Here you will receive a hard-core, rough-edged execution of unsurpassed relaxation. Decidedly without frills or glamour. But possibly even better than a high-priced luxury joint.
Don’t be fooled by all the Porsches and Mercedes in the valet parking lot behind the building. Once you enter the spa the look is purely post-industrial and the vibe is pure efficiency.
You are given a number and directed to a locker that contains a thin, pukey-colored green gown and a small and inadequate rough towel. Take a shower and then luxuriate in a mineral or tea filled hot pool, or the "jade laden"steam/saunas.
The Olympic spa is no place for the modest. Total disinhibition is required. People watching becomes body watching as you see every possible type—the enhanced, the unenhanced, the naturally perfect, the unashamed, and les autres. The scene is vaguely reminiscent of a neoclassical scene of nymphs bathing at the river.
When your time has come, you are greeted by small and sturdy workhorse of a woman dressed in a black two-piece bathing suit that looks more like a bra and panties. She takes you to what is essentially a large shower stall with a table in the middle.
Be ready for the ride of your life. Say goodbye to every dead and some still living skin cells on your body, head to toe, side to side, you are exfoliated and scrubbed in quarters. After which, buckets of warm water are thrown on your body to rinse. And this feels...incredibly delicious. Like stepping into a warm bath without the stepping part.
It’s like a detail job for a body instead of a car. I am not sure what that is, but I know it is very thorough and comprehensive. And in fact, after the scrub you are washed like a car, (aromatherapy seaweed body shampoo) in firm sweeping motions and then told to “go rinse” in the shower.
Then…you get a fantastic massage, deep tissue, firm, invigorating. And during that, wait for it, you get a soothing, lovely facial mask.
Capped, so to speak, by a scalp massage and utterly intense shampoo.
After you've been thoroughly molded on the slab for an hour and ten minutes, your black bathing-suited “technician” will help you to your feet, wrap you in your green robe, tie the sash tightly, and tell you to “go rest.” And that is an order.
Now you get to lie on a heated floor, and help yourself to a heap of blankets.
Here you realize you have one thousand different feelings. Detoxified and intoxicated. Rejuvenated, transformed, fortified, melted, strengthened, and weakened at the same time. You feel clean. You feel mean. Every joint, every cell, every muscle and every knuckle has been woke. It’s as if you worked out without having to move.
You feel as if you can do anything and you feel as if you can do nothing.
What you won’t get at the Olympic Spa:
- Music. Or should I say that damn music. You may hear some Korean chit chat, and much splashing of water. But it won’t be the canned sound of streams, waterfalls and Peruvian flutes. Thank God.
- Fine skin products. Don’t come here to get your La Prairie or La Mer products. Whatever they are putting on you is not top shelf. But hey, it smells good. You’ll get your occasional whiffs of lavender and eucalyptus and honey. And it feels good.
- Gouged. This hour plus of nonpareil spiritual, mental, and physical treatment costs…$100. The "Pure Bliss Treatment." Well, okay, it’s $120 if you want to leave a tip.
I vow never not to go to the Olympic Spa when I am in LA.