USA Sips and spas in Calistoga By Tracey Rempel / March 10, 2016 Share 1 The Chateau Montelena winery in Calistoga, Calif., is renowned for its chardonnay. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bent Digital Media -- The modest entrance of the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel gave little indication of the luxury within.Once I drove through the front gate of this boutique hotel located in the heart of California's Napa Valley, the natural mineral pools and vine-adorned garden revealed themselves.According to Michael Lennon, the hotel's manager, Calistoga's well-known treasures and spa services were working their magic on guests long before my stay."This property has been operating as a hot spring spa since the 1900s," he said.With the hotel nestled among dormant volcanoes and geothermal fields, its therapeutic mineral waters are extracted from the ground at 180 degrees and fill all four pools, which are kept at varying temperatures.Because Calistoga, with a population of over 5,000, is located at the base of Mount St. Helena, the hotel is proud to feature volcanic ash mud baths, a regional specialty."The mineral content of the water, the magnesium, the potassium, they're natural relaxing agents," Lennon said. "Your pores open, your muscles expand. That's why we do the wraps, the cool-downs. It helps get the toxins out of your body, and then you detox and relax in the pools."The rooms are spacious, with kitchenettes and vaulted ceilings. Bathrooms feature large, walk-in showers with multiple showerheads, keeping true to the hotel's emphasis on spa-inspired ambience.Guests are steps away from shopping, microbrew pubs, live music, specialty grills and a plethora of vineyards.Close to the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel is Chateau Montelena. The grounds of this historical chateau are an exceptional backdrop for the Napa Valley experience, with guests free to walk in and taste the chardonnay that put California's wine on the map.If you wish to partake in wine tasting on a more intimate level, take the Calistoga Sip 'n' Cycle Bicycle Tour offered by Getaway Adventures. Touring with this professionally led group treated me to special privileges such as tasting freshly pressed wine from the barrel that walk-ins may not be privy to experiencing.The tour meandered alongside the mesmerizing rows of varietal grapes as we cycled at a comfortable pace from vineyard to vineyard. We were able to visit five vineyards during the five-hour tour, but the true delight came with the picnic site chosen by our group leader midday.An array of foods prepared by the Calistoga grocers and shops was spread before us, the sun welcoming our group to a feast atop picnic tables. Artisan cheeses, salads, deli meats, fresh multigrain bread, vegetables and fruits at their peak were all passed in casual style while the local winemaker toured the table with multiple tastings. After, dark chocolate was drizzled with locally pressed olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. A music session broke out among guests and local farmers with guitar, banjo and piano.It was hard to leave as we saddled up our bikes to visit the last vineyard of the tour, but I looked forward to getting back to the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel for another soak in the mineral pools by a stone-warmed fire under the California stars.Rates at the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel begin at $197 per night. See www.calistogaspa.com.