The spa in the Hotel Luxury World is one of several fishbowl style massage parlors in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh. These sorts of massage parlors are widely referred to as fishbowls because the women who work in them sit on bleachers behind panels of glass waiting for customers to select them. These glass walled rooms resemble fish bowls.
As is the case with most fishbowl type massage parlors in Phnom Penh the place being reported on here is located inside of a hotel. Hence the name. The Luxury World is a fully functioning hotel complete with bellhops and a multilevel parking garage. The massage parlor section just happens to be houses in its walls.
There is a confusing sign near the elevators on the ground floor that lists massage and spa areas on several floors. In reality the massage parlor is on the second floor. It can be accessed through the elevators but it is more easily reached by the staircase in the corner of the lobby.
When customers enter the massage parlor’s glass doors they pass through a small corridor with a wooden desk on one side and lots of glass on the other. The glass is covered by large curtains and the desk is staffed by a uniformed security guard and a female manage in a skirt and sports jacket.
Customers are led through another door to a small room at the end of glass walled room while the women on staff are summoned to assemble. The customer then selects one of the available women for a massage.
Depending on the time of day there can be as many as thirty women on staff or as few as four or five. The women range wildly in looks from attractive and twenty one to portly and thirty.
The women wear different colored badges with numbers. The Vietnamese women on staff wear red badges. The Khmer women wear blue badges. Customers indicate which women they want to have a session with by saying the number aloud. The massage parlor charges $10 USD for a session with a Vietnamese woman and $12 USD for a session with a Khmer. The female manager collects payment up front.
After customers render payment they are led up a flight of stairs by a male security guard to a higher floor where another male security guard sits at a desk. There they wait for their service providers who lead them to one of the many vacant rooms.
The rooms at Luxury World are small but surprisingly clean. They have unmarked white walls, relatively large beds on sturdy wooden frames and tiled bathrooms with showers and toilets. In this regard Luxury World is different from some other fish bowl massage parlors in town that don’t appear to have been cleaned in years.
Once customers enter their rooms they normally strip down and receive a short massage that could barely even be described as mediocre. After a few minutes conversation typically turns towards extra services and customers who accept offers for “boom boom” then enter into negotiations.
Local and Asian customers normally pay forty to fifty dollars for full service with the women at places like Luxury World. Foreigners who can’t speak either Khmer or Vietnamese are usually asked for much more. The women at the Luxury World massage parlor tend to ask even more than most other women working fish bowl massage parlors in the city with quotes of $100 being quite normal especially from the Vietnamese women on staff.
That said most of the women working at Luxury World actually settle for much less than their initial quote even when they are dealing with foreigners though surely they find enough guys who agree to pay their initial rates. Otherwise they wouldn’t try the higher than normal rates on with such regularity at all.
Hotel Luxury World. 35 Street 200, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Open every day from 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Telephone: (+855) 023-723636. Click here for map.