A Futuristic Spa Experience at Spa Castle (formerly Inspaworld)
Our friend Lippy is a man with a sense of adventure so when he says I should check something out, I’m always there. This past Saturday we took him up on a recommendation to check out “the future” right in our own backyard, College Point, Queens.
Spa Castle, formerly Inspaworld, is a 5 floor, 100,000 sq. ft. Korean spa was our destination. Marc and I love bathhouses but we often find public spas very difficult to relax in. It seems that there is never enough room for Marc to lay down and get comfortable and I’m always completely grossed out if the place isn’t at the top level of cleanliness. Happily Spa Castle delivered on those 2 key issues and then went beyond to deliver the truly perfect, futuristic, spa experience.
At the lobby floor the men and women divide. I was instantly left to figure out for myself what to do with the RFID watch that identified me. It seemed that the socially acceptable thing to do was to follow the number on it to a tiny locker and check my shoes before I even set one foot into the locker room. A quick wave of the watch in front of the locker and voilá, it popped right open. Next I received a “uniform” from the front desk and went to my main locker to change.
I could have stayed in the women’s locker room alone and found the entire experience worthwhile. There were 4 mineral pools, 2 heated pools with massage jets, 2 cold pools, 3 saunas, and 1 steam room all at my disposal. And even though there were about 50 women milling around I found that I could enjoy each and every one of them without a single other person. I also noticed that everything I might want had been meticulously provided for me. Shampoo, conditioner, hair dryers, etc. were set up at many stations so that one never had to wait.
Shoes or slippers were not provided, but I didn’t feel like I needed them. Even in the locker room the floor was clean and dry thanks an attendant constantly sweeping the floor with a towel covered “broom”.
On the first floor I met Marc for dinner. We were starving and excited to try the sushi bar. Everything was freshly prepared and I found the sushi rice to be particularly tender, which is a big plus. Marc was feeling a bit tired and decided to get a Moccahino from the Starbucks stand, which I’m not sure is a plus or a minus. No need for money, we paid for everything by waiving our “watch” in front a the screen.
After dinner we finally began to explore the abyss of Spa Castle. There was clearly way too much to do and not enough time. I estimate that I will need to go back 3 times before I feel like I’ve tried everything.
Our first destination was to hit the saunas. They were all nestled together along little winding paths. We particularly enjoyed the Gold Sauna, lined with gold tiles to increase your energy level and soothe sore limbs. Unlike other spas you could actually lay down on the floor on tatami mats. I think I took a nap here for longer than the recommended 30 minutes. Marc declared that our next bathroom will be gold.
After the gold room we cooled off in Iceland, a cold room with ice formations on the walls which reminded me of a freezer that needs de-icing.
Having dealt with construction, we marveled that every room was truly a testament of master carpentry. The use of LED lighting (for color therapy), stones, and minerals was artistic and inspirational.
On the second floor we headed outside to enjoy the heated pools. Having worked as a lifeguard for 6 years, I’m very pool-obsessed, but I’ve never seen or experienced anything like this before. Turns out they are the first of their kind in the US.
At Lippy’s suggestion I had to try the “water chute.” Here currents propel you through a little bend like on a waterslide (the horseshoe shaped area below). The water was warm which was perfect on a cold night and Marc found that he could naturally float around this little loop forever.
I explored all of the alcoves off the pool which each featured different acu-pressure aqua jets. Step into a little 1 person alcove (example in bottom right above), press a button and your calves, deltoids, lower back, etc. get a massage. My personal favorite was a powerful, concentrated waterfall which completely relaxed my shoulders.
Afterwards I really felt like a nap. Luckily there are tons of comfy couches, recliners, and entire rooms dedicated for napping. We quietly had an ice cream on the mezzanine while watching television in a giant recliner.
So in short, SpaCastle, rates as Marc and Sheri’s best spa experience ever! Sadly it is not particularly convenient by subway, but for once being a Queens resident is actually an advantage.