My trip to the Korean spa
The Korean-style Imperial Spa in San Francisco is hands down, the best spa value in the Bay Area. It’s also a little weird if you’re used to traditional western spas.
I’ve been dying to try it out since I heard about it, but I was scared to go alone. I wanted to go with trusted friend who had been before. My friend Dora was in town and she happily agreed to go with me.
It’s nice, but not fancy.
My robe had a spot and my towels were a bit frayed. I didn’t care. There is also no flute and bubbling brook soundtrack. But the facilities are clean and there are free toothbrushes and razors.
Nudity is part of the experience.
Don’t worry, there are completely separate spas an entrances for men and women. (That’s right, boys; you can do this too!) Once you check in, you get a locker key and it’s pretty much naked time from there to the end. It’s the kind of thing that might have made me uncomfortable at 23, but at 33, I’m a grown ass woman. I love and accept my body, and we’re all human. It was not a big deal.
Arrive early to enjoy the spa facilities.
You start with a shower, but then you can enjoy the hot tub, cold plunge, and wet and dry saunas. So we did that for about 40 minutes.
The treatment is the best part.
At your appointment time, they call your name. You go upstairs to receive your treatment from a Korean auntie in her undies. Ok, it’s a bathing suit, but basically it’s underwear. Then you lay down on a plastic covered spa table in a space next to several other people naked on their own tables.
She poured warm water on me and started with the scrub. She scrubbed me everywhere but my lady bits. Boobs, butt cheeks, crack and groin were all in bounds. I could have said “no thanks” but I was fine with it. It was not sexy in any way, and she never made me feel uncomfortable.
Then a full body massage with lots of lotion. Good pressure. My two days post marathon muscles were very happy afterwards.
Then a mini facial with facial massage, cucumbers on the eyes, oatmeal mask. While the mask did it’s work, she massaged my scalp, and washed and conditioned my hair. Last step was a full body milk bath. The woman next to me said afterwards that the experience made her feel like the Queen of Sheeba.
After our treatments, we finished by laying on some yellow clay mats in a dry sauna-type room for a few minutes before getting dressed.
And for all this I paid only $90 plus tip!
My skin was smoother and softer than it’s ever been before. This place is a steal! I’ll go back again for sure.
I did not take any of these photos. That would have been way creepy. All these pics are from the Imperial Spa website.