Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. As In, Aaaaaah

lavender collage ojai valley inn and spaFaithful readers of this blog might be gobsmacked to learn of our stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.  I am renowned for frugality. And this is a 5- star destination with a decidedly pricey reputation. How our four-day visit came about was kismet; it allowed me the chance to tell YOU, dear readers, why you should save up your hard earned nickels for a stay here.  This place really is that special.

First off, when I told travel buddy Denise Vivaldo we were going to the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa for my birthday, I knew SHE had done so a few months earlier.  “Oh honey, that is my FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!”  Good response.

Then I told her the scoop on how it came to be, NOT a blogger junket as you might anticipate how this is going.  I won a $1500 gift certificate to the Inn.  No lie.  Larry’s eyes got THIS BIG when I won.  Mine, mine, mine.  Birthday trip ahead!  And then, we set out to basically out-spend it – heck, why not?

While the property itself turned 90 this year, I only turned 59.  Not traumatic.  It’s just a good reason to head out of town intent upon feeling good about life.

And to eat.  From poolside cocktails and small bites, golf course side bistro dining, and other outdoor spots places, we ate EXTREMELY well.

Revelation #1 from our getaway… you need to stay at least three nights.  Even with just a drive from LA (under 2 hours, worth it!), getting here, winding down, walking around, meeting the parrots, checking menus and spotting cozy places to read should take more time than a weekend. This quintessential R&R resort was deliciously designed to blow off steam, clear mental cobwebs, get you to breathe deep, slow down, sleep well, eat fine foods and watch the sun set.  We booked Sunday through Wednesday with the intention of missing crowds, and that was wise — this is one popular wedding venue.  Stunning.  Romantic.  Old money.  A celebrity hideaway (Jimmy Kimmel just wed here).


We weren’t sloths.  The daily newsletter of activities on our door knob got us going.  Each morning, we hit the 7:30 stretch class, followed by a fitness walk into the charming Ojai downtown area.  I did some yoga.  Larry took a TRX class that stretched his feet in strange ways he felt for a few days, LOL.  We walked back into town a second time daily for entertainment, more exercise, shopping, talking.

Then… day three… we hit the spa.  As in, aaaaahhhhh.  Facial for me.  Reflexology massage for me.  Facial for Larry.  Deep tissue massage for Larry.  Met up for lunch pool-side.  Then steam room for me.  Hot tub for me.  I dunno know what else he did inside the Men’s Lounge, but my guess is it was pretty relaxing in there, too.

Revelation #2 — you don’t have to do everything.  Seriously, just plan on coming back.  E.g. we didn’t golf.  But I know Denise’s husband, Kenny did because as we were getting out of our car to check in, I hear, “Patti IS THAT YOU??”  There she was, travel buddy Denise.  At the Inn.  Again!  They came for lunch and golf with visiting family. Didn’t I tell you she adores the place?

We also didn’t play tennis.  Or swim laps in the many pools (but certainly partook of  hot tubs and cabanas).  Or take a class in the art center.  Or rent bikes to ride the 12 miles to the ocean.  All honorable activities for people who like to be busy.  Maybe the next time we return.  Yes, we will definitely come back.


Part of my spa glee was the lavender.  Lavender is an Ojai pneumonic devise.  It grows everywhere, from small pots to large farms of it.  Ther

e’s Spanish Lavender, English Lavender and French Lavender.  See it, and think Ojai.  Smell it and zzzzzzzzz.  It is a relaxing aromatherapy oil.  In high school, I discovered Yardley English Lavender Soap, and requested it (successfully!) every year from Santa.  Ojai products featuring lavender are everywhere (try some Lavender Lemonade soon), as are sprigs of it throughout the Inn and Spa.  Adorable.


By our third evening, we had topped our budget and were on the downhill slide.  Having enjoyed most of the Inn’s restaurants and pubs, we jumped onto the Ojai wooden trolley and toured all around mellow Ojai and more-modest Meiner’s Oaks.  Since we weren’t interested in eating at another restaurant, let alone miss the pink sunset at “our” gorgeous Inn, we jumped off the trolley at French deli and purchased to-go salads, walked back to the Inn and picnicked in a secluded spot overlooking the herb garden, savoring birthday Malbec.  Thank you, Larry, for packing that nice surprise.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Thank-you to the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa for granting me a Media Discount Room Rate as a travel blogger so that our budget could stretch as far as possible.  I had every intention of blogging about the destination whether the rate was granted, however.  Win-win.

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa ~  905 Country Club Road, Ojai, CA 93023  ~  http://www.ojairesort.com/

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk June 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Silvia, it makes a nice day trip, believe me. That spa is heavenly.

2 Silvia June 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

What a dream!! I have always wanted to visit since is close home but I haven’t had the opportunity. Thank you for all the pictures and details it really made me feel that I needed to take my car and drive today!!

3 Mary Platis June 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

This place sounds amazing, and I hope to stay there next time I’m visiting the local
Olive Oil Farm there!

4 Jane Schwab September 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I can’t believe that it took you all these years to discover and enjoy the pleasures of the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. It is my favorite place in the world. We’ve gone to two weddings there and we’ve gone back two or three more times. I love the Inn, the quiet ambiance of the town, the weather and all things Ojai. We’ve eaten at a number of restaurants there and enjoyed them all. I’m glad you had such a great time.

5 Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought September 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I LOVE this place. I have stayed there twice, which is not enough in my book. Thanks for the reminder I need to go back.

6 Adri September 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

Luxury indeed, and so close to Los Angeles. It sounds like you had an absolutely divine time!

7 sippitysup September 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I’ve stayed there and know what luxury it really is… GREG

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