Mine and I have been eyeing the New Lasema Spa for a long time! We went to have a massage in the same area a few years ago, so I know exactly where this is located. I have been wanting to get a message and was actually going to check out a Klook voucher but I randomly thought of New Lasema Spa. I wasn’t really planning on it, but then Mine also wanted to get a massage so it was finally time to do this! We were supposed to meet a few weeks before this, but it started raining so it was postponed. It was also raining on this day and I didn’t get a lot of sleep due to Bridgerton but who cares, let’s do this!
New Lasema Spa is located at 8846 Sampaloc St., corner Estrella St., San Antonio Village, Makati. It’s really not hard to miss because it’s a 4-storey building on the corner of those two streets. I booked a Grab to the place because it’s raining and that is the only way I commute these days anyway. I waited for Mine because she was coming from QC so obviously, I would get there first.
New Lasema Spa gives you the jimjilbang experience without having to go to South Korea. If you have seen any kdrama or Korean movie, then you are familiar with a jimjilbang. New Lasema Spa used to be open for 24 hours but due to the pandemic (curfew), they close at midnight. They open at 7am, but we went at around 5:00pm.
Of course, the price list is important! They have different rates for weekdays and weekends. We went on a Sunday that’s why it is more expensive. Our main priority was the massage of course, so initially, we wanted to purchase the 4-hour wet sauna + massage package. However, that will only allow you access to the second floor, which includes the locker room, shower, pools and sauna. Think of Wensha minus the buffet. LOL. You will miss out on the jimjilbang experience so that would be pointless. We ended up getting the full package, which is PHP1,488. Pricey I know, and definitely more money than I wanted to spend. But it is worth it for me because the massage was probably the best I have experienced so far. Anyway, they have a lot of options depending on what you want to do. If you just want the jimjilbang experience, then you can purchase that package without the massage. I do not recommend just going for the wet sauna package, I don’t think it’s worth it. You’re better off going to Wensha Spa instead (wet sauna + massage + buffet), but go to New Lasema Spa for the jimjilbang experience + massage.
Another tip is to go earlier. If you want to make the most out of the 12-hour full package, then go there at noon since the place closes at midnight. Since we intended to only stay for 4 hours, we went in the afternoon. We ended up leaving at around 10:30pm.
Since there is obviously still a pandemic going on, they have safety protocols in place. At this point, almost every establishment has the same protocols. When you enter, you need to fill out the health declaration form at the door, which you will give to the guard upstairs. The guard downstairs will check your temperature as well. I have saved photos of their guidelines from their Facebook page, but you can definitely visit their page for more info on this.
These were posted on Oct 28, 2020 and on their comments, they replied that they weren’t allowed by the city to open the pools and were hoping that they will be allowed by November. When we went, there were two hot pools that were opened to use, so I guess they are now allowed to open a few of them, and maybe just the hot ones.
Everyone is also wearing masks the entire time, only removing them in the dining area because everyone was eating. When we were in the wet sauna, it was hot, so others removed their masks since we had to shower first. I had mine the entire time and only removed it when I ate.
THE JIMJILBANG EXPERIENCE:
You will be given a shirt and shorts set at the reception that you will be wearing during your entire stay at the jimjilbang, as well as two small towels. They also give you this watch with your key to your locker room. They also use it to charge food you bought at the jimjilbang “restaurant”, so you don’t need to carry cash around. You need to remove your shoes before entering the locker room. They provide you with a plastic bag where you can put your shoes. You will be barefooted during your entire stay.
We literally didn’t know where to start. LOL. Our massage was at 7pm so we had about an hour to explore the place first. When we went to the third floor where there is a photo of the steps to enjoy a jimjilbang so we decided to follow that and went back to the second floor to take a shower and explore the wet sauna. That makes sense because at least we know that everyone has taken a shower. LOL.
Cameras are not allowed on the second floor, where the locker rooms and the wet sauna are, for obvious reasons. People could be changing in the locker rooms so you should not be using your phones in there. People are naked in the showers and in the wet sauna so obviously, no phones allowed. You can bring your phones and take photos all you want once you exit the wet sauna / locker room area.
I tried the two hot pools and the hot sauna, but I exited the sauna almost as soon as I entered because it was so hard to breathe. I mean, it was hard to breathe without a mask so it was definitely more difficult with a mask on.
We were told that we will be given a new set of clothes (it’s a robe set) after being in the wet sauna and to use in the massage but we couldn’t find the attendant so we just used the same clothes. I mean, we barely used it anyway because we went to the shower almost immediately after entering. After being in the wet sauna, we went to this area on the same floor where they do manicures, massages, and it has two heated rooms as well – the infrared ad mugwat rooms. Since we still had time before our massages, we decided to chill a bit in those two rooms.
A few minutes before 7pm, we went to the waiting area for the massages (which is on the third floor), but I guess they have enough people in there so we were led back to the second floor where we will do our massages. Ok, that was the best massage I’ve had so far! There was a lot of bone cracking, which I like. LOL. Is it bad? LOL. I love it though. They also give you a foot scrub towards the end and the whole thing ends with stretching. It was really good, I totally recommend their massage here. Definitely a must-try! After the massage, you will be given a paper where you need to check how much tip you want to give to your massage therapist. I always give a tip anyway, so I don’t mind that.
We were hungry after the massage – I didn’t eat much before going out because 1) I didn’t have time – I had two scoops of soup and then booked my Grab and 2) You are not supposed to eat before a massage anyway. So obviously, our next step was to eat in the dining area. We decided to have ramen, kimbap, and assorted fishcake (which is really just squid balls and kikiam haha). We just had water to hydrate ourselves since we will be going to a lot of heated rooms. I have tried shikhye many years ago so I wasn’t really keen on drinking that. What we missed though is the eggs! I don’t know why we didn’t eat eggs! It’s a freaking jimjilbang cliche! We definitely should next time. Haha!
They have a tutorial on how to make this lamb towel hat, but it was so confusing. The staff saw my struggle and decided to make it for me and said that the drawing was wrong. LOL. So props to kuyang staff for helping me out. LOL.
Once we were full, it was time for some rest. We transferred to a few spaces until we found somewhere comfortable. These cave sleeping rooms are a bit warm because of the lights on the ceiling so we didn’t stay long.
We moved to the second floor where there are these huge wooden benches. They are actually pretty comfortable even if it is a hard surface. It’s just hard to get up. LOL. We also moved to the playroom because the room was empty and there were la-z-boys in there. However, if you would like to actually sleep, there are more on the fourth floor. It’s literally an entire floor of this for sleeping. The lights are also off so it is perfect for sleeping. I seriously want to try the full 12-hour stay next time. Maybe when they go back to being open for 24 hours.
We are not so good at these heated rooms – there’s a lot and I don’t remember all the names, but there’s probably like 3 on the third floor and then the ice room. I know that you’re only supposed to stay in these for like 15 minutes, but I think we can only do 5 minutes. Some are too hot that I can’t even last a minute. We literally entered one and went back out immediately. LOL.
What else? They also have a gym and karaoke rooms, but we didn’t try those. I definitely want to go back! That massage is worth going back to! Mine said she wants to do this every month. Haha!
So when you check out, you need to dump your used clothes in this container and when you surrender your watch at the reception, then you need to pay your tip plus whatever you ordered at the restaurant.