It was just over a year ago when I first went to Spa Castle, an Asian spa emporium in New York (nyspacastle.com). I’d heard about it for weeks from an enthusiastic friend who promised to take me on my first outing. You’d think she was making a commission the way she described it. So in my typical jaded fashion, I walked in, awaiting disappointment, mediocrity, and perhaps a whirlpool bath or two, when I saw the grandeur in front of me and never looked back. I was hooked.
Let the Asian spa revolution begin.
A surprising combination of typical Asian saunas and luxurious European spas, Spa Castle, and others like it (including Spa Castle’s branches in Dallas and the Poconos, and similar Los Angeles incarnations like Olympic Spa (olympicspala.com) offer a wonderful fusion of east and west, for a spa experience like you’ve never had before. And I don’t say that lightly. That’s because the Asian spa isn’t for everybody. Modesty must be checked at the door (along with your shoes and clothes, which are tucked away separately in neat locking compartments). Most spas issue robes or comfortable outfits to wear as you drift between saunas, pools, quiet meditation rooms, invigorating treatments, and the requisite restaurant (filled with Korean delicacies, and, of course, tea). Some, like Spa Castle, are co-ed, while L.A.’s Olympic Spa only allows women. But both offer relaxation like you could not imagine.
Saunas abound – that should be Spa Castle’s motto. With seven sauna rooms (ranging from the L.E.D. room that incorporates color therapy as a means of improving your mood, to the Iceland cold sauna room which improves blood circulation after being immersed in heat), there’s literally something for everyone. And at Olympic Spa, their carefully designed treatment areas leave you renewed, refreshed, and cleansed. From their Charcoal Therapy Room (where naturally formed stone emits oxygen, detoxifying the skin) to the warm mineral pool and oriental clay dry sauna, can you imagine a more rejuvenating and unique experience? And all for a flat day rate. That’s right – admission to the spas include access to all rooms, for nearly as long as you’d like. For anything extra (like massages, reflexology, shiatsu, and skin scrubs), you simply pay-per-treatment.
Different? Absolutely. Amazing? Without question. A day at an Asian spa is a wonderful and relaxing experience, and a fascinating look into spa fusion of the future.