If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you will know a few things about me. I am a mom, I am super busy, and I rarely have time for myself. While I was in Seattle last week, I felt like I had never ending time to myself. I would attend my conference and then during the L-O-N-G lunch periods or breaks, I would wander around Seattle popping my head in at favorite shopping places like Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and H&M. I shopped like one of the Kardashians.
The conference ended at 5:00 pm everyday and without the kids, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. One evening, I headed up to Lynnwood (about 15 min north of Seattle) to the Olympus Spa. This spa is no ordinary spa. This is the best place in the world.
From the outside, it looks like nothing special. It is in a shopping plaza sandwiched between the Lynnwood Convention Center, a Chuck E. Cheese, and some workout places. Very nondescript.
Once you enter, you are in a completely different world. I am serious about this. This is not paid advertising–this is just one woman expressing her true love for a place. I love the Olympus Spa!
Olympus Spa is a Korean Spa–and has all of the typical spa like things you would expect: massages, body wraps, pedicures. But the highlight of the place are the special sauna rooms, the hot tub areas, and the Korean body scrubs.
When you walk into the spa, you are given a cotton hair covering, a robe, a bath towel and a hand towel. You remove your shoes and walk down an Asian inspired hall way to the locker room.
Once at your locker, you remove all of your clothes and put on your robe and hair covering. Here is where it gets interesting.
If you chose to use the hot tub area–which consists of various hot tubs of different temperatures–you must be naked. This throws everyone off for just about two minutes. After you enter the area, remove your robe and enter the pools–it becomes a non-issue. I have gone with my mom, sister, and friends and though everyone giggles at first—the body nervousness disappears almost instantly.
There are showers, pools of mugwort water to splash on yourself, and a sauna and steam room. By the way, the mugwort smells great and has lots of healing properties. Not sure of what they are but it is supposed to be good for you.
Every once in a while you will notice women leaving the pools and laying on vinyl covered massage tables. These lucky ladies are going back for their Korean Body Scrub and Moisturizing Treatments.
The Korean Body Scrub is one of the weirdest/coolest things I have ever experienced and I think every woman should try it. Basically, you lay (yes, still naked) on the massage tables and a woman (clothed) begins to scrub your body with little rough gloves. This is no massage. The point is to get the dead skin cells off your body and leave your skin perfectly exfoliated and smooth. The woman who perform the body scrubs have no issues with bodies. They just get to work–scrubbing each little nook and cranny. I mean, every nook and cranny. They are not shy about it and not necessarily very gentle either. The point is to SCRUB–and that is what they do. Every so often they dump hot water on your body to wipe of the dead skin and then they start again. The whole process take about 45 minutes as they scrub with gloves of varying harshness.
During my last visit, I splurged on the moisturizing treatment as well. This basically was a massage, facial and moisturizing treatment all in one. For this, you stay laying naked on the table and they begin to cover your body in warm olive oil and warm milk. These are massaged into your skin and then they put a thin layer of honey all over your body. They do something similar to your face but then they put a thick layer of freezing cold food processed cucumbers all over your face. It feels great. After about 45 minutes, the body moisturizing treatment is over and you feel like the most pampered person in the universe. You can’t use the hot tubs after moisturizing but you can go into the saunas—one of my favorite things.
These are not normal saunas. I think they have about 6-8 rooms that are heated to varying temperatures and have incorporated the healing properties of salt, sand, charcoal and jade. My favorite rooms–the sand and jade rooms are heated to 170 degrees and 150 degree respectively. They each have a little sign outside to let you kn what healing properties the room might have. I think sand was good for achy joints, salt for respiratory issues, and charcoal for poor circulation. The saunas are kept quiet and dark allowing for rest and complete relaxation. (And, you wear your robe while in the saunas.)
You truly can lose sense of time while in these saunas—and that is the point–relax, fall asleep, read magazines (an assortment is provided). Enjoy and pamper yourself.
One of the signs in the spa says something like, “Do Not Hunger Yourself”–referring to the need to keep yourself well fed and hydrated so that you don’t pass out in the spa. They have a cafe to help! A really, really good Korean cafe. The funny thing is the cafe is filled with women in the robes and hair covering –and it looks like you may have walked into a mental hospital dining hall.
It just looks so odd to have groups of women dressed in bathrobes eating Bi BimBop or spicy tofu soup.
The entry fee is $35 which includes unlimited access to the facilities for the day. The other services cost extra–the body scrub is $65 and massages are $80. I have read a bunch of reviews where people complained about the price of the spa–which I don’t quite understand. I spent about $200 when I was there–and stayed for as long as my body could have possibly handled. This isn’t something I do very regularly and I feel that it is important to splurge on myself a couple of times a year. And since I hadn’t been back since 2006–I felt I was owed a long session. To me, the money was well spent. I left feeling relaxed, refreshed, and smooth as a babies butt.
For more information on the Olympus Spa, check out their website. And, let me know if you go there and whether or not you enjoyed it.
Olympus Spa Lynnwood (just outside of Seattle)
Olympus Spa Lakewood (just South of Tacoma)
Until the end of 2011, you get in free on your birthday. Beginning 2012, you get 50% off on your birthday. Go on and pamper yourself.
(All photos in this post (except the top photo) were pulled from the Olympus Spa website. The don’t allow cameras in the spa for obvious reasons. )