Some hotels are places to stay overnight. Others feel themselves and themselves as targets. Award winning Ojai Valley InnThe sprawling 220-acre resort in the small and picturesque Southern California town of Ojai falls into the latter camp.
It all starts with driving and putting greens in former deciduous oak trees. Pulling into Valet Circle, the magical Spanish hacienda-style architecture really comes into focus. After check-in, guests can choose to walk or take a golf cart to their room. No matter which mode of transport you decide on, it’s worth the long drive to reach the land where fragrant lavender flowers and citrus trees glisten in the sunlight.
The Ojai Valley Inn has a wide variety of rooms and suites – all decorated in warm tones and equipped with luxurious modern amenities. Some have fireplaces and private balconies, while others feature giant bathtubs and local art.
Variety remains a consistent theme throughout the property, offering an endless array of activities aimed at groups, families with children and couples. The interactive beekeeping experience and honey tasting are especially popular. Recreational facilities include a multi-court tennis center and championship golf course, which over the years have attracted casual players, professionals and socialite celebrities such as Bob Hope and Kevin Costner.
If you prefer to focus on leisure, this is definitely possible. Make an appointment at Spa Ojai for a specialty massage, a radiant botanical facial, or an orange blossom and honey body wrap. Wellness programming goes far beyond traditional treatments. Pilates, yoga, meditation, health talks and stretching are some of the holistic offerings. The Artist’s Cottage hosts creative workshops on painting mandala stones, making candles and handcrafting aromatherapy blends.
Right in the middle of it all, yet somehow secluded, the adults-only Indigo Pool is perfect for ordering a cocktail before diving into a good book. The sounds of children splashing and laughing echo from the family-friendly Pixie Pool, featuring toys, floats and poolside cabana service that will appeal to guests of all ages.
The Ojai Valley Inn has an impressive collection of gourmet outlets. The Oak serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an indoor-outdoor setting overlooking the golf course and mountains. An atmospheric restaurant with a grown-up vibe, Olivella showcases California cuisine with Italian influences. Jimmy’s Pub has microbrews on tap, as well as salads, burgers and wood-fired pizzas. You can pick up coffee and pastries from Libbey’s. There is also a juice bar and a spa cafe with healthy fare. The Farmhouse in Ojai is a unique gourmet destination that hosts seasonal culinary events and world-class chef tasting dinners.
The best food
Location: Ojai, California
Rating: Five stars
Vibe: Citrus-scented, this elegantly relaxing Ojai retreat is set against a backdrop of rolling mountains.
Food + Beverage: With seven culinary options – from grab-and-go breakfast to fine dining – you’ll never go hungry (or thirsty).
Amenities: numerous restaurants; two swimming pools; spa; Artist Cottage and Apothecary; Fitness center; Golf Course; Tennis courts; bicycle rental; event location
Our favorite thing about the hotel: Incredible activities and leisure activities.
5 Nearby Attractions: Los Padres National Forest, Ojai Valley Museum, Valley View Preserve, Ojai Valley Road
Any Private Neighborhood Recs? Ojai has a quaint, walkable downtown with many local boutiques and restaurants. The Ojai Tortilla House combines great burritos with no-fuss, cash-only fare. Share some delicious seasonal plates from Elote Fries, Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Golden Beet Tostadas. Nest. Interested in sampling local wine? Walk on it Casa Barranca Tasting Room.
Rooms: 303 spacious rooms and suites, plus private villas
Price: Rooms start at $679 per night
Nearest airport: Santa Barbara Airport
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