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Father’s Day Spa Special
Rest and Relaxation at Milliken Creek Inn & Spa
by Nirmala Nataraj on Jun 14, 2008
So you don’t know what to get Dad for Father’s Day? Instead of fussing over nondescript websites in search of a stirring yet appropriately generic gift for the big guy, consider allowing him a pas de deux with nature and the promise of a good night’s sleep. While you might not be able to get him to pack his bags in time for Sunday, a belated sojourn to Napa Valley’s premier riverside retreat, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, will be sure to impress.
If he’s a stickler for details, Milliken’s 12 suites, intimate ambience, tranquil courtyards, and bowers of maple and redwood trees should do the trick. Milliken was once an original stagecoach that dates back to 1857, so the rusticity is preserved in a rugged color palette and classic/modern appointments in each suite. Tucked away from prying tourists on Napa River near Silverado Trail, Milliken’s legendary poshness (paired with excellent, unpretentious customer service) and acres of manicured lawns (perfect for an afternoon of sunbathing or lazy lounging) are enough to give anybody glazed-over eyes.
Milliken is just a short drive away from some of the area’s most superlative restaurants and vineyards, but for guests more intent on getting a little R&R than gallivanting around wine country, the inn—tucked off the main road in a cool and private alcove—offers the perfect respite from city lights and pandemonium. The suites themselves are comfortable yet hedonistic havens stocked with tasteful details—earthy shades of brown and olive, vibrant orchids, massive Buddha head sculptures, scented votive candles, plush Frette linens, and French-Canadian whirlpool hydrotherapy tubs packed with L’Occitane bath products.
While there isn’t a restaurant on the property, all guests receive complimentary breakfasts in a basket each morning, which you can choose to eat on your own private deck, with the murmur of a terrace waterfall the only background din. Or you can opt to dine out on the gorgeous grounds—simply lounge in an Adirondack chair and watch the river drift along. In the evening, you might be tempted to sip a bottle of wine by the fireplace or watch the sky darken over the river, but Milliken’s signature Magic Hour is the perfect time to mingle with other guests and local vintners, and get a firsthand taste of some of the best bottles of wine and artisanal cheeses in the area.
If Dad is interested in Milliken’s sumptuous spa services, he’s in the right place. The distinctly Zen spa is quaint, quiet, and intimate, meaning there won’t be any other spa guests or hurried therapists to interrupt those precious moments of leisure. Because the spa’s focus is on getting you centered and prepared to deal with all of life’s chaos post-Napa diversions, tons of privacy and time to decompress are crucial to how it operates.
While there are only three treatment rooms (and the opportunity for some indulgent al-fresco massage during the summer) , close to 80% of Milliken’s visitors make sure they pay a visit to the spa. Holistic services are big here, and the product lines, Eminence Organics and Tara Spa Oil, contain top-quality botanical ingredients. Despite the diminutive size of the spa, Dad can opt for a variety of services—from the opulent Zen-sational (which includes a spa facial and full body hot stone massage) to the sleep-inducing Head, Hands & Feet Trio (which blends aromatherapy and hot stone massage on the three most responsive and susceptible parts of the body). After a bout with intense relaxation, Dad can enjoy some champagne and boutique chocolates in the spa lounge.
Overall, the enchantments here are simple yet profound. Milliken is the kind of rare oasis that offers a complete, multi-sensory withdrawal from the cares of the world. The focus on sophistication (the inn doesn’t allow children, FYI) and efficient, pleasant service are what place Milliken several notches above more lavish resorts that seek to wow you with their stature. But what Dad will perhaps enjoy most of all is the opportunity to settle in beneath kitten-soft linens and drift off without the interference of noise or dastardly street lights. The opportunity to opt out of the league of the sleep-deprived: now, that’s a Father’s Day gift he won’t soon forget.
by Nirmala Nataraj on Jun 14, 2008