One of the really great things about Ojai is that although it’s an easy drive from major centers like Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, it’s also a world away from city life.
Surrounded by the serene TopaTopa mountains, Ojai is known as a place of spiritual well-being, health and wellness. At the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, you’ll find all these things and more in the spacious and welcoming Spa Ojai.
Spa Ojai has received several awards, including best overall treatment, best value, best pampering and most luxurious from Spafinder Wellness 365. The resort made Condé Nast’s Gold List for 2014, and it has also received the Four Stars from the Forbes Travel Guide for 2015.
We definitely wanted to see for ourselves whether the spa lived up to the hype.
Spa Ojai offers a holistic experience, which extends beyond the more traditional offerings you find at many spas. As well as the indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, steam room and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, there is also a gym, a Mind and Body Studio, Spa Boutique, an Artist Cottage (offering various creative classes) and an Apothecary where you can learn how to custom blend your own personal perfume scent.
Café Verde is the place to go nearest the spa for a healthy meal and freshly pressed juice, and the entire spa village is set in well-manicured grounds that smell of lavender. Some of the amenities could do with a little updating, but the location makes up a lot for this.
The spa has its own pool, which you need your room key to get into. The service outside at the pool is a little slow, and the poolside service menu is limited and not very interesting. Inside the facilities are very nice (but we wouldn’t say luxe) and are in a very Spanish/Mexican adobe in style. They don’t have enough healthy snacks or fruit for this level of spa.
Massage and Body Treatments
Spa Guru had two separate treatments – a 50-minute rosemary and sage salt scrub, and an 80-minute deep tissue massage the next day.
Spa Guru says, “I loved the scrub! It smelled great and left my skin feeling really soft and silky smooth. The room was tranquil and my therapist was very professional. We later found out though that the herbs used in the scrub were not actually from the hotel grounds, as advertised. This was one of the main reasons I booked this treatment, so that was disappointing.
The deep tissue massage was thorough and my massage therapist made sure I was comfortable throughout the treatment, adjusting my neck and back, giving me a great neck massage. She was polite and helpful before and during the treatment.
It would have been really nice if she could have had a Vichy shower to wash off afterwards, but instead I had to get off the table and walk to the showers.”
Spa Pro got the Shangri-La Body Treatment. This included a lavender foot refinement with the spa’s sugar scrub, a full-body buffing with indigenous lavender and herb powder and a deep heat lavender-honey body wrap. While cocooned in the wrap, you get a warm scalp treatment. The finishing touch is the application of nourishing lavender shea butter.
The massage could have had deeper pressure in certain areas but it was generally very good. The lavender-based treatments did a good job in the relaxation department, the scrub made my skin soft and polished, the final lotion application was a nice hydrating finish for my dry skin. Again though, once we found out the “indigenous lavender” was not from the spa grounds or even the area, we were a bit disappointed as this is misleading and a little too “bait and switch” for high-end, award-winning spa.
Spa Pro says, “There wasn’t much I disliked about this treatment but there was one thing I should point out. I didn’t expect a mini-facial, nor did I want one. The therapist was very good at letting me know that it was going to happen, but this wasn’t in the description for the treatment. I am very particular about the products I put on my face because I have sensitive skin, and when I asked what he was putting on my face, he didn’t know! He had to look at the bottles and read the name and description, but that was a bit difficult for him because he didn’t have his reading glasses and therefore couldn’t tell me exactly what he was putting on my face. He tried to assure me that the products were all of high quality, but that was not the concerning factor for me. Regardless of quality, if I put something on my face that I am sensitive to, I will have a reaction, and sure enough, the next day I broke out after this surprise facial.”
The staff at the spa was helpful, friendly and accommodating. They sent us both an email a few days after our treatments to find out if we had been happy with our services, which we appreciated.
Our general opinion was that the therapists and booking staff were good, but not extraordinary, and this pretty much sums up our overall experience at the spa.
The grounds at the spa are the best thing about it. Our treatments and therapists were all good, but nothing extraordinary stood out for us. The luxury price tags on the treatments are not in line with the spa’s surroundings or with the quality of the treatments.
- Indoor pool
- Outdoor pool
- Steam room
- Indoor Jacuzzi
- Outdoor Jacuzzi
- Mind and Body Studio
- Spa Boutique
- Artist Cottage
$$$$$ – Luxury
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Rd
Ojai, CA USA
SPA HOURS OF OPERATION
Spa Ojai – opens daily at 8:00a.m.
Hours may vary according to season.
HOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
Reservations can be made by calling (877) 597-3731, or online at http://www.ojairesort.com/spa-ojai/spa-ojai-appointments.php