Hollywood types have been retreating to the Ojai Valley for most of a century; in fact, the area is so green and eye-pleasing, it stood in for Shangri-la in the movie Lost Horizon. And the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa stays true to that elegant yet mystical history. On the outside: classic Spanish Colonial-style architecture, flower beds and herb gardens, a rolling golf course, and a scattering of pristine pools. Inside: a top-notch spa, restaurants focused on locavore cuisine, and crisply renovated guest rooms stocked with pampering products from the resort’s own apothecary.
Most couples want an outdoor ceremony, and the inn will be happy to set up a canopy beside a flower garden, on a velvet lawn, or on a patio laid with Mexican tiles. If you’re hosting a big, formal party, you have two ballrooms to choose from. Craving something more intimate? Think about a lantern-lit banquet under the fruit trees in the Herb Garden. You could do a poolside dinner with a long feasting table, or invite everyone to supper in a private dining room lined with floor-to-ceiling wine racks, where wide windows overlook the emerald valley.
It’s an easy drive from L.A., about 90 minutes south. One of the beauties of Ojai is that once you park your car, you probably won’t look at it again until you leave—the town is a walk or trolley ride away.
Keep in mind
The resort requires that you bring in your own coordinator to organize the wedding and any pre-wedding parties. And speaking of pre-wedding parties, the inn’s Big Red Barn makes a fun and funky rehearsal dinner spot; feel free to make your entrance via horseback.