King Spa Palisades Park: Korean Traditional Heat Therapy In New JerseyLili | July 12, 2019 | 0 | Traditional
You might never imagine that just over the George Washington Bridge from New York City exists an alternative universe where English is not the primary language spoken. Korean is. And with Korean spoken in this very different part of my state comes the desire for all forms of Korean culture. Korean food is already entrenched into the culture, as is Korean shopping, so why not Korean health spas? Why not indeed?
King Spa, the name is pretty mundane to non-Koreans and it may at first elicit the wrong kind of spa. This one is not like the one you just thought of. It’s another world entirely. King Spa is more akin to going to a very high end New Jersey country club that, instead of golf specializes in Korean body treatments. What kind of body treatments? Ones that bring good health! Sweating is the five hundred year old way that Koreans seek solace against all kinds of environmental toxins. They believe that sweating out is the way to cleanse the body of the poisons accumulated by living around highly industrial areas and for good health.
Located in a non-descriptive region of the town, King Spa is not in any way flying under the radar. The building is massive, with a bright LED lit sign outside, you can’t miss it. And King Spa is open 24/7, like Las Vegas, you can come to sweat at any time, day or night. In fact there are no windows here, but more on that later.
A sharply dressed valet parks your car, three dollars for the day, four dollars at night-highly recommended with few parking spaces on the industrial street. Tips go a long way here, so don’t be afraid to be kind and share a couple more bucks, it means something to the hard-working staff. Enter the door after waiting on line if there is one, if busy and if not, enter into an oasis from the dirge of life.
They come here from across the New York/Metro Area to sweat. To what? Yes, to sweat. And with at least a dozen different ways to sweat out the toxins that definitely ail you, it’s important to carve out at least four hours to fully relax, if not more to experience all the charms this authentic Korean spa has to offer. Of course you could go the simple way, find either the male or the female locker rooms, with their own private spas held within. But for the entire experience, don the cotton tee shirt and cotton tied shorts and prepare to immerse yourself in Korean culture. Have lunch, it’s delicious and definitely try the strawberry shake. It’s like a frozen yogurt confection, tinged with strawberry. You may find it too sweet, so add some crushed ice and it will be perfectly balanced against all that sweat flowing from your body.
You’ll probably be the youngest person there if you come during the day. My experience included at least a dozen women, all over the age of eighty-five. Sure there is a smattering of younger business people, looking for a meal and a sweat with perhaps a steam bath, followed by the ice room and then how about some more yellow clay sauna sweating? Or maybe the mineral room with crystals drawing the energy of the universe around you? They are very respectful of peace and quiet, with only ambient music heard and the tinkling of fountains. There are no windows and the floors are impeccably clean, because everyone is walking barefoot, the floors must be clean! No cell phones are permitted anywhere except for the private lounges and even then, always on headphones, respectively whispering and never shouting.
I loved the Egyptian-style gold room, designed like a pyramid, covered completely in gold leaf. It’s also about one hundred plus degrees in there. Pretty hot and rightfully so, to fully appreciate the healing you must sweat. One hundred and forty degrees just feels too hot for me, but after a short while I realized that all the bad stuff that was plugging up my pores was sweating out of me. There really is no nice way to put it. You and everyone else there is the attending for the same thing, so stop complaining and sweat! There are about six or so main saunas, with other sleep rooms for detoxification scattered around. Massage is available too. I definitely indulged. And sure you can get any one of many body work-outs. It’s ultra-professional and clean. My massage from Daniel rocked my world, Thai massage anyone? I’d never been twisted into a noodle before. It’s amazing therapy and so near to New York City. There is even a shuttle to Flushing Queens. Someone said there is a shuttle to Kennedy Airport too. Imagine flying 24 hours in from the other side of the world, from Korea to New York, then being whisked to King Spa? A gift from the universe.