I had the pleasure of visiting the King Spa & Sauna for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I heard about it from several friends, and then I saw a special discount offered on Groupon so I bought it. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
I’m quite familiar with saunas and steam rooms and use them quite frequently at my gym. The heat increases circulation and removal of toxins through sweat. It’s also relaxing to get super-heated. King Spa & Sauna is apparently an American version of a Korean bath house. I am not that familiar with the history, but from the articles I read about it in the Dallas Morning News, apparently these types of places are popular with traditional Korean culture. My first impression was that it’s a huge facility, and I was surprised it’s open 24 hours a day. A staff member was kind enough to show me around since it was my first time there, and she said that frequently Korean families will spend the night there as a special treat. Guests remove shoes before entering into the spa, and there are separate locker rooms for men and women as well as separate lockers for shoes than clothes. I think that Koreans view shoes as dirty and need to be kept separate from other pieces of clothing. In the women’s locker room, there are generic King Spa & Sauna uniforms, papaya colored shorts and shirts that all visitors change into during their stay. There is a separate area with several jacuzzis at different temperatures as well as showers and an area for full body scrubs. Naked women were everywhere. It was definitely not a place for the modest.
The facility houses eleven unique sauna rooms; I started off in the Pine Salt Room. It contains salt collected from pine trees which prevents aging and eliminates toxins from the blood. It was the least hot of all the hot saunas, and the sign on the door also said it helps bad feelings to leave the body. Lying flat on my back on my towel and a mat with a wooden cradle under my head, I relaxed for about fifteen minutes.
Next, I went into the Salt Room. This room aids in skin rejuvenation and features 350,000 year old salt rocks hanging in cloth bags from the ceiling. After about another fifteen minutes, I was really sweating. I walked over to the cafe, past rows of recliners with people sleeping with towels over their eyes. The cafe was clean and well-lit, offering free water. The smell of bulgogi, spicy soup, and other Korean cuisine wafted through the air, and people were scattered at asian type low tables and chairs enjoying delicious meals.
I lost track of the order in which I visited the other rooms, but I only missed the Fire Sudatorium (the hottest room) and the Base Rock Bath Room (containing amethyst crystals, yellow soil, and slabs of Siraka with healing properties. The Bulgama also had amethyst crystals and a stone called elvan. It’s a very hot room that uses infrared rays for their beneficial effects.
The Pyramid Room was shaped like a pyramid, the ancient mystical structure. Coated in 23 carat gold leaf to help cleanse impurities, this room channels energy.
The Oxygen Room helps with skin disorders and allergies and is made from wood that releases phytoncide. The Yellow Soil Crystal Room helps extract toxins from the body using infrared rays and highly absorbant yellow soil. This type of soil is unique to Korean culture. The Charcoal Room purifies the air with negative ions. Charcoal is a powerful detoxifying agent and neutralizes toxic substances. The Far Infrared Room helps skin conditions and arthritis using infrared technology.
I ended my visit in the Ice Room. After prolonged heat, the cold temperatures in the ice room help tighten pores and stimulate blood flow. It’s a brisk way to seal the rejuvinating experiences in the hot saunas. When I left that day, I felt so relaxed, calm, and peaceful. I’m not in touch with my Korean heritage, but I’m fascinated by what I learned that day.
I didn’t have time to eat, but next time I go back I want to enjoy a Korean meal with my spa and sauna treatments. I did take advantage of a one hour Korean accupressure massage. Massages for the feet or whole body are available by appointment. And because I booked a massage that day, I got a coupon for free admission on another day. Can’t wait to go back; I think I will go tomorrow!
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!
- In a Room Full of Naked Koreans, Margaret Cho’s Body Is an Unwelcome Sight (jezebel.com)
- Margaret Cho Told To Cover Tattoos At Koreatown Spa (blogs.laweekly.com)