A little more than an hour's drive from Los Angeles, but a world away, lies the small, idyllic town of Ojai, home to the Su Nido Inn. The first all-suite hotel property in Ojai, the Su Nido opens its doors on June 1, 2006.
The Su Nido Inn was designed in the Mission Revival style, which compliments many of Ojai's architectural gems. Its spacious one- and two-bedroom suites are built around an inviting cobblestone courtyard, where a wine and cheese happy hour will be offered to guests on Friday and Saturday nights.
Unique features of the hotel include a grand wrought iron entrance gate and lampposts, which cast a soft glow over the inn at night. Warm umber tones, olive trees and a majestic fountain add to the ambience. Envision a Spanish hacienda or Tuscan villa for comparison.
A family-owned property, owners Ben and Wendy Larner have been in the hotel business for over 25 years. They also own Casa Ojai, the Su Nido's sister hotel.
Of his latest endeavor, Ben Larner says, 'I saw the need for a luxury suites hotel in Ojai.'
Jetsetters looking for a weekend getaway should flock to this property for an escape from the everyday. The inn's motto is 'Su Nido, your nest in Ojai,' and, the property lives up to its name.
Guest will find themselves pampered with luxuries from feather beds with fine imported linens to Molton Brown of London body therapies to be enjoyed in soaking tubs. Sumptuous waffle robes and slippers come in handy while relaxing in front of the fireplace or lounging on the suite's private patio or deck.
An LCD television, DVD player or alarm clock that has an input for your MP3 player are also extra benefits to a stay at the Su Nido. In case you need a late-night nibble, every suite includes a kitchen or a hospitality center with microwave and refrigerator.
Carried a step further, each of the property's nine suites, which range in size from 600 to 1000 square feet, is named for a different bird. For instance, the handicap accessible 'Robin' suite has blue accoutrements such as a stunning robin mosaic and cornflower-colored checkerboard, while the 'Raven' has high-beamed ceilings and black accents. In the mood to stargaze from your own hot tub? If so, book the 'Heron.' Looking for the ultimate in seclusion? The 'Condor' a freestanding, two-bedroom, two-bath stunner with its own parking garage is the suite for you.
Local artist Simone Turner was commissioned to create one-of-a-kind mosaic art for each suite as well as the hotel's picturesque courtyard. 'I jumped on the opportunity. The Larners had a very unique vision and gave me a lot of direction. It was fun to work within their parameters,' said Turner, who spent time researching bird books and used tiles from local company RTK Studios, for her creations.
While the inn does not offer on-site activities, arrangements will be made for guests seeking tee times, restaurant recommendations or spa treatments.
Downtown Ojai with its bevy of shops, art galleries and restaurants is only a stone's throw away.
For fit-minded folks, there are a wealth of hiking trails and bike paths. One recommended walk is a trek along Shelf Road, a fire road overlooking Ojai. Offering sweeping vistas of town center along with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, this walk is a must for first-time visitors. Orange and avocado groves, bearing fruit close enough to pick, dotted the path. Fields of wildflowers served as sanctuaries for bees and butterflies.
For the more adventurous, there are advanced rock climbs and mountain biking trails into the Los Padres National Forest.
Rooms range in price from $179-$475 per night. Planning to host a corporate retreat, family reunion or weekend getaway with friends? The entire inn may be booked for about $4000 per night with a two-night minimum stay.
For more information, visit www.sunidoinn.com www.sunidoinn.com
Photos courtesy of Adam Brett Photography