You’ve earned it
Published/Last edited or updated: 21st January, 2019
Getting a lovely massage, facial, body treatment or pedicure is a quintessential part of the Cambodia relaxation experience, and even the expensive spas are affordable by Western standards, so go ahead and treat yourself.
With a very central location on Street 240, Bliss is a firm favourite among expats, thanks to the beautiful, restful elegance of the setting, the supreme professionalism of the staff and the high quality of their products. Pricier than other spas, yet there is not one occasion where we have not felt that this is entirely worth it. They offer a full range of spa services, with facials at $48 to $58, pedicures and manicures for $10-20, waxing from $6 to $30, scrubs and wraps for $26 and $30 respectively and massages starting at $26. They also offer a $55 per person “Bliss night package” which includes a 60 minute massage, a set menu of snacks and canapés, two glasses of wine per guest and the use of their lovely premises for just your group. In high season making a booking is a good idea. Highly recommended.
Pristine Samata doesn’t market itself as a spa, but as a health and wellness studio, and there’s plenty of reason why. They offer a range of relaxation and beauty services, including massage, scrubs and waxing, but also offer a few things you won’t find in any spa in Cambodia, such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, podiatry, therapeutic yoga, Pilates and Reiki. The founder has also created a line of aromatherapy products, using premium natural oils and scents, sourced from all over the world. Prices start at $26 for a one-hour aromatherapy massage, or you could go for a quick half-hour back and shoulder massage for just $15. A body scrub with Vichy shower (five shower heads positioned over the massage table) costs $30. Waxing starts at $8, with a bikini at $20. You’ll find Samata in the heart of BKK1 on Street 306.
Another BKK1 favourite, long-running Champei has a firm following among expats and locals, thanks to a their direct, no-nonsense approach and consistent standards. The spa is spotless, and while not as luxurious as others, it still offers reasonably high service standards and a wide range of options at very good prices. We’re fans of their $13 one-hour traditional Khmer massage. Champei also offers scrubs, starting at $43. Champei has four branches in Phnom Penh, with three of them in BKK1—those expats need their rubbing down it seems!
At a prime near–riverside location not far from the FCC, Bodia Spa offers a consistently high quality and comfortable service in the mid-upper price range. The setting is built around warm colours, clean lines, and natural fibres and materials that create a sense of being secured away from the grimy streets outside. Massage prices start at $24 for a one-hour reflexology foot massage, while a one-hour head, back and shoulder massage will cost $28. An indulgent 90-minute four-hands massage will cost $58. They also offer a range of scrubs and wraps for $32, and facials start at $30. They also offer waxing services, with a bikini at $15. Their packages are good value.
U & Me Spa
A long-running spa in the mid-price range, U & Me offer a reasonably consistent service in well-cared for settings that are straightforward if not luxurious. They offer a wide range of massages, starting at $10 for a 30-minute neck, back and shoulder massage, up to, $37 for a indulgent two-hour aromatherapy massage. A one-hour traditional Khmer massage is just $11, while hot stone therapy is available starting at $33 for a one-hour neck, back and shoulder treatment. Facials start at $27. They offer a full range of waxing services, for women and men, with a bikini wax costing $20. They have three branches in town, two in BKK! and a more convenient one on Sisowath Quay near the junction with Street 144.
Bliss Spa: #29, Street 240; T: (023) 215 754; http://www.blissspacambodia.com.
Bodia Spa: Cnr Sothearos Blvd and Street 178. T: (023) 226 199; https://www.bodia-spa.com/
Champei: #38, Street 57; T: (023) 222 846; https://www.facebook.com/ChampeiSpa.
Samata: #54, Street 306; T: (023) 726 267; http://www.amata-aroma.com.
U & Me Spa: #299 Sisowath Quay; T: (023) 986 822; http://unme-spa.com/
Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.
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