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Quieter and more relaxed than other towns in the Napa Valley, Calistoga is situated at the very top of the vineyard-lined Silverado Trail, one of the area’s two main thoroughfares. With a population of little more than 5,000 people, it has striven to preserve its small-town character and charm. But despite the pandemic, the last couple of years have witnessed a surprising amount of construction.
November 2021 saw the debut of the Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley. From outside, the resort resembles a sprawling suburban development, but inside we were impressed by its intimate feel. Despite the size of the 22-acre estate, the Four Seasons offers just 85 guest rooms and 20 privately owned residences, with sweeping vistas of vineyards and the Palisades.
Having been welcomed with glasses of sparkling wine, we were ushered to a golf cart already loaded with our bags. A cheerful employee drove us past the two-floor farmhouse-style structures — each housing four guest units — which are surrounded by gardens landscaped with native grasses and mature olive trees.
Natural light flooded our Palisades Room, a category of accommodation that ranges from 480 to 530 square feet. The space was masculine in style and featured a king bed with a handcrafted live-edge wooden headboard, a wine refrigerator, an eye-catching petrified wood table and various nods to the area’s ranching and viticultural history, including a decorative leather bridle hung above the gas fireplace and a copy of “The Grapes of Wrath.” (Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Silverado Squatters,” an 1883 travel memoir about Calistoga, Mount Saint Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains, might have been a better choice.) Brass fixtures brightened the gray-tiled bath, which was equipped with a deep tub, a separate shower and well-placed lighting fixtures. At sunset, we had memorable views from our roomy balcony.
That evening, we had dinner at Truss, a restaurant perched on a scenic knoll, whose attractive patio is furnished with plush couches, heater lamps and fire pits. It had a convivial atmosphere, and the relaxed yet professional staff immediately made us feel welcome. A fine dining menu will be available soon. In the meantime, casual dishes are being served. We tried the cacio e pepe, followed by a strip loin served with an onion syrup and anchovy butter. Both were good but unexceptional. Many diners seemed to be ordering the simple tavern-style pizza topped with sausage and spicy peppers. The next day we ate at the second dining option, Campo Poolside, which specializes in “Cal-Mexican” cuisine. The mango-jicama salad was tasty, but the carne asada proved extremely chewy.