InTravel Review: The Lavender Inn in Ojai

One block from the main street of Ojai, California someone with a big heart is the innkeeper of a historic home turned into an elegant bed and breakfast. Her name is Kathy Hartley. Her goal is to pamper guests while they’re staying in one of seven individually decorated rooms or the 1,000 sq. ft. cottage in the garden backyard.img_6301

Kathy discovered a forlorn 1874 house in need of a little love called the Moons Rest Inn. The teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing purchased the inn and renovated it to be a comfortable bed and breakfast filled with antiques and local art.img_6286

Located one street away from the hub of Ojai with it’s art galleries, shops, and farm to table restaurants, she changed the name to the Lavender Inn and incorporated a small spa on the property.img_6260

Throughout the year, couples reserve a room for a peaceful respite from work and family obligations. Some go for a BabyMoon to enjoy some personal time together before their baby is born. The in house spa offers moms to be a pre-natal massage and a Mommy facial to help with hormonal changes. A nearby baby boutique Ojai Baby, offer a 10% discount for guests staying at the Lavender Inn.

Girlfriends stay at this affordable bed and breakfast for a social getaway to be pampered with a healthy breakfast, enjoy spa time, and sit to sip wine with appetizers out on the large veranda during “the pink moment” as the sun sets.img_6274

Every late afternoon, the nearby Topatopa Mountains glow in pink hues every early evening. The Lavender Inn is a popular destination during the annual lavender and music festival in June. It sells out for the Ojai Film Festival and for healing woman’s retreats twice a year.

Over eight years ago, Hartley had a dream to provide a retreat for women with cancer. She woke up and started talking to nurses at three different local hospitals to find eight women with cancer that need pampering.img_6296

Her first InnCourage retreat, was eight years ago, as a three day and two night no cost retreat for under-served women undergoing treatment for cancer. These selected women received healthy meals, massages, facials and on site counseling. Classes by the American Cancer Society Look Good, Feel Better were offered in a group workshop setting teaching ladies beauty techniques to help them feel beautiful while undergoing appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. For those who felt strong enough to go on a gentle hike with Hartley, explored Ojai and then came back to attend a cooking class in the Inn with the in-house Italian chef. After the “pink moment” Hartley and the women sat down in the dining room to eat what they prepared. Afterwards, there was a fireside chat to get to know each other and share stories about their families, cancer fears and hope.

Each year, Hartley notices a transformation with each woman as she explores new healthy and holistic approaches to find time to relax, rejuvenate and renew her senses. Some women have told Hartley that after this “I’m strong enough now to fight this disease.”img_6276

In 2016, Hartley is now offering the same type of retreat for Veterans suffering from PTSD. She asks Vets in nearby communities to write a short story of why they deserve a getaway at the Lavender Inn. Those selected get to wake up on Veteran’s Day with a gourmet breakfast, hike around Ojai, receive a massage and special dinner.

The Lavender Inn is more than just a bed and breakfast, it’s a little slice of heaven in Ojai thanks to Kathy Hartley.

This article was featured in the January 2017 issue of InTravel Magazine – http://www.intravelmag.com/intravel/innkeeper/angelic-innkeeper-at-the-lavender-inn-and-spa

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