There’s a lot of time between now and Thanksgiving people… no more 3 day weekends on the horizon, no more short Friday’s to look forward to etc., but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice up the weekend and plan a short escape from reality – even if only just for a night or two. Take it from me, if you’re looking for a little R&R and a little change in scenery, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa should be the first place to consider on your quest for a getaway destination. This “little” oasis is located an hour or so North, and as sweet and humble as it is that they refer to their hotel as an “Inn”, it’s actually a surprisingly sprawling resort that is best explored by way of golf cart. I enjoy a good walk at least, but what an incredible, peaceful, relaxing delight this little privately owned gem this place is! Between 4 pools, a perfectly manicured golf course, fine dining with views, a world renown spa, impeccable friendly service, and an overwhelming sense of the most sweet, sweet serenity… how have we all stayed away this long? But that’s not all worth noting about The Ojai Valley Inn, there are still 5 crucial points I need to make sure we discuss, so sit back, relax, and start dreaming. And if you’re not at least tempted by #3 I think it’s best we reconsider our friendship.
1. The Spa.
The Ojai Valley Inn Spa puts the “ahhh” in spa; this is what the top of the line, 5 star spa facilities and treatments look like – I now know first hand. The warm, Moroccan inspired interior with its cozy fireplaces and soft cushy lounge chairs will beg you to stay and relax all day. There are plenty of spa packages to choose from including your usual massages, facials, body scrubs etc but they offer more than your average treatments as well. At the Ojai Valley Spa you have the unique and one of a kind option to experience what they call “Kuyam” – it’s the only treatment of it’s kind in the US and it involves applying cleansing desert clays to your skin. I didn’t have the chance to experience Kuyam this trip but I have every faith I’ll return soon enough to give it a whirl as it was so highly recommended by the spa staff.
2. The ‘Adults Only’ Pools.
This is a resort that prides itself on making guests feel as if they’ve got the whole place to themselves so to speak, and it’s certainly most evident while relaxing by the pool: the ‘adults only’ pools particularly. You can find a small and serene pool attached to the Spa, or you have the option to wander down to the Herb Garden Pool for a little more space and excitement. I love kids, we love kids, but there’s something so inexplicably satisfying about sitting with a book under an umbrella, undistracted, zoning out over the stillness of such a peaceful pool. With a glass of white wine or freshly squeezed juice in hand of course.
3. Roasting S’mores Over the Fire Pits In the Fragrance Garden
When I read my first “daily activity” sheet that was delivered every morning to our room, my eye mysteriously fixated on nothing else going on that day besides “S’mores in the Fragrance Garden”. Judging by my obvious sweet tooth I’m sure you’re surprised that all I wanted to do was make myself 50 delicious marshmallow morsels that evening. The good news is that they offer s’more roasting every day! From 6 -9! It’s practically unacceptable for you to forego the opportunity; bring some wine, cozy up, and enjoy one of our most favorite, classic treats.
4. The Most Magical Dinner, Maybe Ever, On the Patio At Maravilla
I knew the Ojai Resort was beautiful, tucked away, surrounded by rolling hills and such, but it was not until I had my first dinner on the property at Maravilla that I discovered just how truly magical, yes… magical, this place was. If you have the option to dine on the Maravilla patio you must; come around sunset and watch the vast sky change colors over the hills and eventually fade into a moonlit night. All the while enjoying a truly beautiful and mouth-watering meal – this is a restaurant who values presentation and without a doubt they know how to do it and do it right.
5. The Most Gorgeous Grounds and Landscaping You’ve Ever Seen.
Well, if you’re in LA the grounds of the Ojai Resort are quite possibly the most gorgeous you’ve ever seen, possibly even prettier than the Getty’s gardens. The Ojai Resort is home to some of the most unusual and beautiful succulent plants I’ve ever seen in one place, many of which inspired a number of design ideas for my own future home, which if all goes well will feature a front yard full of similar desert plants. Beyond the succulents, the vibrantly green golf course, and the flowers and trees that liven the resort, a walk through their Herb Garden (with a glass of wine perhaps?) is an absolute treat – it will leave you envious of their ability to have such a garden but appreciative and impressed all the same. Such a beautiful place is difficult to imagine exists right here in California, if you thought you’d have to travel to far away lands to experience such a high-class relaxing retreat, you don’t – the Ojai Resort is practically in our backyard!