Looking for unique things to do in St. Augustine FL? We suggest something that you can only do in a couple of places around the country–a therapeutic salt spa.
People have known the health benefits of salt for thousands of years–but it is much more commonplace in Europe. That acceptance could trace all the way back to the 1300s, when people realized that salt mine workers in Poland were more resistant to the Bubonic Plague, and the horses used in mining similarly had much longer and healthier lives. In fact, salt was so treasured it used to be a form of currency in the Middle Ages. You’ve heard of ‘worth your salt’? That’s where that phrase comes from. And the word ‘salary’? It’s from the Latin ‘salarium’, a Roman word that meant ‘the money used to buy salt’.
Beata Kosakowska is an expert on salt. Beata is from Poland, the daughter of a doctor who used salt therapy throughout his 57 year career. “He definitely believed in modern medicine,” Beata explains, “but he always wanted to try a natural modality first. If that didn’t work, then he tried a man-made treatment. But many times the salt therapy, aka Halotherapy, worked.”
Beata opened the Salt Spa on Cordova Street in 2017, and visitors to St. Augustine have flocked to the location ever since. There are only a few places in the country offering the services found in her spa…so it’s a great way to experience the unique health benefits and treat yourself while on vacation.
Himalayan Salt Cave Therapy: My personal favorite. If you don’t think it’s relaxing, just spend 5 minutes inside the cave and you’ll soon find yourself breathing more slowly and deeply, while your mind s-l-o-w-s d-o-w-n and your muscles relax. The cave is kept at 69 degrees, with a steady 60% humidity. Every single surface is covered with salt, offering more than 80 healing minerals.
The floor is a thick layer of rock salt, and makes a satisfying crunch underfoot as you walk to your padded zero gravity chair. The walls are covered with large salt slabs, with soft lighting filtering through at regular intervals. There are two fountains in the cave, giving a natural backdrop that blends with the quiet music played. Even the ceiling is made of salt, with stalactites hiding small muted lights.
The spa uses a generator to crush Himalayan pink and red salt and infuse the room with damp salty air, perfect for rehab of allergies, asthma, cold and flue, emphysema, rhinitis and sinusitis. It also helps produce red blood cells, remove toxins, and improve heart and kidney functions.
As of this writing, a one hour session in the salt cave is $33*. Wear comfortable clothing and soft shoes.
Float Tank Salt Therapy: Almost 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt is suspended within a foot of warm, soothing water in this tank. Guests float in the water, a therapy known to increase energy, ease stress and reduce pain by releasing muscle tension, decompressing the spine, relaxing stiff joints and helping to relieve chronic pain. In addition, your stress level is lowered and your skin is detoxified. Beata says the sensory deprivation may be too much (or, technically, too little) for some people; ask to have soft music playing to ease yourself into the sensory deprivation.
A single float tank session is approximately 45 minutes, and is $59*.
Infrared Sauna: Beata was adamant that her saunas be the highest quality, for the highest safety. While I don’t understand the science behind the patented Solocarbon 3-in-1 infrared series (please don’t ask me what that means), I do understand that infrared waves can be set to different frequencies, and that the saunas in the salt spa have six pre-set wellness programs, which can be customized to your needs. If you want pain relief, or cardiovascular health, or simply relaxation, a single button will create the right temperature sequence and infrared frequencies for your needs. Looking for something completely custom, like anti-aging and detoxification, for instance? Your spa concierge will be happy to help you adjust the system to your individual requests. A 30 minute sauna session starts at $30*.
According to Beata, the St. Augustine Salt Spa is one of the few of its kinds in the country. If you’re looking for a unique spa experience, or you need some serious detox or relaxation during your St. Augustine getaway, ask us to contact the spa and arrange for an appointment for you. While the health benefits are year round, and the cave is a wonderful refreshing break from the heat, heading to the Salt Spa is also a great way to spend a rainy day in St. Augustine! Plus they have a gift shop to take some of that relaxation home with you.
The new Salt Spa is just five minutes from our St. Augustine bed and breakfast, the Bayfront Marin House. So make your unique adventure a trip and spend the night at Bayfront Marin House. We look forward to welcoming you.
St. Augustine Salt Spa, 28 Cordova Street, 904.814.8641. www.saltaugustine.com
If you have specific questions for the therapists, you may want to contact the spa directly so that they can address your personal needs.
*Please note that prices are determined by the spa, and are included here as a courtesy for our guests (and because we found the rates to be very reasonable and a good fit for a lot of vacation budgets). The spa has no affiliation with our inn, and we may not be aware of changes to their rates or schedules. Check their website or call 904.814.8641 for appointment times, available treatments, and current rates. Or ask us to verify any information–we’re happy to do that for you! 🙂