In April we booked a 3-night stay at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn in Southern California for a few days of tennis, some good meals along with some well-earned relaxation. While booking the reservation we learned that this would be our 14th., and perhaps the last visit, due to our upcoming plans to sell our home and travel the world for a couple of years.
So off we go.
We departed on a rainy Tuesday morning loaded with swimsuits, tennis bags and bikes and head to Ventura for lunch at Lure, one of our favorite restaurants.
The drive from our home in Glendale to Ojai was magnificent and rather rare in Southern California. After 2 months of steady El Nino rain the normally brown hills of the west valley’s were a riot of mustard and wildflowers back dropped by emerald green hills. It was an absolutely beautiful start to our getaway.
With lunch finished we continue our drive through the Ojai Valley for the second and last leg of our journey, which was also filled with an abundance of wildflowers. This is horse country punctuated by groves upon groves of pixie tangerines and a smattering of vineyards. With the Topa Topa mountains looming in the distance it makes for a beautiful drive. The Ojai Valley is the only east/west valley in California and as such it possesses an ambiance and quality of light that you rarely see elsewhere.
Once checked in we head down to the tennis courts to join some friends that drove up for an overnight stay to celebrate with us. After a couple of hours of tennis it was time to freshen up and head to dinner.
Of the numerous dining options at the OVI the Oak Grill is one of the more casual, al fresco, spots to enjoy local-to-table fare with a great view of the front nine of the Inns world-class golf course. After a leisurely two hour meal, it’s time to retire as we walk the beautiful grounds back to our rooms.
We awake to a cool, clear morning with fog having settled on the golf course overnight. The quality of light here will always get your attention, no matter the time of day. But mornings and evenings are the most memorable.
We join our friends for coffee and a late breakfast before showing them some of our favorite spots on the property. Soon it is noon and time for them to check out and join us once again for an hour of tennis before they head home.
On our own again we head to one of our favorite, adults only, pool on the property (there are 4 pools total) for an afternoon of reading, writing and relaxing. Nothing will help you decompress from your day-to-day activities better than an afternoon lazing around a pool. Pure bliss!
A quick note on one of the best attributes of the OVI. Once you are on the property there is simply no need to get back in your car for the duration of your stay. There is golf, tennis, the spa and a myriad of activities for all tastes and the food is superb no matter which restaurant you choose. Plus, it is a short walk to downtown Ojai for several additional great breakfast, lunch and dinner options in addition to shopping and the tasting room of a local winery.
After spending the afternoon at the pool we head back to our room to get ready for dinner. But not before sitting on our patio with a glass of wine in hand overlooking the golf course as the late afternoon sunlight plays the light fantastic with the eucalyptus trees outside our room.
Dinner is at the Oak Grill once again and, as was the case the night before, the food is fantastic. Nightfall takes us back to our room where we light the fireplace and sleep like babies.
Another gorgeous morning greets us we awake and it’s off for a cup of coffee. We chose to skip breakfast this morning and head straight to the courts to beat the heat of what will prove to be a warm day.
After tennis we enjoy a lunch of tacos at Jimmy’s Pub (on the property). From there we head over to the pool for the afternoon to repeat the previous days routine. I could get very used to this!
Our last dinner is a casual one of burgers and fries with a great bottle of Syrah overlooking the golf course. Tired from a full day we knock off early and give thanks for another great day.
Leaving a place as tranquil and beautiful as the OVI is never easy but we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and now it’s time to go.
We play an hour or so of early morning tennis before heading to the pool for a quick dip to freshen up before departing. The car is packed and on our way out we stop for another round of tacos at Jimmy’s Pub (yes…they are that good!). Now it’s time to hit the road.
On the drive home we take a different route through the miles of twisty back roads filled with citrus groves and horse ranches. It proved to be just as delightful as the drive here. While on the road we laugh and reminisce about our 4 days in Ojai as we plan our next getaway!
During our stay at the Inn, we were able to book plenty of court time on the 4 courts available for guests. The courts are clean, well surfaced and lit until 9pm every day. The views from either end of each court are toward the surrounding mountains which makes playing all the more enjoyable.
Pools & Spa
There are several pools at the Inn catering to families or adults only. Each pool has its own special charm, amenities and gorgeous views. We spent our time at the Tranquility and Energy pools. Inside each of the men’s & women’s spas there are wet & dry saunas, jacuzzis and a plunge pool.
Santa Barbara Winery Visits
Ojai to Ventura Bike Path
Ride the 15 mile (1 way) protected bike bath from downtown Ojai to the beach town of Ventura. Stop for lunch and return.