Calistoga Stories and Tips

As part of my spa package, I got "The Works," an aftrnoon of pampering and strange experiences.

I was led to the locker room, where I left my clothes and wrapped myself in a large, soft sheet. Then I was guided to the famous mud baths. I expected a slurry-like substance, like the facial-in-a-jar mud, but it was more like a big bathtub of hot, soupy potting soil! (But it didn't smell bad.) The attendant helped me in; you kind of rest under a layer of it, almost floating. The attendant placed cucumber slices on my eyes and covered my head and face with a towel dipped in ice water. I sat there, trying not to giggle, for about 10 minutes. It was not very relaxing for me -- just weird -- but the woman in the tub next to me said she fell asleep almost instantly.

From there, I showered off the peat moss with a hand-held shower and hopped into a hot whirlpool tub for a soak. Another cold towel covered my head, and a cup of ice water was placed at my fingertips. After another 10 minutes or so, I was led to a steam room where I could stay as long as I wanted. Then I was taken to a cubicle where I could lie down and was wrapped in sheets, supposedly to "equalize" my body temperature. After about 20 minutes, the attendant took me to a small, darkened room where I had a lovely hour-long massage. By the time I was done, I was noodle-like! I don't think I'd do the mud part again, but the rest was great.

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