I’ve been hearing a lot about Korean spas recently. They are one of the hottest US trends at the moment – although US comedienne Margaret Cho probably isn’t a fan any more as she was ordered to cover up her tattoos in a Korean spa in Los Angeles. She said that staff told her that her tattoos weren’t welcome at the AromaSpa and that other guests would find her body art ‘offensive’.
The experience Margaret Cho had didn’t put Katy Holmes off booking her own Korean Spa experience recently though, when she booked into The New York City Spa to enjoy the hot tubs, whirlpools, full loofah body scrubs, and more. It seems to have perked Katie up no end, as Internet commentators have remarked on how much happier she’s looked since she took a bit of pamper time.
According to ‘an insider’ the best thing for Katie is that the place is full of old Korean women and nobody even knows who she is!
So what is it with the Korean Spa craze? Well, they are a kind of spa that’s becoming more and more popular in the US so more than likely to make their way over here before too long. One of the big cultural differences you’ll find in a Korean spa is that there are no luxurious fluffy robes to pad around in; you’ll be expected to hang out completely naked with a room full of complete strangers, so if that scares you, a Korean spa probably isn’t for you.
The spas aren’t all one of a kind; there are basic neighbourhood spas where you get to enjoy all the usual spa treatments, and top of the range luxury spas that have everything from a jade sauna to a heated mugwort room. Some of the really big spas are more like water parks with spa treatments; they can be massive and very over the top.
At the moment, the best-known example of a Korean spa in the UK is Portchester Spa in London a beautiful Art Deco inspired spa with some excellent facilities and treatments, just with a little less luxury than you might expect in Notting Hill (think white plastic chairs instead of decadent heated loungers and you’ll be on the right track.)
I’m not sure I’m quite ready for the Korean spa experience yet – what do you think?