Urban Oasis

Urban Oasis

Story by Theta Pavis

Photos Courtesy of KingSPA Fitness

I’d heard locals mention a Korean spa existed in Palisades Park, but nothing could have prepared me for KingSPA Fitness. It’s a massive, immaculate palace of relaxation.

To enter the women’s spa section (there is also a men’s spa) you strip down completely, then pass into a huge room with showers and plunge pools ranging from hot to ice cold. There’s also a steam room and tables where staff will give you a vigorous body scrub and/or wet massage. You’ll see plenty of Korean women squatting at the small shower units (they also have stand up showers) thoroughly soaping and shampooing themselves; the only time I have ever seen something like this before was in Japan.

It costs $45 to get in (although you can often find coupons) and that admission price lets you stay all day (or night; it’s open 24-hours a day, seven days a week). Massages, etc., cost extra. If the idea of being stark naked isn’t your thing – that’s OK.

When you first enter and pay at the reception desk, someone will show you around and hand you a cotton T-shirt and shorts (pink for women; white for men) to wear in the unisex areas of the spa, which include numerous lounges, a Korean restaurant, and a mind-boggling array of different hot saunas. You can get a foot massage or chair massage at the hands of some of the best masseuses ever. There are areas filled with giant recliners on which to relax, watch TV or nap. Free Wi-Fi is available along with computers, and throughout you will see people playing chess or the strategy game Go. There is also a beauty salon and other treatments available,

The highlight of KingSPA is the numerous saunas, each with different proper ties. They have wonderful signs outside of each one explaining the benefits; the Yellow Mud room, for example, is supposed to be an antioxidant that prevents aging. No matter what’s bothering you, however, when you leave you’ll feel totally restored and relaxed. ••

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