RH, also called Restoration Hardware, has bought historic Napa Valley Soda Springs Property

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RH, aka Restoration Hardware, has bought a historic Napa Valley resort property in a $25 million deal that underscores the retailer’s gambit to diversify far past its core business of upscale home furnishings. Napa Soda Springs, a famous property that was home to a one-time resort that dates back to 1856, has been bought by RH, Gary Friedman, the company’s chief executive officer, disclosed this week in a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company’s second-quarter financial results.


The site was bought for $25 million by an affiliate linked to RH, according to documents filed on July 1 with the Napa County Recorder’s Office. This news organization reviewed the purchase deed.


“We just closed on 856 acres in the Napa Valley,” Friedman said. “It’s probably the most beautiful property in all of Napa. We own that.” When the property was listed for sale in 2019, the size was estimated at 857 acres.




At the time of the purchase, the buying group obtained a $28.2 million loan from RH (Restoration Hardware), the county documents and database records show.


The final purchase price of $25 million was considerably less than the $50 million that industry experts believed the sellers were seeking at the time the property was put on the market.


Located east of the Silverado Trail and north of the city of Napa, on the edges of the area’s main wineries, the property still contains ruins of the old resort, including the remnants of a castle-like rotunda and other crumbling structures. Ambitious plans are in the works for the historic old resort, the RH CEO said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company’s recent financial results.


Home to 27 mineral water springs, the property was once the site of a legendary resort. Historically, natural springs were seen as potential cure-alls, and resort towns popped up on spring sites around the country. By the 1930s, there were over 2,000 spring resorts in the US.  At the same time, the owners of the resort also had a factory where they bottled and sold Napa Soda, and they won the exclusive rights to use the Napa name in court. In 1897, San Francisco saloons reportedly ran out of Napa Soda, necessitating overnight shifts at the factory to restock. The drink was a 19th century Bay Area food trend, an early precursor to kombucha and Soylent trends of today.

Organic farms might be part of the revamped property, according to Friedman. The just-bought property is one of Napa Valley’s largest contiguous parcels of land.

The first resort hotel opened on the Napa Soda Springs property in 1856. In 1877, a formal ball introduced the just-opened Rotunda buildings to guests. By 1881, the Soda Springs Resort had opened to overnight guests.


“It still has the ruins. It’s where we’ll build a guest house and residences and a winery,” Friedman said of the Napa Soda Springs property during the conference call. “We have some of the best soil in all of the Napa Valley.”


During the early 20th century, with the onset of Prohibition and the disruption of World War I, the resort’s popularity waned. The resort, though, continued to sell Napa Soda extracted from springs on the site. A fire roared through the property in the 1940s, although the soda bottling plant survived. A second fire sometime in the 1960s ruined the remaining buildings. Despite the fires, remnants of the Rotunda and other intriguing structures survive to this day.


The property is close to world-class and famous wineries along the Silverado Trail and the main roads through the Napa Valley, as well as an array of upscale restaurants and lodgings.


Corte Madera-based RH is launching guest homes in some of the nation’s premier destinations. In New York City’s Manhattan borough, the company recently opened RH Guesthouse, which features six bedrooms, three suites, and Friedman’s private residence, which occupies the entire top floor. The private residence is sometimes available for booking.


Each of the rooms and suites in RH Guesthouse include two full bathrooms, a freshly stocked gourmet pantry, an in-room fitness center, and exclusive use of the private rooftop garden, pool, and dining terrace. RH Guesthouse is located in Manhattan’s famed Meatpacking District.


Rooftop terrace and swimming pool at RH Guesthouse, 55 Gansevoort St. in New York City. 

A luxury destination resort in Colorado is also in line for an RH Guesthouse.

“We already have a second one teed up in Aspen,” Friedman said on the conference call.

An Aspen-based developer named Mark Hunt is working with RH on multiple real estate endeavors in Aspen. Hunt is also linked to the RH property purchase of the Soda Springs Resort land, the county documents show.

RH is also eyeing a metamorphosis of its ruins-dotted property in Napa. The retailer intends to transform the old Napa Soda Springs Resort into a crown jewel of what appears to be a widening real estate empire.


“We’ll build an experience the world has never seen,” Friedman said.



Patti Neumann is Founder of CITYPEEK.com & an award-winning website & blog. Based in Napa Valley & Baltimore, she is one of the region's top Social Media Publicists and Influencers on food, sips, hospitality & the good life.

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