How I ended up in Korean Wi Spa at 2 AM on a weekday…
Alright, first things first. I had everything planned, catching a plane Thursday evening from SFO and going to an interview early morning on Friday. Look, I’m smart, like everybody else and for some reason didn’t factor in the insane LA traffic, time constrains and other factors. The original plan was to land at LAX at 10 pm, grab a rental and be at my friends by 12:00. well, my ecstatic enthusiasm was curbed as soon as my plane landed and waited half an hour to be gated. The short story gets only better from now on. (You will find out about what the Best Korean Spa in LA -the Wi Spa has to do with all this & how I ended up at Jimjilbang in the middle of the night)
After missing the shuttle to the car rental, I ended up waiting for the next one. Which wouldn’t be too long if you’re flying in during the mid-day, unfortunately the shuttles do not come around regularly during the evening hours. What happened next? Well the short clock arm was approaching 12 my shuttle was approaching the rental bus stop. As soon as we got off I joined a crowd of overly excited tourists who were in town for Coachella fest. It was a crowd quarter a mile long (of about 30 people, it felt like quarter a mile).
From LAX to the Best Korean Spa in LA
I called off the meet up with friends and started thinking of where was I going to spend the night. I predicted to get a car closer to 1:30 am (which turned out almost entirely accurate) . Where will I go at the middle of the night in LA? Should I just shell out minimum of $250 for a night at some swanky hotel? Not even a night – I would sleep only for 3 hours (even if I’ll be able to fall asleep) and have to get up for an interview around 7 am!!! Stranded at the LAX in the middle of the night!
My friends were already asleep just like my interviewers. I had my suite and everything ready for the meeting. I knew that if I spend a night in the car I will wake up and look like a sack of potatoes. That very moment I had an epiphany moment – “I should spend the night over at the Best Korean Spa in LA – Wi Spa that’s open 24 Hours!
I’ve been going to Wi Spa for years while living in Korea town & had always enjoyed a little LA staycation at this resort. I’ve known that people were staying there overnight for various reasons & now it was my turn to experience a night over at the Krean Spa in LA! Totally unplanned I got there from LAX in 30 min!
Half an hour later I was laying on the heated floor of Jimjilbang, lifeless exhausted after a day of intense work and travel.
What is a Korean Spa – Jimjilbang?
For those who don’t know, 24 hour spas also known as Jimjilbang is a popular gender segregated public baths in Korea. popular public bath all over the world can be a bit confusing and intimidating of a concept to westerners and Americans specifically – so I though. When I started going to Wi almost a decade ago – the majority of the crowd was Korean. Now, somewhat not surprisingly you can see every shade from light to dark in hanging out at the spa and enjoying a good soak. It’s such a great concept that you’ll want to come back again and again to the Best Korean Spa in LA!
Check out a clip on that one time Conan O’Brien went to Wi spa – the Best Korean Spa in LA.
What to expect from the Wi Spa in K-town?
Initially, as you walk in you’ll pay for the entrance and open a tab on your credit card. The host will give you a passive infrared sensor bracelet. You can use it to open and close your locker – number on the locker matches the number on the bracelet. Moreover you can use it at the cafeteria to purchase food and drinks. The receptionist will hand you a clean T-shirt. Afterwards you will follow a sign into a gender separated locker room. Keep the T-shirt it will come in handy!
Following the locker rooms you’ll walk to the gender segregated steam, dry sauna and the warm/hot/ice cold pools along with showers located on separate levels. Ground for ladies and 1st floor for men. After completing the soak and cleansing rituals, you will put on that t-shirt and shorts. Shorts you can find in the room between the steam room and the locker room.
Once you have the shorts and the t-shirt on you may proceeded to the Jimjilbang – a common area on the second floor. it is a large hall with heated floors where you can lay out on a cot. There are also various spa rooms, as well as meditation room, computer zone, a restaurant, kids zone and the restrooms.
I pulled some quotes from the Wi Spa website to give an accurate descriptionof the each individual spa room in the upper floor of Jimjilbang.
(Recommended for veteran spa goers – or brave novices)
Made mostly out of oak wood, sits at an impressive 231 degrees for intense thermotherapy. As guests lie on the floor, heat helps to loosen muscles, remove toxins and bacteria in the body, and reduce blood pressure — for an overall cleansing effect.
The Salt room
(Visually relaxing and simply peaceful atmosphere)
This room, with the help of thousand-year-old minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium and selenium, improves the physical, chemical and hydrodynamic conditions of the body. The respiratory system is purified, circulation improves, the immune system is strengthened, and muscles are relaxed. In addition, halotherapy (salt therapy) is healing for skin conditions.
The Clay Sauna
(really unusual tactile experience for your entire body)
Features clay specially imported from Korea, clay has been used for centuries around the world for its medicinal and cosmetic benefits. This natural mud stimulates the lymphatic system and assists in the heavy metal detoxification process. Guests immerse their bodies under layers of clay balls to increase the body temperature.
The Jade Room
(Probably the most pleasant sauna in my humble opinion)
This powerfully hot room eases muscle tension, helps with arthritis, and is known to lower the cerebral temperature. The sodium and minerals within the walls of Jade Spa also help in the balancing of hormones. In Asian culture, Jade has long been revered for its healing properties and in aiding stress relief.
The Ice Sauna
(Could be used as a pit stop in between the hot rooms)
The final stop after a day at the spa. This room helps bring the core body temperature down, closes the pores and tightens the skin. By finishing with the Ice Sauna, circulation will improve and overall well-being is restored.
Can you bring the kids to the Korean Wi Spa?
The whole concept of spas and saunas around the world are primarily family oriented and the Wi spa isn’t an exception. An entire room specifically dedicated for little kids on the Jimjilbang floor. Korean families come together to enjoy the cryo/heat therapies of the cold and warm rooms. Have a meal together, and enjoy lounging on the heated floors. If you haven’t done anything like this before – you will be in for an experience. Come alone or bring the entire family!
In conclusion on the unplanned spa visit:
I arrived to the spa around 2 am and after spending a night in comfortable warm Jimjilbang, took a quick shower, dressed and was all refreshed and ready for the morning interview. Seriously no hostel can compare to a grand Korean spa (for the price of only $35/night). I’ve heard of people sleeping over at the Wi spa for various reason and finally had a chance to test it out. Wi spa totally saved me in the critical life moment and for that earned the title of the Best Korean Spa in LA!
All the best!
That’s my California Perspective for today