Ojai Black Book

Posted online: June 2013

Despite the frenetic development of southern California over the past decades, quiet towns of yesteryear can still be discovered tucked away in hidden areas. One such locale is Ojai, and the Ojai Rancho Inn—husband/wife hoteliers Chris Sewell and Kenny Osehan’s newest property—is an equally charming destination for a romantic weekend or simply a well-needed vacation over the hill. A spur-of-the-moment trip to the town’s hot springs a few years ago led to a relaxing night at the inn, which the duo fell in love with. They immediately contacted the owner, expressing their interest in buying the property.“We felt like Ojai was on the precipice of something new and exciting,” says Osehan. Nestled in the heart of town, the hotel captures the historic beauty of the area while also providing a peaceful atmosphere. With private balconies, a relaxing back area with a fire pit, a grill, and shuffleboard, and a soon-to-be poolside wine bar to be called the Chief’s Peak, the inn is perfect for warm summer weather. When the sun goes down and the temperatures drop, in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces add just the right touch for a cozy night. And the best thing about it: the reasonable prices (from $99 per night) won’t break the bank. –Krista Kaczorowski

OJAI RANCHO INN 615 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai, 805-646-1434, ojairanchoinn.com.


Just in time for summer, guest rooms and pool cabanas at the Capri Hotel805-646-4305, hotelojai.com, have undergone a renovation, resulting in a modern look.



Faceology’s supernatural serum; the Kuyam at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Farmer and the Cook, 805-640-9608, farmerandcook.com, is a quintessential Ojai experience—all the food for the cafe and market comes from Olivia Chase and Steve Sprinkel’s farm, and they also have a general store featuring local goods and art. • Bart’s Books, 805-646-3755, bartsbooksojai.com, is an outdoor book shop on with an amazingly well-curated selection. Plus, if you’re in dire need to read, there are books on shelves along the outside of the building you can buy 24/7 on the honor system. • Artist Beatrice Wood was a creative force who followed Krishnamurti to the area in 1947. Her home is now open to the public as the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, 805-646-3381, beatricewood.com, featuring her ceramics and workshops. • The best kept beauty secret is Kristy Narayan’s spiritual facials and her handmade Faceology serums, faceology.com. • Detox and recharge with a Kuyam treatment at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 855-697-8780, ojairesort.com. • Wanda Sakai brings contemporary living to town with Modern Folk, 805-640-0678, modernfolkliving.com, her boutique featuring well-selected goods such as Heath Ceramics and Kinfolk magazine.

Local artisanal fare.


Originally a gas station and market that opened in 1932, the Deer Lodge, 805-646-4256, ojaideerlodge.net, is now a local watering hole and the place to go for a bite—farm to table fare including buffalo and venison burgers—while catching live bands. Don’t miss the Thursday night Jamborees and a performance by He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.
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[Read more in the latest issue of SB Mag, Summer 2013]

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