For Christmas,we spent three days at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa with Grandma. Ojai, only an hour and fifteen minutes from where we live, is a place of luxury and serenity. (I would not necessarily recommend bringing children if what you're after is serenity.) The resort was remodeled recently and it is pristine. We played tennis, took yoga classes, stretching classes, walked in the herb garden, taught the residing parrots a few French curse words, swam in the pool and soaked in the hot tub, en famille.
The spa is fabulous, I could not take pictures inside the spa itself but the Morrocan style of architecture, the beautiful tile work, the many fountains, the hot tubs, the treatments are all wondrous. What felt exceptional, to me, is that in a place where they could charge for all and everything, they make a point to be generous with the little things, such as the precious teas and lemony iced water everywhere, the profusion of towels, the fact that you have full use of the spa and are encouraged to lounge around the pool, take classes all day and use the gym for free for the price of a single treatment, such as their famous Kuyam, the cheapest treatment at only $50.
The kuyam can get intimidating but I loved it: You and up to 8 other women are led into a gorgeous room tiled from floor to ceiling, you then remove a scan wrap they give you and recline in a tiled chair and proceed to rub mud from the dead sea all over your naked body. The light is dimmed, the room heated with dry heat and you begin cooking away as you are guided through meditation. I wasn't able to meditate, (of course): I was way too busy experiencing the childish joy of applying mud all over, watching it crack away, then get wet again from the profuse sweat that ensues. The shower to remove the mud from every nook and cranny was the longest shower of my life.