The best hotels in Ojai
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is the quintessential Ojai escape for Angelenos seeking a relaxing break from hectic city life. Opened in 1923, the historic resort pampers its guests from the moment they arrive, as a golf cart whisks them away to their room through the beautiful and sprawling grounds. Forget your worries at three relaxing pools, an award-winning spa or a world-class golf course, and take advantage of special perks such as wine happy hour, romantic candle-lit room service and bike rentals for the picturesque paths that lead to downtown. Beyond romance and serenity (of which there’s plenty), the Inn also caters to children (kids’ camp, teen lounge and art classes available) and pups (look for the dog menus at some of the resorts’ restaurants).
Quick stats: Pool, spa, pet-friendly, kid-friendly
Splurge top pick
We love the Ojai Rancho Inn. The newest project of Shelter Social Club (the folks behind the Hamlet Inn in Solvang, the Agave Inn in Santa Barbara and Sama Sama Test Kitchen in Santa Barbara), this Inn doesn’t look like much from the outside: A lodge-like motel, a parking lot and some cacti. But once you’re inside, even the front office is impeccably designed, with old-school thermoses of coffee on the porch, beautiful ceramic light fixtures and lots of handmade, local goods for sale (also, more cacti). The hotel’s aesthetic is a perfect mix of modern and rustic, clean and earthy.
The rooms each have their own front porch (with vintage camp chairs), plus log bedframes and raised hottubs for an upscale motel experience. There are cruiser bikes for borrowing, a pretty standard pool in back, and a rough-hewn stage and lawn for the growing number of shows and parties on the property. Because here’s the deal: the Ojai Rancho Inn is blowing up. It has aesthetically-minded L.A. folks reserving rooms in droves—the hotel is already booking up months in advance, especially for weekend dates—and Instagramming the crap out of their stays. Dub Club plays pool parties, hipsters get married, etc. It’s perfectly styled, pefectly affected—if it becomes any more like the Ace in Palm Springs, we’re doomed, but as is, we’d rather not stay anywhere else.
Quick stats: Pool, pet-friendly
Budget top pick
The Capri Hotel is a reasonably priced option in Ojai with mid-century style, clean rooms and a location that’s walking distance from downtown. There’s a bottle of local wine in each room’s minibar and the beds are comfy and firm. The pool area is a little rundown—when we visited, 4 out of the 14 lounge chairs were broken—but there are shady cabanas, big umbrellas and a huge lawn for bocce ball, croquet or rowdy kids. The hotel is especially kid-friendly (there’s a wading pool just for little ones), so if you’re not into under-12s, you may want to choose another spot.
Quick stats: Pool, pet-friendly, kid-friendly, walking distance to downtown
For a kid-friendly stay
Su Nido Inn is named after the Spanish word for nest (in fact, ojai means nest in Chumash), and this hotel indeed functions as a soothing Ojai nest for its guests. Made up mostly of spacious suites (all named after birds, featuring kitchenettes and living rooms with fireplaces) surrounding a gorgeous Spanish-style courtyard, this boutique inn is a great base for a weekend in town. Just a five minute walk to the downtown shops for convenient exploring, the Inn also treats guests on site with a day spa. One of the rooms (Peacock) includes a jacuzzi, so make sure to file a special request if you want some bubbly fun. If you can’t snag Peacock, we like Raven and Sparrow, too.
Quick stats: Spa, walking distance to downtown
For a place to nest
If you want a classic bed & breakfast experience in Ojai, head straight to the cozy Lavender Inn. This charming B&B includes several uniquely decorated rooms, a beautiful free-form garden filled with herbs and flowers and an overlooking porch where guests can enjoy breakfast. And not just any breakfast—other hotels have nothing on the delicious homemade meals that Lavender Inn cooks up every morning, including fresh-baked biscuits, frittatas, squeezed juices, etc. B&B bonuses include meticulous individualized service, wine and cheese at 5pm every evening and a super short walking distance to the center of downtown Ojai’s main stretch of shops and restaurants. The Inn regularly hosts wedding ceremonies and also offers amazing culinary classes, a spa and private yoga lessons.
Quick stats: Spa, pet-friendly, walking distance to downtown
For B&B pastorality
Blue Iguana Inn, a peaceful hacienda-style hotel with Spanish architecture, is nestled right on the main road into Ojai. Amenities include a pool, jacuzzi, complimentary continental breakfast and tastefully decorated (dog-friendly) suites with hardwood floors and high ceilings. While the Blue Iguana is not very centrally located, Ojai is so small that this means just a short drive to the downtown shopping district, where parking should be a breeze. Tip: Rooms towards the back of the property, farther from the street, are quieter.
Quick stats: Pool, pet-friendly, kid-friendly
For a peaceful retreat