Relaxation and attention to detail are not complementary in theory, but it’s a practice at Spa Ojai that has made it among the best places to unwind in the country. Removed from the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in a hacienda complete with a 50-foot bell tower, this spa is known on property as its own village. Enter it through a courtyard where garden pots overflow with succulents and ocean-hued tiles adorn tables around a fountain. Equally bright shades can be found in the changing area, where periwinkle robes are the uniform that envelops fellow guests outside the sauna and private pool.
Ditch the robe at the spa’s signature treatment, the Kuyam, which is a restful word used by the Chumash Indians who first lived in the Ojai Valley. A small group will claim spaces in a dimmed and heated room to slather three therapeutic clays on their skin during a meditation. Upon finishing, a secluded balcony awaits.
While the spa has numerous restorative treatments – the warm Himalayan salt stone massage is a notable example – its most unusual, and perhaps groundbreaking, feature is the Somadome. As the only spa in the world with this new, high-tech meditation pod, the Spa Ojai provides 20-minute sessions under themes like “love” and “manifest.” Close your eyes and sink into the chants as LED color therapy surrounds you. When the pod opens, you’ll feel a tranquil alertness that seems just as unlikely as detailed relaxation. But as you’ve already learned, it’s entirely possible.