Are you as cold as I am this month? I love the frost in the morning, love the clear blue skies of the Pacific Northwest, love the nip in the air … but I also want a place to warm up!
These same thoughts were on the mind of a woman from Korea when she came up with the idea of a spa for women — a place where women could go during the wet, cold months of winter in the Puget Sound region and be warmed to the bone.
This was the inspiration behind Olympus Spa, which has two locations — Tacoma and Lynnwood. Commonly known as “the naked lady spa,” Olympus Spa combines age-old Korean healing practices with a modern-day facility to give women a retreat, a place to rejuvenate and think, and a lovely, relaxing experience. For $35 you can spend the day there, moving from one heated room to another in a robe they provide. Each room is designed to heal in a specific way that is explained by the spa — one has charcoal lining the walls, another has sand beneath a canvas floor, and so forth.
The “naked lady” part comes in the pool area where there are four pools with varying temperatures of water to provide hydro-therapy. If you’re squeamish about being naked, just do what I do. When I go in there I take my glasses off and pretend that no one can see me, just like I can’t see them. If you have 20/20 vision, just don’t look at anyone. And remember, it’s women only!
Olympus Spa also provides massages, mani and pedis, wraps and scrubs for an additional cost between about $50-$130. I recommend the body scrub, which is offered for 40 minutes at $69 and 55 minutes at $89, when every inch of your body is scrubbed by an expert wearing mitts with tiny scrubbers on them. It’s amazing to watch the greyish matter float away as you are doused with warm water. Afterwards, your skin will feel silky for a month. The experience is truly lovely.
Spaahh at Hotel 1000
Located in downtown Seattle, Spaahh at Hotel 1000 is the elegant choice if you want to feel like a queen. I had the best — and I mean, it was heavenly — hot stone massage that I have ever had there. Ninety minutes of glory! I was so relaxed that during the second half I floated in and out of consciousness, seriously in bliss.
The hot stone massage costs around $2 a minute, but it is so worth the fee. In reality, that’s on par with other spas, and don’t you deserve it anyway?
Hotel 1000 is convenient for anyone near downtown, and they have valet parking so that’s not even a concern. After your massage, make sure to have lunch at Boka Restaurant & Bar off the lobby of the hotel. It serves delicious salads and a fabulous salmon burger with fries drizzled in truffle oil. Yum.
Having experienced a massage at three different Massage Envy locations, I can honestly say that the chain of spas offers a consistent, excellent experience. The facilities are clean and comfortable, the staff is responsive to your needs, and you will feel great during and after the massage. It also offers a variety of massage choices, with experts in each modality on staff.
The cost of a massage at Massage Envy is comparable to other places, unless you buy into its monthly plan. Then you get a considerable discount — just a little less than half off. The idea is to keep massage affordable so people can get the benefit of it regularly. Another plus is that there are many locations, so there is probably one near you.
Free massage giveaway!
Massage Envy has generously passed along a gift certificate for one reader of The Flying Salmon. To be entered in a drawing for a free massage at the location near you just leave a comment on this blog by January 24 telling us about your favorite spa experience! I will contact the winner after that.
This contest closes at 12:00am PST on January, 24th 2013. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments below, please only submit one entry per person. If the winner does not respond within three days of being notified, a new winner will be selected. This contest is available only to residents of the United States. Approximate value of the prize is $49. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.