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Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Venue: Solage, Calistoga

This week I had an assignment to do for my Wedding Research, 101 "Ongoing Studies" class...explore and stay overnight in a wonderful new resort/spa/wedding venue in Napa Valley!

Thursday I made a visit to the Solage Resort and Spa, in Calistoga, where I was generously given a complete tour of the property by Lindsey Relyea, Wedding and Event Sales Manager, and then invited to stay overnight so I would have first hand knowledge of the Solage Resort Experience...what a treat!!!
Let me take you on the tour as I "experienced" it:

The bocci ball courts welcome the guests to the Solage property, placing recreation and play as first and foremost in the guests' thinking!

The sound of water flowing into the sleek, modern Solage fountain, escorts you into the Concierge Registration Lobby, where you are offered a cup of Chai Latte, the chef's signature hot drink. As you pick up the key for your guest cottage, the friendly valet staff can drive your car to your cottage door, and unload the luggage, while you become familiar with the 22 acres which comprise Solage.

The lap pool, with private cabanas, is available for Solage guests, as well as a smaller pool to the left of the lap pool, more designed for family fun.

The Solbar Restaurant is well known throughout the Napa area; their chef, Brandon Sharp, most recently of Gary Danko and The French Laundry, focuses on locally sourced ingredients to create fresh and unique menus which change almost daily.

Lindsey helped me visualize how a wedding and reception, (Solage has more than 30 weddings booked for this year; pretty amazing for a venue that just opened in 2007!) would flow here at Solage. The private lawn, which adjoins a well equipped indoor reception space, can be set with chairs to comfortably accommodate up to 200 guests.

After the ceremony, guests would move to the adjacent cocktail area, before they are invited in for dinner. There is another space at Solage, on a different part of the property, for ceremony and receptions of up to 50 guests; I toured this area as well, and it has a cozy yet open feel, with a nice combination of indoor and outdoor options.

At this point, Lindsey left me to get to know the rest of Solage on my own, as a guest; I can now personally (and highly!) recommend the luxurious, relaxing and service oriented experience of being pampered at Solage!

This is the waiting area for those who choose to have a relaxing spa treatment. Spa Solage consists of five different buildings, 14 treatment rooms, and a Bathhouse with several pools, and mud treatment rooms; the pools are filled directly by the springs of Geo thermal mineral waters, which have been coming up for centuries, from deep below the ground in Calistoga.
This is my guest house, with the complimentary cruiser bikes parked outside; guests love to use the bikes to ride around the property, to the nearby wineries, or into the neighboring town of Calistoga.

I love the personalized "license plates"!

Now we are coming to my personal favorite amenity of my stay at Solage...they have the softest, coziest robes I have ever, ever enjoyed! The hardest part of checking out, was having to take off my robe! If I had more time to relax at home, I might have considered purchasing one...but I think I can only enjoy such a treat when I am away from home and work... I will just have to return to Solage, and my plush robe!

It was tempting!!!

As a way to get to know Solage even better, I made time for lunch at Solbar before driving back to the Bay Area. The day could not have been more beautiful for the outdoor dining/ patio lounge aspect of the Solbar. Restaurant manager, Bradley Wasserman, who had made time to meet with me the day before on my tour with Lindsey, was on duty again, to make me feel welcome.

After looking over the delightful choices on the menu, I chose the Spring Seasonal, Two Course Lunch, with the Spring garlic and savoy spinach soup, and the Cuban Sandwich, which Bradley recommended when I was looking for something hearty...I had a long drive, and had skipped breakfast to enjoy my room...(and my robe!).
I was very impressed with the service throughout Solage, and the restaurant was no exception. I saw Bradley's staff offer synchronized service to a table of 6 guests; 6 servers came out in unison, and presented each guest with their lunch selection simultaneously. I usually see this with the most elegantly catered wedding meals, but not for lunch at an outdoor venue...very classy!

Even the bread was served with flair...the rolls are from the bakery beside The French Laundry down the road in Yountville, the butter is made on property at Solage, and there are 2 kinds of salt...brown Hawaiian and Local Sea Salt.

Spinach soup, with wild mushroom puree and goat cheese croutons.

My Cuban Sandwich, with one of the freshest green salads I have ever tasted...local produce make a big difference! The ham in the sandwich was cured at Solage, and the pickles made there as well. I could only eat half of my sandwich, so the Solbar staff wrapped up the other half for Jeff...a nice treat to give him when I return from my "wedding research"!

I encourage you to make time to get away, and enjoy a break at Solage; and if you are looking for a restful, beautiful and unique wedding venue, I encourage you to consider Solage...and I would be happy to be your on site wedding coordinator!!

1 comment:

Augie Chang, Photographer said...

beautiful location for a wonderful wedding. i shot a wedding here this evening!