Affordable weekends, economy getaways and dirt-cheap diversions are all well and good in travel writing, but what about serving the 1% of travelers who control 90% of the country’s wealth? Enter the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, where its five-day, four-night “Ultimate Escape” package for two comes in at an ultimately reasonable $31,000. No couple has actually taken the escape yet, mind you, but if they did . . .
They would be picked up by limousine at their doorstep, then ferried up a gorgeous coastline (thankfully, still pumping oil), turning inland at Ventura, where they climb a modest grade before dropping into the quaint valley of Ojai--corner barbecues, children on horses, used-book emporiums run by village characters. Really, quaint. But quaintness only goes so far, and so it is a blessing to check into the lodgings: a 1,750-square-foot Spanish Colonial penthouse suite sitting directly above the inn’s spa, complete with two bedrooms (Moroccan themed), three fireplaces, a private terrace with whirlpool overlooking the golf course, and your own sauna and treatment room. Civilized, the penthouse even comes with a personal concierge.
The wonderful thing about the Ojai Valley Inn’s package is that it’s 100% inclusive--after spending the $31,000, you don’t have to worry about money for your stay. And so on Friday, dip into everything offered by the spa. Experience the “Journey to Serenity” facial, the hydrotherapy massage and “Watsu,” the Yamaguchi green tea treatment. Take in Ojai honey scrubs and craniosacral therapy and reflexology. Bliss your way through elderberry herbal wraps, Moor mud body wraps and ayurvedic herbal detoxification wraps. Have your nails done. Eventually, you’ll feel so healthy you might want to slum for lunch, limoing off the property to a local McDonald’s, then shopping in the village for necessities (linen sweaters, vases, golf balls).
Dinner, however, will not emerge from a boiling oil vat. It’ll be served on the terrace by the inn’s chef. Sample fresh snails in a Barolo wine reduction, seared Hudson Valley foie gras on sour apricots and inn-cured salmon. Sunset in Ojai is named the “Pink Moment,” and as you sip 1995 Colgin Cabernet (typically $600 a bottle, included), the high cliffs rimming the valley glow the same color as a cut of your Colorado lamb loin. There will be Irish dance lessons tomorrow, scalp treatments, painting classes, pine baths. But for now, sit in the pink.