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“Not Even Close To 5 Star”

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Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ojai
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Not Even Close To 5 Star”
Reviewed December 17, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa the first week of November, 2007. We made reservations through their website and everything went smoothly. But once we made the reservations, things went south in a hurry. A couple hours after making the reservation, we got a phone call from the hotel wanting to know if we wanted to make any spa reservations. We weren't sure what we wanted to do so we said we were not ready to make any spa reservations at this time and they were pretty pushy, letting us know that if we didn't make spa reservations soon, things would be booked up and we wouldn't get anything. We still didn't book anything and they were pretty snotty about it.

The hotel itself is on some very beautiful grounds, but the service levels are no where near 5 star. The young lady at the check-out counter seemed a little confused and had some trouble finding our reservation, but we got that squared away. We followed a bellman to a parking lot that was a long way away from our room, then loaded our luggage onto the golf cart and he drove us back up to our room. That was not the last time we would be subject to the golf carts. They are all over the place and very noisy. ANd they run at all hours of the day and night. You cannot get away from them and they are noisy and will disturb your sleep.

After getting checked in, we went to the more casual restaurant. We were the only people in the dining room at 6 p.m. I mean, there was no one else in the entire room. The service was still slow. It took for ever. The food was not bad, but it is WAY over-priced for the quality.

The king room we had was nothing special. The balcony over-looked the front of the spa, which also seemed to be the parking garage for a lot of those gas-powered golf carts. They run all night and are noisy. The bathroom was pretty good-sized, but that was about all it had going for it.

They really push the "Ojai nest bedding". I couldn't tell the difference between their bedding and any other hotel bedding. Additionally, the central heating never worked properly. We could never get warm air to come out of the vent.

My wife went to the spa for a couple of treatments. She was not impressed. They actually burned her eyelids when they waxed her eyebrows. I reported this in writing to the general manager named Anna Olsen, but she has never bothered to respond to my letter. My wife and I ended up filing a complaint with the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

I find it pretty amazing that a resort that bills itself as "5 star" can provide such poor service and fail to respond to a customer complaint.

It's a very pretty location, but it is not even close to a "5 star" resort.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
13 Thank Spidey7477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (520)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
New York, NY
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2007

My wife and I stayed here the week of July 9th, and we had an amazing experience. We were upgraded to a suite upon arrival and found that anytime we needed anything, our needs were met with graciousness and class.

The facilities are sparkling as well, although the pools do leave a tiny bit to be desired - somewhat small and not necessarily inviting. We can't comment on the dinner menus as we ate off site every night. We highly recommend Auberge, Susanne's and the Ranch House - all great meals with excellent service.

We would certainly return to this resort without hesitation.

  • Liked — The room
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank newyorkcitycouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2007

This is a great place for a few days away. It is only an hour and a half from LA (without traffic), and the location is in the hills and feels remote, even though it isn't. It's a peaceful and charming town, and the hotel is a great reflection of the town's attitude.

The grounds are beautiful, the rooms are incredibly spacious. I had an impressive view of the mountains. The food in general is quite good. Service is great. The only negative I have is that the spa is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Otherwise, this is a great place for a getaway.

  • Liked — Grounds and the rooms
  • Disliked — Prices
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank AAMiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2007

II have read about this resort a long time ago and always wanted to visit. After reading some of the not so flattering reviews on the site, I had to say I was a little apprehensive before our trip. But after a two-night weekend stay, I am so glad that we stuck to our plan.

The resort ground is beautiful and the rooms are spread out in various low-rise buildings by the golf course. We stayed in a standard room, which is spacious with a balcony, nice linens, flat-panel TV, and a decent size bathroom. Since the resort is spread out, you might want to ask for a room in a building that's close to the spa complex and the golf pro shop if those activities interest you.

The spa complex sits in its own courtyard, with spa, gym, a mind & body studio, and a cafe. It's a great place to linger. I had two spa treatments - a wrap and a facial, both of which were excellent. It's advisable to book treatment beforehand, which is typical for resorts of this kind and I don't find it troublesome. The spa comes with sauna, steam room, in-door and out-door jacuzzi, and nice lounge chairs. There are two heated outdoor pools at the spa - one lap pool and one leisure pool. When we were there, there was no one swimming in the lap pool. (There is another main pool somewhere else in the hotel). The spa cafe serves delicious light fare.

There is a full schedule of free classes at the mind & body studio, which leans more towards yoga, tachi, type of classes. I went to a few and the instructor was very professional. There is also a gym free to hotel guests.

The golf course is beautiful and twilight starts at 12pm. It doesn't get dark until about 5pm. There is a driving range with fee golf balls.

We also rode around on the bikes and played tennis. There is a lot you can do to keep busy, or simply just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Every staff member we encountered was warm and polite. I highly recommend this place!

  • Liked — Variety of activities in a beautiful place
  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Campania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pacific palisades,CA
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2007

I am just back from spending a weekend in Ojai with my sister, niece and a friend to celebrate my sister's birthday. Ojai is a truly lovely setting and the renovation of this resort is absolutely first class with everything in pristine condition. We booked one 'Shangri La with fireplace' with 2 double beds for the four of us. We ate all our meals at the resort including a birthday dinner at the Maravilla on Saturday night (reserve well in advance!). Our total bill at checkout was a whopping $2400 and that was only with 1 massage per person and an inexpensive $50 mud treatment ~ and we shared one room!

We made full use of the spa facilities attending classes and using the pool but unfortunately could only book massages for the Sunday morning as every other slot was booked ~ make sure you book your treatments well in advance! Though they said the hotel was full it didn't feel overflowing with people as some other reviews stated. We were able to easily find chairs at the spa pool. Maybe this was because the weather was a little cool but it was still comfortable to sit outside The pool attendant was exceptionally helpful and accommodating so hats off to Enok for taking good care of us poolside.

The waiter and sommelier were exceptionally nice in Maravilla even playing a truth/lie game along with us. Though we brought a nice bottle of wine with us we were not charged corkage since we bought another bottle ~ nice touch. The food was good (I had the scallops and a salad) but truthfully it did not overly impress me for a resort of this caliber.

I will go back to Ojai with my husband but next time I will book my spa treatments well in advance and hopefully I will find a better room rate as well ~ it really added up!

  • Liked — pristinely clean and well kept
  • Disliked — not being able to get more spa appointments even as a hotel guest
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank carobritravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2007

The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa treats its guests according to an obvious caste system. The Stinking Rich will enjoy first class service. They stay in secluded bungalows and an entourage of handlers see to their every comfort. I'll bet when they try to reserve a spa treatment one week before their visit they aren't told by a smug receptionist that "Nothing is available for the entire weekend". The Stinking Rich are shuttled about in personal golf carts, lest they linger too long under the curious gazes of the Merely Wealthy.

The Merely Wealthy, lured by discount packages costing $600/room/night, will arrive expecting something special and leave feeling something was missing. They will stay in noisy rooms above the lobby, wondering if the nice decor makes up for the lack of view. They will eat mediocre previously frozen overpriced food. When they arrive at the empty patio dining area without a reservation they will be told, "I will need to ask permission from the manager to seat you without a reservation".

If you're stinking rich, you will have a 5 star experience. If you're merely wealthy, expect a 2 star experience relative to your expectations.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
7 Thank Anandala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2007

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.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
22 Thank dhillonn
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

Property: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Address: 905 Country Club Rd, Ojai, CA 93023-3734
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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