Oaks makes top spa list
By Kelly Feser Eells
The Oaks at Ojai is one world-class
resort. But if you need a second opinion, look no further than
the October, 2003, edition of "Travel and Leisure"
magazine: The Oaks is number five (out of ten) "Top Destination
Spas" in the world.
And local owner and founder Sheila Cluff couldn't be more proud
- unless, of course, she'd won two awards, which, in effect,
she did. The Oaks' "sister" property, The Palms at
Palm Springs was listed as the 10th top destination spa in the
This was the magazines' eighth annual "World's Best Survey,"
and competition was stiff: not only are spa visits up across
the country (nearly 27 million Americans visited a "destination"
or hotel spa last year) but proprietors are expanding services
like never before in an effort to stay "cutting edge."
Spas were rated in five main categories - Treatments, Value,
Ambience and Accommodations, Service and Food - on a scale of
one-to-five, five being "excellent" and one being "poor."
Travel industry professionals were not allowed to participate
in the survey, which was conducted in association with Harris
Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm.
Harris Interactive maintained a secure web site of responses,
culled from a "select group of 'Travel and Leisure' subscribers
in every zip code."
"I can't tell you how pleased we are with this award,"
said Managing Director Cathy Cluff. "Especially since it
was not 'based on price,'" she said, explaining that, "The
Oaks won this award against places that charge $6,000 per week
versus our $950.
"Of course," she added, "it is our amazingly caring
employees who really deserve all the praise. Without them, the
readers would never have granted our 'Oaks family' such an esteemed
While this latest honor is one of many feathers in The Oaks'
25-year-old cap, it's clear that Sheila Cluff has no intention
of resting on the 'family' laurels, so to speak, and is committed
to making every visit to The Oaks "a life affirming experience."
In related news, "Travel and Leisure" magazine named
"Spa Ojai" at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa the 23rd
best hotel spa in the United States and Canada.
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