So for her 41st birthday my wife wanted to take a trip down to SpaWorld in northern Virginia. We got a hotel room for Friday night, drove down after work, and went to try it out early Saturday morning.
The facility is substantial, with large unisex pool rooms (clothing verboten). There are 7 co-ed poultice rooms (clothing required) where you can sweat to amethysts, red clay balls, charcoal, geraniums, or the Oldies. There’s an ice room too. I recommend you take a towel to this one, because the thin uniform will not protect your derriere if you sit on those freezing stone benches! Outside the poultice rooms is a large matted floor where people sleep or rest. You steam, you bathe, you take a nap and start again. Tickets are $35 for 24 hours, so I’m sure there’s a lot of sleeping going on–there are also male and female sleeping rooms upstairs. Though I did not try it, the restaurant has good reviews in the DC papers.
You remove your shoes in the lobby and put them in the shoe locker, and then you are issued an orange Korean high school gym uniform. You go to the locker room where you disrobe and either keep on your uniform if you’re venturing to the co-ed areas, or you store your uniform and hit the showers so you can use the pools.
The big massage pool has extremely powerful jets–its the best I’ve used. You move around to different stations: neck-jets, cascading showers for the shoulders, a foot jet that is so powerful it nearly threw me out of the pool, side- and back-jets, thigh jets, inner ear jets, Benny and the jets. I used them all. Be careful on the foot jets–I stepped on them without holding the railing first and both feet got sent to either side by the force and a powerful gout of air bubbles kneed me viciously in the pills. I grunted and sat backwards toward the railing and then got a dose of Class 5 rapid up the sinus. “Oh, God, brain amoeba,” I thought as, snuffling and slipping, I managed to situate myself properly. My feet felt electric when I got done.
There are other pools in the pool facility: hot tubs set at 101, 105, 110–a cold pool which will kick your ass–I was in the pool room for a couple hours and aside from myself only one other dude used it. I dunked in it for about 15 seconds. This dude came out the sauna and reclined in the cold pool for a good twenty minutes like some Yoga aesthete. There’s an infrared ray bed where some far-out old hippy was doing Yoga nekkid.
You can schedule massages and other services while at the pool. You can get a whole-body scrub or a 60- or 90-minute massage, or a combination of those things. In the poultice area you can schedule pedis, manis, manipedis, om mani mani pedis om, or reflexology sessions. I got the scrub+60 minute massage. Because these massages happen in the pool facility, clothing is not an option. They don’t believe in covering your naughty bits with a towel; you are splayed on a big plastic foam table at poolside during this entire process. A mendicant monk from a Kurosawa film wearing nothing but a black loin cloth scrubbed me viciously with a steel wool pad for 20 minutes before splashing me with a pan of warm water. Then he proceeded to beat the shiatsu out of me. I’ve been twisted and pummeled by a series of international brutes: that blind dude in Manila, the Thai in Prague, that Ukrainian in Rehobeth–Gregor–who dismantled me. This guy ranked with the best. He spent much of the massage actually up on my back pinning me with his knees and prying up my shoulder blades so he could get up under there with merciless thumbs. When I’d confessed to the Templar abominations before a leering statuette of Baphomet I was oiled, and sent off to the shower with a resounding ass slap. I returned to the hot tub for a respite and thence again to the poultice rooms.
I recommend this joint–it’s worth an inconvenient rush-hour drive for us to go down the night before. It’s cheap, the services are superior, it wasn’t very crowded at all on a Saturday morning–but I’ve heard it can get ridiculous later in the day. Go when you can move from poultice room to poultice room without having to step over bodies snoozing everywhere.