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“Five Star, Five Hundred Plus? Not worth it!”

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Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ojai
Certificate of Excellence
Southern California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Five Star, Five Hundred Plus? Not worth it!”
Reviewed March 25, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank Karin1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (526)
Date | Rating
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English first
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank amela59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 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
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank LHarp122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deyersville, IA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Louis_Lamour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LAUser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2006

I, and three other ladies, visited the resort the first weekend of October. Check-in was fast even though our room wasn't available. That worked out fine since we had spa appointments in a few hours. We went to the spa...checked in....and relaxed.

The spa wasn't very busy on a Friday afternoon which is what we prefer. We all booked 80 minute treatments which is far more beneficial than 50 minute treatments. All of our massages were one of the best we've ever had. Usually, one of us will get a poor technician. Not in this case. We also did the Kuyum on Saturday and that was interesting and different. We enjoyed our relaxing hour while steaming with mud on! Note: The spa was VERY busy on Saturday.....not quite as relaxing as it was on Friday. Book appts. very early on Sat to avoid the crowds.

Our room was near the spa...which is what you want if you are there to relax. If you have children, request a room by the main pool. It was wonderfully quiet and we slept like babies.

We rode bikes into town and had breakfast one morning. The Emporium is wonderful food...casual....! It's right off the bike path after you past the park. We had dinner in the Oak Grill that evening which was very nice. Saturday night we had dinner at The Ranch House. Make reservations well in advance for an outside table......under the trees. they had one table that was elevated....by itself...that looked very romantic. Twinkle lights everywhere. Sunday morning....we went to the Deer Lodge for breakfast......GREAT HUGE PORTIONS....excellent atmosphere! VERY VERY casual.......looks like a old hunting lodge.....very rustic. Wear jeans or shorts otherwise you are overdressed. They are BBQing outside...and will even fix a grilled breakfast on their grill. Again, HUGE breakfast! Harley riders like to hang out there. Weekend wannabes. It was fun to check out their beautiful bikes! We wanted to try Suzannes...next time. Get a table outside if you go.

  • Liked — Large Rooms
  • Tips/Secrets — bikes are free to use to ride into town
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank kell113
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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