Calistoga Ranch Staycation

This seemingly never ending pandemic fever has generated a few clients craving countryside escapes; fresh air and room to roam in a secure, secluded environment. One of our favorite wine country properties is Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort Collection, several ecstatic clients have stayed in the last month. One arrived for a long weekend and after checking into their upgraded spa lodge, sent photos of their extraordinary view, thanked us for the exquisite upgrade and asked if they could stay for a few extra days, wish granted!

Calistoga Ranch view from deck

One of the most private and serene locations, Calistoga Ranch is a canyon retreat, each spacious lodge is exceptionally private, many have deck Jacuzzis delivering astonishing views of the mountainside. Perched among the massive pine and oak trees, next to a stream and private lake, it’s all about outdoor living at Calistoga Ranch.

Calistoga Ranch Pool

Over a century ago, Napa Valley was known more for wilderness than for wine, its rolling hills covered in misty forests and bubbling creeks. The 50 freestanding guest lodges embrace the natural surroundings of a peaceful canyon while following the twists and turns of a rock-hewn stream on the valley floor. Rustic luxury amid birdsong and dramatic ancient oaks, the property is tucked into a private 157-acre canyon, the free-standing lodges embrace their natural surroundings, blurring the lines between inside and out.

All the lodges are freestanding wooden bungalows with outdoor fireplaces. We adore the one-bedroom lodges with deck Jacuzzis, where you can bubble away under the starlit oak canopy, sipping champers from your in-lodge bar. The lodges have floor to ceiling windows overlooking the oak studded valley below. Outdoor spa pools, surrounded by all this natural beauty, are as relaxing as they are restoring.

Calistoga Ranch Lodge Suite

Amenities: Heated outdoor pool, vineyard, gardens, spa and gym (not open yet), shops, library, free WiFi. In rooms: LCD TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, indoor-outdoor fireplace, alfresco shower, free minibar.

Poolside: Crisp white sun-loungers dot the heated outdoor pool, where you can soak in both the warming waters and the stunning scenery – a dramatic backdrop of the vineyard, the oak groves and the majestic Mayacama mountains. Lunch service every day by the pool..

Impeccable service, fine dining at the Lake House with options for wine tasting. The Lake House restaurant is open to resort guests and owners only, no outside visitors. Guests can dine inside or out, and take advantage of Lake Lommel and surrounding woodlands, we request the tables closest to the lake line under the inky black star-studded sky. The menu changes seasonally but includes choices like charred octopus with sunchoke and summer vegetable harvest with English pea purée, or black angus beef tenderloin with ramp, maitake, mushroom and brioche.

Calistoga Ranch The Lakehouse dining

Indulge in all day self-guided bike tours through the wine country from the resort doors, hiking, yoga, or just chill on your deck and count the soaring birds overhead! Drag your book bag and catch up with your leisure reading, bring the laptop if you must, you may never want to depart.

We have local private wine tours; these exclusive vineyards are small and not open to the public. A driver will escort you to one or two for a delightful afternoon of tasting with the owners. Personal and private.

There are a couple of two-bedroom lodges in secluded hilltop locations. Tucked amidst towering pine trees and mossy oaks, these rarified forest lodges seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor. Each of the two bedrooms opens onto its own outdoor rain shower, while an outdoor hot tub delivers instant bliss. A large fully-equipped gourmet kitchen will delight any recreational chef, indoor and outdoor dining areas set the scene for relaxed wine country gatherings. Two fireplaces-one on the terrace, the other a see-through indoor-outdoor fireplace that overlooks both living room and terrace-beckon gathering around. Warm furnishings, rich polished woods, and handpicked original artwork accent the natural surroundings. That extra something: concierge service and a private chef, upon request, means you’ll never have to leave your sanctuary.

Stay a week or more and achieve a significant discount. Ring us for our extraordinary offerings, we all need a bit of a secluded sanctuary stay!

Calistoga Ranch Lodge Suite Chef Kitchen

Another month of Covid-19 uncertainty has passed and while some parts of the world begin to open up again, I’m sadly aware that this is far from the case globally and especially domestically. From our client requests, it feels like domestic travel will be the mainstay for many, until we have a broader and more accurate sense of clarity or, better still, a vaccine. We can satisfy your Wanderlust with safe secure stand alone properties. Be well.

Hotel Bel Air and Beverly Hills Hotel – Sanity Staycation!

Hungering for human connection and needing fresh outlooks from home gardens, may I suggest the private suites and bungalows at Hotel Bel Air and Beverly Hills Hotel? Let me share a hospitality secret: The Dorchester Collection properties are one of the few firms who have retained and paid their entire staff, your first escape should not be to a downsized property which is now trying to open up, it results in too many people wearing too many hats… i.e. is the bellman also subbing as a housekeeper? Social Distancing was invented here long before the pandemic Bungalows and Suites ooze privacy and seclusion.

Beverly Hills Hotel Pool

Guaranteed five-star ambience and in a sheltered environment, a stay is enhanced with our Diamond Club Membership amenities. Guaranteed one category upgrade at time of booking for rooms, one category upgraded at time of arrival for junior suites (subject to availability). $100 hotel credit per stay for suites. Daily Full breakfast for two.

Hotel Bel Air Pool

Just weeks before the pandemic closures, I had business and client meetings in Beverly Hills and during that all too brief superb sojourn, I plotted a Hotel Lifestyle for myself. One of my dearest local clients strolled across the bridge over Swan Lake at the Hotel Bel Air, she exclaimed: I’ve crossed into the portal of happiness and enchantment, relaxation and calm! We chatted this morning and agreed the cozy private booths at Wolfgang Puck could easily be safe for a long evening of scrumptious food and rose bubbly. Or, assuming I stay in my sumptuous pool suite, we could carefully catch up across the loungers under the swaying palms.

Presidential Suite Hotel bel Air Private pool
Bungalow Bath Beverly Hills Hotel

Staycation – Just a short distance from breathtaking mountain ranges and sun-drenched beaches, it’s the ideal destination when you need a change of scenery and to take a break from it all. Whether you prefer the glamour and glitz of The Beverly Hills Hotel or the exclusivity of Hotel Bel-Air, both properties feature luxurious accommodations steeped in comfort and privacy. Acres of gardens, many suites with private pools, seclusion in plush surroundings.

Secluded dining at The Beverly Hills Hotel

Dorchester Collection Let us look after your safety – a long list of safety procedures for your stay.

An hour south by air to the tiny, ease in, ease out, Burbank Airport and you always guaranteed sunshine. One of the most luxurious, if not the most iconic 5-star luxury hotels in Los Angeles – the home of royalty past and present is royally perched on Sunset Boulevard. The Beverly Hills Hotel has years of narrative legends are stored in the vaults, most will tell you a side street is the main entrance – no bungalow visitor of importance ever strolls the iconic red-carpet hotel entrance. Power lunches or al fresco poolside dining on a pink lounger, 80-year-old palm trees swaying gracefully in the background. Suites with patios, enjoy a mini sunbath outdoors. The rooms are flooded with sunshine and plush furnishings. Bathrooms are old school, i.e. huge stylish spaces with enough room to practice your Oscar speech in front of the wall of mirrors. Comfort comes in the form of huge fluffy towels, a beautifully deep soaking tub and separate shower. Your suite is surrounded by twelve acres of tropical gardens and exotic flowers. The famed bungalows, if these walls could talk! Originally added to the gardens for families who wanted to bring their own staff, the bungalows now celebrate a legendary heritage. Sounds like a familiar situation, pack the kiddos, reject the daily routines and give everyone a reason to celebrate being alive and well.

Dessert Beverly Hills Hotel

The West Coast sisters in the Dorchester Collection of lovely hotels reside in a small pocket of Beverly Hills – like sisters, they each exude unique personalities. I happened to visit both in February. Equally enjoy them for innumerable reasons.

Hotel Bel-Air, despite the close proximity to downtown Beverly Hills shopping and culture, is surrounded by twelve acres of lush gardens and tucked into a pocket-sized canyon. Amid towering palm and silver leafed eucalyptus trees, the Spanish Colonial design is subtle and elegant. Suites with garden patios, private plunge pools are enchanting. Move up to the hillside rooms and relish the sweeping views of the canyon from your secluded plunge pool and deck. Amid towering palm and silver leafed eucalyptus trees, the Spanish Colonial design is subtle and elegant. A hidden sanctuary amongst the wooded hills, untouched by the clamor of life beyond the gates of Bel-Air. The most quintessentially private and exclusive hotel, delivering low-key elegance since 1946. Suites with garden patios, private plunge pools are enchanting. Move up to the canyon rooms and relish the sweeping views of the canyon from your secluded plunge pool and deck. On my last visit, yes, I escape here as often as possible, a bit of spring mist kept the fireplace in my suite crackling most of the day, a cozy enclave where I cocooned and worked in between meals with my clients.

The Dorchester team is passionate about creating the exceptional moments that turn into lasting memories. To add a special touch to your stay, staff can prepare a bespoke picnic basket, bring the spa to you with an indulgent bath or even give you the ingredients to mix up your own cocktails. This is your chance to escape from it all, without ever leaving the hotel. All experiences can be booked prior to arrival or arranged anytime during your stay.

A brief menu of personal individually priced options: Let us bring the bar to you with everything you need to shake up your own cocktails. It’s a chance to channel your inner mixologist and create our signature Pepino’s Revenge. Served alongside fresh house-made tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. Picnic on your Patio – Experience the delight of dining al fresco with a delicious picnic from Wolfgang Puck on your private guestroom patio. Our menu includes your choiceof a bottle of white wine or champagne, artisanal cheese and charcuterie, a Mediterranean mezze platter, Santa Monica farmers’ market crudités, plus a selection of sandwiches and sweet treats.
Yoga in your room – For a welcome dose of workout motivation,we’ll bring yoga to your room at any time that suits. Fresh juice and healthy snacks are the perfect post-yoga treat.
All employees and guests are required to wear face masks or face coverings and maintain a minimum of 6-feet distance when interacting with anyone while on property. If you need a face mask, the hotel will provide them upon request.

To comply with social distancing guidelines, the following are open with limited occupancy: Polo Lounge, The Cabana Cafe, The Beverly Hills Hotel pool, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, the Hotel Bel-Air spa and the Hotel Bel-Air pool.

Private pool at Beverly Hills Hotel Bungalow

This is an especially stressful time, why not indulge in pampering and escape from the frenzy? Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel, two scrumptious properties, Five Star Luxury! Consider a dash away to the extraordinary, far from typical, Dorchester Sister hotels. A quick bay area/Burbank or LAX flight, the perfect mini escape, disappear and catch your breath for a few days, order in, hole up in a bungalow or suite or pony up for the grand Presidential Suite with pool, avoid the hysteria in superb comfort!

Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air | Dorchester Collection
Wolfgang Puck, Hotel Bel air
Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air | Dorchester Collection
Social Distancing has always been in place at Hotel Bel Air!

I am actually considering a partial hotel lifestyle, once we enter into ‘normal’ life again. A la Heloise, Elaine Stritch and Howard Hughes, who had a fondness for Bungalow 3 at The Beverly Hills Hotel, a 30-year fondness, in fact!

Call us for all the generous amenities bestowed! Admit it, you need and deserve a papering safe escape!

Sunday Brunch for two at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Swan Lake Hotel Bel Air