APR 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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YOURWELLNESSSPA 52 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016 Anyone who's familiar with the spa world, particu- larly in the Western part of the U.S., knows about The Oaks at Ojai ( in California. Located de- ceptively close to Los Angeles, this unassuming destina- tion spa bursting with rustic charm has an identity and culture all its own. Just ask the regulars. "I come here every year, no matter what," one 50- something female guest told me. "It's how I keep from going insane." As I came to realize over the course of my recent weekend stay, such thinly veiled references to The Oaks at Ojai as a savior of mental health is a theme among the mostly 45-to-65-aged, overwhelmingly female guests. Yes, they make the pilgrimage to take fi tness classes, eat delicious and nutritious cuisine, and learn how to develop a balanced lifestyle. But there's an equally im- portant need being addressed at this healthful haven: that of bonding with their fellow balance-seekers. SHARING A TABLE I was invited to The Oaks to experience a mother- daughter weekend with my 25-year-old. I'd warned my energetic millennial that, based on my knowledge of the spa, she was likely to be the youngest guest there. I had visions of her in a fi tness class lineup, the only taut- skinned fi gure in a sea of dyed hair and rapidly thicken- ing waistlines, rolling her eyes and silently cursing me for putting her through this torture. Would she be will- ing to smile and go with the fl ow? We checked in to The Oaks on a late Friday after- noon, received our cruise-ship-like schedule of activi- ties and proceeded to search the sizeable property (it occu pies an entire city block, more than two acres) for our villa. We found it, a lovely and spacious suite with a closed-in patio, fi replace and extra-large jetted bathtub set into a Spanish-tiled alcove. A few minutes before the appointed dinnertime, we re-entered the lobby. A group I visited The Oaks expecting a simple body tune-up. What I received was infi nitely more therapeutic. By Linda Kossoff A Communal Experience PHOTOS COURTESY THE OAKS AT OJAI SNAPSHOT

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