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An oasis of sustainability and green comfort, Gaia Hotel Napa Valley is a guilt-free refuge where a difficult part of your yoga practiceâ€”letting goâ€”can happen without a struggle. And no hotel worth its weight in thread count would be complete without a luxury spa to erase the wrinkles from the brain and the burdens from the body.
Spa Gaia at Gaia Hotel Napa Valley offers a wide array of treatments for singles and couples. From vinotherapy with grape extracts, to Chinese herbal baths and green tea Infusions, the menu of spa treatments are meant to soothe and gently please the senses, quelling the thinking mind into submission. Bodywork standards like deep tissue and Thai massage are elevated to a new level in this state-of-the-art temple for body, mind and spirit. Layers of tension begin to release by just being in the calming, holistic vibration of green architecture.
Gaia Hotel Napa Valley is a relative newcomer to the spa scene in Northern California, yet an elder when it comes to caring for the Earth. And itâ€™s soon to be LEED certified. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. A few examples of Gaia Hotel Napa Valleyâ€™s environmental commitment include FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood materials, carpet, tile, granite and paper made from recycled materials, and solar panels. Their calming koi pond uses recycled water and their rustic landscaping is free from chemicals.
Hotel owner Kristy Chen decorated the spa herself. A custom two-sided Buddha fountain greets you as you enter, then gives way to a wall-size sculpture of flowers and plants imported from Bali. Chen, a practicing Buddhist, is passionately devoted to helping create a green culture through her work. â€śPeople need to find their Buddha mind, their pure mindâ€¦we need to make sure our minds are green.â€ť Purple and white orchids are placed elegantly throughout the space, and each treatment room has its own name, â€śLove,â€ť â€śLuckâ€ť or â€śJoy.â€ť I received my treatment in â€śHappiness.â€ť
First, I received the Thai Coconut Scrub and Rub, which used crushed rice grains in a blend of lemongrass, vetiver and coconut oil to exfoliate and polish my skin. Midway through the overhaul, I felt my brain downshift into reptilian responses of grunts and single syllable responses. I forgot I owned a cell phone. Then, a long soak in a private tub decorated with pink, red and white camellia blossoms. I dried off with my towel warmed by the warming rack, and padded back to the table to receive a Bali Spice massage.
Supposedly created in the rice farming villages of Bali, the treatment used a blend of clove, nutmeg and ginger oils to relieve sore muscles and headaches. Massage therapist Beverly Sullivan kneaded and massaged me with persistent and perfect skill. Soon she had my muscles cooperating with the dance-like motion of her hands, and I was transported into the relief of barely-breaking brain waves and breaths so light I felt I was merged into the clouds.
Gaia Hotel Napa Valley is worth the hour drive it takes to travel here from San Francisco. If youâ€™re a yoga teacher looking for a place to host a retreat, or if youâ€™re a yoga student looking to unravel deeper layers of living, explore the purity of Spa Gaia. After all, letting go is part of the practice.