By Coleman Bentley
Excluding fine wine, single malt whisky and vintage Ferraris, it’s not often anything grows more beautiful with age; though Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, currently celebrating its 90th birthday with the completion of a 308 room renovation, is poised to join that short list of exceptions.
As the resort’s managing director, Pete Ells, pointed out during a brief stop at Elite Traveler’s NYC offices earlier this week, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s origins were decidedly more humble than its current innovative, A-list celebrity-attracting identity, beginning life as simply another ingenious George Thomas-designed golf course in 1923. And while that tournament-level course remains today—playing host to seven Senior PGA Tour events—the rest of the property commands just as much attention.
Fresh off a $5.5 million revitalization that addressed everything from modern amenities (with 55-inch flat-screen TVs and jack packs that enable guests to connect their computers to those TVs now adorning each room) and old world charm (just take a seat at one of the distressed walnut and alder desks, designed to evoke the doors of a classic Spanish hacienda) the resort is now prepared to accommodate every demand of the contemporary luxury traveler.
Furthering this stunning blend of old and new is Ojai Valley’s thoughtfully integrated spa concept, which builds upon the Chumash Indians’ belief that the region was a place of healing. The spa boasts 28 treatment rooms and a 3,500-square-foot, private elevator-accessed Spa Penthouse, but it is the bespoke approach to health and wellness that truly sets it apart. Just step into the Apothecary where instructors demonstrate how to distill herbs in an old-fashioned French alembic in order to help guests create their own, one-of-a-kind scents to be used during their spa treatment. And no need to take notes, as The Apothecary stores each personal formula so that upon returning home, guests can order additional quantities of their scent infused in a variety of products including soaps, perfumes, lotions and scrubs.
So if you’re searching for a SoCal escape this spring, look no further than Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, where the new 90-year Legacy Package—featuring a $90 resort credit for dining, spa treatments, retail outlets and golf, as well as a complimentary room upgrade upon arrival—adds even more to a destination with virtually everything.