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Reviewed 16 April 2007

My mom and I recently celebrated her 61st birthday with a three day weekend to the Oaks at Ojai and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to balance out some of the hard work and stress we both experience so often in our daily lives. She is a lawyer works hard to maintain a sole practice. Like so many women I know, we both neglect ourselves to the point of exhaustion at times. The food and exercise program at the Oaks was so great because it reconnected us with all things moderate and healthful. The meals were delicious and we both appreciated the weight-wise portions. We both loved the stretching and yoga classes and vowed to do it every day at home. The NIA exercise class was the most fun and we've both made efforts to find classes in our own towns. You must try the Watsu spa treatment. It was truly the most amazing experience in relaxation I've ever encountered. Be prepared to go off site for this and totally surrender yourself to a perfect stranger (and a highly trained, specialized therapist in this treatment). I was picked up at the Oaks by the therapist and taken to her home nearby, where she had a heated Watsu pool in her back yard. She was an amazing guide through this treatment and I felt like I made a friend, of sorts, through the process. Be aware that the Oaks is a very down-scale, low-frills reatreat. It's clean and tidy, well-groomed and cozy. But if you're looking for a luxury spa, or concierge and room service, this isn't the place for you. But we found the down-to-earth, comfy and casual vibe perfect for what we were looking for and both left a little lighter in both mind and body. We look forward to our next mother-daughter visit to the Oaks.

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7  Thank sje2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2007

Please be aware that this 'inn' is NOT a resort in the sense of a relaxing, comfortable hotel with luxury spa facilities and amenities...far from it! This place looks like it has not been renovated since the 70s - it has the look, feel and smell of a youth hostel with NO amenities at all in the actual rooms, a 'gym' which is really a few machines placed IN THE LOBBY, and some dark, dismal massage rooms with furnishings we were afraid to touch for sanitary reasons. The bed linens were motel quality, and there was a wall dispenser of Softsoap in the shower! Ew.
Also, This is billed as a health spa - but it's really a low-end weight loss hotel for (mostly older) women, and they don't serve any normal food. It's a monitored, scheduled menu, with no sugar, caffeine or white flour available. AND they throw out any food you keep in your room! So, if you don't know this, you're out of luck if you're hungry! Not for a 'vacation' destination by any means. Luckily, we moved to The Ojai Valley inn & Spa - a true luxury property with a real spa and gorgeous rooms. (yes, it cost more but the relative cost was worth it)

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled on business
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15  Thank cattroxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2007

Recently spent one night at the Oaks during a short touring vacation of the Ojai/Ventura area.

Did not book in advance so received a 'cottage in the garden' at walk in rate of $120.00. There was a most strange booking in system - at the Reception we were told to go to the office; at the office we were told to go to Reception ?? All our credit card information was written down by hand and then we were told to wait while it was "put into the computer"

The cottage room proved to be a room in a single-level block of 4 rooms. I noticed that across the way was a block of 3 rooms in adobe style so they may be the updated ones; ours certainly was not. The block probably dated from the 70's and was in need of fresh paint and repair work. Room had 2 beds, a stained armchair, TV in worn armoir and small table and 2 dining chairs. All were old and tired. Decor was brown and beige. The bathroom was the oldest I have ever been in. The bed was comfortable and as hubby said "it will do for one night" However we learned at 12 midnight that there was no soundproofing when our neighbours came in. They were not shouting or being particularly noisy but we heard every word. It was only when we started to talk rather energetically that they realised their conversations were being overheard and quietened down. How guests stay here for a spa vacation is beyond me. The inclusive breakfast comprised either shredded wheat or oatmeal with fat free milk, slices of pineapple with (in my case) slightly mouldy grapes and heavy duty muffins. I understand that the rooms in the main building have been updated but the majority of the resort is old and well passed its sellby date. We also found parking difficult and the streets on both sides of this establishment are very noisy.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank Jennyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2007

Rude front desk staff except for Pamela and Tracy.
NO Customer service at all.
Be sure to ask questions but that may not matter. I will tell you the staff told me that service were included in our stay. So I booked two but when we checked out I was surprised to see the charges on my bill. When I questioned the charges all they would say was “you should have known”. But when I said the staff member told me they were included and the staff member even admitted she said that and they still would not take off the charges. Oh well so much for customer service.

The food was quite good as far as low cal low fat food goes.
The workout classes were great (pool, mind and body, stretching, hula, dance, and the ball classes) I wish they would put some time to train the front desk staff to be as customer service oriented as the workout staff. The workout staff will stay after class to answer any questions you might have about the exercises.

We had a great time playing Bingo with Cherie one of the cooks. Cherie is so into I love Lucy and has great trivia questions during bingo. BINGO is a must.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled with friends
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8  Thank dalibord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2007

I have never written a review before, but I just returned from my stay there and felt compelled to post something now. My girlfriends and I wanted a relaxing vacation and this was NOT it. Some things that we were unaware of are 1. It's predominantly women clientele; 2. The age range skews slightly older; 3. The menu varies but is actually quite good; 4. There are no robes or slippers for the spa or the pool or anything. Unfortunately, these discoveries do not outweigh the fact that we are all returning from our vacation feeling violated and very much not relaxed! Long story short, my car was broken into on the property in the middle of the night. Although the on-site manager was horrified that this could occur, the overall staff there was NOT helpful in dealing with the aftermath. In fact, one staff member asked if he could go on break before helping us deal with the broken glass and cleanup. Another staff member asked that I not use my cell phone to call for help since it is a cell free property. When we requested a late check out so we could deal with the repercussions of the incident, we were told that we could store our stuff in the day spa rather than have the extra hour (ultimately we were allowed longer time because the next guest wasn't due until the next day, but it was still appalling to hear considering the break-in occurred on their property). We were not offered compensation, if anything, we felt like we were being asked to leave quietly so other guests would not be alerted to the vandalism. As a small sidenote, after hanging my almost-dried swimsuit in the shower overnight, we returned back to the room after breakfast, we found that the housekeeping staff cleaned the shower and did not work around the hanging suit. Instead, the suit was drenched and stained with some sort of chemical leaving it a disgusting orange and therefore unwearable (so who knows what they are using to clean each room -- beware!). So if you do decide to go to this resort, PLEASE bring more than one suit and more importantly, bring a club or some sort of security device for your car. Also request that the hotel add security to the property as there are several parking lots which are small, unlit and VERY unsafe. Don't say you weren't warned...

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled with friends
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10  Thank SG1Day
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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