Deal of the Month: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

March 23, 2013

OjaiSome golfers crave a U.S. Open–type beat-down. Me? I prefer a relaxing, playable course that offers a glorious setting, a dose of history and, if possible, an easy drive from a major city.

In other words, Ojai (pronounced "OH-high").

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a rustic charmer 75 miles northwest of L.A. Even without its delightful layout, the resort would be worth a visit, with its Mission-style architecture, sybaritic spa, and superior service.

Merely 6,292 yards from the tips, this welcoming 90-year-old course is drenched in character, thanks to a graceful routing among the oaks and slopes, courtesy of architects George Thomas Jr. and Billy Bell, the men responsible for Riviera and Bel-Air. (Later renovations feature the work of Jay Morrish.) The Topa Topa Mountains add to the magic, at least for Chi Chi Rodriguez and Al Geiberger, who were among the winners in the years the Champions Tour stopped by.

The Ultimate Golf Vacation Package for Two includes lodging, unlimited golf and cart, lunch at Jimmy's and a logo hat. April rates start at $579 per night, double occupancy. 855-697-8780, (Photo: Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn)