I love Aveda products, and Crystal Spa keeps their showers stocked with them, so I was excited when my friend Angela sent me a Groupon deal for this pricey beauty lodge. The entry fee is normally $30 ($5 more than Wi Spa’s $25 fee). Is it worth the splurge? Well let’s break it down and see…
Service: There is free parking with validation, but good luck finding the lot …. the entrance is on Mariposa. Be careful you don’t end up going into the other lot which also has an entrance on Mariposa and charges a flat rate of $4 after 6pm. It has an automated machine and no attendant so even if you drive in mistakenly and try to drive out (like I did) you’ll be charged . =(
The front desk area includes several display cases of Aveda products, with testers! The better to smell you .. you $30 bottle of organic toner.
The employees are friendly and bilingual. The women’s area is brightly lit and fairly clean. You get a robe, full sized towel, shorts and a shirt. The material of the uniform is rather thick and scratchy, kind of like what a nurse would wear. And forget fashionable. I prefer Wi Spa’s cotton shirts.
Women’s Locker Room/Spa
In the vanity area there are bottles of Aveda body lotion, face lotion, and make-up remover.
The shower area has Aveda shower gel, shampoo, and lotion. They also have a bowl of salt to brush your teeth plus tubes of white bamboo toothpaste.
As for the shower facilities … it takes awhile to get hot water. Everything looks run down and is definitely not as clean as Wi.
There’s a jacuzzi and cold pool, plus a wet and dry sauna.
In the common area (jimjilbang) there are four rooms.
Salt Room – not my favorite room because the ground was so hot it burned the soles of my feet, but it is pleasantly decorated and once you lie down it’s not so bad.
Yellow Sand Room – This is the hottest room temperature wise, and my favorite because I love dry heat. The room is filled with mud from the Chungchoong Jincheon region. Unfortunately just when I was starting to relax in this room a fat white dude let out a HUGE fart, then looked directly at me and said, “I can do that.” Uhhh yeah, good for you. I quickly left and did not return to the room until a proper 30 minutes of dissipation had occurred.
Ice room – this is basically a room with AC, no ice on the walls or interesting decor. But it does its job of cooling you down after a round of sweating it out.
It was closed by I think 10pm so I wasn’t able to try anything, but the menu looked decent. The eating area was also quite clean, which helps when you’re seated on the floor.
Next to the cafe was plenty of space to nap and watch MBC (no sound). There was also a festive Christmas tree up.
Los Angeles, CA90020
Pros: Aveda products! Great customer service! Enjoy (fairly) clean and modern rooms. No need to worry about kids running around, most of the adult conversations were quiet although totally within earshot. Did I mention the Aveda products? You can also sample several of them in the front reception area, and make purchases for whatever suits your fancy. Also, while parking was stressful, they do validate up to six hours. You’re not limited to one towel, and the attendant is on top of keeping everything tidy and stocked.
Cons: Don’t pay full price – it’s definitely not worth the $30 entry fee, so keep your eye out for Groupons. The shower area is kind of depressing. Not in an Orange is the New Black kind of way… but close enough.