The Oaks at Ojai is one of a kind. It is an all-inclusive wellness weight-loss resort in the City of Ojai in California. My sister and I went for my birthday this year and loved it so much, we want to go every year (maybe for next year's girls' trip?) The resort provides all the meals, snacks, beverages, as well as fitness classes, enrichment program, parking and wifi included in a one night stay. For three days, we didn't wear makeup nor fixed our hair, we went to bed early every night, woke up early each morning to hike or do a brisk walk around town. I especially enjoyed the morning stretch class. We followed the itinerary as closely as we could without skipping meals and snack breaks, took as many classes as possible, and if we were tired, we either took a nap or laid out by the pool. We even had time to stop by the farmers market which was only a block away and scheduled a spa service. It was low key and it was great. Everything on the itinerary was optional, and we are fully in control what we want to do at our own pace.
Check In and Check Out - Arrive Early/Stay Late!
Check in time is 3pm but you are more than welcome to arrive early to take advantage of the activities offered. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from South Orange County. My recommendation is to leave super early in the morning to avoid the Los Angeles traffic. To break up the drive a little bit, my sister and I like stopping at the Camarillo Premium Outlet which is about 45 minutes away from Ojai. On Sundays they have a Farmers Market within walking distance to the property. It is also centrally located next to Downtown Ojai. Check out time is 12pm but again you are welcome to stay and enjoy the classes and the amenities.
All Meals Included
Every day we had a simple breakfast every morning, a broth break, a healthy lunch, a veggie break, a smoothie break, and dinner. They do not cook with salt, white flour or white sugar and their serve only healthy dishes. There is always fresh fruit and beverages. After dinner, they have nightly entertainment or you can borrow from their library or a board game. Even though we had healthy food, we were never hungry. If you have special dietary restrictions, you can email them, call it in, or tell their Health Center upon check in. You can also see the menu ahead of time and request substitutions as needed. It is posted online and daily in the lobby along with the classes. We also get a copy when we check in. There is a new menu every week and it repeats every two weeks. A favorite, Mushroom Barley Burger, is offered every week. The soups and muffins repeat. Protein can be substituted if made in advance. Each menu is carefully put together limiting guests about 1400 calories a day and hopefully they are exercising more of that off. Here's an example of what was served the few days we were there.
Breakfast included simple options like a boiled egg, oatmeal, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, and multi-grain muffin, and coffee.
One of our lunches included Sweet Potato Chipotle, spinach salad with grilled chicken, mushrooms. Cucumber, tomato, onions, Parmesan cheese, HB egg, and lemon vinaigrette. We can also request to eat it poolside. Another day we were there, they served Minestrone Soup, pitta pizza, arugula salad with beets, feta, walnuts with balsamic dressing.
Daily Veggie Breaks with a variety of low calorie dips like salsa, hummus, beat humus at Oaks at Ojai!
One of the dinners we had included mixed greens with red wine vinaigrette, Stuffed portobello mushroom, quinoa pilaf & roasted vegetables, and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Another night we had sliced tomato salad, basil, red onion, Turkey Scallopini, roasted red potatoes, Pixie Brussels, sprouts, and gingered pear.
Fitness Classes & Nightly Entertainment
There are about 15 fitness classes offered each day - Morning hikes (location varies), 60 min Brisk Walk, 30 minute Morning Stroll, Morning Mediation (on select days), Morning Stretch, Pool Classes, Yoga, Cardio, Zumba, Core, Pilates, Hula Hoop, Muscle Conditioning, Dance, Step and more! They change them up every day but you can check their schedule online or at check in. In addition to their daily fitness classes, they have special activities. They range from hiking, art tours, historical town walks, in-line skating, rock climbing, guided seasonal kayaking tours, belly dancing, yoga ropes, qi gong, and cooking demos. After dinner entertainment on Saturday night was Movie & Popcorn Night. They served unsalted popcorn and fresh fruit. The following night that had affirmation collage with Kimya. Friday nights are Bingo Trivial Night for prizes with Bingo Queen, Sherry Peterson. They also have Foodie Democrats with Christine Denney on certain nights and water colors with Oatley Kidder.
There is an onsite spa facility with spa services. Both my sister and I had their 50 minutes FIT & FIRM VITAD FORTIFIED LIFTING FACIAL. It was one of the best facials I have ever had. Here's a description of what we tried but there is a full menu on their website.
This vitamin-infused facial includes a sugar cane AHA resurfacing followed by an infusion of Vitamin D and a spirulina (blue-green algae extract) mask, which delivers a high concentration of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals necessary for healthy skin formation. This hydrating mask, rich with essential oils, will lift and restore skin’s resilience and tone. While masking, the therapist will perform a luxurious arm and hand massage. This restoring facial will finish with a skin growth factor Fit & Firm Eye Lift Treatment and application of Wrinkle Reversing Serum, Moisturizing Lift Cream, and essential vitamins and antioxidants to reveal bright and luminous skin after one treatment.
The resort also has a jacuzzi that you can use anytime throughout the day, but note that later in the evening, the jacuzzi becomes co-ed so a bathing suit is required in the evenings.
Hiking Ojai Shelf Road
I have done this hike several years ago and was excited that they offered it on one of the days we were there. It is a 90-120 minute hike in the early morning (6:30 am). We met in the lobby and walked as a group. Our guide carried our water and orange slices. We could have gone longer if we wanted. Shuttle service is available for those who would like to see the views and unable to hike up there. It overlooks the city of Ojai and you can see some of their Ojai Pixie Tangerine farms which are the best tangerines in the world. They are only grown on small family farms. They are sweet, seedless and easy to peel. PS April is Pixie Month!
All About Ojai Town History Stroll
On our last morning, I went on an Ojai Town History Stroll. We have been to Ojai before and I wanted to learn more about it's history. I highly recommending this walk at least once during your visit. We met in the Lobby and went as a group on a guided stroll with Peter Brown, Oaks General Manager. He's been there for 21 years and knows so much about the whole town. Like for example, Ojai is Franchise Free. You will not find a Starbucks there. In 2007 Jersey Mikes snuck in because they didn't know what it was at the time. We walked through downtown which is a block away from the property and walked through Libbey Park. There is a new children's playground that they built a year ago. A wonderful hiking and biking trail path is also behind the Libbey Bowl and tennis courts which goes all the way down to the beach. It used to be old railroad tracks.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay in one of their modern cottages. I wasn't able to compare them to the other rooms on the property. They offer 46 guest rooms, including private rooms, courtyard suites, double lodge rooms and double cottage rooms. It was built in the 1920s in the charming town of Ojai. It is a fitness and weight loss destination spa that includes three calorie-conscious meals prepared by an onsite executive chef, there are 15 fitness classes per day and evening entertainment and seminars. Two nights is really not enough. Most of their guests are revisiting and they stay anywhere from four nights to a week to two months. Some came from out of the country. The age group is 40 and older. Everyone including the hotel guests and staff are super friendly. I went with my sister but some came alone, with a friend, or their partner. I can picture going with my sisters every year or with a friend. Gold Members tell me to sign up for their email newsletters to get discounts. We are hooked and want to go every year!
Oaks at Ojai
122 E Ojai Ave