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July 2006

Best in Summer Enjoyment for the Whole Family
by Bonnie Carroll

A historic landmark resort devoted to rest and relaxation, the four-diamond Ojai Valley Inn Resort & Spa has been a favorite escape for Hollywood stars and political leaders since it opened in the early 1920s. Following a $90 million renovation and expansion, the resort offers a classic 1923 golf course and Spa Ojai, one of the top 10 spas in America. A new Artist Cottage offers specialty art classes with Janna Valenzuela, and the Spa Cafe is a charming new restaurant next to the spa where guests may enjoy the best in healthy breakfast and lunch favorites.

Located in the charming historic Spanish style town of Ojai, fourteen miles from the Pacific Ocean, 35 miles south of Santa Barbara and 73 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Ojai's unique east-west orientation attracted the Chumash Indians, the original inhabitants of this area who revered it as a place of healing, as well as contemporary spiritual seekers who ascribe mystical powers to this valley that is still called "The Nest." Today, the Ojai Valley is a haven for artists, writers and movie stars who find inspiration in Ojai's serene beauty.

The resort offers 308 spacious rooms and suites, most with fireplaces and terraces with spectacular mountain and golf course views. All rooms have king or double beds with exclusive "Ojai Nest" bedding, LCD flat-screen televisions and high-speed Internet access. All guests have complimentary access to Spa Ojai with a scheduled spa treatment and selected classes.

Year-round activities include golf on the George C. Thomas designed 18-hole championship course, horseback riding and lessons at the Inn's own 800-acre ranch, full service tennis center with 4 hard courts, 2 heated swimming pools and whirlpools. Camp Ojai for children 5-12 offers supervised educational activities with a focus on learning about the Chumash Indians, and a daily visit to the Ranch's small animal farm and a pony ride. The Camp Ojai gives parents some time to relax, and the kids really seem to enjoy the activities.

Spa Ojai is an award-winning 31,000-square-foot luxury spa with thirty-five treatment areas, including massage rooms with fireplaces, and offers an unusual variety of therapies, plus whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas and sunbathing loggias for men and women. The luxurious 3,500-square-foot spa penthouse has a private elevator, meditation loft and large terraces with private outdoor whirlpools and fireplaces for guests. The fitness center is well equipped with a state-of-the-art cardio theatre, a full selection of weight machines and free weights. A daily schedule of complimentary mind/body classes includes t'ai chi, yoga, qi gong, meditation, spinning, and water aerobics, plus more unusual offerings such as dancing and cardio-boxing.

Maravilla, the Inn's elegant signature restaurant, has gone through a magnificent transformation, and now has three distinctly different areas to accommodate diners. Each section is decorated with its own exquisite color scheme, and offers an environment fitting the gourmet dining menu. The outdoor patio of Maravilla overlooks the golf coarse, and is a dreamy place for a sunset dinner.

Executive Chef Andy Arndt has brought imagination and culinary skill to Maravilla, the Oak Grill Cafe, and Jimmy's. The menu at all three venues has changed, and each restaurant offers something different to please a variety of tastes. The Oak Grill is an outdoor patio setting that offers an American Grill menu ideal for family breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jimmy's is a comfortable pub style setting where golfers may enjoy lunch or dinner favorites of burgers, great steaks and all the trimmings.

Maravilla is the signature restaurant where beautiful food is served in beautiful rooms. Chef Arndt presents some extraordinary dishes at Maravilla, including a delicious foie gras that melts in your mouth, a lobster three ways presentation that is almost too beautiful to eat, and many more outstanding dishes. The dessert chef is magical and provides artistic and delicious endings like tiny lemon cream cakes with strawberry sorbet that is simply sensational. The resort has special menus for kids in all their restaurant venues that offer healthy kid friendly foods. Picnic baskets or box lunches are available for any family outing.

The resort is a member of Historic Hotels of America, International Spa Association,
Virtuoso Preferred Property, Associated Luxury Hotels International, Prestige Resorts & Destinations.

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Resort Telephone: 805-646-1111 or 800-422-6524
Resort Fax: 805-646-7969
Spa Ojai Telephone: 888-SPA-OJAI (888-772-6524)
Golf Shop Telephone: 805-646-2420
www.ojairesort.com, www.spaojai.com, www.golfojai.com


Nationally acclaimed James Beard winning Chef Robert McGrath will be joining Talon Lodges Visiting Chef Series: Great Chefs, Great Food, Great Fishing, and Spectacular Setting. Talon Lodge is located in Southeast Alaska where the gourmet meals are only exceeded by the awe-inspiring views of Sitka, Mount Edgecumbe and the Pacific. McGrath is one of 4 select chefs that will be featuring during the series. He will be cooking Wednesday, August 9th - Thursday, August 17th. For more details visit www.talonlodge.com.


On June 15th Rachel Bilson, Chef Yossi and DJ Jake Hoffman presented an intimate celebration benefiting the Los Angeles Mission.

Rachel Bilson presented Chef Yossi to Los Angeles at the Chef Yossi kick-off event, where Chef Yossi, the renowned Los Angeles based personal chef to the stars, introduced deluxe personal care line for gourmet chefs and food lovers at Hollywood’s hottest southern food eatery, Memphis Restaurant at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard.

Entertainment was provided by DJ Jake Hoffman. Guests were encouraged to make a twenty dollar donation at the door to benefit the Los Angeles Mission, a non-profit organization that serves the homeless living in Los Angeles’ Skin Row.


© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved