THE LAVENDER INN
In the morning at breakfast at the charming Lavender Inn in the center of the Ojai’s old district someone asked the inevitable Southern California question “Isn’t that…” (insert someone famous here). And indeed on a closer glance it was indeed a former television series star of the 70s, and child of a British acting dynasty at the sumptuous freshly prepared breakfast spread. She and her husband, another former young movie star hunk now in more sedate years, staying at the popular inn. Goes to show you never know who’ll you encounter as Ojai has been attracting celebrities to this enclave of artists and the spiritual since the days of silent movies.
The Lavender Inn originally began as Ojai’s first schoolhouse, built in 1874 and added to to provide a home for its teacher. Over the following years it had transitioned into a community center, a hotel called the Ojai Manor, then a B&B as the Moon’s Nest Inn. Owners Kathy and Mark Hartley bought the property in 2003 as a real estate renovation project and discovered a passion as hoteliers as a result. They renamed the revitalized and renovated inn after the aromatic flower being grown around Ojai. The building itself was named as an historic landmark.
The Lavender Inn offers a warm and welcoming feeling like a personal home with fireplaces, a large living room and even a library. Each of the individual rooms in the Craftsman style mansion offers its own decorative style, some with private balconies and a selection of art and antiques. Suites and a cottage separate from the main house accessed through the yard where crisply maintained garden spaces offer view the mountains beyond the yard from the lounges under relaxing natural shade of oaks. Fresh flowers in each of the rooms brings the garden atmosphere indoors for an immersive experience.
The Lavender Inn is also home to the Ojai Culinary School with a variety of hands-on and demonstration cooking classes from visiting chefs to local expert cooks. If you attend a cooking class, you can get a 10% discount off the room, (good for one night Sunday through Thursday). If you don’t want to cook but just eat, the gourmet breakfasts are served buffet style and can be enjoyed inside in the dining room, on the shaded Veranda or under the garden arbor surrounded by the aromas of the fresh herb garden. The Lavender Inn is perfect for romantic getaways and is quite popular for weddings. The Lavender Inn is located at 210 East Matilija Street in the heart of Ojai, steps from the iconic arcade and easy walk from the Libbey Park and festival bowl (see Libbey Bowl). For activities you can rent a bike and peddle around town or take Jeep Tour of Ojai (see Ojai Jeep Tours). © Bargain Travel West
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