The first time I heard about Olympic Spa, I was sold. “After you get a scrubbing there, your skin just glows!” my friend told me. She went on to say how even though it’s in a sketchy part of L.A. (Olympic and Crenshaw) that a lot of actresses and models she knows go there and it’s a secret gem among them.
But the thing that sold me was how much you get for the money you spend there. Yes, it’s no Burke Williams with big fluffy robes or pitchers of cucumber-lemon iced water, but their packages bundle up so many services you end up paying about $100 for something that costs about $300 in BW.
So I looked over their menu of “rituals” and decided on the Pure Bliss package:
Aromatherapy Massage and Body Scrub
This spa experience begins with our famous Akasuri Body Scrub. After a citrus jojoba bead body polish, a full session Korean Deep Tissue Massage with our own aromatherapy oil blend relieves tired bodies instantly. Now enjoy a stimulating essential oil scalp massage followed by a botanical facial massage and chamomile mask. Your hair is washed and conditioned with Bumble and Bumble. This treatment has been written up in Allure, LA Magazine & more.
1 hour 25 mins………………………. $100
I decided to do this as a birthday treat to myself, regarding the scrubbing away of dead skin as a renewal of some sort. This package includes a Simple Soak ($15 on its own) which means you have access to the spa facilities. You don’t have to make a reservation just to use the facilities but you do for any of the rituals or spa services. So if you had a hard day and just want to soak in a hot tub or partake of the jade steam room, you can just show up.
It’s a women-only spa so most of the ladies just walk around nekkid but no one judges or checks each other out. Everyone’s there just to relax and for some vigorous washing.
I arrived early so that I’d have time to use the spa. First you have to shower as it’s bad form to get into the tub before bathing and always stay hydrated. The recommended order to use the facilities is:
- Soak in the warm mineral pool then shower
- Lay out in the jade steam sauna then shower
- Sit in the tea pool to detox (caution: extremely hot! and yet not scorching)
- Plunge in the cool waters pool then shower
- Detox in the oriental clay dry sauna then shower
- Lay out on the jade floor to relax (this last part is my favorite. There are blankets and pillows provided as well as a TV with Korean TV programs)
From Olympic Spa:
Alternating between hot and cold is recommended to keep your body temperature at the rights levels and to keep the heart rate at a healthy pace.
Always rinse or shower after the use of the dry and steam saunas as they cause the body to perspire.
Finally I was called to one of the tables for my scrub down. I was pretty much out in the open for all to see so I don’t recommend this to those who are extremely shy about baring it all. “No one’s looking and no one cares,” I told myself. OK, so I got my hair washed (lovely), a mask applied to my face (ni-ice), a full body massage (awesome) and the Akasuri body scrub (PAINFUL!).
I swear, I thought she was scrubbing off actual epidermis. I kept taking a peek at my skin to make sure it was still there and that I wasn’t bleeding. She scrubbed so vigorously that I wanted to cry because it hurt but then I thought, “This is just how it’s been done for centuries.” I don’t know how long it went on for but I prayed for it to stop. I thought for sure that afterward I’d emerge with scratches and bruises all over my body.
Fortunately, they start off with the scrub so after that, everything else is cake. I passed out during the massage and head massage because they felt so goood. It was a perfect way to end things.
And the funny thing is after all that pain, I think I’d do it again. My skin just glowed and was so soft. It was like new skin. So worth it. However, I think I’ll limit this treatment to a once-a-year thing. I can only take so much.
3915 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Cross Street: Norton Avenue