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Sometime in September I came across a blogger’s post about a Korean Spa in Seattle, Washington. She wrote about the experience and importantly the scrubbing; the scrubbers used what looked like an oven mitt but feels like sandpaper to remove dead skin cells. Everything clicked in my head, why Korean women of all ages have beautiful white glowing skin. I was intrigued and started to search online.

At first I was searching for places in California, because they have probably the highest population of Asians compared to anywhere else in the States. Also because the blogger mentioned it. Going to Seattle is just too far, but to my surprise I eventually found two location in Dallas (We almost had one in Houston). I invited a few people, only a few because “gulp” you had to be completely nude in front of each other. At the end, the few turned only into just myself and one friend. I think I was secretly relieved, especially since the one friend is a male.

After driving for almost 4 hours, Thank you Arnell! We arrived at King Spa & Sauna. There’s another Korean Spa close to Dallas called Spa Castle, which has an adjoining hotel and more of a modern vibe. I wanted to go with more authentic and also it didn’t hurt that there was a Groupon for King Spa.

What to expect at King Spa & Sauna:
1. You check in at the front lobby.
-You pay for admission or show your Groupon.
-They give you a watch looking device that keeps track of all your purchases here on out and there’s a key on the back to your locker. The number on the face is your locker number.
-They give you (ladies) a large towel and 3 smaller ones rolled up in your orange uniform. For the guys they only give you the large towel. Guys grey uniforms and smaller towels are inside the men’s locker room.
-For ladies, you will schedule your scrubbing in the women’s locker room. Guys, you schedule the scrubbing at the front lobby. To schedule a massage for either gender, that will be at the massage area inside on the right pass the restaurant.

2. Take off your shoes before entering and carry them into the locker room. Put up your things. (The locker rooms are not coed – no worries (sorta))
-Ladies: Your locker has two compartments for shoes and clothes etc. Guys: You have two lockers; one for shoes as you enter the locker room and one for clothes etc.
-Get into your birthday suit.

3. Shower and pools (The naked part)
-Very few ladies take the large towel to cover or dry off, because you use that mainly for the saunas where you will be lying or sitting down on hot surfaces. Or you can get additional large towel for $1. Most of them bring in one of small towels to dry off.
-There are stand up or sit down showers with very little dividers. They also provide stools and baskets for you to use. At each shower there’s a mirror, a soap dish with soap and shampoo & conditioner dispenser. I recommend bringing your own soap, the thought of sharing it with who knows how many strangers gives me the heebie-jeebies. I also brought my own shampoo and conditioner (travel size).
-After you shower, you can sit in the hot pools or cold pools to relax.
-Then you need to rinse off, before heading back to the locker room.

4. Put on uniform and grab your large towel & one small towel. Head out to the coed area and saunas.
-I recommend bringing a pair of socks or you can purchase them there. I think they were $5. I bought my non-slip grip at Walmart for $2.97.

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I met up with Arnell in the lounge area. We discussed our nude experience that occurred in the locker & shower/pool room. He had scheduled his King Scrub at 1PM, so we only went into three saunas before he headed back for his appointment. I scheduled my Magic Cell Scrub at 5PM.

My Experience & Thoughts
While in the locker room, I was nervous and everything I read up I couldn’t recall. After asking another guest, I undressed and went into the shower/pool room. It’s a good thing Arnell and I had agreed to try to get there as early as possible, so we won’t be thrown into a large crowd. There was only 3 other ladies in the room when I went in. I’m not going to lie, everyone takes a quick glance when someone enters. It would be the same amount of time you would look at someone even if they were fully clothed, so there was no staring. Everyone just picks a spot in the room to gaze at or closed their eyes. All the nervousness and anxiety I felt vanished as I sat in one of the hot pools. I chose to get lost in the ceiling, staring at the back-lit replication of the Birth of Venus. Right then and there, I already decided I love this place and can’t wait for my next trip.

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After Arnell left to get his King Scrub, I had lunch. They scanned my watch and lunch was added to my tab. I ordered the Bulgogi Plate, it came with bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), rice, salad, broccoli with spicy sauce, fried mandu (dumplings) and plain miso soup. I figured to eat a big lunch and light dinner. If you know me, I hardly finish any meals eaten outside of home but I ate the whole thing. Felt very warm and happy inside.

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I’ve been up since 5:30AM. After a 4 hour ride, visiting and dropping off Mr. Dog at doggie daycare, getting over nervousness, soaking in a hot pool, two saunas and a warm delicious meal…I was sleepy. There’s an area of recliners and foot rests that faces a projection wall. Some people were reading, watching, mingling and mostly napping. I laid back, kicked me feet up on the foot rest and checked up on Mr. Dog to see how he was doing. It seemed he was having a good time in Dallas too. I sent a few text to my sister and mom. Next thing you know, Arnell was out. I dozed off, while he ate lunch.

 

Here I am in the Salt Room. I couldn’t remember how to fold the towel bun (will look up tutorials for next time). It was one of the first hot saunas we were in and we thought it was pretty hot, little did we know that was nothing compared to some of the other ones.

Salt Room
(Information on this room that I copied from King Spa’s website)

This room is made of 350 million year old natural salt base rocks. Salt is a natural preservative and the heat and humidity from the sauna allows for the skin to be exposed the healing properties of the salt. These salt rocks contain minerals such as Natrium(Sodium), Calcium, Iron, and Zinc. The effect:

  • The natural base rock penetrates into the skin quickly to open up the pores and eliminates any unnecessary wastes
  • Disinfects and treats any women reproduction problems
  • Rejuvenates skin

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There are about ten coed saunas, but I’m just going to mention the ones I like.

Pine Salt Room
(Information on this room that I copied from King Spa’s website)

Pine salt refers to the salt collected from a pine tree. Pine trees release a special substance called phytoncide which reduces bad feelings and makes the body feel more calm and refreshed. Additionally, the salt has detoxifying antioxidants that can prevent aging and enhance metabolic processes. The salts can also eliminate toxins in the blood and purify the skin.

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Yellow Soil Crystal Room
(Information on this room that I copied from King Spa’s website)

Made with pure yellow soil and crystal. The wisdom of the East ancestors gives the room a deeper meaning. Using the yellow soil furnace, ancient ladies have discovered the heat from the furnace help prevent many illness. Also ancient westerners believed caring the crystals prevent them from getting drunk and would take out the poison from their bodies with the crystal’s healing power. The bamboo floor prevents stickiness. The effect:

  • Helps keep skin clean and helps the blood vessels to prevent stroke and geriatric diseases caused by emission of harmful metals.
  • In addition it helps our clear blood, prevents women’s diseases, and helps the digestion system.

Pyramid Room

The power of the pyramid has been discussed for thousands of years. According to history, the ancient Egyptians used the pyramid to channel energy to help prevent decay and purify the mind, body and soul. King has created a unique sauna that utilizes the channeling energy of the pyramid shape combined with gold, heat and other natural elements that according to users provide the ultimate in relaxation and healing energy. According the great alchemist, Paracelsus, exposure to gold fortifies and purifies the body and cleanses impurities. The effect:

  • Activates the vital energy to help fight any illness
  • Improves the immune system which promotes the discharge of harmful chemicals
  • Prevents aging and aids in rejuvenation- Improves mental power and concentration
  • The coated gold is also proved to be effective for nerve relaxation, detoxification, skin purification, neuralgia, and arthritis.

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Base Rock Room
(Information on this room that I copied from King Spa’s website)

The most unique room at King is the base rock bath room which has large slabs of a special rock imported from Japan called Siraka. This natural mineral block releases infrared rays which enhances body metabolism. The room is heated maximizing the effect of the far infrared rays on the body.

According to people using the room, frequent exposure to the Siraka has healed them from many serious illnesses. You must put the towel on the Base Rock and usage time limit will be 15 minutes for each time you go in.

To receive the full effect, lie down for 20 minutes on the Siraka block than drink a cup of water then rest on the block for another 20 minutes. This process relieves stress, aids in blood circulation, lymph, and secretions.

At 4:40PM, I headed back into the ladies locker room to get ready for the scrub at 5PM. You’re suppose to come 20 mins. prior to the scrub to wash up and soak in the pool until they called your locker number. The communal scrubbing area was in the same room as the shower stalls and pools. It’s a room separated by half walls with etching of the Simpsons on glass at the top. In the space, tables lined up a few feet apart from each other. Your scrubber will ask for you to lay down on one of those tables.

I can’t recall the entire order of how the Magic Cell Scrub went, because it was 80 mins. long. I was first asked to lay on my back and the ahjumma (Korean for aunt), who is dressed down in her red/black leopard print undergarments, laid a small towel over my eyes. I think that was to help me relax and not be as nervous. She sloshed some warm water all over me, sprinkled small amount of some kind of powder and commenced to scrubbing. Initially it hurts, but tolerable and then you get use to it. Then you are on your sides and back. There was massage, rinsing, drying, washing your hair, fresh cucumber facial mask, dripping warm oil, more massage, dripping cold yogurt/milk and you’re done. I’m sure I’m missing some more steps. Scrubbing for men are done by male scrubbers and Arnell told me the scrubbers wore swimming trunks with or without a tank top.

I showered one last time, got dressed and blow dried my hair after waiting in line. There’s two counters with large mirrors with blow dryer, hair brushes, lotion and maybe hairspray? I think there was supposed to be two dryers, but one went out of commission. Before leaving, I grabbed a sweet rice drink and two beef onigiris (the spa was selling it 2/$5) for the road. Arnell and I returned our watches at the front lobby and paid our tabs.

Overall I had a great time. It took everything off my mind and I was able to let things go and just mellow out. I totally get it now regarding reviews from Yelpers, how easily you can spend the night or take naps here. I wished we could have stayed longer, even though we were there for about 7-8 hours. Looking forward to next time =)

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