Love seems to fill the room tonight at Jimmy’s Pub, as old friends and feelings of celebratory bliss come together to embrace the beautiful bride-to-be and her fiancé. Although having no direct connection to the wedding party, our dinner group is fixated in the corner of the restaurant enjoying both micro-brewed beers and brick oven pizzas while soaking up the energy naturally permeating throughout the place.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is the ideal destination for any wedding, proposal or special occasion, embraced by gorgeous scenery such as giant 300 year old oak trees. The scenery of scattered flowers throughout the resort, bursting with fragrance, is nothing compared to the T Houses on the hillside herb garden.
The grounds of the garden contain three acres of pure bliss, consisting of Mediterranean herbs, lavender, roses, and fruit trees. Enclosed by the beautiful Topa Topa Mountains, which sit 6,000 feet above sea level, the herb garden’s T houses are the perfect place to sit and enjoy the scenery.
If you aren’t looking for a lazy spa or pool day, the Artist Cottage & Apothecary is the perfect opportunity to tap into your creative outlets with their scarf making and glass painting activities, perfect for a girlfriends’ trip. A custom blending session at the Apothecary comes highly recommended, where you and three or four friends can make your own massage oil.
After the Apothecary, go to the beautiful spa just across the street. Your tailored scent from the Apothecary will come in handy for a personalized full body massage.
The spa features treatment rooms, sauna, steam, whirlpools and two swimming pools.
The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa comes with many room options ranging from low to high end. The Ojai Room is 425 square feet and most affordable of all the rooms. If you’re looking for a higher-end room yet still affordable, try the Vista Room, a 445 feet room with full mountain, pool and golf course views all from the comfort of your balcony. If you want the full luxurious experience, try the Shangri-La Rooms, which feature 550 square feet of extravagance, with separate showers, deep soaking tubs and fireplaces. The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa comes with daily newspaper delivery, valet parking, fitness classes, driving range and pool access.
I experienced the gorgeous Herb Garden Suite, an expansive 625 square foot room overlooking both the hillside and Herb Garden swimming pool. It was hard to leave my room, going between my king-sized bed where I ordered room service, and soaking in the spa tub. You’ll feel like a princess too with the signature Spa Ojai amenities, full of accents of fresh-grown lavender from the resort grounds.
You don’t have to be a golfer to have heard of the infamous “lost holes” at Ojai Valley golf course, designed in 1923 by George C. Thomas. The history of the “lost holes” will make your stay all the more interesting, as the holes were abandoned at the beginning of World War II and the United States Army actually used the hotel as a training camp during the war. These infamous golf holes are open for everyone at the resort to enjoy.
The 220 acre property at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa consists of seven California cuisine dining options, including the relaxing Jimmy’s Pub. I ordered and fell in love with the Dungeness crab served on a Pretzel roll, but don’t get too full because you won’t want to miss out on the warm cookie dough skillet dessert topped with vanilla ice cream.
Café Verde is a healthier dining option, located next to The Ojai Spa and Spa Boutique, which offers locally grown and organic produce, along with salads, lettuce cups and wraps. Don’t miss out on the freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies as you sit poolside by the spa.
If you’re looking for a more fine dining restaurant experience with menu items directly from Ojai-based ranchers and farmers, check out the Maravilla, which also has an exceptional wine list full of a variety of California cuisine, even including yummy desserts from the pastry chef.
For all the beef lovers, don’t forget to try the grass fed Watkin’s cattle filet scores and pair it with a fruity zinfandel. I couldn’t resist the Oak Grill S’mores Tart made by the Pastry Chef Travis Watson, delicious!
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa review and photos by San Francisco-based travel, food, and wine writer Nancy D. Brown. Top photo courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. I was a guest of Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.