Louise Speaks: As usual the most important thing to Patricia, author of “1000 Places To See Before You Die” are places to sleep or places to eat. Ojai is a spanish style colonial style village just north of Los Angeles. The hidden town was the setting for Frank Capra Lost Horizon in 1937. Ojai was the tranquil sunny paradise that served as the perfect movie set. There really isn’t that much in Ojai, but there are two very nice resorts.
Our first stop was at The Oaks at Ojai. The Oaks at Ojai is an all-inclusive destination spa. The Oaks is a peaceful, healthy fitness retreat offering guests everything from guided hikes into the mountains, to aquatic workouts under the warm Southern California sun, and winding down the day with calming restorative yoga. The Oaks provides a casual, welcoming environment in the unique town of Ojai, known for being franchise-free and foot-friendly. Guests can come on their own or with a friend for a quick two night getaway, a long vacation, or even just for a day of pampering and feel the embrace of a truly caring staff.
One thing I found very unique was that while on our tour we didn’t see any men. I asked about this and was told that men are definetly welcome but it seems to atttack women most due to the spa packages. It seemed to be the perfect place for a girls getaway or a mother / daughter weekend. The hotel manager gave a wonderful tour so that we could get a sense of the calmness the resort had to offer. She also explained to us that if a single woman choses to come to the resort alone, they offer to supply a room mate. Not sure how good of an idea that is to share a room with someone you have never met, but it does open up the door to going to a resort without having to pay double occupancy.
The stay at the Oaks at Ojai include several choices of programs and activites geared towards health and wellness. as well as all your meals. Treatments go from Skin Care to Salon Services and everything in between. Meals are based on calories and are pre determined, but they do have a second choice in case there are allergies or other concerns. However, there is not a menu selection it is two choices only. Most stays are for at least two days, but they have weekly rates as well.
Across the street from the Oaks at Ojai is the Ojai post office. The post office is famous for it’s 50 foot bell tower. You can go up the tower to see views of the Ojai Valley. There is a small courtyard complete with fountain right next to the post office where you will see many of the locals sitting there with their pets reading a book. The main street in town has many shops and places to eat and of course ice cream. Although Ojai is an agricultural town it’s many specialty shops attract plenty of tourist.
Our final stop in Ojai was the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. In 2006 the legendary Ojai resort debuted 305 guest rooms and suites, a new lobby and entrance, new golf shop, new restaurants, and new ballrooms and meeting spaces, while preserving its original charming architecture and unique sense of place. Throughout the years, the Inn has hosted many celebrities, musicians, dignitaries and politicians. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa retains its sense of place staying true to the people who first built it. Amid an unsurpassed natural landscape with diverse appeal to families, couples, golf getaways, girlfriend getaways and multi-generational guests, the Inn remains one of the finest resorts in North America.
The Ojai Valley Inn is lined up with an east-west mountain range. The Inn is one of the few spots in the world to have a “Pink Moment” which occurs as the sun is setting. The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs, over 6,000 feet above sea level at the east end of the Ojai Valley. It is a rare and magical moment that thousands of visitors come to Ojai annually to see.
I personal love the town of Ojai. It is a pet friendly town with so much to see and do. Between shopping, eating and having the cutest ice cream shop one could easily spend a most enjoyable day here. I would rate the town of Ojai, a B. I’m not that sure about staying at the resorts but I could easily spend a day in Ojai and enjoy every minute of it.