Places to Go - Spa World (Centreville, VA)

(Don't let the cheesy sign fool you. It is the inside that matters.)

I love my kids. Hopefully you all know that by now. But I'm a little sick of talking about them. We did Xmas, we did New Years, we spent a lot of time together as a family. And I could use some adult-time for awhile. So this week is GROWN UP WEEK ON THE BLOG! Same categories (place to go, things to do, things to make, etc.) but NO KIDS ATTACHED! So tune in all week, book a babysitter and follow along - I've got some fun stuff planned.

First on the list - SPA WORLD!! In the last six months, Spaworld has become one of my favorite places on the planet. First of all, Spaworld is cheap - $35 for 24 hours (eat your heart out Elizabeth Arden). Second of all, Spaworld is probably the most relaxing place I've ever been. Stress literally disappears when you walk in the door. On the downside, a first visit to Spaworld can be somewhat confusing, so I'll take this opportunity to walk you through the facility.

Upon arrival, you pay your money and they give you a key. This key opens a small shoe-locker in the lobby (shoes cannot be worn in the land of bliss). They also give you an "interesting" pair of orange shorts and shirt (yes, Spaworld requires a uniform, just deal, it's not that bad). Take your key/wrist-band and proceed into the sex-specific locker rooms. In the locker rooms, you'll encounter a BEAUTIFUL single-sex spa-area - complete with 2 hot tubs (heated to different temperatures), an ice bath, sauna, steamroom, shower area, and a bade pool (i.e. "water massage therapy"). Oh the bade pool, wonderful in so many ways. Basically a bade pool is a not-too-hot hot tub, divided into sections, each of which includes a different set of massage jets. You sort of wander/float around the pool trying the different jets, some for lower back, some for upper back, etc. The total effect is that of a full-body massage. A pretty good one. The spa-area also offers body scrubs for an additional price (yes, the women who administer the scrubs wear black lingerie, sort of odd, but really who the hell cares). The one caveat regarding the spa-area is bathing suits are not allowed, so you're full monty. If this makes you nervous, remember everyone else is naked too, so nobody really cares that you're naked (trust me on this one -NOBODY CARES). Oh, if you want to bring your children, they also have a small kids' pool. Kids seem to like it, but I've never tried it with my own children, as I go to Spaworld to get away from them. For more info on the spa area, click here.

Beyond the spa/pool section, Spaworld houses several "poultice rooms." These are co-ed, hence the orange uniforms everyone must wear. The rooms are all heated or cooled to different temperatures and all of the rooms have different healing properties. For example, the oakwood charcoal room improves blood circulation and muscle fatigue. Whereas the salt room warms the bones and prevents female diseases. My favorite poultice room is the red clay ball room, where you literally lay in thousands of small heated red clay balls, sort of like being a kid again, but with an adult twist. For more on the different poultice rooms, click here.

Outside the poultice rooms a "resting area" contains several mats and rugs for lounging and reading (I suggest bringing a book, water bottle and ipod). A juice bar and restaurant reside next to the mats, both of which primarily serve Asian food (your key/wristband operates like a credit card so you don't have to carry cash). The facilities also include an arcade and fitness center, neither of which I've ever visited. Upstairs is the paid spa-area, where you can book a foot massage (only $45 for 30 minutes and worth every dime), full-body massage, facial, or other spa service. They usually take walk-ins, so no need to plan in advance. If you want to spend all of your paid 24 hours at the spa, separate sex sleeping areas are also available.

Seriously, if you need to relax, Spa world is the place to go. and go. and go again. Have a great Monday everyone!!


And for more information on Spa World's restaurant, click here for the Washington Post review.

*If you're looking for some New Year's inspiration, Poppytalk has a great round-up of inspirational posts from 2010, which includes some photos of Douglas Coupland's home (I'd forgotten in the last ten years. Reading his name made me remember reading Generation X years ago and not quite getting it).

*I found the third picture in this series an appropriate start to a new year.


  1. Best review/guide I've seen! I'm sharing this with friends who are scared to go and who are curious about the spa!



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