Waves of relief at Angkor Spa

Waves of relief at Angkor Spa

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Beauty treatment at Phnom Penh's Angkor Spa. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

All I kept thinking was: this is how royalty must feel. With delicate fingers, the masseuse at Angkor Spa combed my unruly locks and placed them in a loose bun atop my head, secured with a frangipani pin as I watched manager Soun Bopha sprinkle rose petals and lotus flowers into the bath with the grace of an Aspara dancer.

And this was just the prelude to my two-hour Natural Body Scrub.

What looked like a fruitshake was in fact a gentle papaya scrub designed to cleanse the skin and treat small blemishes. With tender, circular motions, the masseuse daubed the concoction over my entire body; while I looked as though I’d just emerged from a pureed-fruit wrestling match, my skin felt remarkably clean.

Following a short dip to rinse off, I was then treated to a coconut salt scrub which exfoliates, improves circulation and evens out skin tone. Many of the creams and lotions contain traditional Khmer medicinal ingredients.

The scrubs are administered through gentle massage and muscle reflexology, with the masseuse paying particular attention to the built-up tension in my neck and shoulders: her thumbs rhythmically pummelled downwards from the nape of my neck and spread across my shoulder blades in a wave.

My scrub was followed by a session in the steam room, which is complimentary to all therapies, as are herbal teas and dessert.

While I find luxury that accompanies body scrubs and massage sometimes unnecessary to the point that it makes me feel awkward – they bathed me in rose petals; I could have bathed myself – my skin has never felt so soft, nor appeared so radiant. Moreover, the stress-related throb in the back of my skull dissipated, and I left the spa feeling physically and mentally soothed.

Soun Bopha said business is now steady at the spa, something she attributes to its central location in BKK1 as well as word-of-mouth. Marketing manager Som Dara attributes the sharp rise in business to a profile of the spa in 7Days in March. We were so impressed by our first visit we decided it deserved a second review.

THE BASICS:
Treatments range from Khmer traditional massage ($8/hour, $12/90 minutes, $14/2 hours) to foot, head, shoulder and back massage ($8-$16), as well as oil, aromatic, herbal and hot stone massage ($17-$30, depending on type and length of time). Its body scrubs cost from $35 to $65 and last from 90 minutes to two hours. These include steam or dry sauna and a dip in a Jacuzzi.

Angkor Spa
#16, St. 310
Tel: 093 900 623/ 023 555 623
Email: [email protected]

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