Restoration and design | InspireDesign Innovative vision for today’s hotel


With the conversation surrounding reopening hotels after COVID and resuming business travel, what would a hotel stay and, more importantly, an important event be without food and drink? Foodservice has been one of the industries hardest hit along with the hospitality industry, putting employees out of work and the dining experience forever changed.

It seems that opening a new restaurant might seem counterintuitive, but the teams at Sightline Hospitality and Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in Calistoga, Calif., Are enjoying a difficult time, but a period when travelers are anxious to get back to eating as usual. House of Better is a new dining destination within the wellness-focused resort that blends local flavors with a memorable atmosphere.

“It was a fluke for us to build House of Better primarily as an outdoor concept,” said Jose A. Ortega, General Manager of Dr. Wilkson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs. “Most of our seating is completely outside – with climate control provisions – and even our interior space has an accordion door system that opens the room to the outside. During these times, the seats are spaced with all other COVID protocols also practiced. “

House of Better offers elevated counter service with at least six feet. distance between its tables. Customers can view and order from menus online, order over the phone, or request single-use paper menus in person, Ortega explained. “Our restaurant staff are required to wear masks, complete training in hygiene and disinfection practices, and practice safe food preparation and service,” he said.

Along with enforcing safety and sanitation protocols, the team recognized the importance of unforgettable design and cuisine, which would satisfy months of pent-up travel cravings.

“We wanted House of Better to have its own style and uniqueness compared to the rest of the property, but also in relation to the other two different architectural styles present on the property, which are mid-century modern and modern. ‘Victorian wing,’ said Maki Bara, partner, Sightlight Hospitality. “The way to achieve this was to design the restaurant to fit in with the outdoors, as an indoor / outdoor concept that took advantage of the fantastic weather as well as beautiful views of the Palisade Mountains and Napa Valley. . The buildings are contemporary and relaxed and the aged wood siding blends well with the nature that surrounds it.

In all of Sightline Hospitality’s projects, Bara explained, the company aims to create a sense of place and identity that is unique to each location, as well as honoring the particular history of the property.

“At Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort, we aim to promote well-being of mind and body – we are ‘where health meets happiness,” she said. “The House of Better embodies that value. : Customers will nourish the body with healthy ingredients in our Southwestern cuisine and drinks, but will also seek to enrich the mind with a relaxing and fun experience. “

The menu is inspired by nutrient-rich Southwestern cuisine, with a balance of comforting and healthy options. The design of the restaurant was also inspired by the surroundings of the property, taking notes of natural materials.

“The inspiration was to tap into nature – the oak grove adjacent to our property’s restaurant and the view of the Palisade Mountains,” said Bara. “The design was also inspired by a relaxed and fun ‘food truck’ feel. Turquoise-colored awnings at the bar are a whimsical accent that mimics an open garage door above. Seating is mostly found in the outdoor area covered in trellis and features brightly colored chairs and tables.

The indoor dining room has large windows on two sides and a glass system on the third side which can be opened to have that ‘indoor-outdoor’ feel… It can also serve as a private dining room or meeting room.

Bara noted that the team has noticed a tendency to both “bring the outdoors in” and to take the restaurant out, especially in places like California, which the design recognizes. House of Better.

“The restaurant was designed from the start to be an indoor-outdoor concept so that the outdoor spaces are 100% integrated into the original design,” said Bara. “The bar seats are outside against the bar building, covered with metal awnings above. The main dining room is a lattice-covered outdoor area fitted with foggers in warm weather and heat lamps in cold weather. There are shades going down to protect you from the afternoon sun as well as inclement weather. Guests also have the option of dining anywhere in the resort’s ‘backyard’ by picking up one of the colorful Fermod folding bistro chairs and tables from our ‘chair wall’ or using a picnic blanket. -nique offered to all customers by the hotel. There are also pre-arranged picnic tables and Adirondack chairs throughout the property where guests are free to dine.

Using this time as an opportunity, Bara is confident the industry will follow suit, generating creative ways to design for the restaurant business.

“We believe this year will be the year of innovative outdoor dining,” said Bara. “We’ve seen individual igloos and other private protected outdoor spaces that are both COVID-friendly and fun. We look forward to continuing innovation around outdoor seating that will be applicable even when the pandemic is over. “

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