History

Our Storied History

A charming 1920s hotel, turned-spa, in the peaceful town of Ojai is home to The Oaks Spa. However our story begins not only with an inspiring woman, but also with the history of fitness itself. Founder Sheila Cluff, known as the “grandmother” of aerobics, taught “cardio-vascular dance” to employees of company-sponsored healthcare programs in the 1950s. After achieving a name for herself in the fitness world, she was hired to teach classes at the Oaks at Ojai, then under different owners. In 1977 Sheila made her dream come true by purchasing the resort and turning it into a truly unique health retreat for women, guiding them with her philosophy centered around the idea that fitness needs to be fun.

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A Healthy Future

40 years later, the Oaks at Ojai has built a loyal following of new and repeat guests, and, much like its founder, is flourishing. With Sheila’s grandson, Kyle Griffith, at the helm, a new era of Oaks family leadership has built a strong foundation of smart, inviting programs with a well-informed, caring staff. Sheila continues to be a role model by achieving incredible things, such as garnering 1st place honors in Ice Skating competitions well into her 70s, while the Oaks at Ojai remains on the top of many award lists as one of the best spa resorts in the US.

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