Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
In early September, Jesse and I were in Santa Barbara for our best friends wedding. It was an absolutely magical weekend and I can’t wait to share some images from their absolutely stunning wedding soon! Knowing we were going to be in Santa Barbara for a few nights, we decided to extend our trip and add two nights for our babymoon! While I was initially a little hesitant about spending five nights away from Lillian (the most I’ve spent away is two and the three for Jesse), it was an incredible time and left us feeling refreshed and even closer.
Of course, I was thinking about returning to Bacara since we went in December 2016, but we wanted to mix it up (we stopped by Bacara to see the bride and groom the morning after the wedding and that place was even more magical than I remembered. I CANNOT wait to go back!!)
I have had Ojai Valley Inn and Spa on my travel list and after my sister Claire and her husband Mike went there for their baby moon in April and came home raving about it I knew we had to do it! The thing that was awesome was that we went on a Sunday and Monday night so it was pretty quiet and we got an incredible rate of $379 (plus taxes). It was such a relaxing time after a weekend of wedding festivities where Jesse was the best man.
The Inn is nestled in the hills and actually reminded me a lot of USD. I loved the bright white, airy architecture and can not get enough of the landscape. I actually didn’t take any pictures because we didn’t have our phones with us- we really unplugged. These pictures are from the Inn’s website.
I am the type of person who likes to visit places, scope everything out and then share the insiders tips. Here are some of the important things to know:
The property is surrounded by a beautiful golf course and driving range. If you or your partner love to golf, this is the place to go. I am so grateful we were there on a Sunday and Monday because the weekends are packed with golfers who play for the day and then stay for lunch in the Pub. Jesse doesn’t golf and I don’t either (especially while pregnant) so I think I would have felt a little less relaxed if we were there on a Friday or Saturday where it was more crowded with golfers.
Spa Lovers Paradise
The Spa is absolutely lovely. We didn’t do any treatments because I really love my massuse and esthetician that I see in San Francisco so I prefer to not try new spas. I can’t stomach the prices when I really love my experience at home. Buttt, the SPA POOL was everything!!! Jesse and I went both nights we were there from about 7-9pm and had the place to ourselves. We swam in the pool and sat in the hot tub— it was magical. I learned while we were there that there are two suites above the Spa if you want total relaxation.
Family Friendly Resort
It was so nice to see the kids running around and having fun. There is a family pool, the Pixie Pool, so if you’re going with kids, definitely request to stay there! There is a cute ice cream and snack shop Libby’s that’s perfect for a quick treat.
If you’re going with your partner, request to stay closer to the Spa. We were in Fontaine building and it was absolutely perfect! We spent all day at the adults-only Indigo Pool in a queen size cabana bed and it was amazing! Then we would have dinner and go for a walk and then head to the spa pool. We also loved going to the garden and picking tomatoes and pears. I wish the peppers had been ripe!
I used to consult with a hotel so I know some tips and tricks. Honestly, the best thing to do is always book direct on their website and not through a third-party or OTA (online travel agent) site such as Expedia, Hotwire, etc. My one exception is if you have enough points through your credit card and can book a really nice room. Every time you book through an OTA the hotel has to pay a referral fee to the site and they HATE that! It takes away from their revenue. As a result from booking direct, you will get a better rate (as an incentive from the hotel) and more likely to get upgraded and treated better. You can also put in the notes details about your stay. I put in that it was our babymoon and they surprised us with a diaper bag and cupcake!
Fly into Burbank
We were already in Santa Barbara so we only had about a 45 minute drive down the coast and up the mountain to the Inn and Spa. Claire suggests flying into Burbank and renting a car. When we go back we will definitely do that!
Be Aware of Fees
One thing I also know is that most hotels list their price and then have various fees- fees for overnight parking, resort fees, and some taxes. That usually adds on another $100 or so per night. Just be aware of this when budgeting your trip.
To be totally honest, when Jesse and I travel we don’t eat that much. We’ll usually have one big meal a day. We liked going to the Spa Cafe for a protein box, lunch poolside and then a light dinner at The Pub. They have a few dining options but we usually prefer the casual ones followed by a scoop of ice cream!