Thursday, June 14, 2012

Korean Spa

Part of my beauty routine has to be my monthly visit to the Korean Spa.  I've often had people remark on my skin, and the must-do maintenance plan involves various body lotions & butters(adore adore!), and the monthly scrubs I get.  After talking to a few friends about it, it has slowly evolved into a fun Girl's Day involving the spa and a long lunch, but truly only for the ones not so faint of heart. 

Spas often invoke the idea of plush robes, soothing music, cucumber strawberry water...  Well, the closest thing you'll get to that at a Korean Spa is water...from Arrowhead.  This ain't no prissy girl's spa! 

Once you make a reservation, you'll pay first at the front door and get handed a towel, key, and an obnoxiously colored outfit of a badly fitted tee and elastic shorts.  You find your locker, drop off all your clothes and hit the shower before soaking in the various hot pools, steam rooms, and saunas.

ISpa in Irvine. Most Korean Spas are located in nondescript business or industrial parks.

Shoe lockers

The pools and saunas are no place to be shy.  You'll see women of all ages and shapes in the buff, lounging without a care in the world.  The first couple of times there, you'll hide behind posts, small towels, and even your hands, trying to overcome your shyness while maintaining NO EYE CONTACT with anyone.  A couple more times and you'll walk around nekkid as a bluejay without a second thought.  Trust me; it's not a big deal.  ;) 

You'll be called by your locker number by a Korean woman wearing a black lace bra and panties.  Soooo less sexy than it sounds...  You can't speak Korean?  No biggie.  They'll communicate with a variety of taps and one word instructions.  "Turn.  Side.  Side.  Back."  After getting crazy amounts of dead skin scrubbed off, they'll have you rinse off and it'll be time for your hot oil massage.  Don't let your modesty get you now.  They push, pull, pound, and practically sit on you while giving you a firm, strong massage.  I've often left my massage wondering if the massuese and I hit second base.  Kidding!!!  Sort of...   ;)

After your scrub and massage, if you've got the time, visit the Jjimjjilbang, where you can get Korean dishes and nap in various treatment rooms.

Well, this certainly isn't the Gucci Fall '12 line...

Fresh pressed watermelon juice

Kimbap - traditional roll with various vegetables, egg, or meat

Shaved ice with fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, and condensed milk

Chargrilled egg - smoky and delicious

After some food, take a nap in one or all of the treatment rooms.  It's supposed to be a quiet relaxing experience.  Definitely not something you do with your rowdy friends...which I do all the time.  Do you know how hard it is to stop giggling while getting shushed for laughing too much???  And there's no shame; plop right there on the floor and go for a snore.

Salt room


Getting comfy! heehee

The Korean Spa will get addicting, but try not to go more than once a month.  Too much scrubbing will thin out your skin and you'll start getting more susceptible to scratches and scars.  Men are also welcome in their own side.  I would definitely use a word of caution, as my hubby refuses to go back after an unfortunate incident of a strategically placed hand towel gone awry...  Shy guys need not apply.  ;)
There are a variety of Korean spas throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.  Find one that suits your needs, in terms of location and size.  You'll end up loving it as much as I do!


  1. i am one of those who tries to cover themslves with hands, small towel and whatever! i'm shy! but i like this place. =)

  2. This is not my typical spa but I loved reading about your experience! Wonder where we have Korean spas in the SF Bay Area? Pics were great!

  3. Is this only women spa? I want to go to spa but I don't want to be with other men....