After years of speculation, plans for the Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Napa Valley, an enclave at the northern tip of California wine country in Calistoga, finally appear to be taking shape.
The plans were released earlier this week as part of an announcement that sales for the private residences had begun. When all of the construction is over, the resort, slated to open in 2019, will consist of 83 rooms and 20 private residences, as well as a 100-seat restaurant, spa, an indoor/outdoor fitness center, and walking trails.
It also will incorporate a winery run by award-winning winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Cabernet sauvignon vines will grow in rows right behind the private residencies, and residents will have the opportunity to assist with harvest and crush if they desire.
This project has been a long time in the making. Rumors of the project first were floated nearly two years ago, and grading and other initial work on the site across the street from Solage Calistoga started last year under the direction of a company named Bald Mountain Development. Eventually, guests and residents of the resort will be able to enjoy spectacular views of Mount St. Helena to the northeast, as well as a commanding perspective on the rest of the Napa Valley to the south.
Once a sleepy town that revolved around mud baths, Calistoga is coming of age rapidly. The Indian Springs Resort & Spa recently completed a multimillion-dollar expansion, and another exclusive resort, just south of town off Highway 29, is under construction without a formal name. The Brannan Cottage Inn, a six-room bed-and-breakfast in a beautifully restored 1860 cottage, is another favorite in the area.
Local restaurants are getting newfound attention, too. Evangeline, owned by former Solbar chef Brandon Sharp, serves authentic French and Creole food; Buster’s, a barbecue shack at the intersection of Lincoln and Highway 29, is a great spot for pork shoulder and baked beans.
Even fitness nuts have been flocking to the area—either to hike the hamstring-burning hills of the 8.3-mile Oat Hill Mine Trail or to bicycle sections of the 47-mile Napa Valley Vine Trail.
Soon enough, all these visitors will have another excellent place to stay.
20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.