A New Year, A Fresh Start: Spa Castle Premier

Photo via Racked

A new year, a new you, and I don't know a better way to start anew than with a Korean body scrub, peeps. I most recently indulged at the newly opened Spa Castle Premier, sister to the relaxation mecca in College Point, Queens. Three-levels of pampering, including an indoor bade pool with reflexology-style jets and swim-up bar (drinks are EXORBITANTLY priced, fair warning), nude water lounges, and six different kinds of saunas are located discreetly in an inauspicious Midtown office building - you'd never guess it was there.

The center of any Korean spa experience is, make no mistake about it, the scrub. And for the unitiated, it's not a relaxing experience by any measure. You'll be fully nude, and a likely tiny Korean woman in a bra and panties will scrub you, quite literally, within an inch of your life using scrubby washcloths like these. Scrubs at Spa Castle Premier are surprisingly and offensively expensive, starting at $165/50 minutes, but it was $165 well spent regardless, particularly considering that a massage, facial cleansing and shampoo/condition are all part of the experience. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've never felt cleaner, softer or more ready to take on the world than when I left.

Take some time to lounge in the cafe area, and enjoy something savory (dumpling soup with rice cake?) or sweet (Korean shave ice). You won't want to miss the kimchee either - Spa Castle Premier's was the best I've had, weirdly, ever.

Spa Castle Premier passes, which allow unlimited access to the facilities (scrubs and massages are additional), are $65. To learn more, click here.