Most spas offer similar treatment menus that feature the same facials, body scrubs and massages. Spa lovers are hard pressed to find a one-of-a-kind treatment that is not to be missed. Look no further than the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, in Ojai, Ca., which is a sprawling 220-acre property with 308 newly refurbished guest rooms (including 72 suites) that is located about 90 miles north of Los Angeles (35 miles south of Santa Barbara). Ojai was a nominee for a Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Award for Best Extended Stay Spa in March.
Ojai's spa offers a communal treatment that is not found anywhere else in the U.S. Called "Kuyam", this signature mud treatment combines the therapeutic effects of cleansing desert clay, dry heat and inhalation therapy, with a traditional Chumash-guided mediation. Pronounced "Koo-Yahm", Kuyam is a Chumash word which means "a place to rest together." The Chumash people were the Native Americans who originally inhabitated the Ojai Valley.
Gallery: More from the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
The Kuyam Chamber at Ojai is a private room that is beautifully tiled and offers built in seating, including chaise lounge chairs. The room can accommodate up to eight men or eight women per session, but Ojai will not group strangers together if a private session is requested. It is a wonderful treatment to do with a group of friends or family, as I did, sharing the experience with a group of female travel writers.