An important article that I read, nodded along and chuckled with but got me thinking about Korea.
1. Money now!
They ask for payment upfront. No chance to smell the roses or evaluate the treatment but pay first?!
Hard towels, no bedsheets and non foamy, soft head pillow is a bad sign. The best spas will have towels and linens that rival your own house.
3. Food breath and facial prom
Facials are almost like dancing with someone at prom. The therapists need to get upclose and personal (if they’re doing their job). If you can smell their gimbap, kimchi or ddeokbokki breath then that’s not good. I know, therapists are humans and need to eat now but at least use some mouthwash for 20 seconds. It’s that simple.
The greater the English level, the greater the spa. English is a commodity here and tells me a lot about my therapist.
Competent, English speaking ones can be like striking gold. Grand Hyatt owns the Klondike here.
5. Sparse spaces.
Not every Korean hotel spa will look like George V’s Parisian masterpiece. Shoutout #fourseasons
However, they should feel homey, almost spiritual and comforting. Model home laundry room look just shows no initiative.
6. Hyunmi green tea
No Korean spa offers healthy juices or smoothies but they have to have a varied menu. You know you’re in the dumps when they give you brown rice germinated green tea – this is the cheapest kind.
One former seaside favorite of mine did an awesome Korean omijacha and had all sorts of hot and cold beverages.
7. Your +1
If your plus one isn’t offered a drink, seat or reading material then that’s not good. It’s especially bad if they kick them out citing space requirements.
Your +1 should be extended almost the same courtesies as the guest.