Stay: July 2007
Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort Motel offers motel-quality accommodations and three mineral pools, amidst a relaxing garden-like atmosphere. The motel needs to be updated, and it's extremely expensive for what it is, but it is located in Calistoga. Its spa is reviewed separately.
How I chose this Hotel
I found this hotel on tripadvisor.com. It was the highest rated hotel, despite some negative reviews. When we learned our first choice, Golden Havens Hot Springs, was booked, we made reservations at Roman Spa
Our room was mid-sized and contained a king-size bed, two night tables with lamps, a table with two chairs by the window/AC unit, a desk with an additional chair, and a dresser with a TV. There was a small fridge, an ice bucket and glasses including wine glasses. The divided bathroom had a small bathtub/shower. There was a hair dryer but no coffee maker (not an issue for me). It was clean.
I thought the bed and pillows were fine, though of course they could not compare to my down pillows and bed at home, but Mike found the bed to be too hard. He was sore in the morning.
In all, the room was half to one notch above motel quality.
There were soap and shampoo-conditioner in the room, though obviously no conditioner or lotion.
The motel is very modest. The reception room has a small area with a couple of chairs and a table, and a bookcase with books you can borrow. No breakfast of any kind is served, though there is coffee available in front of the lobby.
The big attraction of Roman Spa are its three mineral water "pools." I'd seen them compared to motel-type pools, but I thought they were a notch above them. The vegetation around the pool produced a secluded feel and provided some shade, important on a day of oppressive heat. The pools (one regular pool, one small jacuzzi and one large indoor jacuzzi) were tiled, and once upon a time I'm sure they'd been impressive, now the colors are worn and the pools are tired. All that said, I found them very relaxing. It was nice just to seat there or float there (the high mineral water of the water increases your buoyancy level) and do nothing. The fact that there were no small children around surely helped.
The grounds also offer patio seating throughout as well as several BBQ pits, if you are in the mood for cooking your own food. There was an ice machine and two soda machines selling well-priced sodas ($1.25-$1.50 for 20oz bottles).
There is a "spa" right next to the hotel, which I've described separately. The motel doesn't really offer any services beyond those described under grounds, and they do not offer internet access.
Roman Spa Hot Springs is not a bad place to stay as long as you keep in mind that you will be staying in a motel and not a resort, and you don't mind hard beds. I'd stay here again, though I'd try other accommodations first.
Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort Motel
1300 Washington St
Calistoga, CA 94515