Every year Mom, Sis and I choose a new location and go on a yearly “Girl’s Weekend”. No matter where we go, we have a great time together. Our first destination was The Camelback Inn and Spa in Phoenix, almost 20 years ago, and it was fabulous. Some years we chose our destination well, and some years… not so well. This year we found a true gem in Ojai California called simply the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
We planned on the fly this year, we just happened to find a free spot in all three of our schedules. It needed to be relatively close to Los Angeles, we wanted air conditioning, a pool, room service and a restaurant on-site at a minimum. We also thought a spa would be nice, as would be a resort where we didn’t feel like we needed to do anything else. I had been to this resort about 15 years ago, knew it met our requirements, and they had available rooms – that was what clinched the deal!
Ojai itself is about a 2 hour drive north of LA International airport, sitting inland in a valley near the Los Padres National Forest. It’s still coastal desert in this area, rolling hills of grass are dotted with oaks and cacti. The town is a cute enclave which quite a few artists and musicians call home. The downtown area is filled with shops to browse through, and parks which offer concerts on the weekends. The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is located off the highway before you reach the main shopping district.
After arriving and checking into our room we scouted out the resort. The resort itself is spread out, and there are wonderful walking trails to keep you occupied. If you happen to need assistance walking, there is a shuttle that circles the resort. We were in the main building of the resort, which had a beautiful courtyards filled with seating to relax and enjoy. Beyond the main building we passed the adult pool, a large birdcage where many bright cockateels are housed, and then the dining terrace and the coffee shop. We caught the shuttle at that point and it drove us back to the main building via the herb garden. Finally we stopped near the front of the resort to watch the “pink hills”. Every night the resort will post the optimal time to watch the hills turn pink during the sunset.
One of the highlights of the resort is that you can be as active or as lazy as you choose. Our room was so comfy that we could have spent every morning having breakfast in bed and chatting. We, however, hit many of the activities offered – and there are enough to keep you very busy.
One morning we went on the morning walk through the resort and out towards town. there is a walking trail that you can take for miles. We walked through the herb garden, with a lovely veranda surrounded by fruit trees. Once back from our walk we tried a TRX class – where you use straps and your body weight to tone muscles. There are active classes offered throughout the day.
We also indulged in their exclusive spa experience, the Kuyam. This is a very hot sauna room where you relax on tiled benches and are led through the ritual of covering yourself in therapeutic muds (ALL over your body) and then through meditation. During your meditation, your ice water is kept full and lovely scented ice cold washcloths are handed to you to cool your neck, face or head. After the sauna, you shower all the mud off and relax. We decided to relax at the pool. At the pool you will find a variety of healthy fruit juices, smoothies, and healthy lunch options. I highly recommend this spa – it’s a beautiful building and the staff is top notch.
We topped off the day with a yummy dinner at the Oaks, sitting on the terrace enjoying the views of their lush golf course. The food and the company was wonderful. As the evening came on, the large oak trees started to light up with hanging lanterns. It was a lovely stroll back to the room after dinner.
The following day we went to the Artists cottage to take a silk scarf painting class. Georgia, the artist in residence, made us feel very comfortable and gave us some tips for creating very unique patterns. She also gave us confidence to try new things. There are many different classes offered at the Artist Cottage. We only had time to try one!
We then headed to the Indigo Pool – no kids here. I have not mentioned the wonderful service at this hotel yet, but now I must tell you that the service is wonderful and in some cases beyond wonderful. When we arrived at the pool, a cheerful young attendant greeted us, helped us find a nice spot out of the sun, brought chair towels and swim towels to us, adjusted our umbrella, and brought us cold ice water. And, in typical girl fashion, three of us ordered two items to split three ways – and there were no complaints and the portions were perfectly split into three trays that sat on our chaise. It was a lovely afternoon.
That night we hit Jimmy’s Pub. We were able to get a table on the patio and enjoyed the house made potato chips with our cocktails. We topped that off with a pizza and called it a day again.
This was a great escape for us! The quiet surroundings let us catch up with each other. And yet, all the activities kept us engaged and enhanced our visit. Now we want to find another wonderful spot for next year!
If you are interested in visiting Ojai Resort, just click here and look at all the wonderful things they have to offer.
Until next time, Happy Trails