Guest blog entry: a review of the Calistoga Massage Center experience

by TrevR on August 29, 2007

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My husband and I were recently in the Napa area visiting family and at the last minute decided to book a massage. After calling the familiar spas in the area and finding they were all booked up, it was time to do a Google search and see what other options we might find. We came across the Calistoga Massage Center in Calistoga, that was able to do four massages all at once. So I gathered the girls and my poor husband and trekked off for a day of wine and pampering.

Calistoga Massage Center

Calistoga has one stoplight in town and just one main road so it’s impossible to get lost. There are several spas and small motels that offer a variety of spa services – most involving a treatment with the thermal hot springs that the region is known for.

We pull up to the Calistoga Massage Center, which is a average size brick building, covered in ivy. Upon entering we were greeted but the customary smells of lavender, the sound of soothing music and a young woman asking if she can help us in a whisper of a voice.

My husband opted for a 90min massage ($190) while us girls went for a 45min salt scrub/body polish ($75), followed by a 60min ($80) massage. Now this is a case of managing expectations. Having enjoyed salt scrubs at numerous other spas that had a wet room, or a Vichy shower, I wasn’t prepared for being scrubbed right on the massage table and then having the salts manually taken off by a towel. Doesn’t quite have the same feeling or result so let this be a lesson to always ask how the treatment is done – and don’t assume it’s the same everywhere. My therapist totally forgot to scrub one arm all together but it wasn’t that great of a treatment and I was fine with moving on to the massage.

A good massage therapist will talk to you before hand to find out if you have any trouble areas you’d like her/him to spend more time on, what level of pressure is comfortable to you and so on. All in all I would rate my masseuse a 6 on a scale of 1-10. My husband would rate his masseuse a 7 out of 10 – mostly due to the masseuse herself. I think it’s so important for any spa technician to make their guest as comfortable as possible.

Would I go back? Probably not. With such a selection of spas in the Napa Valley, I’ll just make sure I stick with my usual favorites and book early!

Once done, we headed back down Rt 29 and stopped at a place we had passed many times before, but had never entered: V. Sattui. This was quite different from many of the wineries along the road there as it was picnic tables spread out in the front lawn and a “General Store” type feel to it, including a deli counter. V. Sattui also does not sell their wines to distributors, you can only purchase them at the shop, or through mail order. The wine tastings were pretty extensive, and then we grabbed some salami, bread and some of their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and enjoyed the afternoon.

Bruce Allen and family are providing guest blog entries while The Cork Board team is busy with midnight feedings, changing dirty diapers and trying to function on three hours of sleep.

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, Calistoga, Calistoga Massage Center, V. Sattui, cabernet sauvignon, napa valley spa, napa spas]

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About the Author

has written 725 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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