Retailer Restoration Hardware (RH) intends to breathe new life into a forgotten Napa Valley property. It looks to spin the former Napa Soda Springs Resort — just a 15-minutes drive from downtown Napa — into a tourist-friendly winery and guest house.
RH’s CEO Gary Friedman shared the news in a late-summer earnings call, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. While the financial terms weren’t disclosed, documents filed with the Napa Valley Recorder’s Office list the deal for $25 million, according to a report from SiliconValley.com.
RH, an upscale furniture retailer, intends to restore the former resort to a high-end guest destination, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The luxury vacation spot first opened in 1856, heralding the nearby mineral springs’ restorative health benefits. It closed shortly after World War I as natural springs became less popular.
During the earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Friedman stated that RH intends to “build an experience the world has never seen.”
That won’t come without its own challenges, of course — while some of the 1856-original structures are still standing, they were never remodeled after several fires. At the time it was built, the mineral springs resort was attended by wealthy vacationers attracted to the health halo of the water. After the closure of the resort, the property also bottled “Napa Soda” beverages, sourced from the historic springs. The building facades still stand as a seemingly haunting reminder of the resort’s former heyday.
The historic property hit the market in late 2019 with an asking price of $50 million. The 857-acre listing was available for purchase for the first time in four decades and includes an 80-foot waterfall, numerous mineral springs, and the namesake Soda Creek.
This isn’t RH’s only recent hospitality venture; earlier this month, it opened the RH Guesthouse in New York City. The luxury accommodation’s booking details emphasize guest privacy and discourage taking photos or posting to social media, according to a Sept. 8 press release:
“The RH Guesthouse has been designed through a lens of privacy and luxury. Privacy is the one thing everyone has given away on social media, and the one thing the internet has taken away, as you can access anyone online,” RH CEO Gary Friedman states. “We believe privacy is going to become a large and important market, and the RH Guesthouse has an opportunity to define that new market with an unseen-before level of design, quality and hospitality.”
While comprehensive plans haven’t yet been shared for the Napa Soda Springs renovation, the RH Guesthouse’s luxury concepts might be a clue to the historic site’s makeover.