It’s safe to say “Doc” would be proud.
Dr. Wilkinson established his namesake Hot Springs Resort in Calistoga in 1952, one of the first to offer mud baths and the promise of rejuvenation. The family sold the resort two years ago, and it has been fully renovated with the same — but modernized — devotion to wellness that “Doc” and Edy Wilkinson intended.
Although there are still a few finishing touches in the works, and while the overall feel of the property is playful and retro, the focus on health and wellbeing is thorough, from individually concocted “prescriptions” to the room diffusers and of course the spring water and mud baths.
From the beginning, the new owners have said they will remain true to Dr. Wilkinson’s intents and purpose.
During the multi-million dollar renovation, Robert Kline and Maki Nakamura Bara of the The Chartres Lodging Group, a San Francisco-based hotel investment firm, added eight rooms to the resort and redid it literally from the top down, from the roof to the floors. All of the tubs in the spa have been replaced. There are mud baths for singles and couples, and private showers. There are also two tubs outdoors in the gardens, and infrared and CBD therapies as well, said general manager Jose Ortega.
Two pools offer recreation and relaxation, and for the more playfully inclined there are beer and wine baths on the menu, as well as a cold bucket shower — literally a bucket pulled by a chain.
Rooms are equipped with stylish retro mini-refrigerators, and diffusers guests use with their prescribed herbs upon check-in.
As far as check-in, for ease and privacy, guests need never see the front desk, instead checking in online and unlocking their room door with their phone.
Doc Wilkinson’s favorite car, a cherry 1952 Buick Special, is parked next to the Victorian House, or Edy’s House, built in 1923. The house has been converted into a “bunkhouse,” with five separate bedrooms and "high-end bunkbeds” able to sleep 13 guests.
The resort’s restaurant, House of Better, serves “healthy comfort food” and cocktails.
The resort was scheduled to reopen last October, but the wildfires caused delays.
On June 22, in honor of the resort’s place in Calistoga’s history, Mayor Chris Canning presented a proclamation at the resort, recognizing June 22 as Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort Day.