Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is Better Than Ever


I recently took my sis for a week in Santa Barbara for a big birthday getaway ( one ending in an “0”.) The grand finale was a few nights stay at the (deservedly ) renown Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.

As soon as you drive off the main drag and enter the gorgeously landscaped grounds, you’ll understand how this glam resort walked away with the Triple A, 5 Diamond Award three years in a row.

If you’ve never been, put it at the top of your to-do list. If you have been, you’ll be looking for any feeb excuse for a return visit to savor the relaxed luxury that this dramatically landscaped 220 acre golf and spa resort provides.

Farm-fresh and Fabulous

Our fave eating experience was dining al fresco at Maravilla, the resort’s signature restaurant. Check out Executive Chef Jamie West’s new 2 acre herb garden, which he uses to create “cuisine that is inspired by the bounty and driven by the season, with global influence”.

It also is the perfect vantage point for The Pink Moment, (made all the better while enjoying a glass of champers) when the bells chime to announce the last rays of light have hit the mountain peaks, creating a becoming blush.

Warm Vibe

The 308 rooms and sumptuous suites are beautifully appointed in a Spanish colonial-style with dark-wood furnishings and colorful accents. Most rooms offer private balconies or patios, (perfect for a little breakfast while watching golfers tee-off at the championship 18-hole course) working fireplaces, plasma flat-screen televisions, and high-speed Internet. But what really separates the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa from other lavish resorts is the exceptional service provided by everyone your path crosses. From the hard-working gardeners to the concierge, the whole staff is “on it” in the warmest way possible. (We loved the cute tongue-in-cheek retro candies at the reception desk- and no one raised an eye-brow when I stuffed my pockets with them.)

Spa Ojai Excels

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is a special place where you can actually feel your cares and woes simply ooze away. Of course, a visit to the full-service Spa Ojai for a Skin Dream Relaxation Wrap, Sun Lover’s Facial or Bindi Sugar Body Glow won’t hurt matters. Every morning we did something physical, either a power walk around the immaculate grounds, a gym work-out, or a yoga /pilates class, so we felt no guilt lounging around the pool all afternoon. We had talked about signing up for one of their rock-climbing expeditions, but talk was as far as we got.

Artist’s Cottage and Apothecary

Veronica Cole, the gracious PR manager strongly urged us not to miss the terrific activities offered at the charming Artist’s Cottage and Apothecary. We signed up for the Essential Oil Custom Blending Class and joined two other girlfriends, also celebrating a birthday, to sniff and smell, mix and match, laugh and learn, all under the holistic tutelage of the remarkable Renata Collins, until we each created a mini- flask of our own personalized fragrance. It was possibly the best birthday present ever.
With total modesty, I announced my “Exotic Eastern Madness” with its seductive hints of blood orange and myrrh, to be the winning scent. Renata also offers creative art sessions, such as making a Personal Mandala, a unique life journaling experience, and a new precious metal clay class- all perfect for girlfriend getaways.

Added Value:

The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa’s most exclusive accommodation is Casa Elar, an exqusite 10,400 sq. ft. villa, which could be the cover shot for an “Incredibly Rich and Famous” show. For trust fund bambino’s, girlfriends on a splurge, or friends and family looking to celebrate and connect, this fully staffed, Italian-styled villa offers such complete privacy and superlative service that even Paris Hilton wouldn’t find anything to complain about. In my next life, I’m moving in.

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  1. richard rowe says:

    Wow, how much did you get paid for that review, I thought I was listening to an infomercial. My neighbor is a hispanic that has worked for the Inn for 30 years, and has toped out at 14 dollars an hour, what a joke, it may be five star and you are paying an arm and a leg to stay, to bad they dont pay their people enough to live in the town where they work, unless you where to pack 4 families in one house, but that would never happen. ha.

  2. Yikes, John-Who spiked your sangria? I love Ojai Valley Inn and I
    don’t hawk for anyone! I go to Ojai once every 2 or 3 years
    with my two best galpals from Portland-I am an Eastcoaster. The staff sure
    seems happy and relaxed to us…everyone is warm, smiley and talkative.
    Last trip we all( workers and guests) were commenting together how tough the
    near by fires were on everyone. Ojai is gracious and hospitable and
    employs a great number of local people which begs the question,
    “Why did your neighbor stay in the Inn’s employ for 30 years?”

  3. Well said Janie. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a beautiful place and writing a positive review. No complaints – how fantastic is that. I love the Ojai Valley Inn too. I have stayed there a couple of times and I am by no means wealthy – it’s a splurge – but it is a beautiful and relaxing setting and I feel privileged and fortunate to have stayed there. That kind of service requires a lot of employees which is great. The more people employed the better – and Richard, if you have a compaint about staff pay – take it up with management !

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