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The Oaks at Ojai: Relaxed Bliss in an Artsy Enclave

Last Updated on July 20, 2023

(This article originally appeared in 2010 on the former Examiner.com website.)

Facade of the Oaks at Ojai spa and hotel
The Oaks at Ojai spa and hotel is located smack dab in the middle of town.

“Detoxing” has become more than just a fad. For some of us who live hectic everyday lives, it’s a downright necessity if we want to function our best and keep in balance. Sometimes you need more than a glass of lemonade and cayenne to find your equilibrium. In some cases, you need to just get out of Dodge altogether.

That’s precisely what I did after a weekend in Vegas that almost required my liver to go on strike. I needed to reset, to come back to LA refreshed and renewed. After a wee bit of internet research, I found my destination: the art-filled enclave of Ojai, less than two hours from my Westside doorstep. And within Ojai, I found the welcome respite of The Oaks at Ojai.

It’s not just because of the spa’s long history that you feel compelled to shed technology — and stress. (Cell phones are not allowed in most common areas of the property.) Every part of The Oaks experience is designed with wellness in mind, which is evident from the moment your orientation guide leads you on a tour of the grounds and introduces you to the various well-making amenities. Spas and saunas have, of course, been part of the package since the property first converted to a spa. But other changes are abounding as well.

The fireplace area at The Oaks at Ojai
Snuggle up for a cozy night in front of the fire at The Oaks at Ojai.

The historic spa, located on the site of Ojai’s original hotel, has undertaken renovations throughout the property, upgrading many of its rooms to 600-plus-square-foot suites, some of which are located in stand-alone casitas with their own enclosed gardens. The property itself sits smack dab in the middle of Ojai Avenue, the town’s main fairway, so most every attraction is within walking distance, including the Ojai Playhouse and the arcade, the focal point of all town happenings.

But there’s plenty happening on The Oaks’ property to keep you occupied all day. A regularly changing roster of fitness programs for mind and body consists of everything from yoga and aqua fitness to cooking demos and writing seminars. The outdoor pool and hot tub area acts as the main outdoor congregation place, while the cozy nook by the lobby fireplace often finds guests tucked into a book or waiting for a spa treatment just down the hall. Meals are served communal style, making it easy to get chummy with new friends.

Of course, as a spa, The Oaks’ primary objective is health, and this ethic is reflected both in the food and in the activities. Meal plans consist of a daily 1,000-calorie diet, including snacks but not whatever treats you sneak away from the cooking demos. Despite the light fare, meals are filling and surprisingly tasty — far more so than a frozen Weight Watchers dinner.

Meals and community activities are all included in the nightly rate (starting at $192 per person), but spa treatments and other extras require an additional fee. Although The Oaks attracts a primarily female clientele, it is open to both genders, with 40-something females comprising a good portion of the clientele.

For more info: The Oaks at Ojai | 122 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023 | 800-753-OAKS (6257) | www.oaksspa.com/

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