The Oaks at Ojai in Ojai, California
visited this destination spa in September 2012
The Oaks at Ojai*
I’ve known about The Oaks at Ojai for about as long as I’ve known about spas. It was always on my list of spas to visit and, happily, I finally have. We all have fitness expert and the founder/owner of The Oaks, Sheila Cluff, to thank for the “aerobics” portion of our workouts. When she introduced it to the world in the 1950s, she called it “cardiovascular dance.” Sheila opened The Oaks in 1977 and today, 35 years later, she is still teaching fitness classes. I had the great pleasure of taking her Mind/Body Awareness class during my stay.
The Lobby of The Oaks at Ojai (renovated in 2011)*
The Oaks is an all-inclusive destination spa occupying a full block in the center of the charming town of Ojai, California. It’s reasonably priced – rates ranged from $199 to $350 per person per night (double occupancy) at the time of my visit - and is even more economical with special offers such as Mother-Daughter and Half-Price-Roommates. The daily rate includes ~15 optional fitness classes geared for all fitness levels, guided hikes and walks, three flavorful calorie-conscious meals, snacks, beverages, an on-site health advisor, evening activities, wellness lectures and complete use of all facilities.
The facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool; an outdoor whirlpool; a handicap accessible indoor spa sanctuary (women only
from 7:30am - 6:00pm and coed from 6:00pm-10:30pm) that has a lockers for day guests, an indoor whirlpool, washrooms, showers, eucalyptus steam room and redwood sauna; spa treatment rooms and a fitness center equipped with lifecycles, stair masters, treadmills, and Paramount equipment.
Indoor whirlpool in the Spa Sanctuary*
The Oaks has 46 guest rooms and can comfortably accommodate 78. There were between 40 and 50 guests staying at The Oaks during my visit, but the spa can and usually does accommodate up to 90 when special offers are in effect. Based on the guests there during my visit, I would say that The Oaks attracts women that are middle-aged and older. In other words, I fit right in. Apparently, there were a couple of men staying there, as well, but I rarely saw them.
When you make reservations, you have the choice of reserving a single room, a double room to share with a person with whom you are travelling or a double room to share with a roommate that The Oaks arranges for you. I went to The Oaks alone and found it to be a very welcoming and comfortable environment for the single traveler. At meals, other guests such as Connie and Terri always invited me to join them at their table, and I invited others in turn. Many of the women I met have come to The Oaks for years – 22 for Judy, 11 for Laura. Some were staying for the day (like the two sisters from LA), some for a few days (like me) and some for weeks (like Connie). Most were from nearby California cities, but two women I met had come from Florida. Some women were there for pampering, some for weight loss and fitness and some for a little escape and peace of mind.
Plants at The Oaks at Ojai
Click on the links below to read more about my experience at The Oaks at Ojai...
The Oaks at Ojai
122 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
• Phone: 800-753-OAKS (6257)
• Web Site: www.oaksspa.com
Early Arrival: You may arrive prior to the designated Check-In Time. However, your room cannot be guaranteed until 3:00pm. If you come early, you can secure your belongings in a locker with the Front Desk and begin your Oaks experience.
Sharing a Room: The Oaks offers both private and shared accommodations. If you chose to share a room, you are agreeing to make it comfortable and equitable for both you and your roommate.
Typical Guest: The typical Oaks guest is a fifty-year-old woman who just wants to relax and take in all the positive, nurturing elements of a healthy lifestyle. The Oaks guests range in age from 16 to about 85, both male and female.
Electronic Equipment: The Oaks is a cell-phone free environment. You may use your cell-phone in the privacy of your own room and outside The Oaks front doors. The Oaks has one laptop for guest use provided on a first come, first serve basis. Wi-Fi hotspots are located in the common room known as the “Winner’s Circle.” The lobby and most rooms have Wi-Fi access if you prefer to work on your own laptop. You may want to consider bringing your CD player, mp3 or IPod to listen to when working out on the exercise equipment as well.
Laundry: There is a self-service washer and dryer on site. A wash load costs 75 cents and a dry load costs 25 cents. Detergent is available, but feel free to bring your own. The Oaks does not sell or provide dryer sheets, however.
Valuables: The Oaks offers complimentary safety deposit boxes (2.5” X 22”), which are located at the front desk. The Suites have personal safety deposit boxes. Most guests choose to leave their valuables at home.
Tipping: A daily service charge is posted to your account to cover gratuities for the cooks, wait staff, housemen, and housekeepers. Tips are not included in the price of any ticketed service. Tips can be paid in cash after your service or can be added to your ticket and charged to your room.
Smoking: The Oaks is a non-smoking facility. If you choose to smoke, you must do so outside The Oaks property.
Spa Service Cancellation: Spa Service cancellations must be done by 8:00am on the day of the service. You will be held responsible for cancelled or missed appointments after that time and will be charged. Some services have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so please check the tickets you sign.
Spas in California
copyright 2012, Julie Register unless marked * which are courtesy of The Oaks at Ojai
As is common in the travel industry, Julie Register was provided with a complimentary stay at The Oaks at Ojai, a guided hike and a dot.com massage for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, she believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
New Spa at Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Guests who book a stay of five-nights or more can also take advantage of a $1,500 Resort Credit , which can be used on room upgrades, spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners, and more. Palace Resorts all-inclusive accommodations start at $171 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. To reserve your Palace Resorts stay, please visit www.PalaceResorts.com, call (800) 635-1836 or contact your preferred travel professional.
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
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I'm a believer.
Hearth Health Month at mySpaShop including the best in health and wellness products from companies that give to those in need.