A Little Time and a Keyboard: Sweatin', Korean-style

Sweatin', Korean-style

Friday, October 21, 2011

Once in a while it's good to go outside your comfort zone and do something completely foreign to you. My husband and I did so recently when we went to King Spa Sauna - a mega-emporium spa that was designed to replicate an authentic spa you'd find in Korea. There are two in the U.S. - one in Dallas and one in my humble 'burb (Niles, IL) - the Niles site is the largest spa in the country.

Open 7 days, 24 hours a day - King Spa Sauna is immaculately clean and luxurious. When you enter, you first go into the single-sex locker room/wet spa area ... with showers, hot tubs, and steam saunas. You must be nekkid here. It's part of the culture and, eventually, I sorta got used to it since everyone else is nekkid, too. When in Rome,...

From there, you don a cotton t-shirt/shorts spa uniform to enter the co-ed common area/sauna area. There are 9 dry saunas which are made from the Earth's natural elements (soil, salt, stone, wood, crystals) and combined with heat, to create a healing detox experience. The Pyramid Room, for instance, is plated with 23 carat gold leaves (a sign warns you not to touch). The Bul Ga Ma Room features 11 heated elvan stones, and is billed as the most beneficial sauna. In each room, you basically lie down on a floor mat and stay prone until you can't stand it anymore. I think 20 minutes is the recommended maximum.

You will sweat! Your skin will glow and your achey muscles will be like jelly. Both my husband and I noticed a marked improvement in our sore backs. For the $25 admission fee, you can stay there all day (and night, I guess). It's cheaper than chiropractic treatment. You can get a la carte services like body scrubs and massages for additional fees. There is a food court serving mostly Korean meals and snacks. My $7 pumpkin juice (not a smoothie - just pureed pumpkin) was undoubtedly healthy, but the large glass was too much for me to choke down. There is even a movie theater and a relaxation lounge where you can fall asleep in a comfy leather recliner.

It was an unusual experience, definitely. But we liked it, and I'm looking forward to another visit.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for shedding some light on what's going on in there. I've driven by many times, and always wondered (especially after a few shady establishments were found in the surrounding towns).