaven. —Alison Singh Gee