Spa Castle: A Tour Through Sauna Valley
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Disneyland of spa resorts is right in our own backyard. From the outside, Spa Castle looks more like a suburban mall than a place to unwind. Once you enter the building in College Point, Queens, it's pure sensory explosion.
Huge spa complexes are common in Korea. They go full monty, so these places tend to separate men and women. However, there's a family vibe the unisex areas because, unlike most American spas, little kids can roam around with their parents.
This Asian import offers the usual fare: facials, massages, scrubs, etc. At five stories high and 100,000-square feet big, it's the sheer size of the place that never ceases to amaze. The only thing that’s missing is a moat.
Air dispensers pump in fresh oxygen throughout the building — just like in Vegas casinos. Spa Castle boasts multiple roof-top pools, a swim-up bar, fitness center, Korean restaurant, water fall, TV–viewing lounge and a sea of hot-tubs. You want Starbucks? Done. Waffles? Check. Steamed corn? Errr, okay. They have all your range of cravings covered.
Every visit must include a trek through "Sauna Valley." It's a huge cluster of igloo-shaped huts, with a mock-river running through it for added effect. They're seven rooms total and each one serves a different heaing purpose: L.E.D. Gold, Salt, Jade, Loess Soil and Ice Land and Far Infrared Ray. GOLD, people!
It gets packed, especially on the weekends. Adult admission ranges from $35 to $45, depending on the day. Take mental note, it's open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week — including holidays.
If you can get your New Year’s hungover-self onto the 7-train, you're practically there. A free shuttle bus makes pick-ups from the end of the line. That's way better than a knight in shining armor.