2011 California’s Best Getaway Announced California’s Best Getaway winners for 2011 have been selected by the readers of CaliforniaWeekend.com. Topping the field this year was the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, located in the small community of Ojai, not far from Santa Barbara along the Southern California coast.
If bed-and-breakfast inns are your preference, the second-place winner this year is Aurora Park Cottages, a wine country retreat in Calistoga. And rounding out the top three was Rankin Ranch, a family-run Southern California guest ranch that has been popular with visitors for generations.
Among the getaways receiving the most nominations this year were Curry Village at Yosemite National Park, the Pink Mansion, an intimate bed-and-breakfast in Calistoga, and El Capitan Canyon, a unique luxury tent-camping experience.
Also nominated were the famed Bacara Resort of Santa Barbara and Honor Mansion, a wine country getaway in Healdsburg.
The top rankings were tallied by combining reader response with other reputable rankings, giving special weight to the readers who took time to send in their nominations and comments about the various getaway experiences they have had throughout the state of California. This is the first of what will be an annual ranking by CaliforniaWeekend.com.
If you’re wondering just why the top three ranked so highly, here are some of the comments along with information about each of the award-winners
The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a luxury resort, long known as a golfer’s haven but now also renowned for many other major resort amenities. It’s a little off the beaten path, about 13 miles off Highway 101 near Ventura. It’s located in the spectacular Ojai Valley – only about 10 miles long and three miles wide, but famous as an artists’ enclave. The resort is on 800 sprawling acres including the inn, its village and the golf course.
The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a true luxury resort and has earned a Triple A 5-star designation. That puts the resort in a pretty exclusive club because only a few resorts in California have achieved that status.
“As a golfer I really appreciate their great championship course,” writes Michael Baker from Santa Barbara. ” Their spa is incredible for my wife, and the kids love Camp Ojai! Plus there are great hiking and biking trails and the cute town of Ojai is so charming.”
Sydney, Australia resident Mark Coyne remembers the quality service. “The staff were absolutely fantastic and could not do enough for us. I tried the spa for some exercise, massage and jacuzzi and came out floating in the clouds.
The Monday night footy at the pub was great with fantastic buffalo wings.” He recalled how the resort’s general manager’s wife volunteered to take his wife shopping at the nearby premium outlets.
Jodie Brescia of Alamo Bay wrote that she and her husband are empty-nesters always looking for unique getaways. They have lived in California 30 years and had never heard about Ojai. “We just couldn’t believe why we hadn’t heard about this place before. The white washed buildings surrounded by a brilliant green golf course took our breath away. This is exactly the atmosphere we were looking for,” she wrote.