Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort – Calistoga, CA

The first time I visited the Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort in Calistoga, California, I got there at random. I’d found a Groupon deal and decided to go for it. The resort was a bit difficult to find, but the place was so beautiful that I didn’t care how long it took me to get there. Once there, I felt like I had stumbled upon a secret garden—and indeed, this 500-acre property is so large that it’s actually hard to find.

The facility is basically a self-contained spa retreat compound, with multiple restaurants and spas, private pools and hot tubs, trails for walking or hiking (or even horseback riding), organic gardens and wineries, even a wedding chapel. The resort has been open since the 1950s and is still family-owned and operated. Locals rave about the property and many of them have been visiting for decades. If you live near the area or have an upcoming trip to wine country planned, this is one place you should definitely visit.

History

Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort
Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort

The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort is located in the southern part of the Napa Valley in Calistoga, California. This is a rural area, with large tracts of land devoted to ranching and farming. The resort is just north of the town of Calistoga, which was named for the nearby hot springs that have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years.

The natural hot springs have been known as a healing resource since the time of the Miwok Indians (who called them “manoominikum,” which translates to “the place where we go to heal”). The first white settlers to the area documented their medicinal properties, and by the mid-1800s, there were several resorts established around the springs.

The Golden Haven resort was founded by Dr. Frank Wright and his wife, Charlotte (née Frances Jackson), in 1954. The Wrights purchased 500 acres that included several historic buildings and began to establish their retreat center. They named it Golden Haven because it was Charlotte’s favorite color.

The Location

The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort is located in Calistoga, California, right between the towns of Yountville and Napa. Calistoga is a small town in its own right, but it’s most famous for its spas, including The Hot Springs and the town’s namesake mineral baths. The resort is also close to Lake County Airport, which is located about an hour away.

The property itself is spread out over 500 acres and includes a wide variety of different places to visit. The winery and organic gardens are located in the main building. The main swimming pool and hot tub area is also there, along with the restaurant and bar. There are several other pools available to visitors around the grounds, as well as hiking trails and a horse stable if you’d like to ride horses while you’re there.

There are also several places to stay on the grounds, including simple motel rooms as well as more luxurious cabins and cottages for rent. All of these accommodations have access to the private hot tubs that are available in each unit.

Pool and Jacuzzis in Hot Springs

Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort Mud Bathing
Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort Mud Bathing

Whether you enjoy sauntering through the waters of a pool or want to sit back, relax, and let jets massage away your worries, Golden Haven has precisely what you’re searching for. Golden Haven offers three fantastic options for hot mineral water fans.

Guests can enjoy the year-round covered swimming pool, which is a spacious pool with lots of freedom to walk about and relax, with welcoming temperatures ranging around 86°F. Second, you can choose one of the jetted baths, one with temperatures ranging from 98°F to 100°F and the other slightly warmer with temperatures reaching 104°F.

Regardless matter how you soak, you’ll know you’re soaking in some of California’s most nutrient-dense and relaxing waters. When you’re ready to work on your tan, sunbathe on the deck or in the recreation area under the warm California sun.

Mud Bathing Experiment

Are you thinking about visiting Golden Haven? The popular “Golden Haven Mud Bath Experience,” an hour-long treatment that will leave you feeling like a new person, is a must-do on any vacation. The four-part treatment for couples and groups of friends begins with a soak in the pleasantly hot, welcoming, and cleansing mud bath.

A clay mask and cool compress are applied to the face, instantly elevating your experience to new heights. Following the mud bath, guests are transferred to a mineral hot springs bath, which continues the cleansing process while alleviating every ache, discomfort, and soreness in the body. While every ounce of stress is discharged, a refreshing drink is offered to rejuvenate and rehydrate.

The treatment concludes with you slinking beneath a light flannel, where you will eventually find your inner sanctuary next to the flicker of a salt lamp.

Spa Services

While the Golden Haven Resort is well-known for its “Mud Bath Experience,” it is also well-known for its other remarkable spa services. When you arrange a trip to Golden Haven, you’re essentially planning the perfect escape that will revive you from head to toe.

Massages

Golden Haven provides two sorts of high-quality massage services. You can choose a human-touch massage, such as a complete body or deep tissue massage. You may even go contactless with a hydro massage, which uses water to rub the body while you are still dressed.

Herber Facials

If you wish to leave the resort with glowing skin, consider the herbal facial. After a tea steam, a light oatmeal exfoliating scrub and cleansing clay are applied, followed by a hydrating mask. The treatment is completed with a toner rinse. It’s essentially a five-star facial treatment.

Accommodations

Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort Accommodation
Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort Accommodation

The Golden Haven Spa & Resort has four different accommodation types to suit your needs. All rooms offer a mini-fridge, WiFi, and showers/tubs with hot mineral spring water. In addition, you’ll get access to the hot springs pool, tubs, bikes, picnic area, and bocce court.

  • King Room with Spa Tub – This beautiful king-sized room includes a natural hot springs bathtub that may comfortably accommodate two individuals. To enhance your enjoyment, it also has 14-foot vaulted ceilings and a nice electric fireplace.
  • Superior King-Size Rooms – This room has a modern style, 12-foot ceilings, and a “superiorly” comfy king-sized bed.
  • 2-Bedroom Superking King Suite – Are you planning a group trip? This room can accommodate up to four people. It contains two rooms, one with a comfortable king-sized bed and the other with a wonderful queen-sized bed.
  • The standard king – The standard king-sized rooms are located on the second level and have a lot to offer, including the wonderful and comfy king-sized bed and walk-in baths.

Getting There

The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort is located in (appropriately enough) Calistoga, California. Calistoga is about a 40-minute drive north of San Francisco and about a 25-minute drive south of the town of Napa. If you’re coming from San Francisco, take Highway 101 north until you reach the town of Calistoga.

Calistoga is named after the hot springs that bubble up here, giving rise to one of the country’s first spas back in the 1800s. These springs are still bubbling and now feed several different pools and hot tubs at the resort.

If you’re visiting from out of town, you’re most likely going to want to stay at the resort so you can take advantage of all it has to offer. Rooms are fairly pricey but they do offer frequent deals that can make them more affordable.

What to Expect

The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort is a sprawling 500-acre property along Highway 29 in Calistoga, California. When you arrive, you’ll be directed to one of the many parking areas on the property. The resort has its own zip code, 94515, so you’ll easily be able to spot it on your GPS.

There are a few different things you can expect when visiting the Golden Haven. There are several restaurants, many with stunning views of the lush property. There are also multiple spas and salons where you can get facials or body treatments.

The spa also offers 75 guest rooms in the main lodge building. They range from standard guest rooms to luxury suites and all room types offer access to a private hot tub and fire pit area outside. You can also rent out two large housekeeping cottages for larger groups and there are several campsites for those who want to visit without staying overnight.

Walking Around the Grounds

When I first visited Golden Haven, I arrived at the main residence area, which is called The Village. This is where the spa and resort hotel are located and where guests can mingle with other visitors or enjoy one of the many dining options.

The Village is gorgeous, with cobblestone streets lined by quaint shops and various buildings. There are also a few small private residences, some along the water’s edge, that are available for rent. The grounds here are immaculate and include walking paths along with large open spaces for picnicking or just enjoying the sun. The view of Mt. St. Helena is spectacular, especially at sunset.

There is also another village on the property, which includes more spa facilities as well as an outdoor pool and large hot tubs that are often full of horses cooling off after a ride in the nearby hills. There are also several outdoor pools open to everyone—one located on a hillside with a view of Mt. St. Helena (above) and another located near the main guest lodge where you can enjoy a drink from their bar while soaking in their large outdoor hot tubs (below).

Bathhouse Etiquette

When you visit the resort, you will notice that there are two different bathhouse areas in the resort. One is located in the main area, near the resort office, while the other is located near the cabins and camping area. The bathhouses are co-ed, but there are designated areas for men and women.

When you enter the bathhouses, remove your shoes and put on a pair of sandals or flip-flops that you can borrow from the attendant. There are lockers in which you can store your belongings, but keep all valuables (wallet, phone, etc.) with you at all times. If you want to enjoy one of the private pools or hot tubs, then check with the attendants first to see if they’re available (reservations are sometimes required). You can either pay for your visit at the end (pay as you go) or pay a daily rate for unlimited visits to all of the facilities.

Health and Hygiene

The hot spring water is pure, and the pools and tubs are cleaned regularly. There’s also a strong policy of not dipping your feet into the water if you have open cuts or sores, and using a paper towel to handle any wet objects. If you are visiting with kids, make sure they understand the importance of cleanliness.

The towels and robes are washed after each use, but because people use them to sit on in the pool or lounge around, they can get dirty. So if you have sensitive skin, bringing your own towel or robe might be a good idea.

If you want to dip your feet into the water but have an injury or sore, you can ask at the front desk for rubber booties. The staff will also gladly give you bottled water and assist you with any special needs.

Dining at the Resort

The Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort has multiple dining options, both indoors and outdoors. You can eat at the resort’s most casual spot, Saddleback Grill, where burgers and sandwiches come with a view of the horse corral. The more formal Shady Oak Café specializes in California cuisine using ingredients from the resort’s own organic gardens and vineyards.

There is also a coffee bar serving gourmet brews, smoothies, pastries, and more. There are also various bars on the property where you can enjoy a glass of local wine or a cocktail.

And that’s not all: There’s also a winery on location as well as an apiary (bee farm) and a distillery. This is definitely a place to spend the day or even multiple days if you want to take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Accommodations at the Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort

There are three separate accommodation options at the Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort, though only one of them is available for spa guests.

The Inn at Golden Haven is a charming bed and breakfast that caters to long-term visitors who want a more homey setting. The price for weekly or monthly stays is much lower than the luxury hotel option. The Inn has 26 rooms in all, each with their own unique decor and views of the surrounding grounds. There are also private cottages available.

The Hot Springs Hotel is the luxury hotel on site and it offers both spa packages and a la carte accommodations. Rooms have either two queen beds or one king bed, plus a sofa sleeper in the sitting room. There’s also a fireplace, flat screen TV with cable, mini fridge and microwave, coffee maker with complimentary coffee and tea, bathroom with a deep soaking tub, hair dryer and vanity with sink plus robes. Wifi is free throughout the property.

Room rates start at $299 per night in off-peak season, going up to $499 per night during peak season (Memorial Day through Labor Day).

Exploring the Area

If you’re looking for a great place to stay while visiting the Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort, the Calistoga Inn is located just across the street. The Calistoga Inn is a modern boutique hotel with a European-style spa and restaurant, perfect for anyone wanting to pamper themselves while visiting the area. The hotel also has an outdoor heated pool, in case you want to dip into something before or after your visit to Golden Haven.

Other nearby attractions include the Shenandoah Cellars winery and the Robert Keenan Winery, both of which are located within walking distance of Golden Haven.

If you’d like to visit some of the local hot springs in the area, there are several popular spots that locals frequent in Calistoga and nearby towns. In Calistoga, try Agua Caliente Springs or Old Faithful Geyser. In nearby St. Helena, try out The Quarry or Bernie’s Hot Springs.

Bottom line

In conclusion, the Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort is a wonderful place for anyone looking for a relaxing getaway and to experience the beauty of Calistoga, California. From its luxurious accommodations to its healing mineral springs, there is something for everyone. You can enjoy all that the resort has to offer while still being able to explore the area and all that it has to offer.

With the many amenities available and its close proximity to the many activities available in Calistoga, this hot springs spa and resort is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a rejuvenating experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend away or just want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort provides a perfect place to unwind.

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Local information

Address: 1713 Lake Street, Calistoga, California 94515
GPS: 38.585581,-122.580598
Season: Year-round
Phone: 707-942-8000
Website: goldenhaven.com

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