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“I'm sorry we couldn't have stayed longer”
Review of The Dent House

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The Dent House
Ranked #5 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I'm sorry we couldn't have stayed longer”
Reviewed March 17, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
2 Thank mfg19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
orange county, ca
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2007

DO NOT go to the Dent House. It was a nightmare of a stay for us. Ants cover everything & are everywhere in the houses & barns. The bathtubs are stained brown (no joke) - - I will put up pics when I get a chance. Whoever did their website deserves an award for faux marketing b/c it is nothing like the website states.

Oooh, and Bats fly through the bedrooms at night - - ok, that is neat for kids, but not neat for parents paying a couple thousand for a few nights! The only thing respectable were the clean sheets & bed coverings. The rest of the house was filthy. Think black feet when you take your shoes off. (We stayed in the West Barn, East Barn & Cottage house next to the barns.) Never again. And, since it was such a nightmare of a stay, I feel obligated to warn others. Cobwebs, filth, and a caretaker out of a horror movie. You could hear him cussing up a storm, drinking beer in the peacock cages, and he even had the nerve to tell our kids (all under 8) "Don;t worry about the poision oak, unless you have s*x in it." ?? We, the parents, were standing right there! Obnoxious, unhelpful, and scary. Really.

Btw, no donkeys, no horses. Just peacocks, chickens & geese in filthy surroundings. Not our idea of country charm.

6 Thank christinecK4255OJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth-denthouse, Owner at The Dent House, responded to this review, November 25, 2007


This is an open letter responding to a review by momofthreeintheOC. I feel compelled to respond since I just read her review of the Dent House, and was appalled.

We lease the residences fully furnished without housekeeping unless this is additionally requested, yet I don’t know when they could have had such an experience so I do not know if this is new or sometime in the past.

We checked our records to see who might have leased the Barns and the Farmhouse over the past couple of years, and reported such terrible conditions to us… such a review would have been unusual, and not forgotten, … and yet, we found no one who complained of such an experience.

If their visit was years ago when we first began operating, perhaps there could have been some problem. However, we have, over the years, worked on getting the right crews, and I believe that all these matters would have been resolved. Most definitely, we would find such conditions totally unacceptable for the arrival of our tenants today.

Certainly ants are a problem in the country during certain times of the year, and all of Ojai has a pretty notorious “ant season” when not a crumb of food dare be left out in the kitchens. In fact newspaper articles have been written about it, but we deal with ants only with organic substances, from outside the houses, and we never place ant poisons in the kitchens, nor even in the gardens or in the orchards. We are organic in our gardening in order to protect our guests and their (and our) children and animals. So, I can’t imagine how that ant trap could have been placed on the window sill, yet the writer’s picture shows that it was there.

A small bat or pipistrelle had been known to make its way into the houses in the past, but each window is carefully screened today.

We are very vigilant about the current housekeeping crew, who have been with us, now for years and do a very fine job of cleaning all the houses between tenant groups, every inch; public rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, including washing floors carefully and completely. They are now, also overseen by a staff member, before and after each house is thoroughly cleaned. (We have sent a copy of this horrid review on to each member of the cleaning crew as a warning)

Our linens and towels are laundered and fresh, and the beds are freshly made for each new tenant group.

If anyone found “cobwebs” or “filth”, I am embarrassed.

Certainly, a curtain could come askew over several days of use, or a bathtub could be stained by the minerals in our water at certain times of the year. (That is why we leave cleaning supplies in each bathroom so tubs can be cleaned after every use.) However, they would never be that way when a guest is to arrive… so, again, I do not know when someone would have had such a disappointing vacation. Especially since they wrote that they experienced “no donkey” or “no horse”, as donkeys and horses have been constant residents of the Ranch since before we began offering vacation rentals. We currently have a donkey and horse who both arrived, separately, in 1988

However, no matter when this might have been their experience; we work very hard to have each guest enjoy a delightful and satisfying experience with us, as many testimonials from other guests attest.

It is apparent that this guest did not, and we are sorry that we did not know of this sooner.

Should they contact us, in return, we would like to make it up to them by providing an opportunity for them to experience the Dent House property, with its present staff … as our guests.

We are always grateful that someone brings a problem to our awareness; it will only increase the vigilance with which we try to prepare for each new guest.

It would be helpful if I knew when they had stayed with us.

Their description of the “caretaker” was most distressing and was, indeed, out of a “horror movie” and yet, we feel it could not be our current caretaker, who has been with us for all the years that we have been open to the public and is a father of young children himself. This is a man who has received rave reviews from many guests over his time with us and such an outburst as described in this review would have been noticed by us at some time over the years, or at least reported to us by other guests.

It is apparent from such a description of the person’s demeanor and attitude toward young guests and their parents that it would be important for us to know for sure who that person might have been so that such an event never happens again.

I hope that your trip advisor will take advantage of our offer to be our guests, as an apology for their dreadful time at the Dent House.

For the Dent House

Richard Colla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Dent House

Property: The Dent House
Address: 4100 Matilija Canyon Rd, at Matilija Canyon Ranch, Ojai, CA 93023-9541
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
The Dent House Hotel Ojai

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