Guide to a Day of Luxury in Ojai

Super fancy women’s locker room at Spa Ojai at the Ojai Valley Inn

Suggested Itinerary for a day of luxury and fanciness in Ojai:

Relax at Spa Ojai at the Ojai Valley Inn
Wine tasting around the arcade at Ojai Vineyard, Majestic Oak Vineyard and Casa Barranca tasting rooms
Chef’s choice 5 course dinner at a fancy restaurant

I celebrated my 35th birthday super fancy, Epic Ojai style with a morning at the Ojai Valley Inn spa, afternoon wine tasting downtown (plus a little shopping), and dinner with my hubby at the historic Ojai Ranch House.

This was my first ladies’ spa day at the Ojai Valley Inn… and ever. I’d describe the experience as something between feeling like a Moroccan princess at the royal bathhouse and an adult fetus floating in a deep, expansive womb: lush turquoise robes, indoor clothing optional hot tub, wet sauna (8 thumbs down, too womb like) and dry sauna, lavender infused iced facial towels, vodka lavender lemonade ($$$ but worth it), 2 outdoor pools and hot tubs, heavenly showers with fancy soaps, and magical complimentary white/dark chocolate chip trail mix and tea in the co-ed lounge. If you’ve never been, go.

You can park at the spa or park near the lobby like we did to take a stroll through the Ojai Valley Inn grounds, done up for Christmas here.
The outdoor pools and hot tubs were all ours in December.
Jumbo outdoor hot tub at the Ojai Valley Inn spa
Indoor, clothing optional hot tub at Spa Ojai, perfect for catching up on your single friends’ dating horror stories
Lounging at yet another poolside at the Ojai Valley Inn spa
Some Las Vegas mobsters relaxing in Ojai
Refuel between hot tubs in the Spa Ojai co-ed lounge with tea and trail mix.

Wine tasting at the OjaI Vineyard and Majestic Oak Vineyard tasting rooms were also a new experience- we ran out of time for Casa Barranca, whoops. My friend is a member of the Ojai Vineyard Wine Club and treated us to 3 tastings through her membership and a BYO cheese, olive and bread picnic inside the modern and cozy tasting room. I enjoyed all the wines in our flight, which included a white wine made from grapes from a bio-dynamic vineyard (they get all their grapes from Ojai and Santa Barbara County vineyards).

The location of the Magestic Oak Vineyard tasting room below the street level and under a huge sycamore makes it very unique and charming.  I like that their wines are crafted from the grapes they grew, but a few of the tastings made me think of Harry Potter jelly bean flavors- smoke, sulfur, seaweed, no booger at least- but in the pleasant setting, it was all in fun.

Ojai Vineyard tasting room
BYO picnic at the Ojai Vineyard tasting room
Cheers to being fancy
Pit stop at Soultonic boutique in the Ojai arcade
Heading down to the charming Majestic Oak Vineyard tasting room
Open air, indoor seating at the Majestic Oak Vineyard tasting room
As described, the Majestic Oak tasting room is a little like a hobbit hole wine cellar

Dinner at the Ojai Ranch House was not good- sorry, Ranch House- I really, really wanted to like it. I picked this restaurant for my birthday dinner in part to check out the many decorative tributes to the Ojai artist, Beatrice Wood, because I was born at her house. My husband and I both ordered the chef’s choice 5 course dinner. I thought the butternut squash soup was boring, the arugula salad limp, the filet mignon had a coating of charcoal, and the dessert was too sweet to eat. There’s something about spending a couple day’s wages on a single meal that makes me extra snoody. The outdoor seating in the bamboo garden was of course lovely, but it seemed like a futile mission for the servers to get a hot meal to us in the cold weather.

We had a much better experience at Nocciola on our anniversary. We went with the chef’s choice option as well and were served 10 different courses in total, compared to 7 at the Ranch House, all perfectly cooked, all super fancy, some slightly exotic, and all beautifully presented. Both restaurants serve organic produce and organic, humanely raised meats, but chef’s choice is not a good option for vegetarians. At Nocciola, we probably ate like 8 different, very cute animals in one meal like a couple of evil villains.

Bamboo garden and Koi pond at the Ojai Ranch House
All the seating at the Ranch House is outside. There are a lot of heaters, but it’s still a little nippy at night in the middle of winter.

In summary, treat yourself to a spa day at the Ojai Valley Inn at least once in your life, give yourself more than 3 hours to enjoy wine tasting so you make it to at least the Ojai Vineyard, Majestic Oak Vineyard and Casa Barranca tasting rooms, and skip the Ranch House unless dropping $150-$300 on dinner is NBD to you. Or just pack some food and spend your entire day at the spa!

More Research

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
At the time of writing this, a day pass to Spa Ojai costs $75. Their lowest price service is a communal Kuyama sauna with clay for $85, a day pass is $20 extra Friday-Sunday. The Ojai Valley Inn is also a great place to get a drink in the evening at Jimmy’s Pub. The path to the pub is beautiful after dark and you can take your drink and relax at the outdoor fireplace.

Wine Tasting
Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room
Majestic Oak Vineyard Tasting Room
Casa Barranca Organic Winery Tasting Room
Topa Mountain Winery
Ojai Alisal wine tasting at Azu Restaurant & Bar
Boccali Vineyard wine tasting at Boccali’s Restaurant (seasonal)
The Vine

Fine Dining
The Ojai Ranch House
Nocciola
Suzanne’s Cuisine

Photo Credit: Amy Joy Bakken

7 Comments

  1. Susan Magness

    What a lovely day at the Spa! So sorry your dinner at the Ranch House was a bust. It has always been one of our favorite restaurants. We had a poor experience there several years ago, but we tried it again this past November for our anniversary and had a fantastic evening. Our meals were excellent and of course the surroundings are the best. We had the three-course dinner. Now I hesitate to try it again. I’ll wait to hear of others’ experiences. Thanks for Epic Ojai Monica!!

    1. admin

      Yes the garden is beautiful. I think I would have been happier with 3 courses, because it was the dessert and salad that were especially off-putting. But probably every restaurant has a bad night here and there.

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