Oh, how we regret not lisening to the bad reviews posted here! Instead we focused on the good reviews and decided to spend our honeymoon at the Ojai Valley Inn, even though the rooms are pricey. We booked a $500 room for three nights. As soon as we arrived we were struck by the less-than-gracious attitude of the check-in staff, who didn’t seem to care much whether we were there or not. The room itself was spacious but nothing special – in fact, the bathroom was tiny and very average (including the tacky shower curtain). Minutes after our arrival we were struck by the complete lack of serenity of our room– we could hear everything outside the doors as well as every step taken by the people in the room above us. We called the front desk and asked to be moved and, to their credit, they upgraded us to a $600-per-night room. However, the new room was actually smaller and had the same noise problems (though not quite as loud). We couldn’t figure out why it was $100 per more, except that it had a gas fireplace. We could still hear everything that the people in the room above us were doing. (We were later told that our first room was in the “original” building, which is notoriously loud – apparently they didn’t see fit to rectify this problem when they “renovated.”) Both rooms were a far cry from the “luxury accommodations” they advertise.
You’d think that a $600-per-night room would come with its own private balcony or patio, but nope. We shared a “porch” with four other rooms. No privacy there. You’d also think that a $600-per-night room would come with complimentary spa access. Nope. The same daily fee applied for using the spa, which in itself was a huge disappointment. It’s very small, with no private areas. I had just visited two other hotel spas – at the Bellagio and the Houstonian – where there were several jacuzzi’s, private meditation rooms, gracious staff, and fresh fruit and coffee available. The Ojai Valley Inn had none of these things, which was surprising considering it is advertised as “a luxury spa experience.” (There are 2 very small jacuzzi’s that are surrounded by chairs with women lounging on them – precluding any semblance of privacy for those who prefer to not wear a swimsuit.) On top of that, they charge exorbitant prices for their treatments. I could deal with that if the facilities themselves were spectacular, but like I said, they were far from it, which led me to believe that the treatments were likely not very special either.
These things were all very disappointing, but we thought we’d still make the best of it and get a couple of bikes that they have available for resort guests so we could spend the day riding the beautiful bike paths. You’d think that with a $600 per night room there might be some kind of system for reserving bikes ahead of time – perhaps also for selecting ones that are the right size -- but nope. It’s first-come, first-served for the mere dozen or so bikes available, and they go fast. We rushed to grab two bikes when we saw that there were only a few left and other guests were behind us to check out bikes too. But as soon as we got them, we were shocked by their dilapidated condition – they were old and rusted, with baskets that are broken and black with mold. They were in such bad shape that they were difficult to ride, and we gave up after about an hour because it just wasn’t fun. You’d think they could spring a few thousand dollars for some decent bikes (and more of them!), especially since they advertise biking down the beautiful Ojai bike paths as one of the “activities” at the resort.
One final note of insult added to injury. My husband had called ahead of time to let them know that we’d be on our honeymoon and to ask if they could do something special. Their response was, “oh, we have something VERY special planned for you.” We waited and waited for this “very special” thing that was coming. Finally, by the end of our stay, we finally realized that they either forgot or just didn’t care. You’d think that they would want to do something for guests who pay $500 per night to spend their honeymoon at their resort – even if it’s just a bottle of champagne or fruit basket -- but nope. Nothing.
We've stayed in Ojai before, and we love it there. But on this trip we spent the whole time trying to figure out what we were missing that would make this "resort" worth the $500 per night that we were paying – and what could make anyone call this a five-diamond resort -- but we couldn’t figure it out. We finally realized the simple truth: we were getting ripped off. Our honeymoon was virtually ruined, and we couldn’t wait to get home. We so regret not spending it at one of the other luxury hotels we were considering. I hope that you readers will learn from our experience and not waste your money on this ridiculously overpriced and overrated place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For over 80 years, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has been considered one of the best secrets among travelers. Escape to this historic resort of casual elegance featuring luxury accommodations, Spa Ojai, and a championship golf course. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has 308 deluxe guest rooms, including suites, many with fireplaces and private balconies or patios overlooking the golf course and nearby mountains. Our Spa Penthouse, Hacienda Penthouse and 75 other suites offer you the ultimate in luxury accommodations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ojai Valley Hotel Ojai
- Ojai Valley Spa
- Spa Ojai
- Ojai Valley Inn And Spa