Mud baths return to Dr Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs following extensive overhaul

by Megan Whitby | 24 Mar 2022
The new menu pays homage to the past and local geology with the use of ash and hot springs
– Tracy Lee

Dr Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, the resort and spa claimed to first bring mud baths to the Californian spa town of Calistoga, has completed a multimillion-dollar restoration.

Founded in 1952 by wellness pioneers Dr John “Doc” and Edy Wilkinson, the resort has become a celebrated wellness retreat offering mud baths, spa treatments and healing mineral pool soaks.

Following a top-to-bottom renovation, the transformed resort has been redesigned to honour its past while looking toward the future with a new mid-century-inspired design.

Having reopened in May 2021, the new iteration of the resort includes the addition of an on-site restaurant, updated guest rooms, a new pool area and a thorough remodelling of the spa facilities.

Adding the final touch to the wellness resort’s redesign, the reopening of the mud baths marks the completion of the property’s renovation by design firms SB Architects and EDG Design.

“We’re thrilled to once again welcome guests and spa-seekers to experience our signature mud baths,” said Jose Ortega, general manager of the wellness resort.

“We’re proud to announce that the mud baths are once again up and running, using the same secret-formula mud mixture of organic, local Calistoga volcanic ash perfected by Doc Wilkinson almost 70 years ago.”

The reimagined spa, designed by TLEE Spas, combines natural finishes, terrazzo stone floors, cedarwood and recycled porcelain tiles to create the ideal balance of relaxation and rejuvenation.

The spa features four completely renovated treatment rooms, a new outdoor spa garden for al fresco treatments, four indoor mud baths and seven indoor and two outdoor mineral baths.

Facilities also include a cold deluge shower and a dedicated geothermal mineral pool powered by Calistoga’s natural healing springs.

“An accomplished team collaborated to bring Doc's pioneering vision back to life and celebrate all that is Calistoga: mud baths, geothermal bathing, and most importantly, pleasure and fun,” said president and founder of TLEE Spas, Tracy Lee.

“The menu has been modernised but pays homage to the past and local geology with the use of ash and hot springs.

“Channelling the feel-good effects of Mother Nature, the upgrade of Dr Wilkinson's expands into the outdoors, allowing guests to enjoy the healing waters in social or solitary fashion.”

Dr Wilkinson’s unique mineral waters have been evaluated by the Balneology Association of North America, and classified as distinctive, neutralising, balancing waters with the ability to strengthen skin, balance the peripheral nervous system, reset stressed nervous systems, hydrate and detoxify.

New treatment highlights at the destination spa include The Works. Lasting two hours the journey features Dr Wilkinson’s mud bath treatment, a facial mask, aromatic mineral whirlpool bath, steamroom ritual, blanket wrap and a 30-minute massage.

Meanwhile, the 45-minute Body Brew includes a mineral whirlpool bath treatment with fresh hops, dry ale yeast, malt, barley and a local beer on the side.

Dr Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs  TLEE Spas  Tracy Lee  Calistoga  SB Architects  EDG Design 
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Dr Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, the resort and spa claimed to first bring mud baths to the Californian spa town of Calistoga, has completed a multimillion-dollar restoration. Founded in 1952 by wellness pioneers Dr John “Doc” and Edy Wilkinson, the resort has become a celebrated wellness retreat offering mud baths, spa treatments and healing mineral pool soaks. Following a top-to-bottom renovation, the transformed resort has been redesigned to
SAB
The spa has been offering mud baths and mineral water bathing treatments to improve wellbeing for over 70 years / Mark Compton
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company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
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