Our Last Resorts 10th Anniversary Doubleheader Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Walking Skye near our charming Ojai Valley Inn cottage, adjacent to the golf course. They even supply doggie bags.

Walking Skye near our charming Ojai Valley Inn cottage, adjacent to the golf course. They even supply doggie bags.

JACKIE: We want to Talk about David’s surprises for our (how can it be?) 10th wedding anniversary. Destination, unknown….

DAVID: I am living proof that the clichés about Time “marches on,” “waits for no man” are absolutely true. Example: the 10 years since Jackie and I married have whizzed by as though somebody pushed the fast forward button. Still, they have been filled with all the precious moments of an Emmy-winning dramedy series. Never to be forgotten, always cherished.

JACKIE: Skye and I, packed up for a few mysterious days, perked up our ears as the (near 90-minute) drive headed up towards the Topa Topa Mountains — it had to be the Ojai Valley Inn! Instant peace and good glee … I sensed a lavender massage coming my way.

DAVID: Our red-tiled roof cottage, right off the rolling green golf course, fulfilled the promise of a Five Diamond Resort with all the comforts one could wish for, including a flickering fireplace and doggie amenities for Skye. A long list of complimentary services — valet parking, Internet access, tennis courts, business center, in-room coffee and tea, and newspaper were much appreciated.

JACKIE: The nearby village allowed some unique shopping and a spiffy Anniversary lunch at the home of dear friends, Linda and Peter D’Aprix, well-known writers, photographer, and publishers of the International E Magazine, Gourmet Voyageurs. Then back to the Inn for serenity, steam, and sauna. The only stress was deciding which of the four swimming pools to use.

DAVID: Seven different dining venues, from casual to elegant, allowed us wining and dining at its finest. We celebrated our Anniversary dinner at the resort’s renowned Maravilla. From inventive starters to unique Bone-in Tenderloin steak, the restaurant deserves its reputation. Our server, Martin Spahn, was a perfect example of the excellence of all the staff of this marvelous resort. Thanks to Brooke Atkins, PR Director, for making our 10th another memorable event.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore

The glowing and glorious lobby holiday décor at The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

The glowing and glorious lobby holiday décor at The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

DAVID: A gentle 40 minutes farther to Santa Barbara for Surprise #2.

Palm-treed elegance epitomizes this marvelous destination, a wonder of glamour from the ‘20s and ‘30s authentically restored with the addition of today’s luxuries.

JACKIE: In my lingo, a nifty and ritzy spot to keep milking our unbelievable 10th! Just yards from the sparkling ocean, the glittering Christmas décor made the Resort perfect for the Season. Skye was immediately at home with his own special sofa and dining/drinking bowls delivered to him by an elegant room service attendant. Courtesy of PR Director Gena Downey, who thoughtfully included a lovely bottle of celebratory champagne and adorable cupcakes for us. Outside our cozy room, a terrace and secret garden were perfect for sipping tea and sharing a muffin from an unexpected visit to Santa Barbara’s Tuesday afternoon Farmers’ Market. Warning: my first experience with Coldstone Creamery ice cream “Germanchokolatekake” (chocolate ice cream, pecans, coconut, brownie, and caramel). Come on! Well, most likely the perfect snack after a superb lunch at Trattoria Mollie, a great find in Montecito, and before the tony dinner waiting back at The Biltmore.

DAVID: Just across the road and under a star-filled sky to the resort’s private and exclusive Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club with its 160-foot long pool and unparalleled views of The Pacific. Their Tydes Restaurant offered the freshest seafood — oysters on the half shell for me; stunningly perfect sous vide cooked salmon for milady followed by steak frites for both.

Other dining options include Coral Café also in the Club and back in the main hotel, Bella Vista with organic Italian-inspired cuisine in a beautiful atmosphere of mahogany, marble, and flickering fireplaces.

JACKIE: Next time we’ll need a week (a month?) to take advantage of both these glorious resort hotels and the fun local offerings of Ojai and Santa Barbara. Truly, the best of two worlds.

This time it was a leisurely, luxurious wrap-up to the end of the first ten years and the beginning of the next.

DAVID: And on that dreamy note, we’ll Travel….