Ingredients such as local honey, farm-grown tomato leaves, and fresh-cut grass make their way into custom spa treatments at Forestville's bucolic Farmhouse Inn. (Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn)

Farm to Spa: Northern California resorts are serving fresh, seasonal R&R

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Farm to table food has been lauded for its sustainability and it's been a feature on restaurant menus for years, but what about using farm-fresh ingredients at the spa?

These days, the poshest spas in Northern California's most gorgeous settings are incorporating local, seasonal ingredients into their lotions and potions for massages, facials and more. The fresher the product, the more more nutrient dense, which means greater efficacy of the products. Plus, when you're slathered down with the lavender that grows just outside, you get a unique connection to the land around you.


When you're ready for serious R&R combined with the best natural and hyper-local ingredients, book a treatment at one of these luxurious spas from Carmel Valley to Napa Valley.

The Four Seasons in Calistoga is the newest comer to the Napa Valley resort scene. Expect local mud treatments at the Spa Talisa.(Courtesy of Four Seasons)

Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Napa Valley

Calistoga has a long history as a spa destination thanks to its hot springs and mineral-rich soil thick with volcanic ash. Spa Talisa will continue that tradition once the new Four Seasons opens here in mid-2021 (as of August 2021, the hotel is accepting reservations). Expect treatments to incorporate the region's famous mud as well as antioxidant-boosting grape seeds and olive oil sourced directly from the resort grounds. After your appointment, become one with the spa gardens where Native American steam decks and a sunken whirlpool with vineyards views promise to deepen the tranquil vibes. // 400 Silverado Trail North (Calistoga), fourseasons.com

Carmel Valley Ranch hosts massages outdoors beneath its leafy oak trees. (Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch)

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is literally the bee's knees thanks to the property's 7,000-plus lavender plants that provide food for the 250,000 buzzing pollinators that live in the resort's own apiary. Spagoers can enjoy the fruits of the bees' labor during an hour-long lavender honey manicure ($65) and pedicure ($95)—imagine how soft your digits will be after a mask of lavender-infused honey—or the Bee Beautiful Body Therapy in which you'll get an exfoliating facial polish made from the hive's royal jelly and be wrapped in a cocoon after a rubdown with honey and calendula ($235). // 1 Old Ranch Road (Carmel), carmelvalleyranch.com

Facials and massages are infused with herbs and flowers growing on the grounds at Carneros Resort and Spa. Lounge by the infinity pool post-treatment.(Courtesy of Carneros Resort and Spa)

Carneros Resort and Spa

Lavender, rosemary, and citrus perfume the sprawling grounds of this beloved Napa stay before making their way into custom oils to be used at the spa, which overlooks the infinity pool and surrounding vineyards. The deep tissue massage soothes tired muscles with ginger, rosemary, and turmeric balm, while expectant mothers can enjoy some prenatal TLC with mandarin, lavender, and rose oil. // 4048 Sonoma Highway (Napa), carnerosresort.com

All visitors to Calistoga must try the signature mud bath just once—we like it best at Indian Springs.(Courtesy of Indian Springs)

Indian Springs

Devotees of the Calistoga mud bath are making reservations to be caked with the healing stinky stuff this summer at Indian Springs where the resort's mud room is set to reopen after a renovation on June 1st. Touted for its detoxifying powers, the mud remains in its pure natural state, infused with local hand-sifted volcanic ash and mineral water sourced straight from the property's springs, which will also be used to rinse off the mud afterward. The mud bath is a must-try experience either on its own or before a spa massage. Also look for CBD-infused treatments including an invigorating coffee and salt scrub. // 1712 Lincoln Ave. (Calistoga), indianspringscalistoga.com

The Spa at MacArthur Place is infusing its springtime spa treatments with lavender sourced from neighboring Matanzas Creek Winery.(Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa)

The Spa at MacArthur Place Hotel

Just a few blocks from Sonoma's historic town plaza sits a timeless Victorian house that once was home to a wealthy local family but is today the MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, a 64-room boutique stay set among flowering gardens with peaceful Sonoma feels. (The place enjoyed a lavish refresh back in 2019.) The spa has recently partnered with nearby Matanzas Creek Winery, known for its delightful terraced lavender gardens, to offer the ultimate in relaxation during lavender season. Book the Sonoma lavender massage ($165-$285) as well as other seasonal spa indulgences such as the springtime citrus and kale custom facial ($165). // 29 E. MacArthur St. (Sonoma), macarthurplace.com

The lush landscape at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is filled with herbs and flowers used in spa experiences.(Kodiak Greenwood)

Post Ranch Inn

Popular among couples seeking rest and romance (especially for destination weddings and honeymoons), this Big Sur retreat is famous for its drop-dead stunning coastal locale surrounded by forest and gardens. Sign up for Post Ranch Inn's Herbal Nature Walk ($160) to start the day with a sunrise walking tour. You'll forage for relaxation-inducing herbs and then, before bedtime, enjoy a bath infused with your own custom herb collection. There's also the Big Sur Sea Soak Ritual ($150) that combines local sea salt with hand-harvested herbs and fresh flowers. // 47900 CA-1 (Big Sur), postranchinn.com

Farmhouse Inn blends local honey as well as the farm's own produce and fresh cut grass into relaxing spa treatments—as well as in dishes at the restaurant.(Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn)

Farmhouse Inn

Reopening to guests on May 1st, this family-owned boutique hotel, tucked into the woodlands of the Russian River Valley, is nothing if not personal: Owner Joe Bartolomei harvests local honey himself to be employed on menus at both the spa and restaurant. Other seasonal spa treatments highlight truly farm-fresh ingredients: Tomato leaves and fresh cut grass find their way into the Farmhouse Body Scrub ($215), blended with organic olive oil and sea salt; the Swedish massage ($210-$310) evokes the surrounding redwoods with a custom oil blend of local lavender and bergamot with earthy patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver. Care for a cocktail? Ask for the Scrub, Rub and Shrub where ingredients from the Farmhouse kitchen garden are mixed into a post-treatment drink. // 7871 River Rd. (Forestville), farmhouseinn.com

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