An obviously not Korean’s Guide to the Korean Spa (Jimjilbang)

For anyone who is on r/AsianBeauty, I will apologize for the almost identical post. I’d also like to preface this by saying that I am by no means an expert in the Korean Spa experience and there are probably things I’m forgetting or just don’t know.

 

What/Where

Hugh Spa is a women’s only spa located the Koreatown neighbhorhood of Los Angeles. This spa offers a variety of services like the classic body scrub as well as massages and various waxing, facials, etc. I’ve visited 4-5 times over the years and keep coming back because there are few other places that have the solid 4 star + volume of reviews (other than Wi Spa). You do not need to make an appointment unless you’re getting a service done.

1101 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

The Facilities

I first tried this spa in 2015 on a 2 for 1 groupon. Entry to the spa is $20 and valet parking $2 (we get there before the valet so no parking cost).

It was under different management (more on this later) and I also got a standard body scrub. The areas where the ahjummas perform the service is open with about 4 tables for clients to lay. During the body scrub, they wash your hair and do a wash off mask.

The whole place has been remodeled and looks a ton better. Walls and showers completely retiled, all new robes, privacy wall constructed between showers and massage/scrub area as well as a whole new front desk area.

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Things I’ve learned

  • Prepare to be naked in nearly all the rooms. If you have a discomfort w/ nudity I wouldn’t recommend the experience. For rooms that need a robe, they’re typically clearly labeled. I only go with my bff and we have no problem with it. Make sure if you’re going in a group that everyone knows this ahead of time and is comfortable. On a similar note, also be prepared to see lots of ahjummas (the staff) in underoos as it is what they wear whilst performing the body scrub services.
  • Large plastic water bottles are life. I’m not going to lie, I rescued a bottle from recycling for the spa occasion today and made myself a giant tea/water. Being in the hot and/or steam rooms throughout the day does wonders but getting dehydrated is bad news (I learned this my first time going)
  • Bring your own toiletries. The first time I went, I didn’t know you should bring your own lotions and face products so I left hella dry. I bring my travel routine and a sheetmask normally.
  • Spa voice is a real thing. Especially as a non-Korean, I try to be really mindful of my spa voice and not talk too loud. The ahjummas will politely tell people to quieten down if needed but that is rare.
  • Try the food but be prepared to wait. If you’re going to a small place like Hugh Spa with only one cook, it can take awhile. The cutest halmoni makes the meals and they definitely hit the spot if you are there around lunch. I’m basic and always get the vegetable bibimbap.

That’s basically all of the tips I can think of, if anyone else has any spa best practices, please share in the comments 🙂

5 Replies to “An obviously not Korean’s Guide to the Korean Spa (Jimjilbang)”

  1. I skipped this experience when I was in Korea because of the nudity and being a foreigner I’d probably be extra looked at lol I might try it next time though because body exfoliation is so important! I dont think we have any in Florida but there might be one in Atlanta. Great post!

    Like

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