A mere $25 admission fee offers 24-hour access to Wi Spa’s gender-segregated baths and steam rooms, plus five co-ed saunas that target many of the signs of chronic stress, I was willing to embrace my birthday suit. Plus, as a parent of young children—which may have a teensy bit to do with my stress in the first place—the around-the-clock hours were a godsend. So, late one weekday evening, I found myself kid- and clothing-free in Wi’s no-frills but clean ladies’ spa area. Once I gave up trying to cover myself with the tiny spa-issued towel, I embraced the communal atmosphere—made up of women of all ages, shapes and ethnicities, incidentally—and melted away my tension in the multiple oversize tubs and steam rooms. (You can also opt for a la carte pampering with a facial, massage or the signature “buff” body scrub, an intensive exfoliating rubdown.) Afterward, I donned my spa-issued shorts and T-shirt and ascended to the co-ed, family-friendly jimjilbang (aka traditional Korean bathhouse). I tried all five signature saunas, including the heated, wood-lined Bulgama room, said to detoxify the body and reduce blood pressure; the salt sauna, which purportedly strengthens the immune system, often affected by chronic stress; and the heated jade sauna, which is also revered for its stress-relieving properties. The saunas were gorgeous, but do these ancient therapies work? It’s hard to prove, but by sauna five (the bracing ice sauna) I was not only significantly more relaxed, I was making promises to myself to visit monthly—and maybe even bring my daughter next time. We are definitely going to become Korean spa regulars in Los Angeles.
2700 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown, 213.487.2700. wispausa.com