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“Mother's Spa Get Away - Good and Not so Good” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

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Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
5.0 of 5 Spa   |   905 Country Club Rd, Ojai, CA 93023   |  
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Winter Midweek Escape
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ojai
Moorpark, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
258 helpful votes 258 helpful votes
“Mother's Spa Get Away - Good and Not so Good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2007

This is a beautiful place in spirit as well as amenities. The spa is just wonderful and peaceful. I have been here many times, as I live within an hour - usually just for the day, but this time a friend and I stayed the night to enjoy a "mommy's vacation" - without kids or husbands.

The hotel is beautiful and the renovations are finally all over and the grounds are spectacular. But there were some problems (see below).

The spa treatments are wonderful and calming. The wet rooms (clothes optional! and most go naked at this spa) are the best I have ever experienced. (And I've been lucky enough to go to spas all over the world). The complimentary lotions and hair products (shampoo, conditioner) are not as high quality as you would expect - but the FRANGRANCES they immet (I'm told they distill the frangrances from locally grown product - lavendar, orange, rose) are EXCELLENT and I just LOVE how this place smells!

The problems at Ojai Valley Inn seem to be more like "glitches" that you would not expect from such a highly rated and highly esteemed place (but, being a local and a native of So.Cal - I think they may be related to the laid-back California attitude). I find that the staff here changes over quickly - so I never see the same people. The computer system keeps track of me - but nobody ever seems to know me (and why would they? as they are different each and every time). It would be more fun and more comforting if you saw people from prior visits and who, perhaps know your name...

I find the food delicious -- very healthy and filled with beautiful herbs (locally grown) and local wine, honey, etc. But the servers are often so casual (calling patrons "dude!" once) and not always knowing much about the food (I was told a glass of red wine was a chardonnay by one young man... ). Another time a young bus-server plopped a small plate of radishes on the table and announced they were from the chef... (what?). When we called him back over he said they were organic, grown on the premises. (It still seems weird... 3 little radishes, rolling around on a plate... well, thanks dude!). We still laugh at that one and my girlfriends and I sometimes bring each other a huge plate with a radish or two as a joke...

My friend had a facial -- but the steam was pointed RIGHT in her mouth and caused her to cough and sneeze -- until finally she had to stop the treatment -- and the technician (again, a delightful, but young, lady) told her no problem, they could reschedule her -- but then the other young gals (out front) didn't know how to do that and basically just told her "oh well. Theres nothing we can do." And didn't know how to give her a refund (said it was not possible). She had to come back later and argue with a supervisor - who gave her 75% of her money back (what??) . She insisted my friend had experienced a portion of the service and must pay for that 1/4 she experienced.

So again -- I find this property and spa a wonderful yet weirdly complex place. They have some of the BEST features and ammenities -- but really need to work on gaining, training and keeping good staff. Perhaps its because Ojai (and surrounding areas) are so expensive to live -- and maybe they don't pay enough? Nobody seems disgruntled...but the level of service just does not do justice to the beauty (and pricing) of the hotel and spa.

  • Liked — The grounds are beautiful, the SPA is awesome, the food is fresh and tasty. Beautiful flowers!
  • Disliked — Some staff is young and somewhat inexperienced for such a high-end property.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1,033 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (334)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2007

Stayed at the Ojai resort for a company sponsored event. The hotel is clean spacious and my room was perfect. Food for the event was outstanding. Staff was always friendly and helpful. In all, I really have nothing to complain about this hotel. But while I would love to come back a spend a few days with the family, I have to agree with some of the other reviews that this hotel is more of a $250 to $300 a night place (which is what I paid), but not a $500.00.

  • Liked — Clean room and excellent food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2007

We were headed for a girl's weekend and had decided to go back to a hotel we visited six years ago. We wanted a spa, nice rooms, good service and tasty food. While we got what we asked for, we also spent a small fortune, had very salty and not so healthy meals and a room that was nice but certainly not 5-star, $500+/night and had a broken air conditioner. We were also missing any form of body soap!

We called about the air conditioner the first night after returning from a late meal and discovering a sweltering hot room. They offered to send out an engineer at 11pm which we should have taken. We opted instead to have engineering come the next day while we were out. They never came. We left the window open each night and were startled awake each morning by the golf carts powering by outside our 2nd floor window!

Our room price included breakfast. We were surprised that it was available via room service and wasn't limited to a particular item. Instead we were told that we could order up to $30 per person. Nice, but be warned: the Ojai Breakfast at $21 per person quickly adds up to $58 for two people when they add in the 18% service charge, the tax and the $3 room service fee. The breakfast included 2 eggs and potatoes, a choice of bacon, ham or sausage, choice of juice, choice of coffee or tea along with a "bakery basket". The bran muffins are great.

The mini-bars have sensors, very sensitive sensors. Move anything in the bar and you'll get charged, each time you move an item. There is no sign warning you of this but they willingly took the charges off the bill when told the front desk that we didn't take anything.

Speaking of the bill...no TV checkout, no bills under your door the last morning, you must go to checkout to see your charges. There is a little sign on your nightstand that says they're in the middle of putting in a new, state of the art digital entertainment system with check-out included but it isn't there yet. I'm still wondering how they got 5 stars from AAA! And they need a note to explain how the digital vs. cable works on the TV.

We were in Fontana, the furthest building from the main lobby but closest to the spa. Our view was of the golf course cart route and the back parking lot. We had one chair on the deck, not two. We never even went out on the deck. One of the main problems is figuring out how to get to your room. You can walk into the building and go toward your room and go down a few stairs or take a ramp. However, if you're not on that floor, good luck finding the stairs that go to your room, they only go down to one level. The elevator is hidden down the hall the other way. A side entrance on either side of the building will allow you access to the other floors. Very confusing.

The Spa at Ojai is lovely. No bones about it, this is the best part of the whole resort. We spent our first day there in total luxury and had wonderful services. Only one small complaint: the robes are lovely but they in the process of sewing all the pockets closed because people keep leaving things in their pockets. Wouldn't a sign near the checkout area saying "check your pockets" do the trick? Why deprive us of a warm place to put our hands?

We ate at the Oak Grill and had good service and the food was fresh and tasty but my water glass was never refilled without asking and my risotto was extremely salty. The filet next to me was too rare and needed to be sent back. The scallops looked delightful and the vegetables were incredible. My butternut squash bisque was great. The desserts we tried were tasty too but the chestnut creme brulee was not my idea of yummy, in fact one bite was more than enough. The pear crumble was good and the capuccino pie with a meringue topping was fun. Their wine list is heavy on the local regions and limited in the single glass options.

Just a personal aside...I got a nice note from the concierge welcoming me and thanking me for picking the resort to celebrate my birthday. Although my surname was spelled right on the outside, the salutation on the card inside was incorrect. Tacky and careless and completely ruined the effect of the handwritten note.

The team of young men they hire to meet and greet you and help you by driving you around the resort, parking your car and there to assist you with luggage are wonderful. When you check in early, they take a phone number such as a cell phone and really do call you when your room is ready even before check-in time. However, if you're at the spa, it is a cell-free zone. It is suppose to be a smoke-free resort but we found an ashtray in our desk drawer and a note asking us to smoke on our deck. There were also smokers puffing away on the patio of the restaurant.

So unless you get a super deal on the price, I'd opt to check out the hotels in town and come to the resort for golf, spa and eating. It really isn't worth $500 a night for a double room.

  • Liked — The Spa at Ojai
  • Disliked — High prices, lack of amenities in the rooms
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2007

This was our first stay since the renovation. Even the staff has been upgraded in our opinion. Every single staff member was pleasant. We experienced no insincerity from any staff member. We were happy to be called by name and also happy to be followed by the golf cart while we parked our car in the lot by the spa. Our luggage was then cheerfully loaded and brought with us to our suite. Even after we tipped, the staff member stayed and filled our cooler and ice bucket even though we could have done it ourselves. We upgraded to Shangri-la fireplace suite and boy was it worth it although to be honest, in season it is $600 and then maybe not worth it, but we paid $360 and were extremely happy with the view, the bed, the room, and the twice a day cleaning! The spa treatments were spotty although we had wonderful zen shiatsu massages. The spa could use some extra touches such as mousse and better hair dryers and better monitering of the steam room temperature and whirlpool temperature in both the mens and womens areas. Since we had stayed here before, we knew to make other dinner arrangements so every meal was not eaten at the hotel. The new spa restaurant is a nice addition and although pricey, the chicken wraps were great. The beautiful weather did increase our happiness with the sunset glowing on mountains past the golf course. I really want to return soon (but off season!)

  • Stayed February 2007
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2007

I just came back from a four night stay at the Ojai. I travel a lot and this was, by far, my favorite hotel. It's peaceful, quiet, beautiful and home-like. My room overlooked the mountains and golf course. It had a large, four poster bed with a fireplace and flat screen TV. I know a previous review complained that there was no CD player or on demand movies, but, it's not that kind of place. If that's what you are looking for, then go to a general hotel. This is a place meant for relaxation and peace. I just felt serene the entire time I was there.

The food was excellent. The chef is very well trained in a variety of dishes. The spa was very peaceful and serene. There are many things to do on the property and in the area: horseeback riding, beaches, hiking, biking, golf, shopping, sailing, wine tours...it's all there. It's just a short, beautiful drive up the 101 to Santa Barbara.

My only complaint is that the walls are a little thin, so you can sometimes hear your neighbors, but it's never annoyingly loud.

Even the garden view rooms are nice, but I would request a golf course view. The staff was amazingly nice and helpful and never pretentious.

I would reccommend this hotel for anyone seeking relaxation and peace.

  • Liked — The home-y feeling bedroom
  • Disliked — Thin walls
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deyersville, IA
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2007

First, you will laugh at the bored, insincerity of the guys lined up to take you out of your warm, comfortable car to be shuttled from the parking lot all the way across the complex in a golf cart to your room.

Then you will giggle when you find the room with "PREFFERED VIEWS" (that you paid extra to get) looks out at the courtyard of your little complex.

You will absolutely crack up when, in this $500 a night room, you are asked to pay an extra $10 bucks for online access.

You will really chuckle as you browse the $35 entrees and find that this "health spa" hasn't begun to consider health, but must spend a fortune on salt... don't even think about a whole-wheat roll.

In bed at night you will smile as the prized stillness of the night is constantly interrupted by the shuttle carts hurrying hostages from one end of the property to the other.

Well, you will still be laughing softly at check-out as you peruse others looking about, wondering why did I drive all the way from beautiful Santa Barbara to this unspectacular setting.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2007

My lovely boyfriend booked a suprise getaway to this hotel for me. We were upgraded to a mini suite overlooking the golf course, one of the most amazing views I have ever seen from a hotel room! The surrounding mountains offered a fabulous vista from our balcony. The room was also beautiful with a 4 poster bed, fireplace, and large bathroom.

We had a very relaxing 3 days at the resort, beginning with spa treatments the first day. The spa is very nice though the women's side is busy. The second day was spent exploring the lovely, hilly grounds and horseback riding at the resort's ranch. The guides there were wonderful and the ride offered even more beautiful views of California country. The third day we took advantage of the sports facilities at the resort and borrowed bicycles to ride into town for lunch. A fun experience although they ran out of bicycles so I had to use an old rusty child's bike. This is not a busy time of year by the way.

Overall the trip was very relaxing and the resort is gorgeous. However, we found the service to be lacking in a certain polish. My boyfriend had booked several appointments in advance of our stay - the spa, dinner reservations and the horseback riding. Each was wrong in some way, whether the reservation was lost or just jumbled. This led to a feeling of annoyance, as this is a quite spendy place and if you go out of your way to book an appointment in advance, it should be correct.

Finally the food - the Pub is good for families w/kids and for a casual dinner of snacks. The Oak Grill is fantastic for breakfast buffet and lunch. We should have had dinner there but we made reservations in advance at Maravilla. This was a mistake as 1. they lost the reservation, and 2. the service was horrible. The food was good but not great. Leave this one off your list.

Last but not least - ladies - leave your super high stilletos at home, you'll be walking a lot and this is not a dressy place. I wished I had packed more comfy shoes.

  • Liked — Beautiful surroundings
  • Disliked — Spotty service
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Address: 905 Country Club Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ojai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ojai Valley Inn & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 308
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

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