Getting Naked and Renewed … for Just $15

Ever hear of a mugwort tea bath? How ‘bout oxygen and bichotan charcoal therapy? Well, apparently, the mugwort boosts immunity, promotes circulation and detoxifies. The oxygen and bichotan charcoal combo detoxifies as it moisturizes.

I am elated to say that I experienced all of this and more at the Olympic Spa.

For some time now, I’ve been looking for a day spa similar in affordability to the one I like in Albuquerque. For $13, you can go to Bette’s Day Spa in Albuquerque and bask in the replenishing glories of their amenities all day long if you want to.

It took a while for me to find anything comparable. I checked a lot of websites. Good ole Burke Williams up there on Sunset costs $45 to enjoy their amenities. No thanks. Too rich for my blood.  

On a tip from a friend, I learned about the Olympic Spa right here in Los Angeles, on the edge of Koreatown. This place is pure bliss. I’m planning to go there at least once a month. It is a must; and, I can afford it!

Upon arrival, the front desk will give you a key with a number on it. This key fits two lockers. The first one is for your street shoes. It’ll be right as you enter the area adjacent to the spa. They’re really serious about keeping the place clean.  You have another locker waiting inside once you lose the shoes. There will be a robe and two towels in there

My first time, I made sure I availed myself of all the amenities. I wanted to get the total experience. There’s a dry sauna ... but hey, it’s not just a dry sauna. It is a clay sauna with walls that have panes made of salt. This all contributes to the detoxification process.

The steam room has jade tiles; and, there is another room with a heated jade floor. I laid out one of the light quilts available there and took a short nap in between therapies. I saw many women napping, reading, and stretching.

I already mentioned the mugwort pool. In addition, there’s a mineral water hot tub, a cold plunge tub and a cold splash shower. Delicious!

Here’s the thing - if you want to go to the Olympic Spa - and I suggest you do, you should know that swimsuits are not permitted. This didn’t really bother me; but I have a friend who is not interested in going to a place where everybody is buck naked. That’s just not her thang.

The other thang is that the spa is for women only. Apparently, the whole experience is based on the idea of an Asian bath house, where one goes to cleanse not only the body, but also the soul. It is meant to be a regenerative, renewing experience, from which you emerge calm and serene.

Boy, was it ever! Apart from the amazing way I felt, the biggest physical difference I noticed immediately was my hands. It was incredible! I had a younger-looking set of hands! I don’t know if it was the mugwort or the charcoal or the nakedness, but it worked.

You can get services at the spa too – facials, body scrubs, massages. All very affordable – a gazillion times more affordable than Burke Williams, the bad deal place. I’m looking at Olympic Spa’s menu right now and absolutely nothing on offer costs more than $110.

When you’re done with all your cleansing and relaxing, you can have a nutritious bowl of Korean seaweed soup. The adjoining café also has an assortment of soups, salads and noodle dishes to top off your day. The soup is $6 and other dishes range up to $15. It’s the bee’s knees! Enjoy!


Olympic Spa, 3915 W. Olympic Blvd. (Olympic and Norton) …(map)
Open Daily 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Free Parking behind the spa. 323.857.0666. Web:

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at

Tags: Jennifer Caldwell, Olympic Spa, facials, massages, affordable spas, spas

Vol 10 Issue 55
Pub: July 10, 2012