Last Updated on December 24, 2023

I anticipate wellness travel continuing to be at the forefront of travel trends in 2024. Many travelers will seek to reset their mind, body and soul in the new year, and will begin searching for a destination to do just that.

It’s hard imaging a more idyllic location to do so than California’s picturesque Napa Valley, one of my favorite California wine regions. For a wellness venue, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, a member of Design Hotels, is just the place.

Wellness has always been at the forefront of this recently reimagined spa destination situated in the charming town of Calistoga. Natural wellness offerings include world-renowned, mineral-rich, mud baths, relaxing accommodations, healthy onsite dining, and a host of outdoor activities.   

With three geothermal mineral pools (one indoor and two outdoor) set at three different temperatures, guests have access to House of Better, the resort’s all-day, nutrition-driven restaurant, and spa treatments offering the same world-renowned, mineral-rich mud bath treatments. The secret-formula mud mixture of organic, local Calistoga volcanic ash was perfected by Doc Wilkinson almost 70 years ago. 

Soothing Spa Treatments

Mud Bath spa treatment at Dr. Wilkinson's Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs.
Mud Bath spa treatment at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs. Photo by Mark Compton

Considered a destination all its own, the Spa at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs remains the main feature of the resort. It features four completely renovated massage rooms, a brand-new outdoor spa garden for al fresco treatments, four indoor mud baths, seven indoor and two outdoor mineral baths, a cold deluge shower, and dedicated geothermal mineral pool filled with calming, varied temperature water sourced from Calistoga’s natural healing springs.

Resort guests not booking a spa treatment can still enjoy the mineral pools and cold shower on a complimentary basis.

Healthful Dining at Your Fingertips

House of Better is the resort’s counter-service restaurant featuring Southwestern-inspired food. Offering a balance between modern California comfort food and healthy, affordable options, the menu incorporates fibrous and Vitamin C-enriched green chiles in traditional New Mexican dishes such as green chile stew.

Nutritionally dense protein booster bowls are also served.

‘Dry-uary’ Made Easy

The bar at House of Better offers herbal elixirs starting at $7. These include Fire Cider Wellness Tonic with apple cider vinegar, honey, turmeric, ginger, horseradish. Lev’s Shrub is a mixture of black current, or hibiscus with sparkling soda and lemon. Lev’s Kombucha combines watermelon basil and strawberry mint. Calm Moment is a full-flavored, hemp-infused sparkling beverage in various flavors. Goldenmilk mixes turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger with oat or almond milk.

The full beverage menu includes house-blended medicinal teas with medicinal mushrooms, mineral-rich sea greens, and adaptogenic herb selections.

House of Better also offers happy hour deals every Monday through Friday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm for 25% off wellness drinks, $3 street tacos.

For those who are not committed to being dry during the month of January, 25% off beer and wine on tap. 

Luxuriously Appointed Accommodations for Restorative Sleep

Dr. Wilkinson's Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs backyard evening with firepits.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs backyard evening with firepits. Photo by Mark Compton

The wellness resort offers a mix of guest room types including a standalone, one-bedroom bungalow, three Spa Cottages featuring clawfoot tubs for soaking, a Peloton room for fitness-minded travelers and a restored, five-room, 1924-vintage Victorian bunkhouse that sleeps 15, ideal for group travel and detox retreats.

Playful experiential touch points are woven throughout the resort including a backyard lawn area for games and picnicking, and a retro-inspired lobby featuring an innovative water installation and a variety of local apothecary products. Upon arrival, all guests receive electrolytes and essential oils for the diffuser located in every room. 

Additional amenities include a vintage mini refrigerator, spa garden and outdoor seating with fire pits, poolside cabanas, tree swings, complimentary use of bicycles and free parking.

Book your stay at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs

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