A couple of months ago (sorry for the late post), my college buddies and I decided to embark on a weekend bonding experience in a place nearby, seeing as we all had busy schedules at the time. I’m not a big fan of massages but they were so I agreed to go with the flow and avail of discounted vouchers for 12 hours of sauna and massage at the Korean place Lasema Jjimjilbang Sauna and Spa in Bel-Air, Makati. The place is quite accessible as its situated near the RBCB tower and is directly behind Korean restaurant Hara and a Korean grocery.
Long story short, we got the voucher at half the price from MetroDeal — P550 for a 12 hour stay. I was curious to see how a Korean spa would operate because it seemed different in Koreanovelas, plus I always associated it with breaking hard boiled eggs on one’s head. 😀
Upon arriving at the spa, we presented our vouchers and the receptionist gave us a set of pink shirts and shorts, which we will wear inside the facility, sort of like a uniform. They were made of cotton and very comfortable. They also gave us bracelet keys for our assigned lockers to ensure the safety of our belongings.
The area was very roomy and clean but I was shocked when I saw some naked ladies walking casually around in the locker room. (Note: The guys’ area is separate from the girls) I was told by one of the staff that they just came from the wet saunas that required patrons to remove all clothing before getting into the tub (for hygienic purposes). My friends tried it just for fun but I’m too much of a prude to go through it so I chose to explore the common room while I waited for them to be done. According to them, the tub was very rejuvenating. I’m just taking their word for it.
While in Lasema, we tried their assortment of saunas which I was really excited about. There were three in all — the first two — The Oak and Clay Room and the Salt and Charcoal Sauna both had temperatures ranging from 48-55 degrees and are good for the metabolism and skin conditions. The signs near the door are very helpful in providing information in which sauna is the the best for your specific condition or mood. I could only last a couple of minutes in the last one, called the Chungito or the Dome Clay sauna which stands at 70 degrees. If there was ever a time I felt like I was baking, that was it. It felt like an oven in there. The sauna is reportedly good for releasing negative ions.
After experiencing the sauna, the ice room awaited. At 0 to -10 degrees, it felt like being stuck inside a freezer. Its recommended for people who just did the sauna as its a surefire way to close your pores. I actually kinda liked hanging out inside the room but I was afraid I would contract pneumonia after the abrupt change in temperature if I stayed too long.
Our voucher also came with our choice of massages. I chose the combo, and the service was pretty good. Normally, massages would cost P650-P950, so we totally scored on this part of the deal because we paid even less for the entire package. The masseuse usually leaves guests with a small envelope for tips, which guests later deposit at a tip box at the reception area.
After the massage, we hung out at the air conditioned resting area where there were sleeping caves (which I tried out while the rest of my group were at the wet sauna), and an elevated platform where guests could simply take individual mattresses to nap. There was also a flat screen TV that people hardly noticed because everyone was too busy chilling.
We had snacks from the snack bar. We ordered the Korean version of halo halo, eggs and spicy noodles. It was reasonably priced and totally shareable. If you’re hankering for more Korean food, there’s a Korean resto connected to the spa and there’s also Hara that’s right across.
All in all, it was a relaxing and enjoyable Sunday spent with great company. It was a great bonding experience for the gang. Totally, a great way to spend P550 on a weekend. Value for money indeed.