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“Thank you Korea and those who share it with us!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of King Spa & Sauna

King Spa & Sauna
Ranked #1 of 34 Spas & Wellness in Dallas
Attraction details
Mesquite, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Thank you Korea and those who share it with us!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2010

My daughter and I visited the Spa for a self tour only....having been to a similar Spa in Tacoma WA I thought it best to allow her to walk through to see if she was interested, she is 11 y/o. After the self tour, she begged to stay....even after seeing the wet area where there is no modesty. So we stayed.......for 6 hours. Upon returning home we both raved to my husband about how wonderful this Spa is and he kind of tolerated our excitement. Finally after about 3 weeks we convinced him to go..........we arrived at 12:30PM and left at 9:00PM! He loved it there. You can read, watch the movie, bring your own movie and watch it on your computer, read the newspaper, listen to your music etc. My husband received a body scrub and said he had not felt cleaner in years. His words "We'll be coming here again!"

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2 Thank holstinelee
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
139 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Blissful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2010

I hope to visit the King Spa several times a year. Given it is about a five hour drive each way that is saying something. I had the body scrub and massage and it was simply bliss. You leave the massage table feeling like you got a whole body lift, you are relaxed, your skin is smooth and your mind is clear.
This would have been a very different review had they not been able to schedule me in. I had called that Monday morning before I started my journey and was told no they did not take appointments however that is not what I encounter upon arrival. After the drive strictly to visit the spa and have this service, then asked "who told you that?" I did not expect things to go well but, they did. This did shorten my experience since the body scrub really needs to be the last thing you do. So I kind of experienced it back wards but it was still worth the trip.

I did not find their food overly expensive and actually found the patbingsu was actually cheaper than in Seoul.

I did get tickled when I saw their website had Dallas spelled Dalllas but if you sign up for their email they will send you coupons to use on their spa services.

You may get a body scrub and massage anywhere but they do not hold a candle to what you get for your money at King Spa and Sauna.

Helpful?
Thank Lovie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I love this place! I go here about once a...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2010

I love this place! I go here about once a week which doesn't hurt the pocket book since it's so cheap!

Helpful?
1 Thank Cryram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Amazing.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2010

King spa is an awesome place. It can be intimidating because it is so different from what most people are used to, so my goal in this review is to give a clear idea of what to expect there. This will be kind of a long review- again, I think that the scariest thing about this place is the fear of not knowing what to do or where to go, so I really want to get very detailed in my description to put people at ease- because everyone needs to try this place out. I'll try to give a "virtual tour" of the place as well as some helpful tips along the way..

(note- I am a man, so I obviously won't be covering the women's area since I haven't been there, but my wife says it's pretty much the same as my description of the men's area- except for the random addition of etchings of the Simpsons characters in the female area.)

WHAT TO BRING:
You don't need to bring anything. Maybe a book or an ipod if you want. They provide everything.


When you arrive, there are two entrances to the parking lot. I'd suggest going to the one off of Royal st. You'll be treated to your first bit of quirky decor at the entry gate. A set of 4 HUGE giraffes on top of the gate you drive through. As you pull up to the building, you'll see the large Asian style lions near the front door. Be sure to notice the European cannons that line the roof of the building- as if the owners are expecting an attack from some invading army. As you proceed through the front door, you go up to a desk. Above you, there is a chandelier made out of various kinds of antlers, and there is a small seating area. At the desk, you pay your entry fee ($18 as of summer of '10). You will hand over your drivers license and they'll give you a plastic bracelet with a number and a key on it.

After you've paid, you enter the spa on the left side of the desk. It is important to take your shoes off before you step from the tile of the lobby to the wood floor of the main spa area. Basically, you need to have them off before you go past the lobby desk. As you walk into the main room, the locker rooms are immediately to your left. They are clearly marked.

As you walk into the locker room, you'll see a bunch of tiny little shoebox sized lockers as you first enter. These are for your shoes. Go to the one that matches the number on your bracelet and the key will unlock it. After you've stored your shoes, you can go into the locker room. The locker room (at least the men's side) has the standard rows of lockers on the left side of the room, and on the right side there is a couch in front of a TV, and a barber. Yes, a barber. Complete with mirror and barber chair. As you walk past the locker area, there is a row of sinks with mirrors on the far end of the room from where you entered. There are all kinds of products (hair gel, tooth brushes/paste, combs, hair dryers, a water cooler, etc.) There are toilets off to the right, and there are several hampers by the sink area with rolled up uniforms. Everyone in the spa wears a uniform. Women wear pink, men wear a greyish blue, and kids wear yellow. Grab the appropriate size uniform for you. The uniform consists of a cotton v-neck tee shirt and some cotton knee length shorts. Not very fashionable, but who cares- everyone is wearing them.

You will also notice some fogged up glass doors on that same far wall where the sinks and mirrors are. This leads into the "wet area" and I'll discuss it in a moment.

The other important thing to note is that by the glass doors, there is a little table with a large stack of small white towels. You will want one when you are in the sauna, so grab one.

Now you have a decision to make. The spa is split into two areas. A "Wet" area, and a "Dry" area. The dry area is the area that you walked through to get to the locker room. It's where the dry sauna rooms, food court, movie theater, child play area, and the couches and chairs for relaxing, reading, etc. are located. The dry area is co-ed, and you must wear your uniform in that part of the spa.

The wet area contains the showers, steam rooms, and various hot/cold tubs. The wet area is accessed through the locker rooms, and is separated by gender.


ORDER:
The website suggests using the wet area first, then going to the dry. I personally like going to the dry, then the wet. There isn't a "right" way to do it, so don't stress about that aspect of it. It's your day, do what you want! The dry sauna rooms are the same. The general rule is to start with the less hot rooms and work your way up to the hotter ones, but again, whatever floats your boat..

I typically do the dry rooms first, so I'll address that side first...

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DRY AREA-

The dry area's main attraction is the sauna rooms. I think there are 9 rooms. I'm not going to describe all of them- the website does a pretty good job of that- I'll just touch on a couple that I particularly like.

As you exit the locker room the way you came in, you'll notice 3-4 long rows of chairs and couches. They are really ornate in a faux Victorian way, and the cushions are pink. Like flamingo pink. To your left there will be a small koi pond and the entrances to 3 of the sauna rooms. As you continue walking away from the locker room and past the pink couches, and a couple of indoor trees (??) you'll see the restaurant on your right. There are a bunch of tables the same color/style as the pink couches.


RESTAURANT-
This place is GREAT. We had never tried Korean food before, but their website has descriptions of all the dishes, so see what sounds good to you before you go if you are worried about having trouble deciding when you are standing there. The pan fried dumplings are great if you just want a snack, and the short ribs and bulgo-gi (shredded beef) are AWESOME if you want a meal. The smoothies they sell are also good, (banana is my favorite) and we have also tried the shaved ice dessert. It has fresh fruit, sweet condensed milk and the sweet red beans that are so popular in Asian desserts.
When you order food, you don't need to stress about pronouncing the Korean names of the dishes- everything has a number/letter designator. Just say "I want an M-15."

To pay, you just give them your bracelet. It has a chip in it and it adds what you buy to your account and you settle up when you leave and give them back the bracelet.

Another interesting thing is that you notice that there are some baked eggs for sale. These eggs are baked in the hottest of the sauna rooms- the Fire Sudatorium.

Important tip: if you walk into the food area, and look at the counter where you order food, you'll see a couple of small water coolers and a metal refrigerator-looking thing with a glass door and metal racks inside. This contains little metal cups. You can take one out and get some water from the cooler for free. When you are done, just set the little metal cup on the counter where you set your dirty dishes after eating, and they'll take it. After some of the rooms, you might need to hydrate a little- this way you don't have to buy bottled water constantly.

Across from the restaurant, you'll see 4 more sauna room entrances. These are our favorite rooms. The pyramid room is a gold (it's actually coated in 23k gold) pyramid. It's not that hot, but they put bunches of herbs in there, and it is pleasingly warm and smells great. This is where we usually start. As you enter it, note the gaudy Egyptian style art, and a weird row of orange pumpkins on a shelf by the entrance.. This mishmash of styles, and the slightly tacky/weird ambience is really fun.

The salt room is another room on this wall. It's hotter than the pyramid, and it's kind of like a little cave.

The Bulgama is also in this area. It is REALLY hot. It looks like there is an industrial oven at one end of the room where they roll a cart with stacked bricks on it through a garage style door, heat them up, then roll it back into the room once it's hot. The room is hot enough that you have to move quickly across the floor or your feet will hurt. There are little mats you can sit on (in all the rooms). They are particularly important in this one. It is our favorite room, but you can't stay for too long- it's pretty hot.

The ice room is also worth mentioning. It's basically a freezer with a cheesy winter scene mural on the wall. It feels GREAT after some of the hot rooms.


As you walk further away from the entrance wall past the restaurant, you'll see a bunch of recliners facing a large screen. Apparently this is for sporting events.

On your left there are entrances to the movie theater, karaoke lounge, and child care area. (basically the child area is one of those toys that they can crawl around in like they have at fast food restaurants.) On the other side of the room is a large Asian style mural with lions, etc..... And an actual suit of armor riding a life size horse.. Weird..

Past the recliners, there are some more entrances to rooms, including the Fire Sudatorium- the hottest room they have. Holy crap it's hot.. My wife made it for about 10 seconds. Every morning, they burn an entire oak tree in this room. Then they bake the eggs I mentioned earlier. It is so hot that you have a moment of panic when you first walk in. The heat is almost oppressive- it almost weighs you down a little. If you can get past that part of it, it's a great room. You have to sit on a burlap sack because the floor is so hot, and there is an attendant that sits outside the entrance and watches. He opens the door when you enter or leave. He has to use a string tied to the door to pull it open because the door gets so hot...

That is basically the entire dry area. Some of the rooms aren't heated at all, or not much, they just smell pleasant. Those are nice places to cool down. You can alternate between going into saunas, grab a drink or snack at the restaurant, curl up on the pink couch and read, watch a movie, whatever. You could definitely make a day of it.

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The wet area is accessible through the locker room. There are some glass doors at the rear of the locker room that lead to the wet area. This is also where the showers are. This is the part that freaks most people out... To enter the wet area, you must be naked. That's right. Naked. There is a hamper for your sweaty uniform right at the door, right beside the clean towel stack. Just take a deep breath, strip off, and walk in. I am a pretty modest guy, and I don't have a great body. It took a little psyching my self out to do it- but once you get in there, it really isn't a big deal.. I know what you are thinking- "It may not be a big deal for him, but it is for me.." I PROMISE- it's all in your head. It feels weird for the first minute, then you get under a shower and start thinking about washing, and it is NOT A BIG DEAL anymore. Just go with it. It's going to be OK.

So when you walk in the room, you see that the walls are lined with two different types of showers. Just to the right of the door is a shower stall that has three showers. It is more private, so if the thought of showering in a room full of people REALLY freaks you out, you might try that.

One wall has stand up showers like we are used to seeing, and the other wall has strange low showers with hand sprayers. These are sit-down showers, and Japanese bath-houses have them exclusively. You have to get a little stool- they were in the private shower stall I described a second ago. You wash the stool first (for obvious reasons) then sit down in front of the shower and wash. It actually allows you to reach everywhere to wash a little better than the stand up showers.

IMPORTANT TIP-
Whatever you choose, you MUST SHOWER if you plan to use the pools. Use a LOT OF SOAP- some of the regulars here are very serious about not wanting to bathe in your body oils in the pools. There are signs that say to report anyone you see using the pools without showering. So I overdo it a little with the soap suds just in case some old Korean guy is watching to make sure I'm clean. I don't want any unpleasantness, but more than that, I don't want to offend anyone. This whole experience is about being a visitor in another person's culture- because public bathing certainly isn't a part of the recent American experience. The LAST thing I want to do is culturally step on someone's toes.. So just make sure you scrub before getting in the pools..

Anyway, after you've showered, you'll see there there are 3 main pools in the center of the room, a hot tub in the rear of the room, a longish pool to one side, and two steam rooms in the very back. There is also an area that is walled off with a waist-high wall. This is where they do body scrubs and spa treatments in the wet area. Don't go in there unless you are getting a treatment. I also didn't go in the steam rooms- I prefer the dry saunas- but the temp read about 130 degrees in each of the steam saunas.

The three central pools are pretty similar. They are all 106-108 degrees (the temp is displayed on a digital readout.) Some have potato chip-bag sized teabags with herbs floating in them. They smell great. The hot tub in the back was broken, so I don't know about that one. The longer pool was a cold pool (75 degrees.) After a 108 degree tub, 75 degrees takes your breath away. It's great. In the cold pool, you might notice a couple of buttons. One will make HUGE jets on the far side of the pool activate, and the other makes a shower head 15 feet above on the ceiling shoot HARD jets of cool water into the center of the pool.

My only tip for the wet area is to alternate between hot and cold. It is heavenly, and if you do that a few times, by the time you leave, you'll feel so relaxed that your body feels like a limp noodle. When you are done, I always shower again, then stagger out to the locker room to dry off and get dressed.

When you are ready to go, you just go back to the front to reclaim your license and give them back their bracelet. Remember not to put your shoes on until you get to the lobby. They will check your bracelet to see if you have charged anything else, then you settle your bill and you are done!

I can't say enough good things about this place. It is very clean, food is great, very relaxing, and the decor is fun.

If I lived in Dallas, I'd probably be here once a week. It is a great place, and will be on my must do list whenever I'm in town!


BONUS TIP- The Korean Spa Hat

So I'm guessing that if you looked at their website and saw the pics of the people wearing those little white hats with the rolled sides that look like Princess Leia, you were thinking "how can I get a cool hat like that?" Well, if you have one of those little white towels that you got from the locker room, you already have one!

You just have to fold it! Here's how:

Lay the towel in front of you where the longer edge is closest to you, so that as you look down at it, it's wider than it is tall.. As you look at the towel, imagine horizontal lines dividing the towel into thirds.

You are going start by folding the top edge of the towel down to where the top third overlaps the middle third.

Then fold the bottom third up to overlap the other two thirds. Then you will basically have a long tube of fabric.

Lastly, you simply roll up the ends of the tube like you were rolling up the sleeves of a shirt, or the cuffs of a pair of pants. I roll it up about 3 times. Make sure the rolls are tight so they'll stay. That's all there is to it! Find the edges of the towel in the unrolled middle portion, and you can put it on your head, with the round rolls above your ears! Now you are rockin' it Korean Spa Style!

Helpful?
75 Thank geo655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dallas
Level Contributor
122 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“more of a mini retreat versus spa”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2010

From the moment you drive into the parking lot being watched over by 4 huge plastic giraffes you know this spa experience will be different! Upon entering the building you pay $18 plus tax for a day pass. They give you a plastic bracelet with a number on it that serves as your identifier and locker key for any additional charges. It is so refreshing to just show up and not have to bring anything. They provide everything, from shampoo to tooth brushes to clothes to wear while in the sauna. The bracelet has a chip in it you can use to buy food at the restaurant so you do not have to carry a wallet. You settle your tab on your way out. .Since this was my first time, I did not reserve any treatments (Scrub, massage, reflexology) but rather decided to immerse myself in the spa itself. Walking into the main building you must first take off your shoes and enter into a ‘community center area’. The decor is an odd medley of styles. In the lobby, you will see a chandelier made of antlers, murals depicting countryside settings, chairs and couches that look like they came from a castle in Europe and copious amounts of wood and marble. Further inside are rooms shaped like pyramids, suits of armor and statues of lions. There is a huge silver stallion statue that greats you, tons of tables, chairs covered in pink velvet, a snack bar, and a small open movie theater. The day I was there families with small kids and students were sitting around having lunch together and reading. The Women’s locker rooms are at one end and you must first deposit your shoes into a locket, then all of your clothes in a separate locker. Yes, all of your clothes, no bathing suits allowed. There are very small fingertip sized hand towels you can attempt to cover yourself with if you are the modest type. I went with a group of friends. I would almost recommend going with strangers, it might be more comfortable. Do not worry about the whole nakedness factor. There is always going to be someone with a better body than yours and there will always be someone with a worse body than yours. All the women then go into a large communal shower and hot tub area. There are signs posted stating you must clean yourself well with soap & water or else you will be reported to management! Once showered all the women sit in hot tubs of various temperatures and benefit teas. I sat in a tub with a gianormous tea bag full of herbs that smelled quite good. I am not sure what health benefit I was supposed to derive from it. For those with thick skin there was also an ice tub full of cold water. For the truly hot-blooded you can push a button in the ice tub that causes freezing cold water to shower down. Now for the décor of the women’s hot tub area. It’s a little like a high school locker room, yet above the hot tubs is a huge picture of The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. This is then contrasted by a glass partition that separates the hot tub area for the massage area. The glass partition has images etched of The Simpsons! You can see folks laying on the massage tables getting massages from middle-age Korean women that are just wearing their bras & underpants. It is quite a funny sight! After a soak in the various tubs you then put on pink scrubs/pajama outfit to enter into the common & sauna area.
There are at least a dozen types of sauna rooms. There are mildly hot rooms, steamy rooms, a cold room, hot rocks, earth rooms, and a room that smelled like cedar and a room/hut so hot you run the risk of heat stroke if you stay longer than a couple minutes. There are folks sleeping in the various rooms (some even snoring), others meditating, and then our group of girls (actually women) that pretty much giggled at everything.
After trying all the various rooms & experiences, we ended up in the café area for some fresh squeezed fruit or veggies juices (carrot, kiwi, banana). As we sipped our cold drinks a loud overhead speaker announced something in Korean. Then in English that the movie Die Hard was going to start in ten minutes. It felt very much like we were then in some international airport! Yes, the viewing of the movie was included in your original $18 entrance fee. What a deal!
the loud speaker and some of the bright overhead lighting in the sauna rooms could have been improved. A little mood music also would have been an enhancement. But overall it is an excellent experience that you must try!
Leave your cares at the doors and go for a visit. Very family friendly.

Helpful?
11 Thank 2travelingscientists
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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