Hidden Crystals in Downtown Niantic: Grota Solna’s Salt Caves

A reflection on my experience in the salt caves


The inside of Grota Solna’s salt caves.


A hidden oasis in Niantic: rooms filled to the brim with crystals covering the floors and walls with salt particles floating through the air.

Grota Solna salt caves, translation from salt grotto in Polish, established by owners Tracy Benson and Steven Michels, aren’t actually caves, but rather rooms made of salt. The couple attended another salt cave experience which inspired their business idea.

“I noticed halfway through the session that I was able to breathe through my nose again. After that, we started talking right then and there about the cost it would be to make our own,” Mr. Michels said. The two spoke to the owner about what it took to construct a business like this and nine months later they were open for business in Niantic.

The rooms work using a machine called a halo generator that takes the salt, spins it into small particles, and sends it out into the air. Salt is able to detoxify the body and the lungs due to its water-reducing properties.

I attended a 45-minute session which cost $45.

I walked into the building and immediately was hit with a clean sensation of calm. Peaceful music played and even though other people were around the entrance, the place felt quiet and serene. Salt crystals, handmade jewelry, and other assortments are sold in the lobby.

I was greeted by one of the owners, Mr. Michels. The room that I scheduled for my friend and me took place in a large cave that could hold around eight people, but we had the entire place to ourselves.

We were offered lockers to store our extra items and asked to take off our shoes, which were then replaced with comfortable slippers. We were given homemade strawberry and lemon drinks, blankets and eye masks, and shown to the caves.

The walls were covered in dozens of larger salt crystal slabs, while the ground was filled with a miniature beach of salt pebbles. The ceiling of the room was built to look like a cave structure and was covered with bright little blue stars. The sound of rushing water filled my ears as I sat down; there was a fountain made of salt in the walls.

Mr. Michels then explained to us how the entire salt system worked and then he left us to relax in the cave. Our 45-minute time limit in the cave began.

The entire experience was tranquil and breathtaking. I felt the symptoms of my horrible allergies melt away, and breathing became much easier. The headache I walked in with went away after a short while and I was able to rest and relax. It was an incredibly rejuvenating experience.