Tianjin Baolijin Hotel, hotspring

This hot spring hotel  reminds me of Great Wolf Lodge in the U.S. It is has a play structure with a slide for little kids, giant golden T-rex and elephant squirting water on you for a massage, dry play area for little kids, 2 levels of relax beds where you can sleep or get a massage, restaurant buffet, ping pong, billiards, foot fish lagoon, salt rock room, oxygen room, steam room, water jet and movie hot tub, skin scrubbing area and probably more things that I didn’t discover on my 9 hour visit. First off, as you arrive you change your shoes to slippers (and have the option to get them buffed and cleaned) then they walk you your locker where you change into your pajama uniform. Everyone must wear a pajama uniform when entering the spa, as well as a cleansing shower. The lady that walked me to my locker waited for me to get settled and then walked me to the shower just to make sure I knew I needed to clean off before I needed anything and to let me know to shower off. This place is a no English speaking zone so I did have some troubles to communicate a little but it was great to practice my Mandarin. It felt like Christmas Eve when everyone wears matching pajamas together like a big family. The fish lagoon is a bit spooky with the dark water with only green blue or purple lights lighting up these mini fish biting the skin off your feet. It feels strange with the fish eating you skin but it is fun to go with kids and watch them giggle together. It’s not likely that the fish will give a good pedicure but it was a nice experience. Lunch time was interesting and a challenge to get an open table and wiggle through the crowd to get the popular foods. If you are shy,don’t like to wait in line, or cannot navigate crowds where people cut in front of you then this will be difficult. Luckily my family was okay to deal with this kind of situation so we managed to get what we needed and had a wonderful lunch with good food: meat sticks, crab,noodles, shrimp, all kinds of meat, salads, fruits etc. You only needed to purchase your drinks everything else was included. The massage bed rooms were another experience. Some areas you had your own little TV and the larger rooms had a big TV on the wall and each bed had a nook where you could sleep or request a massage. All the beds are just in a large room, open bay style so it’s not private. For 10 RMB more you can sleep in the bed overnight.To enter the spa was 100RMB =$15US. A massage was about 170RMB for 70 minutes. The kids loved this place and I thought it was much better than Great Wolf Lodge as the food and massages were so nice. The co-ed spa area had rock spa, sauna hut, salt spa, infrared light nooks and areas to lounge. Women’s lounge had it’s own salt rock sauna , water jet pool with a huge TV screen showing movies, baby/child tubs, self scrub area and a scrub service area. The skin scrub service area was awkward to me as I just haven’t seen it or experienced it before. The ladies working all wore striped tank tops and navy short shorts. The scrub area was lined in a green tile with metal tables that reminded me more of a morgue or kitchen atmosphere. The ladies would lie down on the metal tables after soaking or sitting in the sauna and the tank top ladies would scrub them. The scrubbed ladies would just lie next to each other and have conversations as if it was the same as getting a pedicure or coffee, but naked. It was interesting, maybe I’ll try it one day. Not sure yet. Just beside the lady lounge, 10 feet away, was an underwear/pajama and luxury brand knockoff handbag shop. This way you could soak in the hot spring water, watch a movie and decide which gucci or LV bag you might like as you left the spa. The spa was so easygoing, you just walk around in your pjs like everyone else, decide if you want to sleep , eat, spa, play or massage. Just relaxing and hanging out with friends or family. It is always open 24 hours a day and the option to stay overnight (instead of buying a private hotel room) by buying an open bay bed is a nice option.

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