We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
WINNER WONDERLAND
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

“Not so much.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rolling Thunder Ranch

Rolling Thunder Ranch
We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Ojai
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Rolling Thunder Ranch
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Not so much.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2010

This home is owned by Jerry and Lisa Kenton and managed by Dave Navarro (the 7th property manager the Kentons have employed in under 2 years). The business is called Enchanted Vacation Rentals. The Kentons own many other vacation properties in the Ojai area and list them under the EVR name. They also own the Deer Lodge, which has tasty food with awful service (kind of like the vacation homes...beautiful settings with dreadful owners).

Frankly, I don't know how anyone ever books with them because they don't keep their appointments and they don't return phone calls. My fiance and I attempted to book the Rolling Thunder Ranch for a week leading up to our Ojai wedding as a place for us to stay with our immediate families.

When I first contacted Dave Navarro about the property, he told me it was booked over the weekend of my wedding, but since we wanted a week long rental, the owner would force an "upgrade" on the listed guests to another property so EVR could get 2 rentals. Seemed very unfair to the renters, but I went along with it...until Dave started flaking on every single phone call I made.

I scheduled a visit up to Ojai just so my fiance and I could meet the owner and sign a contract for Rolling Thunder. EVR was even going to put us up at the property for free. When we got to Ojai we learned we could not stay at the property because the current guests decided to stay an extra day. We had to pay for a hotel unexpectedly.

The next morning Jerry Kenton did not come to our scheduled appointment. When we finally tracked Dave Navarro down at another EVR property, he didn't even remember we wanted Rolling Thunder for a week and gave us a quote for 2 days only. We also learned no one had been staying at the Ranch the night before, it was just a case of the owners not wanting to be inconvenienced with a cleaning fee.

It was sad to let go of my dream of staying at the lovely ranch, but who can risk the possibility that the house you rent for a week is going to become strangely "unavailable" at the 11th hour? Especially during the week of a wedding!

Basically the Kentons are very wealthy, extremely flaky, terrible business owners, and have a bit of a monopoly on the vacay rental industry in Ojai. Too bad for the people who have to deal with them on a regular basis. They certainly make Ojai seem like an unpleasant place to visit.

Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
16 Thank MineralNotes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

15 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    11
    1
    1
    0
    2
See reviews for
6
4
Solo
0
1
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2009

We have stayed in many homes in Ojai but this one
stood out from others. We have never had a more relaxing time. A
beautiful house and an even better view the tropical ambiance is undescribable. I recommend you bring alot of food because once your in you wont want to leave. Also the home has 2 spas and a gorgeous black bottom pool. I would also recommend
a long stay cause time will really fly. A good week will give you the right amount of time for everything.

I hope you enjoy staying in this magnificent home with your whole
family.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank fatfinger1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa monica
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2007

Recently I organized a retreat for 8 people and came upon the Rolling Thunder Ranch in searching for a location that could accomodate a large group. The experience was wonderful. The grounds are beautiful and the accomodations are very comfortable. The staff were great in setting things up for us in advance such as yoga sessions and massages. The cottage is rustic without being tacky. There are fireplaces in numerous locations, 2 spas and a pool. There is a huge lot that you can escape in and really provide privacy and peace and quiet. We will defintely return again and could not recommend this location highly enough.

  • Liked — Lots of fireplaces
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ksmccann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ojai, CA
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2006

The Rolling Thunder Ranch turned out to be the the most awesome place for our wedding. Our invitations said "informal and casual outdoor wedding" and that's exactly what is was. The staff was more than accomodating, the property was decorated beautifully and the indoor facility was like staying in a gorgeous mountain retreat. Our family was able to stay over night in the cozy, comfortable house while my fiance and I stayed in the Buffalo Cottage. The indoor rock firplaces, outdoor pool, lounging furniture and tropical landscape completed our picture perfect wedding day. Thanks for the most incredible day of our lives!

Ben and Sharon (Twyford) Holmgrain

  • Liked — CLose to important shops. No so out of the way. Beautiful and spacious surroundings. Quiet neighborhood
  • Disliked — Not enough light on the patio for eating.
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Holmgrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
46 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2006

This place is a gem, especially if you want to visit Ojai as a group (family, friends, whatever.)

In our case, it was 3 friends who wanted 3 separate rooms, so the 3 bedroom/3 bath format was good for us, and by sharing the cost, it was competitive with other similar properties in Ojai.

We were in the 'big house' and a separate couple was renting the adjacent smaller (1bed, studio-style) cabin, but it wasn't a problem in terms of privacy, because the big house has a beautifully landscaped pool, hot tub and outdoor fireplace/dining area completely protected by a zillion palms and other plants. The whole property is gated too (another nice privacy feature). We all agreed that renting the whole compound would make an ideal family reunion or big group experience. (That would give you 4 bedrooms and baths, one full kitchen and one 'galley' type kitchen, 2 hot tubs plus the run of the whole large property.)

The design of the property is fun (sort of Robert Redford/Sundance crossed with Hawaii...rock-n-timber cabins with palm-y landscaping.) The owner/artist has done literally years of labor to create an incredibly beautiful interior and exterior of rock cladding and paving. The fireplace+koi pond set-up in the big house living room is wild and wonderful. Very special and clearly a labor of love (witness the heart-shaped stones embedded in the kitchen counter of the big house and in the driveway!).

We also opted to get moutain bikes dropped off (an upgrade we noticed on the website) and were VERY glad we did, as we could easily ride the backroads and cycle into town, which was great.

Only slighlty tricky thing to be aware of: the 3 rooms in the big house are pretty uneven in terms of luxury and glamor. The master is huge and incredible (includes in-room fire stove and a wild all-rock bathroom, shower but no tub). The 2nd bedroom is more modest in size and has an en-suite bath with tub, but is overall not as lux-y as the master. The 3rd bedroom is very modest (furnishings nice but it's small) and right off the kitchen (if you're a late sleeper, others making coffee might bug you). And this room's bath is not ensuite, but is on the other side of the house (the general use hall bath near the other 2 bedrooms). So if you're splitting the rent between grown-ups, you'll probably want to base who pays what on which room you get in the lottery, because the range of size and comfort is pretty big.

In the end, we didn't care because we enjoyed the living room and pool area so much, we spent almost no time hanging out in our bedrooms. But to avoid disappointment upon arrival with your group, it's good to know there's a pretty big variation between rooms.

Last, the staff we worked with to set up the reservation, get the bikes, etc was extremely helpful and friendly. It was a great experience renting from them and we'd definitely do it again.

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Akimbeau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santa monica
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2006

We were looking for a unique place to stay in Ojai or Santa Barbara, and stumbled on the website, and fell in love. When we arrived, I have to say, it was better than the photos on the website. Each room is soooo unique, and we felt like we were in Hawaii. Alot of work was put into the decor of this property, and the outdoor BBQ's and fireplaces were way impressive!!

  • Liked — Privacy, unique environment
  • Disliked — not enough lightning by the pool at night
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank fabolouslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2006

The Deer Lodge restaurant also manages a Ranch and Cottage. We booked the Buffalo Cottage for 5 nights last May 2006. Upon arrival at the restaurant, were we had to pick up the keys for the cottage, we had to pay the full amount immediately, even without seeing the cottage first?! When we arrived at the cottage we found a place very badly maintained and not used for a very long time.
The sheets were dirty (hairs and spots?) The windows didn't close! Dust was all over the cottage. There was a large garbage bag full of debris on the porch! The BBQ was full of leaves and totaly rusted! When we drove back to the Deer Lodge restaurant to tell the manager that we did not accept the state of the cottage for $395 & $495 a night! She told us that we would be refunded a 100%. Up till today we haven't received any payment. Watch out, this a ripp off!!!

Helpful?
8 Thank miekemarieke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Ojai hotels
2.7 mi away
Casa Ojai Inn
Casa Ojai Inn
#2 of 5 in Ojai
4.0 of 5 bubbles 455 reviews
2.6 mi away
The Capri
The Capri
#4 of 5 in Ojai
3.5 of 5 bubbles 373 reviews
1.6 mi away
Chantico Inn
Chantico Inn
#5 of 5 in Ojai
3.0 of 5 bubbles 76 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.7 mi away
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
1.5 mi away
Blue Iguana Inn
Blue Iguana Inn
#2 of 9 in Ojai
4.5 of 5 bubbles 502 reviews
1.6 mi away
Emerald Iguana Inn
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Rolling Thunder Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rolling Thunder Ranch

Property: Rolling Thunder Ranch
Address: 2261 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023-1616
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Rolling Thunder Ranch Hotel Ojai

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing