What pleased me most about visiting the Galos Salt Caves spa and health experience on Chicago's northwest side was its cleanliness. Tons of rock salt from the Russian Black Sea were shipped stateside to create this faux salt cave at 6501 W. Irving Park Road, which is an unusual offshoot of the adjacent, Polish-owned Jolly Inn restaurant and banquet hall.
I was ushered into the cave with three of my friends by a helpful and lovely young lady. Our group and two other participants spent the first 10 minutes or so of the 45-minute session walking around in clean socks to get a recommended foot massage from the salty surroundings. The salt bricks inset with Himalayan salt lights, decorative pillars graced with salty seahorses, and faux sparkly stalactites all added up to what could pass as the coolest basement rec room anyone could have created. It is, however, on the ground floor, but once inside, who knows? You feel fathoms from the surface of the earth.
My lungs opened up as soon as I breathed in the seemingly odorless salty air. Temperature is held at a comfortable 70-something degrees. We all slung back in white, zero-gravity lounge chairs and listened to gentle spa music highlighted with enchanting water sounds -- waves, waterfalls, fountains, streams. One friend, who travels around the world, said, "You made a good pick with this one."
The owners of the cave believe that a 45-minute session spent relaxing in this environment is equal to three days at an ocean beach. They claim the cave air has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the immune system. It is particularly known for helping people with respiratory aliments.
I have to say that my sinuses opened up, I could breathe deeply and fully, and felt totally relaxed and refreshed by the experience. I will surely return and recommend this very affordable spa experience to my friends and family.