To celebrate our Labor Day holiday, YJ and I ventured to Spa Castle in Carrollton, TX today to get our relaxation on! We were excited and super nervous and really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I’m happy to report, though, that we had the BEST time and can’t wait to go back soon. I figured I’d put a little blog together to share our experience and hopefully de-mystify it a bit for you if you ever decide to go (which you totally should…)
HOW IT WORKS:
You walk into this grand “castle” and check-in at the front desk. Admission is $35/person and that price grants you access for a full 24 hours to all the sauna rooms, hydrotherapy pools, fitness centers and lounges. Any massages, reflexology or exfoliation treatments are additional.
Once you are checked-in and pay your fee, you are given a “watch” (more on that later) and directed to the locker rooms… guys to the left and ladies to the right.
You immediately place your shoes in the tiny locker assigned to you and now you can expect to be barefoot for the rest of your spa experience. Once your shoes are locked away, you are greeted by the locker room attendant who will give you a “uniform” that consists of a thick cotton v-neck Tshirt and cotton gym shorts. Girls get pink and boys get blue. NOTE: These uniforms run small, so order a size or two up from what you wear in real life (sizes S – 3X).
You are required to wear this uniform in all of the sauna rooms and the fitness center (or Floors 2 &3 once you know the layout). You watch is a pretty smart device – it locks/unlocks your assigned locker that corresponds to the number on your watch. It also serves as a virtual debit card, where you can ring up food/spa/etc. purchases throughout your day – and then you tab out when you are ready to leave Spa Castle.
Ok. Now you are all uniformed up and ready to sweat.
YJ and I planned to meet on the 2nd floor outside of Sauna Valley.
From Spa Castle’s website: Each room, equally ornate in structure and design, offers specific healing affects through the combination of the infrared rays converted to heat with the natural essence of the room itself. The lining of each room is made from natural and authentic components, each organically beneficial to the body.
Here are the rooms (and we checked ALL of the out):
Gold Pyramid (plates of 98% real gold) // From the Ancient Romans to the Egyptians, gold was used for its numerous medicinal healing and beauty powers. Some believe that it reduces dependency on alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and carbohydrates. A more proven benefit of gold is its ability to improve mental acuity and concentration through increasing the conductivity between nerve endings. Concurrently, it is beneficial for rejuvenating sluggish organs, especially in the brain and digestive system. Gold is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
No surprise here, the Gold room was my absolute favorite! It was around 160 degrees and sparkly… The raised beds were unique and brought me even closer to the heat. I wanted to move in!
Charcoal Tower (activated charcoal, fine black carbon powder superheated with steam) // With its ability to absorb thousands of times its own weight, charcoal has been used since the ancient Egyptian times to extract impurities from the body. Activated charcoal is used to treat certain kinds of poisoning, as well as to filter water. This room allows for ingested toxins to be extracted from the body, to kill bacteria and viruses, and lower cholesterol levels.
The charcoal room was fantastic… I think I sweated the most here, which was the goal, right? YJ and I sat side by side here and really quieted ourselves.
LoessTower (yellow soil of Korea) // This room provides the ultimate meditative environment through the hand painted walls and soothing aroma of the yellow clay. The infrared rays emitted from the Loess clay help blood circulation and metabolism, as well as relieve headaches, arthritis, liver ailment and even obesity. Blood is detoxified as the infrared heat pushes out wastes from the pores. Heated loess is recommended to prevent topical dermatitis as well as for relief from asthma.
This room was also incredible… YJ says it was his favorite. It was hot without being overwhelming.
Roman Bath (a modern replicate of the traditional Roman public baths) // In the ancient times, stones heated in a fireplace were gathered in an enclosed room. Water was then thrown over them to produce steam, dispersing the heat. This room superheats stones in the center of the room and stimulates sweat glands, increases blood circulation, cleanses respiratory tracts and improves elasticity of conjunctive tissues and muscles. More oxygen is distributed throughout the body, improving organ functions.
Color Therapy (Chromo-therapy) // Used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, this alternative method focuses on the use of colors to balance “energy” within the mind, body, and soul. Specific colors are linked to different organs in the body, affecting emotions, moods, and physiological conditions. When the energy of a particular organ is thrown off by disease, sickness, or distress, exposing the body to its related color wavelengths will restore homeostasis.
Himalayan Salt Room (Pure blocks of Himalayan Salt) // Salt is a natural ionizer and creates a fresh, clean, bacteria-free environment. This room will help regulate water and blood pressure throughout the body. Calcium, sodium, magnesium, carbon, and manganese found in the blocks of salt help relieve allergies and asthma, soften and clear the skin, and reduce signs of aging. The salt moisturizes the air allowing for easier breathing for those with respiratory issues.
This was the first room we experienced and it was great… easy to breathe and relax deeply.
Infrared Zone (Lounge chairs placed under overhead infrared heaters) // Microscopic infrared wavelengths are emitted from the heaters and directly absorbed into the body, reducing pain, stiffness, and fatigue. This lounge mimics the comforting warming sensation achieved from sunbathing without the damaging effects of UV rays. Use the blue touch panels to activate the heaters.
Bul Gama (Extra hot clay oven) // Modeled after the traditional Korean ultra heated sauna, where special yellow archer fomentation stones and Oak wood are superheated in a fire kiln, this room releases natural elements that penetrate deep into your pores and results in immediate detoxification and strengthening of the immune system. Calories are burned quickly from the stimulation of white blood cells and antibody production.
This room was CRAZY hot… like over 190 degrees. We lasted less than thirty seconds… But I think I can better prepare myself and try to tough it out next time I go.
Far Infrared // Heaters convert infrared light into heat, which is directly absorbed into the skin (as opposed to heating the air), soothing joint stiffness, increasing oxygen flow to the brain, and clearing up nasal congestion and clogged pores,. The rays are vibrating at a frequency that allows for the body’s cells to activate and strengthen, which results in better circulation. As the rays are directly absorbed into the skin, pores are cleansed and detoxification is achieved.
Ice Land // Short term cold stimulation improves the body’s anti-oxidant capabilities, helping strengthen the immune system, firms the skin, reduces cellulite, chronic pain and fatigue, as well as providing a refreshing escape.
If you are exhausted just thinking about all the saunas and sweating and more saunas and more sweating… just you wait! There’s a whole indoor/outdoor spa pool area to explore!
IMPORTANT – Pack a bathing suit. You can’t wear your uniform in the pools, so be prepared to head back down to the locker room to change into your suit.
You’re probably thinking… are other people going to see me naked? The answer, is yes… maybe… kind of… but only for a hot minute. Think of changing at the gym … you’re exposed briefly but nobody cares and nobody is paying attention to you. Seriously not a big deal. There’s an opportunity for more nudity, which I’ll get to later…
From Spa Castle: Consistent with the ideas of Reflexology, Spa Castle’s beloved indoor and outdoor Bade Pools are sprinkled with strategically placed aqua-therapy jets, aimed to massage different areas of the body. While relaxing in a full-body hot water immersion, what you do not realize is that this is acupressure, hydrotherapy not only feels wonderful, but helps enhance circulation, skin tone, joints and muscle tension, and even digestion. A truly magnificent winter experience can be shared in one of these year-round outdoor and indoor spa pools.
The Aqua Bar (above) // A quick escape to paradise. Soak in the warm waters, while enjoying a stimulating aqua-body massage accompanied by a refreshing cocktail. The swim-up bar is the perfect place to laugh with the girlfriends, watch the Cowboys and Rangers game, or just relax.
Mystic Pool (above) // Experience the same refreshing rush of water and pressure treatment on your head, shoulders, and back under our “deep mountain” waterfall. The evening sets an enchanting setting, enhanced by panoramic views to add to the peaceful ambiance of the pool area.
Hydrotherapy Pools // Sit down, lay back, and let the acupressure from the water jets massage your back and feet, all while taking in the beautiful sky views. The indoor hydrotherapy pools are equipped with personal body lounges, submerged under heated waters. Place your hand over the sensor, and let the jets melt away any aches and pains.
Ok. You could stop now and be done. Or you could keep going. YJ and I decided to dry off, throw our uniforms back on and hit the saunas again for another hour or so…
Now here’s the fun part… for some. When you head back to the locker room, you’re going to want to shower. You smell like salt and chlorine. The shower stalls are open air and pretty exposed… in short, you’re about to be real naked in front of people. But again, who cares?
If you’re me, you decided to go all in with this first experience… in this case, “all in” means that I tried out the hot baths and pools connected to the ladies locker room. These baths require that you are fully nude… and while that’s intimidating, it’s also so incredibly freeing. There’s only other women there, who are all focused on relaxation and cleansing… it was quiet and calming, a perfect way to wrap up an amazing spa experience.
After the baths, I showered and got dressed and met YJ in the lobby to check out.
We absolutely can’t wait to go back… Wanna join us?!?!
Disclaimer: I've pulled all these images off of Google and the Spa Castle website. If you'd like to claim any as your own, let me know and I'll be happy to link it.