There’s usually a Groupon, LivingSocial, or local coupon to get into King Spa and Sauna for a discounted price. And with the promise of heated baths, steam saunas, and multiple gimmicky dry saunas, it’s easy to see why my frozen Chicago friends have often been lured from their urban dwellings and into the suburban village of Niles, just outside of the city.
King Spa and Sauna is a family-friendly, Korean-inspired organization that focuses on well-being and self-care. Oh, and you’re naked for most of it.
And let me tell you just how relaxing it is to give up worrying about what you look like! Men and women* have a separate bath and wet sauna area, so I was immediately surrounded by women of all ages who were just there for some self-TLC.
This environment doesn’t really give you much time to think either. You’re in, you’re naked, you’re showering, and then you’re letting go of tension and stress with one of the hot baths. (And then increasing circulation by hopping into the cold bath before you hit the steam sauna!)
Once you’re done lulling about in the bath area, you can dress in your given uniform and head out to the dry saunas or to grab some grub. And, folks, the dry saunas are amazing! Each one varies in regard to temperature, and there’s even an Ice Room, but each one allows you to lay down and let the day go. (Except for the one that is literally an oven. You have to sit up in that crazy thing.)
My dry sauna of choice is the Amethyst Room, which is warm enough to soothe a sore body, but hot enough to make you sweat, all without being uncomfortable. (Of course, it’s covered in amethysts.) And once you’re hungry, there’s a restaurant where you can grab a full meal or just a little sweet treat to cool down with.
All said and done, my best friend and I are hooked. My sore muscles are soothed, my thoughts calmed, and my pores have sweat themselves clean! If your self care budget allows you to explore a wet/dry sauna, I highly recommend it; for you, your mind, your well-being, or just because.
*please note that the author can only speak to her experience as a non-trans person.
King Spa and Sauna is located in Chicago.