A Brief History
This staple of modern Korean life started when natural hot springs, plentiful in the mountains, were first maintained by monks and then became open to the public. Surrounded by nature, non-exclusivity was the norm and entire families would relax together.
Long before the Korean war and modernization, neighbors would gather to bathe in local bathhouses, as hot water heaters were not yet standard appliances. These days, many people visit weekly to reap countless health benefits.
Similar to public baths in Turkey, Rome, and Russia, you could see just about anyone from your village or town there. We believe that shared spaces like ours that connect across professions, affiliations, and tribes have become too rare, despite their value to a multicultural society.
That's why SoKo Spa strives to be the most inclusive Korean Spa in the world. We offer both wet and dry spa wear (instead of requiring nudity, as per custom) and do not segregate by gender (which is perfect for straight couples and mixed groups of friends). We also host a Gift & Lift program to expand access.
How is a K-Spa Different from Most U.S. Spas?
While we offer treatments, the main draw is to meet and enjoy the company of friends for an extended period of time. That's why many K-Spas operate 24/7 and allow guests to nap or sleep overnight. Although SoKo has set hours, we designate quiet hours and happy hours to accommodate guests all across the intro/extroversion spectrum.
What Can I Expect?
Amenities: Today, there are so many Korean spas around the globe that generalizing becomes difficult. What began as a place to enjoy a hot soak, scrub, and steam can now feature restaurants, heated floors, hydrotherapy jets, saunas, cold plunges, massage services, swimming pools, waterparks, golf ranges, and fitness equipment.
Etiquette: You will be required to take your outdoor shoes off, so enjoy our warm, clean floors. After changing from your outdoor clothes, you must take a thorough shower before entering the main facility. Hop in the warm or hot tubs first and enjoy the high-pressure jets. Feeling too hot? Do a cold plunge! Remember to always rinse when exiting any of the saunas and consider booking a massage that will be much more effective since your body will be warm to begin with.
A Minnesota-Specific Customization
SoKo Spa, like most Korean Spas, is popular in the wintertime when there just isn't enough sunshine or plant life to be enjoyed outdoors. That's why we have a solarium and conservatory integrated with the "dry" area where our library, food, drinks, and various saunas are available.
During warmer months, we offer our staff several weeks off, host community gatherings, and open up opportunities to book the entire spa on select dates. Various wellness workshops and yoga classes are also planned throughout the year.