Do you want your sweetheart to feel like a queen for the day? A $43 day pass to Olympus Spa in Lynnwood is the answer. Locally, it’s known as “the naked spa.” Yes, that’s right, I said naked.
Let’s address the nudity issue right away. The majority of the spa’s facilities are clothed, but the pool area doesn’t allow clothing, not even swim suits. When you check in at the front desk they give you a locker key, two towels, a robe and a cap. You leave your shoes in a cubby before entering the spa.
What does $43 get you? The pool area has four pools that range from 90 to 104 degrees, as well as a mugwort basin that you use to dump herb-scented water over yourself. According to tradition, mugwort is supposed to help blood circulation, relieve pain and aid female reproductive health. The pool area also has steam and dry saunas.
Put your clothes back on, and there are eight climate-controlled rooms to enjoy. For those who like it hot, the Charcoal and Sand rooms both crank up the heat to 150 degrees. The Elvan stone meditation and reading rooms are 90 degrees. Cool off in the Cabin at 75 degrees or the Chill room at 60 degrees.
My favorite is the Salt room, which is a toasty 140 degrees. The walls are layered with pink salt blocks, and rock salt crunches underneath your feet. When you lay down on the mats, you nestle into the rock salt, close your eyes and listen to a sound machine play the crash of ocean waves.
For me, a visit to Olympus wouldn’t be complete without eating lunch at their restaurant, which opens at 11 a.m. Some of my favorite dishes to order are bibimpap and japchae, both of which can be served gluten-free.
The spa offers a wide range of extra services, the most famous of which is the Korean body scrub. For $78 plus a tip, a woman will scrub every inch of you (and I mean every inch) until you see your skin roll off in ribbons.
If you want a scrub but are trying to stick to your budget, there are sit-down showers where you can DIY it. Scrub mitts can be purchased at the front desk or on Amazon. As for other toiletry items, Olympus provides shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and hair driers. All women need to bring with them are hair brushes.
Modesty and fear of the unknown are what took me 12 years to build up the courage to visit. My first time at Olympus, I was extremely self-conscious. Then, I realized that once I was submerged in neck-deep water, nobody could see anything. I also discovered how empowering it was to be around women of all shapes and sizes, from the grandmother with the mastectomy to the millennial inked with tattoos.
One more important thing to note — the Olympus Spa is for women only. Sorry guys, this naked spa isn’t for you.
Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.