Returned to an old friend, the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa this week. As you pull into the tree lined entrance lane to the moment you leave, the Inn delivers a pure California experience with fantastic views, a wonderfully funky Old California architecture and delightful cuisine in a great setting.
This is a multi angle destination. If it's a couples weekend with spa and great hiking and dining, check. If it's family fun in a great setting, check. If it's a guys trip for golf and fun, check.
The rooms are well appointed, and all are with views. The original Inn has rooms at the top of a large hill, and more modern rooms are spread down along a steep hill overlooking the golf course. The hill side rooms are in a Spanish style stucco building that is a maze to work your way through. There are elevators to bring you up to the top level of the resort, but it does take some managing to maneuver around. While this could irritate some guests, on balance it's a minor issue, and the result of the layout is that every room has a great view, and most have private patios.
The restaurant is outstanding quality and value with a good wine selection. A classic dining experience is outside under the oak tree if the weather is permitting. A bottle of wine, dinner under the oak tree at sunset, and the world is indeed right.
There is a family pool and an adult only pool in separate locations, and a world class spa. The golf course is quirky and fun. Pebble Beach it's not, but you can have a fine test in a unique layout that used to play host to a pro seniors event back in the day.
Life is good up in the Ojai valley, and if you want to base somewhere to explore this unique niche of California, this is as good as it gets.