Co-Proprietors Robert Kline and Maki Nakamura Bara, and the San Francisco-based hotel investment firm, The Chartres Lodging Group, today announced details of the upcoming total transformation of Calistoga’s historic Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort into Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, a reimagined experiential destination for living happy and healthy in Wine Country, slated to debut in fall of 2020. Beloved since 1952 for its uniquely Calistoga spirit and innovative mud bath treatments crafted by pioneering wellness experts “Doc” and Edy Wilkinson, the resort will maintain its ethos – and its iconic neon sign – while offering modern-day travelers an elevated “detox and retox” experience. The resort is currently accepting reservations for stays starting in mid-October.
Maki Nakamura Bara, Co-Proprietor and President of Chartres Lodging Group, continues, “Wellness is not a trend for us – Doc and Edy founded the resort with wellness in mind all the way back in 1952. Our goal is to embrace Doc’s pioneering spirit and time-honored, stress alleviating and health balancing treatments in a completely reimagined environment, with every element of the resort experience designed with integrated wellness in mind. Dr. Wilkinson’s will continue to be the resort destination where wellness meets happiness.”
Treated with a thoughtful dose of nostalgia, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs will honor Doc’s legacy and expertise with a superior experience that balances recreation with relaxation, rewarding curious travelers seeking out Calistoga’s famous healing natural spring waters. SB Architects is leading the architectural redesign of the property, which will emphasize Dr. Wilkinson’s iconic history while introducing modern aesthetics and integrating the resort with the outdoors. The interior design and branding is led by Marin-based EDG Design and will feature mid-century elements, vintage decor, and carefully crafted touches of modern technology, blending the hotel’s past with present-day amenities. Curated art throughout the property will highlight local artists and Edy’s beloved mosaics, and a feature water tower in the new lobby will celebrate the property’s mineral-springs history. The resort will feature 50 completely reinvigorated guestrooms, including standalone bungalows and a Victorian bunkhouse sleeping 15 guests suitable for small wine and wellness-oriented groups and larger families. The resort will also feature an expansive backyard area for picnics and outdoor games, a newly-developed outdoor-indoor restaurant, and a retro-inspired lobby with apothecary products for purchase from some of Wine Country’s best artisanal purveyors. Doc Wilkinson’s favorite car will also be located on-site – the epochal 1952 Buick Special.
As part of the renovation, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs will also debut House of Better, a new restaurant concept in partnership with Trevor Logan, visionary behind the popular Green Chile Kitchen in San Francisco and Chile Pies Baking Co. in Sonoma County, CA. Locals and resort guests can expect a healthy, Southwestern-inspired concept influenced by Logan’s time spent living and traveling to New Mexico, served in an elevated counter-service setting. The restaurant will feature dishes including wood-fired flatbreads, nutrient-dense “booster bowls,” salads and traditional New Mexican fare. The “detox and retox” concept will be illustrated on the beverage menu, which will feature a robust beer and wine selection highlighting boutique local partners, and a collection of healthy and fermented beverages such as water kefir, kombuchas, adaptogen teas and agua frescas. The restaurant will also feature Chile Pies Baking Co.’s famous seasonally-rotating pies. This will all be served in a relaxed indoor and outdoor backyard setting complete with games, chairs, and picnic blankets. The restaurant will roast chiles live outside on the property in a traditional barrel roaster on a seasonal basis.
“When I was approached by the Dr. Wilkinson’s team to helm the restaurant concept at the renovated resort, it felt truly serendipitous,” said Trevor Logan, who will oversee the concept and operations at House of Better. “Not only does Wine Country hold a very special place in my heart, as the home of Chile Pies Baking Co., but the resort’s ethos – rooted in approachability and modern wellness – complements my culinary philosophy seamlessly. I’m looking forward to bringing a synthesis of everything I love about healthy modern California comfort food and New Mexico cuisine to Calistoga locals and visitors alike at House of Better.”
Renovated by TLEE Spas, the spa will continue to serve as a key element of the resort experience, emphasizing rejuvenation and relaxation in a laid-back setting. It will offer the same world-renowned mineral-rich mud bath treatments and secret-formula mud mixture inclusive of specially sourced organic local Calistoga volcanic ash perfected by Doc almost 70 years ago, in a totally revitalized setting, with four mud baths, three geothermal mineral pools, eight new mineral baths, falling water treatments, and brand new outdoor treatment rooms in a reimagined ‘spa garden.’ Best-in-class yet approachable, the spa will make the timeless tradition of mud bathing accessible for everyone.
Upon opening, the resort will implement state and local guidelines to guarantee health and safety for team members and guests. Guests will have the option for a contactless check-in experience by using their mobile devices as mobile keys, and the option to check in online without the need to stop at the front desk. The majority of the guest rooms open directly to the exterior which will allow travelers the ability to reach their room without entering the lobby if they wish. The resort has taken precautionary measures guided by recommendations by the CDC to ensure the safety of guests and staff. The entire staff will practice social distancing, use personal protective gear, and will implement enhanced cleaning and safety measures.
The resort is currently closed for renovations. To learn more about Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, please visit www.drwilkinson.com.