Monday, July 16, 2012

A Blissful Getaway

I promised more on girls' weekend at the spa, so here you go. We wanted a place that was all inclusive, so we wouldn't have to worry about driving around town to eat or be entertained (and yes, so we could have a few drinks). My friend's husband actually stumbled on the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and suggested it us It's a bit pricey, but if you want some serious pampering, this is place!

Ojai is a picturesque arts community between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and the resort began in the 1920s as a private country club.

No detail is overlooked, from the architectural features (archways, pedestal sinks, hand-painted tile baseboards in the bathrooms) to the impeccable service. When we needed a corkscrew, it was a just a room service call away. More coffee in the morning? Ditto. Don't want to walk from one end of the complex to the other? An employee will undoubtedly offer you a ride on a golf cart.

The resort has a beautiful golf course, tennis court, at least four eateries, at least three pools (including one family pool), a coffee and snack shop, and bike/walking trail. It offers fitness and yoga classes and hikes as well.

But the star (in my book, anyway) is the spa. We each got a relaxation massage, and it was heavenly. The spa offers a range of massages, facials and other treatments. After the massage, we spent a few minutes in the steam room. We didn't think to bring our swimsuits to the spa, but there's a beautiful pool. (Next year we'll know better!) We had a delicious and (relatively ;-) healthy lunch near the pool at Cafe Verde.

After finding the elusive (and stunning) Herb Garden pool and spending some time in the hot tub, we had a late dinner on the patio at the Oak Grill. Twice we offered blankets. I don't think a restaurant has ever offered me a blanket before (and some really should!).

Sunday morning we had coffee on our patio, then went for a walk along the trail. After we reluctantly checked out, we headed into town for breakfast. We ate on the patio at a popular little restaurant.

The food was delicious, but the service left a bit to be desired. It was hot and there were four ceiling fans. The fan nearest to us was on low, so we asked our waiter if he could turn it up. He waited until the people sitting at the table underneath that fan had left and turned it to high. Ah relief! But wait. The people at another table said they they not only wanted him to turn off the fan that he had just turned up for us but also the one over their heads as well. I guess their money was worth more than ours, because he complied, without even offering to move us to a cooler spot. I was steaming, but my friend was clear-headed enough to ask the hostess if we could move, and she found us a better table. It was the one blight on our otherwise perfect weekend.

After brunch, we did a little window shopping. The main drag is lined with galleries, shops and eateries. Somehow we managed to leave without any souvenirs. That's OK, though—we're already planning next year's getaway!

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