Sometimes you just need a Girl’s Weekend filled with Korean BBQ, matching joggers and a budget-friendly spa. My friend, Gal and I decided just that and resolved to “meet in the middle” of our coastal homes for a weekend of fun in Chicago.
The weekend was affectionately dubbed #TwneTakeover, a joke from our college days of telling strangers we were twins. Sometimes, I don't think we were joking.
At the top of our list was a visit to King Spa & Sauna in nearby Niles, Illinois. We even bought matching fleece joggers from Harlom & Graham at Nordstrom Rack for the adventure! I picked up color coordinating spa masks from one of our favorites,TJ Maxx.
According to their website, King Spa & Sauna is a unique Korean-inspired spa that is known as Jjim-Jil Bang, a traditional spa that offers ways to relax and recharge. Another close friend, Megan is a Chicago local and told me she had been there and that it was “pretty crazy and pretty weird.”
Sign. Us. Up.
A few months before our trip, I found an e-coupon on their website for just $22 per person that would allow us to enjoy all of their facilities, including a 23 karat gold sauna and 150 degree fire sudatorium. Did I mention guests can stay for up to 24 hours?
After a 40 minute Uber ride to the suburbs, we arrived at a sprawling concrete complex that reminded me of the Costco warehouses I used to visit as a fundraiser. You see, Korean spas are the best kept secret given their relatively low price, spartan exteriors and location in the outskirts of major cities.
Upon entry, we received our very comfortable attire for the day, which was a pastel combination of drawstring shorts and a scrub top with their logo. It was so tempting to ask the locker room attendant, "How much?" when we departed at the end of our stay.
Above you'll see us trying our hand at tree pose asana in the Amethyst Room, which was a warm sauna-like room with bamboo floors and beautiful mosaic of amethyst crystals. According to their website, the room combines the "benefits of infrared rays and the absorptive nature of the yellow soil to extract toxins within the body."
I'm not sure if we extracted any toxins or not, but we certainly had a great time goofing around in our Muumuus. Whenever we found the room to ourselves, we'd practice our yoga.
Here are the rooms we visited at King Spa during our Spa Spectacular:
Each side of the pyramid was covered with gold leaf and warmed to a comfortable temperature. No sign of King Tut.
This room was chilled to a few degrees above freezing, so it provided a refreshing cool down between treatment rooms. According to their website, this room stimulates blood flow and tightens pores. It also happens to turn my platinum blonde hair a bright shade of green.
Gal is a dentist so she was very pleased to see how white our teeth looked under the glow of the black light.
Naturally, we were starving after a few sessions in the treatment room. After enduring 1-2 minutes in the 150 degree fire sudatorium, we headed straight for the cafeteria. Our bento boxes were filled with pickled vegetables, side dishes and unexpectedly tasty sauces.
Each dish cost between $12-$15.
After a delicious lunch of authentic bulgogi and kimchee soup, we checked out the giant cinema with reclining leather chairs. The movie? One of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Twilight Series.
I purchased a delightful red bean and vanilla ice cream sandwich from the cafeteria. It was shaped like an adorable, happy fish. We put on some under-eye collagen masks from TJ Maxx and as you can see, I was in pure bliss.
Bliss = Ice Cream Fish
Once we had enjoyed enough of Edward and Bella's love affair, we took to the Ionization Room and Meditation quarters upstairs. It was extremely quiet, but most of the time we could be found giggling or chatting away. Before she took this picture, Gal said, "Quick, look like we're relaxing and I'll take a picture."
All in all, it was a hilariously happy place with one of my dearest friendlings.
- Bring your own clay masks from home
- Save your appetite
- Head over in the morning, so you can maximize your experience (it is open 24 hours a day!)
- Go with a fun friend