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.
- 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