When it comes to a picturesque escape, Ojai, California, doesn't disappoint. I recently had the chance to explore this charming town, and my journey began with a stay at the enchanting hidden gem- Ojai Rancho Inn.
Ojai Rancho Inn: A Hippie Haven Hidden Gem
My first night in Ojai was nothing short of magical, thanks to the Rancho Inn. This small hotel radiated a charming, hippie, and vibey atmosphere that immediately left a lasting impression. What caught my eye was the impeccable attention to detail; the place was adorned with touches like Palo Santo and even authentic copal from Mexico, enhancing the overall ambiance- the Gift Shop is the cutest!! The romantic atmosphere was undeniable, with a cute bar adorned with crystals and a vibey pool area complete with inviting hammocks and a sauna. One of the highlights of this stay was the nature trail that led straight to the town. This added an adventurous twist to the experience, allowing me to explore the area with ease. The tie-dye curtains and motel-style design gave the inn a unique, laid-back character that blended high-end comfort with a hippie spirit seamlessly. And the best part? The price was just right, making this place the perfect embodiment of Ojai's essence.
Exploring Charming Ojai Town
But it wasn't just the inn that won my heart; Ojai itself proved to be an incredible destination. The town offered a myriad of delights, from perfect diners to cozy coffee shops, and great vibes at every turn. Moreover, Ojai seemed to resonate with a unique spiritual energy. The crystal shops, healing centers and boutiques that dotted the town were not only beautiful but also radiated a special kind of serenity and charm. It felt like a place where you could connect with nature and your inner self effortlessly. Lavender Inns and peace sanctuaries were sprinkled throughout, inviting visitors to unwind and rejuvenate. Ojai is small and walkable, and it's incredibly rich in experiences. I can't wait to return and explore even more of this enchanting town that left a lasting mark on my heart!
Some Spots to check out in town:
The Crystal Corner - for all your crystal needs to remind you of the ojai energy forever
The Nest- the cutest lunch spot recommended by a local, great place to just grab a drink &snack
Bonnie Lu's- don't be fooled by this diner, the place gets packed and the breakfast is incredible all with a funky 70s vibe
Love Social Cafe- the perfect coffee shop and hangout spot
Ojai Certified Farmer's Market- check out on Sunday mornings
Move Sanctuary- the most peaceful yoga studio nonprofit supporting the ojai community
Somatic Sanctuary- a place for all your wellness needs, incredible holistic healing options
Plant Based- this place is just so inviting with the plants that you have to stop in, they do have some local artists gifts too
Revel Kombucha Bar and Acai- such yummy acai bowls!
Olivella- also recommend to us by a local, a yummy italian spot for an upscale dinner, so fresh and worth it!
Ojai Valley Inn: A Luxurious Resort Retreat
Following my Rancho Inn adventure, I embarked on an even grander experience – being a bridesmaid at a wedding hosted at the prestigious Ojai Valley Inn, a luxurious 5-star resort. The resort served as an absolutely stunning wedding venue, though it's essential to note that the rooms, while comfortable, were fairly basic. The food, too, was good but not necessarily the highlight. What truly stole the show was the breathtaking scenery and the enchanting environment that enveloped the resort.
The pool cabanas, set against the backdrop of majestic mountains, were nothing short of surreal. Witnessing the sunsets and sunrises here was simply awe-inspiring, adding an extra touch of magic to the whole experience. I almost forgot, if you are into golf it is one of the most beautiful golf courses around.
The Kuyam Spa Experience: A Relaxing Interlude
During my stay at the Ojai Valley Inn, I also had the pleasure of indulging in "The Kuyam" spa experience, which proved to be both amazing and relaxing. While we initially expected a Native American ceremony leader, it turned out that the meditation part was a Spotify recording. However, this didn't diminish the overall incredible treatment.
The journey took us to a heated room adorned with Moroccan-style tiles, where we were provided with different types of clay to apply to our skin. We then enjoyed an hour of blissful relaxation in the heat before showering and being led to a charming relaxation area, complete with tea and cookies.
Despite the initial letdown about the shaman, I would do this spa experience again in a heartbeat. It was incredibly relaxing, and my skin felt rejuvenated afterward. It's a fantastic activity to enjoy with a group of friends. Plus, it's worth mentioning that it's one of the more budget-friendly options on the spa menu, and it grants you access to the spa's amenities, including the pool, saunas, steam room, and outdoor showers.
A Wedding to Remember
As for the wedding itself, it was nothing short of magical and dreamy, surpassing the beauty of many venues I've experienced in my numerous wedding adventures. The Ojai Valley Inn truly created an unforgettable backdrop for this special day.
All wedding photos taken by photographer: michellebeller
In conclusion, my journey through Ojai was a delightful mix of bohemian charm, luxury retreats, and memorable experiences. From the Rancho Inn's hippie haven to the Ojai Valley Inn's luxurious allure, this quaint California town offers something for every traveler, making it a destination worth exploring time and time again. I can’t wait to return!
If you are in Cali then driving is an option. If not, the easiest way is to fly into Santa Barbara Airport and then take an uber or rent a car. It is about an hour drive to Ojai from there. We decided to Uber and it was easy since the town is fairly small!
Let me know your magical experiences in Ojai.