Beauty Massage and Bar is a small bar on http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/?action=click&contentCollection®ion=TopBar&WT.nav=searchWidget&module=SearchSubmit&pgtype=Homepage#/free chat the popular Sok San Road in the city of Siem Reap. The bar stands out from the ten or so other bars on the strip because of its name. Otherwise it would be a very easy place to miss.
Beauty Massage and Bar has one of the oddest names of any place I’ve reviewed over the last decade. It’s right up there with Nui’s combination used book shop and massage in Pattaya. Yet inside the place is pretty normal. In fact I would say it’s actually more normal or at least “mainstream” than the vast majority of hostess bars in Cambodia.
Beauty Massage and Bar in Siem Reap
Beauty Massage and Bar operates out of a small shop in an area with several other bars. There is also a large KTV complex and a nightclub nearby. The place is marked with a small brown awning on top that says “Beauty Massage and Bar” in English letters. Still the place is very easy to pass by even at night when it is in full operation.
The bar appears to be run by a Cambodian woman and her French partner. The two are often found in the bar together. The bar also seems to be popular with other French customers who visit with some regularity.
bar signbar sign
There are some seats in the front of the open bar near the road. Then there is a small bar with a few stools. That about covers the extent of the place. Apparently there is at least one massage room in the back. But no one seems very excited about using it.
Besides that the woman aren’t the sort of hostesses that get cozy with customers either. Here women sit across from customers. A $3 USD lady drink basically gets a customer a chance to talk with a woman on the other side of the table.
Staff and summary
Besides the above mentioned lady who runs the place there only ever seems to be one more woman on staff at Beauty Massage and Bar. For those keeping score at home that is a grand total of two women. This doesn’t stop customers from coming inside however. So men can and do often outnumber the women in the bar. That’s not exactly my idea of a good time. Though there may be others of a more congenial nature who disagree.
The bar is visited by a significant number of females and couples too. That turns the place into a bit of a general bar. That is fine in its own right. But it does sort of render the whole concept of a combination bar and massage parlor moot. At least that is how I see it.
Since I write the reviews here that is ultimately all that matters. I do try to take an objective approach whenever possible. And I take the surroundings into account too. Still I can’t help but find this place to be markedly boring. That probably wouldn’t surprise me if the place didn’t operate under such an intriguing name and concept.
Ultimately this is just a bar with a couple of ladies inside. One is coupled with a guy usually inside. So that leaves one woman. That means this is not much of a hostess bar at all. For that it would require some actual hostesses. To be a massage parlor that one lady would have to do massaged too. As it stands it’s just a bar. So I give it one star.