Yesterday, I went to a Korean spa with all three of my daughters. This was a gift to Liz from me and her sisters before her wedding. We met at 1 and stayed until almost 6 pm. The spa was very clean and also very quiet. Signs were posted that read: Use Your Spa Voice and everyone there honored that request by speaking quietly to one another.
When we first arrived, we received a pink or orange striped robe, a face towel and a bath towel and were asked to remove our shoes before entering the spa area. There, we put all of our belongings in assigned lockers and then wore the key on our wrists dangling from a plastic coil bracelet. I started out a bit tense since this was only my second time to Hugh Spa and the first time was several years ago. I wasn’t quite sure about spa etiquette, but a sign stated that everyone had to shower before entering any of the specialty rooms, so off we went.
The shower room was a large open area filled with women who were showering or bathing. I was immediately struck with how unself-conscious everyone was and soon I felt exactly the same. I am happy that at my age I am finally comfortable with my body so I didn’t feel shy or embarrassed. Everyone was respectful of one another’s privacy but in a room full of naked women, it was pretty tough not to notice the wide range of bodies from very round to very flat in a multitude of skin colors. I have to say that seeing this uninhibited display of womanhood was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I found it lovely that we could all be together in such a relaxed and natural way. We were all there for the same reason – to strip away our everyday tensions and have a quiet afternoon respite. No more, no less. Not that everyone walked around naked all afternoon. The showers and the steam room (one of the specialty rooms) were the only two places where robes were not required.
A specialty room (my word) were the rooms for specific treatments. These included the Charcoal Mud Clay Room, where you slid into a box filled with small warm clay balls and simply relaxed as the balls form-fitted around your body. Another was the Jade Steam Room, where everyone sat naked on towels (you can hardly see through the steam) and relaxed while sweat poured off of your body. Another was the Himalayan Salt Room, where you lay on the floor on mats covering large warm salt minerals, which were supposed to help purify your system. A fourth was the Near Infrared Magnet Room, which produced a dry heat that made you sweat and “evenly spread qi throughout the body to aid in blood flow.” I have no idea if that was happening, but I did especially like that room. There was also an Ice Room, which was very cold and very welcome after all that heat and had a photo of Jon Snow from Games of Thrones on the door with the words, “Winter is Coming.” I understand there was also an Oxygen Room, but we ran out of time to visit there.
Liz and I both had massages, Sarah had a body scrub and Rachael, who goes often to Hugh Spa, elected to eat lunch while we were otherwise occupied. There was a small cafe within the spa that served various Korean dishes that were very tasty. After my massage, I had a bowl of Udon noodles with vegetables.
My favorite part of this experience was, of course, spending time with all of my daughters. We were relaxed and happy and had a few good giggles during the afternoon. Sarah, Rachael and I simply wanted to spend some special time with Liz before she walks into this next chapter of her life. She seemed very happy, so I believe we accomplished that goal.
Our next stop is Tecate, Mexico, where Liz and Ron will join together with family and friends to celebrate their love and new life together. I am excited to go since we’ll be surrounded by people who love our daughter and her soon-to-be husband, Ron. I expect we’ll have lots of fun, shed a few tears of joy and create some memories we’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Himalayan Salt Room
Charcoal Mud Clay Room
Here is the link for Hugh Spa if you are interested: https://hughspa.com/ I would highly recommend it. It is in Koreatown on Vermont.