The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a luxury resort about an hour and a half northeast of Los Angeles. About 14 miles inland from the coast, this little escape, nestled in the foothills of the surrounding mountains, is bursting with charm and it’s the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. In fact, while my husband Johnny Jet and I were visiting, we happened to see the newly named Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock from the ABC show The Bachelorette pull up in a shiny turquoise Bentley with one of her dates. Love the show or hate it, they sure do know how to scout out some of the most swoon-worthy destinations in the world to film their on-location dates. This place has romance written all over it.
The resort has a history that dates back to the early 1920s when it originally opened as a private country club and golf course. Over the decades, the resort grew in size and acclaim, drawing a Hollywood crowd looking for a place to escape the bright lights and it was where the Tracy/Hepburn film Pat and Mike was filmed in 1952. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has seen a handful of renovations and today, its idyllic setting makes it one of the most beautiful spots I’ve seen in California.
There are 308 guestrooms and suites throughout the resort, ranging in size from 425 to 1,200 square feet. All the rooms feature modern amenities (flat screen TVs and WiFi), wrapped in the charm of the Spanish colonial design that’s reflected in each room. Our room was plenty big but unfortunately, because I was sick for most of our stay there, I didn’t spend much time outside of the bed. But the oversized, deep soaking tub was perfect for relaxing before bedtime and the fully furnished patio offered a nice spot to dine al fresco.
The 31,000-square-foot Spa Ojai was conveniently located near our room. (The property is quite expansive; guests can be shuttled by golf cart to get around.) I came close to cancelling my appointment because I was feeling so unwell but I’m glad I didn’t. The treatment, a 50-minute relaxation massage, was just what I needed. Besides the numerous treatment rooms, there are also two pools and a fully equipped workout facility.
But beyond the typical offerings you’re likely to find at most resorts, The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has a real wellness focus, too. There’s a Mind and Body studio for yoga and meditation. There’s an Artist Cottage, where, under the guidance of a resident artist, guests are encouraged to unleash their inner creativity and awaken their sense of self-expression through drawing, water colours and glass painting among other art forms. And the on-site apothecary is pretty unique, too. Guests can have their own personal fragrance custom developed. You can have your scent captured as a perfume or have it made into a full line of products.
The Golf Course
Golf, schmolf. I can’t think of anything that bores me more. But even I wasn’t immune to the breathtaking views of the stunning championship golf course at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. If you love to golf, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to golf here. The resort website offers all kinds of useful information about the course if you’re into that stuff … apparently it’s an 18-hole golf course that plays 6,292 yards with a par 70, rating of 71.0 and a slope of 132 (yawn). But even if you are completely indifferent to golf and anything golf-related (comme moi), you’ll still find yourself gazing longingly at the greens. They’re that gorgeous. You may even find yourself contemplating taking up the sport because here in Ojai, this seems like a pretty perfect, picturesque way to spend the day.