Living Well: I Traveled to Calistoga For Wellness Week At Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs

Mark Compton

Calistoga is a quaint town in Napa Valley, at the intersection of wellness and wine, an ideal place to be. I recently received the opportunity to travel to Calistoga to stay at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs to celebrate the city’s second annual wellness week – three days of highlighting the importance of wellness holistically, from sound and mudbaths to guided mediations and yoga practices, wine tastings at local wineries and health-focused meals from their restaurant House of Better and even a cannabis-infused dinner to celebrate 4/20, the city emphasized how essential it is to apply mindfulness and self-care to our daily routines, post-COVID, even if you feel like you don’t have the time for it. 

I was surprisingly not focused on my seemingly never-ending to-do list throughout the trip. Before diving into my wellness experiences, I’ll give you a bit of context on the reimagined Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs. The iconic resort and spa was founded in 1952 by pioneering wellness experts John and Edy Wilkinson. Since then, the resort has become a globally recognized wellness retreat, offering time-honored mud bath and spa treatments, healing mineral pool soaks, and the best of Calistoga.

Recently, the resort underwent a multimillion-dollar complete renovation, reopening its doors in the summer of 2021, led by the acclaimed design firms SB Architects and EDG Design. Following its recent renovation, the resort honors its iconic past while looking toward the future with a new mid-century design featuring 50 renovated guestrooms, a brand-new restaurant (House of Better), vast outdoor seating, and a completely reimagined spa, and the same famed mud bath treatments, which I happily indulged in. Attracting a diverse tribe of enthusiasts, the resort’s progressive roots, accessible downtown location, and eclectic style make Calistoga a contemporary wellness destination. 

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Wellness week at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs was an experience I didn’t know I needed. While the resort inspires rest and restoration, the amenities are unmatched and encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, as I had never had a mud and mineral bath before, and I am unsure if I would’ve opted for one on my own. 

Aside from the luxe spa treatments, the exclusive winery visits were also a treat. The two local wineries we visited, Picayune Cellars and Clif Family, provided delicious food pairings along with delicious and generous white and red wines. Look at my standout moments from the trip and become inspired to visit Calistoga. 

“The Works” Spa Experience

The wellness team at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs Spa hooked me up! The second day of my trip was jam-packed with wellness treatments. The mineral whirlpool treatment infused with Epsom sea salts, cucumbers for my eyes, a volcanic ash facemask, a blanket wrap, and a 60-minute Swedish spa was heavenly. 

The mudbath was such an incredible experience, as I never thought I’d be neck-deep in mud and enjoy it! The mudbath had tremendous effects on my skin, as it helped me release unneeded and unwanted toxins. 

Living Well: I Traveled to Calistoga For Wellness Week At Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs
Mark Compton

Wine Tastings

Who doesn’t love a rich wine-tasting experience? At Clif Family Winery (the same people who created Clif Bar & Company)  in St. Helena, we tasted an array of wines from their Unoaked Chardonnay to Cold Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. We had their resident chef present unique vegan food options while overlooking scenic mountains and vineyards. 

A Yinyasa and guided mediation session is always a good idea. I got into my yoga flow practice while remaining mindful and present. 

Living Well: I Traveled to Calistoga For Wellness Week At Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs
Mark Compton

Candle Making

Anyone who knows me knows I love candles. I appreciate a good scent, but I’ve never made a candle. I enjoyed having a resident candle maker guide us through the candle-making process on the property. 

CBD-Infused Dinner

I surprised myself by my participating in this experience. In honor of the 4/20 holiday, a CBD-infused dinner was presented by Cannescape, noted chef Solomon Johnson, and founder Chelsea Davis. 

This much-needed escape was perfect for me to decompress and experience new experiences and wellness treatments. If you need a recharge, consider Calistoga and Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs as a destination. 

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