I read an article about the King Spa and Sauna in the Chicago Tribune, so I went to check it out this morning. Yes. I realize that it is slightly ridiculous to go to the Sauna on a 95 degree day. But it is new and local (as in suburban with free parking) and interesting. The entrance fee is $25 (reduced to $20 for the Grand Opening this month), which gives you access to the facility for the next 24 hours. I would never stay for the full 24 hours because:
- No outside food or drink
- Once you leave the building, you are not allowed to come back in.
The attraction is a whole bunch of different saunas, tons of comfortable chairs, televisions, a movie room and even nap rooms. There are a couple of different spa services available for additional fees.
The tough part, for me, is the communal nudity of the spas – showers, hot tubs and cool pools off the locker rooms. These, of course, are separated by gender. But I don’t do naked. So I used the private shower, threw on the the “uniform” (t-shirt and shorts that do not come in black) and scurried out to the main lounge to find the salt sauna. And the Egyptian one:
The saunas were all great. My only complaint is that you really hear all of the noise in the lounge – people talking, television programs, vaccuum cleaners running – and that takes a bit away from the whole “relaxation”. I was there early, so I mostly had the saunas to myself – maybe my time would overlap with another person for a few minutes. The trouble with being there early is that not everything is available. There were at least two rooms that weren’t open yet, there was no movie running and the massage staff didn’t even arrive until I was near-ready to leave.
The restaurant, like the rest of the spa, is Korean. I have no sense of foodie adventure, so I had a simple glass of papaya juice. It was more like a smoothie and very tasty. But I have read that the baked eggs are fabulous and I saw one family that walked in the door and headed straight for the restaurant for huge bowls of soup. At 8:30 in the morning, so they must be good.
I will be happy to go there again. An annual membership is $1,500. I would never get my money’s worth out of that, but they do have a 10-visit package for $170. That might get me through next winter.