In 1922 Ohio glass manufacturer Edward Libbey commissioned Los
Angeles architect Wallace Neff to design a clubhouse for his new
golf course in Ojai Valley, Calif. Neff chose to build in Spanish
Colonial style, complete with white stucco walls, red tile roofs
and handcrafted ceramic tile accents. The club eventually became
the renowned Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, and since May 2003 it has
undergone an 80-million-dollar-plus renovation guided by Santa
Barbara architect William Mahan. Mahan has stayed true to Neff’s
A new two-story lobby with wood-beamed ceiling, generous arched
windows and decorative wrought-iron balconies makes an impressive
gateway to the inn’s renovations. Rimming the back nine holes of
the lush green golf course, a curving line of new buildings house
spacious rooms (all with fireplace and terrace) and bring the total
room inventory at the inn to 310, 25 percent of them suites. Yet
the new buildings look as if they have stood under the 200-year-old
oak trees since the beginning of the last century.
The serpentine roofs and liberally used wrought-iron decorations
manufactured in-house have an antique feel and the rooms
themselves, decorated in white, adobe, persimmon, blue and gold,
mingle traditional ambiance with modern comfort. One of the most
attractive of the new room layouts is the spacious 600-square-foot
Shangri-La, with four poster beds, painted Spanish armoire, corner
fireplace and luxurious bathroom with separate tub and shower.
The newly expanded herb garden with adjacent recreation field
has views of chaparral-covered hills and has been used as a focus
for a set of 17 independent mini-suites incorporated into three new
buildings on the hillside above the garden.
The new and unique Hacienda Suite, located only steps from the
redesigned main swimming pool area, is a special suite whose lavish
2,000-square-feet and $2,000 per night price tag is well suited for
visiting movie actors and rock stars. It features a bedroom, living
room, two bathrooms one with a fireplace at the head of the tub a
partial kitchen, oversized furniture, Spanish Colonial-inspired
woodwork, Malibu tile accents and views out over rolling, unspoiled
For golfers who come to play the newly reconfigured 1923 George
C. Thomas golf course, there is now an extensive pro shop and golf
valet. The front and back nines have been reversed and the new
layout ensures easier access to the first hole.
The multi-million-dollar renovations have also added a new
relaxation room to the already substantial 31,000-square-foot Ojai
Spa Village and the new 6,000-square-foot Hacienda Ballroom, which
can double as a conference and service center and can be
incorporated with the preexisting 4,500-square-foot conference
center for major events.
The main pool area has had a make-over as well. The two original
pools have been blended into one and private cabanas hav been
added. These can be rented by the half-day ($100) or full day
($150). They are stocked with a host of amenities, mist sprayers,
drinks, newspapers, playing cards, and are refreshed throughout the
The inn’s new signature restaurant, Maravilla, under the command
of Chef Bret Pafford and sommelier Jon Mahoney, now offers
candlelit evening dining with live music in three private dining
rooms. The restaurant offers clients hillside views and a taster’s
menu ($105) featuring local produce. Chef Pafford is particularly
adept at producing a succulent rack of Colorado lamb.
A second new restaurant, Jimmy’s Pub, features boutique beers on
tap and a brick pizza oven which turns out homemade thin crust
Ojai is still the same exciting resort destination it has always
been and after renovations, everything old is new again.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
A young, eager, attentive staff.
A superb signature restaurant, Maravilla.
A George C. Thomas classic golf course with extensive pro shop and
golf valet who will polish your golf shoes and realign your clubs
Sauna and steamrooms at the spa but no cold plunge.
Rooms are located in multiple buildings scattered
throughout the property. Chauffeured electric carts are on call to
transport guests around the property.
The spa is for clients aged 16 and over, and women’s and men’s
areas are clothing optional.
Caters to couples and families. Various packages encourage small
Room rates from $400-$550; suites from $525 to $5,400.
Price categories are generally based on size of accommodation and
10 percent is standard but higher commissions may apply at
management’s discretion during low occupancy periods.