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“Quietude” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pepper Tree Retreat

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Pepper Tree Retreat
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1130 McAndrew Road, Ojai, CA 93023   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 9 Ojai B&B and Inns
san francisco
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Quietude”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Delightful staff, basic but spacious and very clean accommodations, beautiful grounds. Very basic breakfast yet organic and gluten-free options. Help yourself to the fruit trees and herb garden. Good respite, be sure to arrive as early as possible to take a walk around during daylight, and don't miss the sunset. As a non-profit, no room tax is charged, adding to the good value here.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    128
    27
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18
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

This wonderful little resort nestled in the Ojai Valley is truly unique. It is quieter than any place you'll ever go and the staff is super nice. The rooms are sparse but the beds and location make it a must see. Don't come here to drink wine, stay up late or be noisy. This is a respite for all of that. It's just good living in a peaceful place

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

The Pepper Tree Retreat in Ojai is the former home of philosopher Krishnamurti.
Ojai is a very special, small town located just south of Santa Barbara and just North of Ventura.
Even if you just visit Santa Barbara, Ojai is a must see while you visit S.B., lots of unique
artistry shopping, organic restaurants (try the Farmer and the Cook), outdoor bookstore, beautiful
gardening shops, and more.
The Pepper Tree was very clean, the grounds beautiful and very natural to the region of Ojai.
I thought the price was reasonable too; often times smaller retreats that are off the beaten path
or historical, can be on the price side but for the offer we received, it was a very good value
and Ojai was fun and easy to get around. Check out Ojai when you are in the area. : )

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We have been here twice already in the last year and absolutely love it. It is wonderful to be able to live in such a peaceful environment with great service and locality. The whole process is very easy and we will be doing this trip again soon. The library is amazing and the garden makes for a good reading spot. It is a quiet retreat where alcohol and non-vegetarian food is not allowed. We've stayed in the Lennon room and Huxley room so far, and both were nice.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Richmond, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

My fiance and I stayed at Pepper Tree last summer in the Stravinsky suite. We felt like we were stepping back in time and were honored to learn that physicist David Bohm had also stayed in that particular suite when he had visited Pine cottage years before. The suite itself was refreshingly cool and filled with tons of books for reading and learning more about Krishnamurti or just escaping into a mystery or historical fiction. The bed itself is a tempurpedic mattress so, needless to say, it was incredibly comfortable. We enjoyed sitting out on the calm patio to drink tea or coffee while gazing at the orange groves with the mountains in the distance. In fact, nothing quite compares to that peace. While taking that in, one understands why Krishnamurti loved this place and chose to live out his days here. What else could be better than walking out your front door in the morning and grabbing an orange or two off one of the trees and making fresh juice? What travelers need to understand is that this place is not just a standard "retreat". It is a sacred place. If you know nothing about the man who lived here and his teachings, take a minute or a day to visit the library and talk with Michael or any of the people who work here about the teachings of Krishnamurti. It could change your life. Pepper Tree is a gift to humanity that offers a chance to take walk the routes that K walked when he was there, sit back and do nothing, or look at the night sky as you've never seen it, replete with billions of stars.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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World
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

I am writing a review of Peppertree retreat not based on its philosophical background or my sentiments towards the founder (which is very positive), but rather as compared to other places I've stayed during my extensive travels -- I care a lot about how well a place is managed as much as how clean and quiet it is. Management sets the tone on how a guest is treated.

I gave Peppertreet a 2 star rating because of the entirety of my experience there which included a very bad checkin experience.

Before checking in I was given a lecture about my intention to the tone of, if you don't agree we are happy to provide a refund. Imagine having travelled there and counted on staying at this place and having received several emails and calls welcoming me to the place and then on the day of arrival getting told, if you don't agree with something (which was not even in their written conditions) we give you a refund (and effectively, you can go away) -- not a very welcoming tone to start a stay -- what do you do? Tell them, this is an unacceptable and rude way of treating a guest and go away? I almost felt bullied given the circumstances. You are told you are welcome to stay - then when you make all your plans and show up you're given a hard time and offered a refund if you don't accept something which was a non issue to begin with -- just imaginations (and while alive, the founder spent a lot of time warning his listeners about image making)... Pretty mind-boggling.

The well-managed places I've stayed at would never do that -- they would always review the booking and if they see any issues whatsoever they tell you immediately -- or at least they don't send you several emails welcoming you and then last minute after you've made all your plans and showed up to tell you well if you don't agree with this we give you a refund. Not cool to say the least.

And it wasn't like my visit was a surprise. The executive director who did this said he was aware of my reservation -- so there is no excuse for this behavior except for deficiency in management skills. A professional manager would have handled this very differently.

Of course I agreed with it because it was a non issue anyway -- it was completely unnecessary and if management felt it was necessary they should have pointed it out early on -- not the last minute before check in.

A few months earlier I received a set of ground rules, which again was completely unnecessary because I had never broken the rules of the place to begin with in any of my past stays -- and none were ever pointed out because it simply had not happened.

The list of rules were long and mind-boggling. I have never seen any place have so many rules -- and this spirit seems so contradictory to the founder's philosophy of education and specific quotes I can think of relating to this very subject. They must get a lot of weirdos there to have to set up so many rules - or is it more about themselves?!

I respect all rules without even reading them because I am a respectful person and use common sense - and have traveled and stayed at a lot of places and never had a problem with any ground rules, including this place which I've visited for several decades and stayed many times at (before it changed its name to "pepper tree").

Aside from this terrible experience during check-in, the other staff were friendly and nice. Except one who was asking me about the timing of my visit to the factor outlet (which luckily was before I arrive there and not during otherwise perhaps there would be a case made against me that during a retreat he went shopping :-) You never know! I've seen so many things get fabricated out of this place by people who apparently didn't understand or didn't live or ??? the founder's message? But I leave all that behind every time and go afresh -- but what appears to be gotcha questions or the whole checkin experience are not pleasant experiences.

I love the property - the setting - region - rooms - it's really special. Te air conditioned is quite loud - you can even hear other rooms' A/C. Some of the staff seem stressed and caffeinated. When alive, the founder posed a key challenge around this subject!

So the key reason around a 2 star rating is treatment. That's better than last times no-star (or negative) so it's on the mend. Hopefully, next time I'll give them a better rating if I am not subjected to the checkin experience. I don't want to elaborate on this and I hope they don't come back here bringing an excuse because there was no excuse. No matter what - they knew I was coming - if they wanted to impose additional rule which was not in their already extremely extensive set of rules they should have contacted me before. Anyway, their additional rule was silly at best and probably that's why it wasn't written in their long list of rules which I respect, always have respected, and have no problems with. I did accept the new rules too but it was not necessary -- it didn't make a bit of difference in how I behaved because I always behave civilly and respectfully anyway (even when provoked - let's not go there) - so all it did was to create stress -- or maybe it was a last ditch effort to not have me stay because I have in the past at times challenged the way this foundation has run but the bulk of the work of the founder itself was a challenge to tradition so I don't know why challenges are so unwelcome. They have come a long way since saying "nobody from the outside is able to comment about the work of the (public, non-profit!) foundation".

On the other side is the founder with his amazing set of teachings -- if people would really take on his challenges -- and study it deeply -- not a passage here and there as most people do -- but deeply -- and apply it in their daily life...

While there, make sure you buy a couple of books and study it deeply -- and get a few more later too -- there are a lot of hidden gems in the pages...

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

A wonderful place to stay for a romantic weekend in Ojai. The rooms were lovely and the people were wonderful. A great weekend breakfast. The property is well maintained and so peaceful. It's exactly what we needed!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pepper Tree Retreat

Address: 1130 McAndrew Road, Ojai, CA 93023
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Ojai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Pepper Tree Retreat Hotel Ojai

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