Intro: If you’ve ever come home from a really rough day, or endured any annoying situation, one of the ways you might want to relax and unwind is by visiting your local jimjilbang. Jimjilbang is a time honored tradition originally enjoyed by Koreans. Jimjilbang is a Korean sauna or bathhouse traditionally separated by gender. Here in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, there are many popular jimjilbangs to visit, including Wi Spa, which was hilariously visited in a segment by late night host Conan O’Brien and the beloved Steven Yeun (better known as Glenn from The Walking Dead, RIP). So here’s the lowdown on jimjilbang, as I mentioned before they are separated by gender, and once you enter and get to your locker protocol demands for you to get butt naked. Once you’re fully enrobed in immodesty, you wrap yourself in a tiny towel and make your way to the spa areas where they have pools of varying degrees of temperature (ranging from EXTREMELY hot to frigid cold). There are also sauna steam rooms in the pool area. Once you’ve had your fill of that, you have a spa issued outfit to change into to enter the co-ed area where there are areas for sleeping and rest. Quite the experience! Now this is not a new concept in the States, but has not yet caught on in many areas of the US, today we’re going to check out a few locations in Portland, and hoping the jimjilbang experience grows its presence here in the US!
Fly Dragon Spa is listed as being a traditional Asian spa which they modeled after spas in China, Japan, and Korea. After experiencing jimjilbang overseas, the husband and wife owner of this spa wanted to bring this experience to their area after finding out there were not many similar jimjilbang-type spas available. Hence, Fly Dragon Spa was born. They so have it separated by gender as in Asia and offer many wonderful amenities at their location. They boast the aesthetic and design of their spa to be authentic to Asian design and construction. They really want to bring relaxation and balance to the mind and body. The salon also offers a multitude of treatments including massage, relfexology and other holistic relaxation services. Definitely a must to check out while in Portland!
Fly Dragon Spa
1928 NE 42nd Ave
Portland, OR 97213 Northeast Portland, Hollywood
2. Loyly Spa
Taking the jimjilbang concept and applying influences of the same concept derived from Scandinavia, and you get Loyly Spa. Although this spa is unlike the traditional Korean format of the jimjilbang, it still retains some of the communal spa aspects incorporating steam room saunas. Both of Loyly’s locations offer showers, locker rooms, and their signature therapeutic massage and holistic skincare services. For their sauna services Loyly offers mixed gender and single gender hours. A swimsuit is required for the mixed gender hours, and they offer a lot of different packages to choose from. I would recommend either their monthly sauna special for $39, or their head to toe sauna special for $47 which includes 2 hour access to the spa itself with aromatherapy foot soak, face mask, body scrub and tea. If you’re looking for something similar to the jimjilbang experience, Loyla Spa is the place to check out.
Loyly Spa - 2 locations
3. Jade Sauna
Jade Sauna is a jimjilbang sauna that caters exclusively to women in the Beaverton, OR area. This is not uncommon as there are many jimjilbang spas that deviate from the formula of a male and female facility and focus exclusively towards a female clientele. You see that happening with gyms like Curves or Total Woman. This way it creates a fully safe and comfortable atmosphere for women to enjoy relaxation. Started in May 2005 by owner Mrs. Kim, this “no-frills” day sauna/spa offers a taste of the exotic east to women in Portland. Jade Sauna combines the best of traditional Korean bathing techniques in order to leave their clients feeling younger, rejuvenated, and the cleanest they’ve ever felt! Using the Korean method of vigorously scrubbing off dead skin cells, you’re sure to leave Jade Sauna feeling fresh as a daisy and so relaxed you might need a nap straight after!
4260 SW 110th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97005 Southwest Portland