Olympus Day Spa: 3 Stop Tour
In what might be my favorite birthday gift to date, Porter sent me to the Olympus Day Spa. The naked spa, as it may be known (Korean, women only). The spa I'd heard always been recommended in sighs and almost uncomfortable moans. 'Ooohhh, it's pure heaven' 'I just can't get enouuuugh.'
There are three features that send women over the edge with Olympus Spa obsession:
1. Naked pools
Four pools, each at varying temperatures (too hot for comfort down to cool enough that I wonder why anyone would step a toe in); dry sauna, wet sauna, and a magical trough of some sort of anti-microbial water warmed to the exact right temperature. You just scoop it over your body with conveniently-provided bowls- Thai shower style. It's amazing.
Lesson 1: Soaking gets old when you hate being pruny like I do, but a variety of pool temperatures seems to mitigate the pruniness.
Lesson 2: Bodies are shaped so differently. It's good to be reminded that even people who look pretty good with clothes on are all pretty lumpy, each in unique and fascinating ways. Hard to not notice, even when you're trying to not pay too much attention to the fact that everyone around you is naked and you're playing it cool about the fact that you're naked too. Socially abnormal, but in this small tiled room, totally normal. I think it'd be good for any teenage girl with body issues to see.
Lesson 3: People actually go to naked, pruny spas with their friends, and when they do, they don't sit quietly, they chat. Even when the signs say 'be quiet' and they send a nice but firm Korean woman around from time to time shushing. I have a hard time imagining going anywhere naked with anyone I know. How is it that strangers are more comfortable than friends or family when it comes to nakedness?
2. Robed rooms
What a delightful surprise! Seven rooms all heated (or cooled) and pumped full of earth properties that do nothing but heal your bones, blood, and soul. Mud and Jade, Sand, Salt, Charcoal, Elvan Stones (straight from Middle Earth!), one dedicated to meditation (something about bamboo?), and even one that smells like cedar, has a writing desk, and cabin tchotchkies on the wall. That's actually the cheesiest of the rooms, as practical as it is for getting your body temperature back to normal after sweating from your bones in a 130 degree room. The others feel like being transported to another planet. The sand room actually has sand under a canvas floor. The charcoal room makes your skin feel like you just finished a pore-tightening face mask. I spent about half as much time in these rooms as I would have liked to if I hadn't saved them til last and ran out of time. Lesson learned: Save time for earth rooms.
Regular old spa - pedicures, massages, facials (that's what I got because I want a facial every day for the rest of my life). Olympus is known most, though, for their body scrub. They have you come an hour early to soak in the two warmest naked tubs to prime up the pruny, then they throw you on a table 4 feet from another naked scrubee (my neighbor was some 65 and we only had to avoid eye contact once), and scrub to you til you bleed. Not actually bleed, but there were several times when if I were told I were bleeding I would have believed it.
Baby soft skin has its price. A price I'm sold on.
at 9:31 PM