Ojai Valley Inn & SPA: A Creative Spa Experience in a Village Hideaway

Just getting to Ojai will raise your spirits. And by the time you reach the narrow country road that leads you to the historic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, you’ll understand why filmmaker Frank Capra chose this valley to depict Shangri-la in his 1937 classic movie, Lost Horizon. Surrounded by the Тора Тора Mountains, this 206-room inn, set on 220 scenic acres and designed in the Andalusian Spanish architectural style, conveys casual elegance.

The spa portion of the Mediterranean-style village creates a self-contained cocoon where guests leave the world of cellular phones, computers, deadlines, and stress behind. The spa consists of twenty-eight treatment rooms and the 1,600-square-foot mind/body center with a fully equipped exercise room, a cardiovascular workout area, and a studio for yoga, Spinning, meditation, and tai chi.

The centerpiece of the spa experience is the Kuyam, a fifty-minute purifying session that in Native American Chumash culture means a “place to rest together.” This communal experience starts with a self-application of cleansing clay, followed by guided meditation. Herb-infused steam softens the mud (and you!) before you walk through a Swiss shower. After the shower, lotion is gently applied, and you are rewrapped in warm linen and led to the outdoor loggia to rest. If the treatment sounds tempting, consider the Ojai honey body masque, the elderberry herbal wrap, and the orange blossom facial as well.

Enhancing the spa treatment program is a schedule of mind/ body classes that begin daily with morning walks, yoga, and hikes. The last classes of the day begin at 5:00 p.m. and include guided meditation, healing bowls, and Spinning. Because Ojai stands as an internationally known art community, the spa, not surprisingly, offers a comprehensive list of enrichment/art programs from basic watercolor to landscape painting.

The newest program at the spa is a health assessment developed by Florence Comite, M.D., which includes a complete physical examination, nutritional evaluation, and lab tests.

Cuisine stresses the use of local ingredients, ranging from seafood to produce. Maravilla is the signature restaurant of the resort. Other dining spots offer casual outdoor dining and spa cuisine.

This is no ordinary spa, and neither is the inn’s 3,500-square-foot ultraluxurious penthouse with private elevator, treatment room, sauna, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and whirlpools. The terrace of the indulgent retreat provides an ideal spot to view Ojai’s legendary “pink moment”— when sunsets and the sky reveal a marvelous panoply of pink.

The resort’s 6,235-yard, par-70 golf course has hosted seven Senior PGA Tour events and the EMC Golf Skills Challenge televised by NBC Sports. If golf isn’t your game, visit the inn’s 800-acre ranch and stables with horseback riding for all levels. The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is one of those rare destinations offering something for everyone, including Camp Ojai—a children’s program operating year-round.