Best Communal Baths - 2005
Kabuki Springs & Spa
There's nothing like a good, hot soak to soothe your soul and set aside your troubles. And when that soak also includes a steam room, dry sauna, and complimentary sea salt body scrub, you've got nothing more to worry about besides staying awake in the sauna. Kabuki Springs' communal baths combine Japanese aesthetics with American-style spa extras like your choice of cucumber-, lemon-, or orange-infused waters, a bucket of icy-cold washcloths to stimulate the skin, cucumber slices to relieve that delicate under-eye area, and fragrant lotions galore. There's even a cold bath to shock your system enough to let the cycle of hot-cold-warm-hot go on for hours. A visit here is especially nice on a typically foggy San Francisco day -- like, say, all summer. On a recent outing, we even relaxed enough to stop fretting over the slightly annoying Asian-flute-type New Age music set on continual loop. At only $16 before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and $20 otherwise, it's a bargain.