Who needs a massage?! After the year we've been through, a good rub down is one of the best stress relievers out there. I've had the pleasure of visiting 4 spas in the Atlanta area and wanted to share my experiences and which one is the best for me thus far.
Due to COVID, there are new restrictions and policies in place to ensure public safety. Each location has different protocols and are updated frequently, so contact them in advance with any questions you may have.
Now let's get to the relaxing part:
I love to swim laps. That's my favorite stress reliever, so I find locations that have lap pools. It's something about swimming, the concentration of movement and breath control that calms my soul. My favorite service at any spa is a body scrub or "body polish" or "body shampoo" are the fancier terms these days. I like them because you get two massages in one! This will leave you feeling like you just grew brand new skin! So it's a spa treatment which exfoliates the skin on your body leaving it feeling fresh, smooth, moisturized and soft. An abrasive product is rubbed vigorously, and massaged across and into your skin, and is then rinsed away to reveal a moisturized layer of fresh, clean, and smooth skin. Some spas offer a full body massage to lock in all the moisture. Others, you must pay extra or it's really quick. I've had this done at 2 out of the 4 locations, and I've noticed some differences at each facility. I will tell you which is the best, in my opinion.
The Four Seasons Atlanta Hotel & Spa
The best for the ambiance, the pool, and the views. I pretty much had the entire pool area to myself for about an hour. I swam my laps and soaked in the jacuzzi while I waited for my services to begin. You must schedule time in the pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room for proper social distancing and cleaning after each use. I tried the Piedmont Park Polish: It tarts with a refreshing, full-body citrus grass scrub that gently exfoliates the skin. The light citrus is mixed with a hint of cream and blended with organic alfalfa root for added exfoliation. After a warm shower, a delicate moisturizer infused with honeysuckle and blood oranges hydrates the skin, leaving you silky smooth and looking radiant.
It's not the best body scrub I've had, but it's really nice. Only because they don't scrub your booty or your chest for women. Those parts stay covered for privacy... I guess... I felt cheated because other locations scrub the entire body and get all in the crevices. Everywhere else on my body felt like I had new skin, but not there. Also, the polish didn't last as long as the other spa. Upside, there are a couple of great restaurants and skyline views in the hotel. You can totally make this a weekend getaway since you have accommodations and everything right there, with more things to do in the area.
Jurlique Spa- Intercontinental Hotel Buckhead
The perfect home getaway Anniversary weekend! We started the day with room service, then headed down for massages. We enjoyed the Deep Tissue Couples Massages. Pretty straight forward, services and staff were great! We had a full day around the city planned, so we didn't spend a lot of time here.
Pampered with my pals! Hubby surprised me and flew a few of my girls in for a weekend of fun. Services were great! They staggered our appointments perfectly so we could enjoy services, but also each other. The perfect girl's day! My services included: a deep tissue massage, manicure, pedicure, and facial.
JeJu Sauna Home of Wellbeing Korean Traditional Bath House Spa:
Admission Fee $35
I've spent a lot of time here in the past few years! I like to be naked....there's that plus they're open 24/7 for your every wellness and beauty need. If you can't sleep at night and you need a massage, Jeju is open for you. It is an entire complex of services: Massages or body shampoo, a swim in their heated pool, mani/pedi, or get your sweat on in the cardio fitness room. Bonuses are all the services range from $35-150. Plus they have some bomb shrimp fried rice and about 20 other Asian dishes to select from!
The experience: I feel the need to break this one down a bit more because as there is so much to do and I've heard so many mixed reviews.
Most people go to the spa for peace and quiet. Honestly, this might not be the best place for that. Let me explain...The spa is an open-concept-situation, it's not like your typical spa where you have separate treatment rooms. Upon check in, you will receive a shorts and t-shirt set for the "dry areas" since they are co-ed. There are also female and male only " wet areas" and clothing is optional. You can get FULLY naked and dip in the pools, relax in saunas or steam room. This is generally where you wait for your other services. When you are in the wet area, you will see other naked women laying on the tables next to you. If you aren't comfortable being naked around others or seeing other naked women, this may not be the spa for you. Since it's an open area, voices carry and don't expect any zen spa music while you get serviced either. I'm OK with that because I bring my AirPods and zone out to my own ZenList. Again, not the ambiance here, but it's the spa techniques for me.
You can also spend the night here. There are no private rooms though, you can grab a mat in the dry area and find a space on the floor, like in the video. I've never done it because I love my bed too much and rather drive home and get great sleep. I have taken a nap since my typical spa hours here range from 8 pm-4 am. Weekends are usually crowded. I recommend Monday-Wednesdays. Here is my Jeju Regime:
1. Swim laps in the heated pool to get some cardio
2. Cold to warm pool cycle for about 15 minutes while I wait for a hip bath
3. Hip Bath- service which uses 19 traditional Asian medical herbs only for a woman's body. These herbs are then placed in a small pot and mixed with water. You put on a plastic cape to lock in all the steam and sweat. You sit on a wooden toilet seat stool thing so the steam can enter the vaginal area. What does a Korean hip bath do? Helps relieve menstrual cramps. Improves blood circulation. Disinfects toxins inside the womb. Helps to heal vaginal infections like yeast or bacterial.
4. Body Shampoo with a french mask. Jeju has the best body scrub to me because you are completely naked. The first time I've ever had a body scrub was here. It is an in-depth cleaning and massage of your entire body, they will also wash your hair with your products, if you allow them. Yes, they ask if they can touch your hair first!
6. Relax in the saunas while I wait for my next service.
7. Foot Reflexology - This one puts me to sleep! Reflexology is generally very relaxing and may help alleviate stress. The theory behind reflexology is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding areas of the body.
Here is a list of things I bring to the spa with me:
A calm mind and spirit
Shampoo & Conditioner
Bath Towel- If going to Jeju. They only have hand towels in the wet area and I prefer a larger towel to dry off with after I swim and shower
To sum this post up, I love the ambiance of The Four Seasons Atlanta, but the techniques at Jeju are the best, specifically for the body scrub. I think everyone should experience a Korean Spa at least once in their life. It's the Asian lady kneeling on my back and stretching me out while buck-naked on a table that gets me every single time. I feel like a new woman when I walk out of there.
The cleaning never stops at Jeju, it is VERY sanitary. However, I still feel a little safer in the COVID era at Four Season, Jurlique, or Exhale due to appointment scheduling and seclusion during services. At all locations, you must wear a mask in the common areas. So, yes you can still get pampered, just with a few restrictions. Be sure to contact each location as some facilities are not offering all services/amenities.
Stay tuned for Spa Experiences Around The World, including our most recent in Costa Rica! There is a different vibe from each and I'll tell you which ones I'd travel back to, and the reasons why.