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“Gorgeous weekend for 24” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Dent House

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The Dent House
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4100 Matilija Canyon Road, at Matilija Canyon Ranch, Ojai, CA 9302   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Los Angeles, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Gorgeous weekend for 24”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Just spent the weekend at the Dent House, Guest Barns, and Farmhouse. We have a large group of 20 and 30 somethings that go away every year for Halloween weekend. We've been to some spectacular places and this was our favorite. We all went in prepared for serious rusticness, dirtiness, and ants based on the other reviews from this website and were shocked when we found the place to be absolutely spotless. Each of the houses had its own special charm (the beautiful Crafstman Dent House, the stone East Barn, and the cottage with porch view of the stream) And it couldn't be in a more stunning track of land. We hiked up to waterfalls and swimming pools, took dips in the nearby hot springs, wandered the fruit orchards picking pomegranates, grapefruits, and oranges to cook with.

It's an absolutely perfect, ideal place to spend a weekend or a week or a month, however long you have. Denise, who organized things for us, was the best a person could hope for. And Jim and his wife, who manage the property, were such a wonderful resource. They were so kind, showing us different parts of the property to explore, and helping us immediately with any question or concern we had. It was like having a personal concierge right on your doorstep! And Jim, who's spent his whole life on ranches, is a true gem. He added so much to the experience and made us want to come back again.

Bottom Line: If you were turned off in any way by the reviews on this website, don't be. They are, simply put, WRONG. The place is spotless and beautiful and one of the most stunning retreats a person can take in Southern California. Perfect for big groups. Go as soon as you can and stay as long as you can. I know we'll be going back soon.

Room Tip: The East Barn is, I believe, the little gem of this property. But any room in the Dent House is per...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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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9 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

First, the Rustic: We stayed in the Farm House and the Guest Barns. The Farm House is a quaint country cottage but pretty dirty and bare-bones in terms of comfort. Hot water was iffy, windows leaky so freezing at night without central heating (just a kind of space heater that did not heat the house properly). The caretaker and his wife were very kind and helpful, however (despite penchant for dressing in full army gear--a vet, I'm assuming) and brought over two additional space heaters and more blankets. Prepare for: lots of ants (it's an Ojai thing), and seriously stinky Sulphurous water that leaves brown residue in the tubs. This was the worst part of the trip and none of the women wanted to wet their hair in it (bring dry shampoo), although a quick shower is fine. Sulphur is also an Ojai thing (there's a mountain in Ojai called, yep, Sulphur Mountain, because of the many sulphur wells that run out of it). The GOOD NEWS: Gorgeous, absolutely stunning nature: This truly is god's country. Mountains, hikes along (and through) the river, fruit orchards galore, horses, a donkey, peacocks...it's all very beautiful and wonderful--you just have to be prepared for quite rustic accommodations. A hotel this is not.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
No. San Diego County
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2010

I'll just start by saying....I LOVE THE DENT HOUSE. Love everything about it. I spent last weekend there along with my 6 best girlfriends. This was our 9th year doing our trip and our 4th time staying at the Dent House.

A noticeable difference from our last trip was that the grounds look really amazing. All of the trees were cut back allowing more sunlight in. The lawn looked beautiful. The new caretaker was very accommodating, even chopping wood for us to to be able to use the outdoor Santa Maria BBQ. Usually in November we are not able to make use of the beautiful outdoor areas, but this year we were! There is a picnic table and hammock to enjoy as well as plenty of grassy areas to sit and read a book.

Our early Thanksgiving feast was easily made in the commercial kitchen that offers a butler's pantry with a triple sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster, microwave and enough glassware, dinnerware and servingware to host a small army. The main kitchen area offers a commercial stove/range, another refrigerator, double sink, bottled water station and beautiful views of the side yard.

The house is very "homey". We spent most of the weekend on the screened front porch enjoying the fall colors and the breezy days. A few of us did some hiking back into the canyon. We enjoyed maybe the best weather ever at the Dent House.

We all discussed how ideal this area would be for an outdoor wedding!

Upsides: Beautiful location, cozy home, comfortable beds, nature, location location location.

Downsides (if I had to think of one) would be that there is no cell phone service or internet service. The owners do provide a calling card and local phone for use. It was actually nice not having a cell phone and internet for once. Truly unplugged weekend!

LOVE THIS PLACE!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
No. San Diego County
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

Our women's group (8 moms from No. County San Diego) stayed at the Dent House 3 years in a row during the first weekend in November. Each of us has only the FONDEST memories of the Dent House. We stayed in the Main House, and there was at least one donkey whose hee-hawing each morning we found very delightful! Several of us in our group are gourmet cooks and we found the kitchen in the main house to be very well appointed. We prepared amazing meals together, drank great wine and shared each other's company in the beautiful dining room each evening. The area is known for the minerals in the water which makes your hair and skin feel great. It does tend to leave stains in the bathtubs but none of our group found that to be a problem.

The caretaker was very friendly and helpful and he offered to take us on a hike through the canyon. We enjoyed frequent visits by his three dogs. We are all dog lovers so we found it to be a bonus to have resident dog companionship. There is a nice screen porch where we watched the rain one afternoon and played cards. A step back in time! This is like a home away from home. The feather pillows and down comforters were very luxurious. We really felt like this was HOME rather than a hotel. But that is what WE always look for in a vacation getaway. A place that the 8 of us can call HOME for one weekend a year. The Dent House totally fits the bill. Did I mention that hiking Matilija Cyn is amazing?

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

First of all bring your camera!! i cant believe that everyone in our group expected someone else to have theirs with them! My only regret is that I dont have any pics to show my friends who I have been talking about my weekend with.
I first learned about The Dent House from a family member. I am happy and feel so lucky to have had the chance to stay in such a quiet and gorgeous setting. I had never been to Ojai before and i think it might be the last small town left in Southern California.
The Dent House has an interesting story. I believe the Dent House itself was a historic landmark that was disassembled and relocated up there. The entire ranch is over 500 acres and is the most beautiful place. I really cant believe it is so easy to get to from Los Angeles. A stream runs through the entire property and there are several swimming holes alone the stream. I think I went swimming in every one! There were all kinds of wildlife from a horse and burrow to exotic birds like peacocks and pheasants along with all kinds of others that i cant remember. There were even ducks too! The experience was just so relaxing and the houses were so pretty. We took a couple cases of wine up to last us the weekend because we were told it was a half hour drive to town from the ranch. Being just far enough from civilization to still be able to find it if you want it was nice and exactly what we needed.
I cant wait to go back and I have started saving for a summer trip already! You can bet that ill take pictures to post next time too!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2008

We just returned from a family reunion at the Dent House in Ojai CA. There was 23 of us and everyone had a great time. This is not a spa or resort and shouldn't be confused with one, but a great place to spend time with family and enjoy the outdoors.
We rented all four homes/cabins and everyone was quite comfortable. Everyone had their own bed and almost all of the bedrooms had adjacent private baths. We did all of our own cooking in the main house which has a commercial kitchen.

7 of the attendees were children who despite not having their usual comforts of home (computers and TV) never once complained of being bored, but much the opposite - we never got to do some of the things we had planned. The days were spent hiking to falls and swimming holes(amazing trails - just be careful of the poison oak). The kids also spent time in the swimming hole on the property, and picked fruit in the orchards, or visited the other animals on the property (chickens, horses etc.) They even got to get fresh eggs every morning from the hens and cook them for breakfast. At the end of each day the families gathered in the large common room that connects the barns to play games etc.

The only negatives - and negative is a harsh word - were that the water definetely has a sulphur smell to it, but the owners provide plenty of bottled drinking water. There were also quite a few ants, so be sure to keep all food carefully wrapped. You are in the woods, so anything left out is fair game for any creature.

Finally the caretaker Fred and his family were all very helpful and our kids enjoyed playing with his kids. The owners of the property were also great to work with on the process of planning this reunion - and were always more than helpful.

A previous reviewer of this property was clearly not happy with her experience, but I think it just truely wasn't what she wanted or expected from a vacation. Like I mentioned before - this is not for the traveler that wants to be pampered. This is for people that like the outdoors and are looking for something different, that is away from all the typical commercial stuff you see in most hotel locations. This is an absolutely beautiful serene location.

  • Liked — Getting away from
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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LA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

Wow, we just got back from a weekend at the Dent House for a friends birthday and I was going to review it. I had never been there before and didn't know anything about the place so arrived with no preconceived ideas. I’m glad that I didn’t see that review that momofthree wrote or I might have tried to talk my friend into going somewhere else.

The place is about 1/2 hour outside of the town of Ojai, deep in a canyon at the end of a road. The directions I was given by the place said to arrive during daylight hours and I can see why. The drive was absolutely gorgeous but it is a narrow two lane (and for about 100 feet a one lane!) windy road sometimes with rocks on it. You get to the end of the road, open a huge gate, and drive down what now appears to be a drive way with speed bumps. But if I thought the scenery was good on the drive in it got better here! There are two houses on the left side of the street (a giant building called the Barns, which it looks like, and a smaller one called the Farmhouse) and on the right side are two more houses (one big Craftsman style house, which is the Dent house, and a little cottage- I don't know what it was called). It turns out that all these places are part of the Dent house, so that was pretty cool. Anyway, I know it is Spring and all but what a beautiful place!
My friends and I stayed in the Craftsman house (the Dent house, apparently after the family that built it) so I can't say much about the other buildings but this place was great. There was a big kitchen with a restaurant type stove, a large dining room that seated all ten of us, fireplaces everywhere, and everything was very nicely maintained. The sheets on the bed seemed to be ironed with maybe some light starch (I like flannels myself but another friend that went with just raved about the sheets ~ to each his own I guess!) and there were soft towels and those little shampoo bottles you get at hotels (nice stuff too!). They even had Arrowhead water bottles next to the beds. I guess that was important as the water out of the taps smelled a little of sulpher and one of my friends thought it would make her hair smell funny but I washed my hair and no funny smell so all was good for me! The water was REALLY soft though! Wow! I did ask the guy who worked there about it and he said that the water in the area had a “high mineral content” and supposedly the Indians way back when would make journeys here just for the water! I don’t know that I would do that, but it wouldn’t keep me away either!
The first morning was fun. There was a big black dog that lived there, and a yellow Golden Retriever type dog that apparently was staying with some other guest that was in the little Farmhouse across the way. Anyway, they both hung out with us and played with our dogs. It is doggie heaven out there, but be prepared for dirty dogs when you get home! There are also horses, a donkey, some peacocks and ducks and chickens and I'm sure some other things too. And fruit trees that were all in bloom. I think I need to come back when the blooms have turned to fruit, although there were oranges on a lot of trees. The caretaker guy that lived there said they had apples, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, pears, peaches and even figs, kiwi and some other exotic stuff I can't remember!
Anyway, we all went for a long walk, wading through or rock hopping across streams and through more pretty scenery.
Come night fall we were all tired and grateful for the fireplaces and the comfy couch in the TV room (thank heavens for satellite television!). I slept like a rock in a very comfy bed and we did it all again the next day. The kitchen was easy to cook in, even with all of us wandering through, and it seemed to have everything we could think of. I'm sorry we couldn't have stayed longer and I'm pretty sure we'll be back again.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dent House

Address: 4100 Matilija Canyon Road, at Matilija Canyon Ranch, Ojai, CA 9302
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
The Dent House Hotel Ojai

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