Ojai by Airstream: Introducing Caravan Outpost
With all its nestled nooks and environmental endearments, Ojai has become so haute a hideaway it all but shies from its own allure. Which naturally only makes it more attractive. This reclusive retreat welcomes the spa seekers and the soul searchers and anyone longing for a lax lounge outside their normative routine. It is rustic, it is relaxing, it is a refuge that has grown enormously popular in spite of itself. Which is why a lodge option returning Ojai back to its roots was not just welcome, but reason to rejoice.
Caravan Outpost is a collection of fully furnished Airstreams (yes Airstreams) tricked out with modern amenities in a setting that is campy and communal and perhaps the quintessence of Ojai cool. A garden in a city, the setting is botanic, Bedouin, retro, and relaxed. With vinyl records and enamel plates for your glamping pleasure, there is a whimsy that hangs like a hammock between the string lights and the palms. All is assembled with an air of simplicity. It might be impossible not to feel good here.
The caravans (eleven in total, all spaciously situated in a semi-circle) are equipped with glamping gadgetry that will amuse and immerse you in laid-back low-key luxuriating. Intended to keep you comfy, each airstream is fashioned with unique accommodations to meet your unique needs (there’s even one that’s a tiny house – it has loft areas and sleeps up to five people). Our airstream was a deluxe caravan, with heat and air conditioning, had a queen bed and a full-size pull-out bed, a full bathroom with a shower, a refrigerator, a freezer, and plenty of pots and pans and tableware should the setting inspire such. Every airstream has a name. Our airstream was named Claire.
Claire was just delightful.
Bold prints, bodacious colors, nothing taken terribly seriously, other than our good time. Not abundantly spacious, but not bad, considering her frame. I went with just my husband, but there was a family of five in our neighboring caravan. Plus some dogs. Lots of dogs. A fire pit and fans of palm, aloe above and bikes ours for the riding, the only problem with being in was that being out was just as good. It’s Ojai out there, after all.
There’s a great general store on property. They don’t advertise it much, but as far as candles and camp gear and locally made artisanal advents go, it’s an inspired array. Jewelry and boots and a prairie dress I really wanted.
And those s’mores over the campfire. They provide the provisions; you just help yourself to a seat and a skewer and a blanket if those balmy Ojai evenings are not warming you enough. We stayed out there for hours. I’m pretty sure everyone did. It’s just that nice.
Everything’s walkable, if not bikeable. Paths, hikes, boutiquing, antiquing, wine tasting. And there’s a killer farmers market on Sunday mornings. For such a small alcove I am always awestricken by the abundance of offerings in a setting that doesn’t even seem to try. It just is.
They call it an Adventure Hotel, but to me that sounds like it’s covering up for something you’d rather not be adventuring. I think it’s glamping gone great. I think it’s the best blend of bohemian and boutique I’ve yet to find in a hotel. I think it’s a rustic refuge steeped in a sleepy city that can’t help but be longed for. The weather’s too beautiful, the culture too creative, the grounds too green. There was no leaving Ojai alone. From a souped up airstream, we don’t have to.
Caravan Outpost, 317 Bryant St., Ojai, CA 93023, USA.
Tel: +1(805) 836-4891
Ojai is just under a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles. Take Highway 33 to Ojai Ave. Drive through downtown and make a right on Bryant street.
Type of Hotel: Rustic Luxe Lodging / Adventure Hotel
Number of Rooms: 11 Exclusive Airstream Caravans
Price Band: Medium/High
Insider Tip: This is an awesome way to get all the Ojai bliss and not completely kill the budget. Bring shampoo and conditioner if you use. Soap is included. Do not miss the evening s’mores over the campfire. They provide the provisions; you just cop and squat and enjoy the company.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs by Jolie Loeb