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Ojai: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa

905 Country Club Road, Phone: (805) 646-1111

Reviewed by: tdandmd from California, review #1364

When: February 2006

Beautiful spot in a unique town. Lovely property, excellent service.

The staff was absolutely wonderful from the very first moment we pulled in.

From the valet to the bell boy to the registration clerk, everyone wanted to make sure we had whatever we needed. Now, when you're staying at a very nice resort, you do expect that, but if you could see what we looked like you would realize they had to be a bit concerned that we were truly registered and if so that it wasn't on a stolen credit card. We had been at a bike race all day and were sunburned, dirty, in shorts - you get the idea. We pulled up in a filthy (but brand new) pickup with bikes and luggage in the back, and they put us right next to the Mercedes and Ferrari.

When we informed registration that we would need a rollaway for our nephew she just said, "Absolutely. We'll have it delivered in moments." No complaints, no charges, no questions. Actually, that's not true. She asked if he would want his own key to the room.

Our room was very nice with a very good-sized patio/balcony overlooking the canyon. There were chaise lounges, tables and chairs and still plenty of room for two bicycles. The perfect spot for the stunning sunsets or "pink" moments that Ojai is famous for. It's the time a certain number of minutes before sunset when the sun shines back on the mountains turning the entire area a glowing pink. Beautiful! The only slight complaints were the bathroom was quite dated looking with a funky little tub. Also, and this isn't a really big deal, but the refrigerator/mini-bar was one of those where if you even touch anything you get charged. I had a huge sandwich at lunch that I wanted to nibble on later and tried to stick it in the fridge and it ended up moving things evidently. When I got home and got my bill mailed to me there was $17 worth of mini-bar charges that we didn't actually have.

Once again, though, the staff was fabulous and with one very quick phone call where I left a message (didn't even have to speak directly to anyone) they reversed the charges with no questions asked and returned my call to tell me they had already done so.

The pool area was beautiful, but we really could have done without the Marco Poloing all afternoon. Also, the nice weather had kind of snuck up on them and they didn't have staff for the pool yet so drinks and food were coming from the restaurant and taking about 45 minutes to get. Not really their fault, but if you're going in the off-season be aware that even though it may be pool weather, they may not have all their amenities up and running yet.

We don't golf, but there was what looked like a very nice course along with a complimentary driving range. There are also stables, lots of exercise classes and a kids camp. Just alongside the property is a running trail that goes 2 miles in one direction and 14 the other. Perfect!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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