Review: Kremlin / Classmates — Manila, Philippines
Kremlin Spa is another all-inclusive “gentlemen’s club” along the lines of the previously reviewed Air Force 1 / Flight 168 in Manila. Connected to a Karaoke type of place called Classmates the Kremlin is easy to fight as it is located right along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. There is a clear sign marking the building housing the spa and and even larger one marking Classmates next door.
As indicated by the name, signage and other hints inside that will be discussed later Kremlin is a themed spa based on the Soviet Union. This might only be a little strange in another place where kitschy things like Leninade are sold or bars are named after the KGB but it is much more bizarre in a country like the Philippines that has been facing a Communist insurgency over the last five decades. Perhaps whoever put the club together isn’t well versed in history or simply doesn’t take it seriously though which would explain why references to the Czar are intertwined with the names of people formerly on the Central Committee in Moscow.
In any event customers who find their way through the front door of the fairly large building find themselves in a lobby that looks like it belongs in an office building. An automobile display adds to this further and is apparently connected to the modern looking garage next door. There is also a security guard stationed behind a desk though he doesn’t seem to interact with those who enter or exit unless they request something.
At the back of the the lobby there is an elevator. Outside of the elevator there is a sign indicating the names of different floors though I don’t imagine they would be of much help to someone who didn’t know the place. The same floor names are shown again on the buttons inside the elevator. Rather than the normal floor numbers the elevator lists “Gulag Class,” “Bolshevik Class” and “Politburo Class” along with an office and rooftop deck.
The Bolshevik Class is supposed to be the best. When one exits the elevator on this floor they find themselves in front of a set of doors marked “Bolshevik & Czar Class” that open into a large lobby with chairs, a television and a desk at the back. They can then head to the desk to book their massage or walk past it and into the well lit room where dozens of masseuses dressed in purple nurse scrubs wait for customers. There are a two options for quarters as indicated on the door but the normal room rate at this level is 1600 Pesos ($36 USD) before 7 pm and 2200 Pesos ($50 USD) after. Once a customer selects a masseuse by indicating her number and paying for the room at the front desk he’ll be led to one of the available suites by a male attendant. The theme pretty much ends here though rooms have names like “Nikita Khrushchev” instead of numbers which means that the attendants are actually useful here unlike other places where they simply seem to exist to ask for tips. Refreshingly the attendants at Kremlin don’t seem to hang around or ask for tips unlike those at Flight 168.
The rooms on the Bolshevik level are nice and large with big king size beds, wide flat screen televisions and full walk in bathrooms that include separate showers and glass encased steam rooms. It’s not five star hotel quality but it is pretty nice. While the customer takes in the surroundings the masseuse will arrive. Some customers may like to go through the routines of steams and such while others will simply shower and get straight to the massage and full service. There don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules. As with any place that has such a large staff there’s no real way to rate the service but most of the women seem to know what they are doing though there are also some newer and less experienced women around.
Perhaps women who have just recently arrived on the job are more desirable to the regular clientele. If not the only real justification for the higher prices on the Bolshevik floor would be the larger rooms since the women are average looking in general and as a rule no better looking than their cohorts a floor down. In any event women who work the Bolshevik floor normally expect a tip along the lines of 2000 Pesos ($45 USD) for their time.
The Politburo floor has a similar large lobby with television, couches and a front desk. Customers who enter this floor can either stop at the desk first or visit the waiting room where dozens more women standby in between customers. The ladies lounging here generally speaking look no worse than the women on the higher level and in fact many may even look better. If there is any negative difference it could possibly be that some of the women on the Politburo floors are moms though it’s quite possible that there are a few mothers up top too. The rate for the standard room on this level is 1100 Pesos ($25 USD).
The same practice is followed on the Politburo floor with an attendant taking the customer to their room. The rooms aren’t as large as those up above though they are quite fine for the job. The beds are slightly smaller and the walls are plain but the bathroom are large enough with a nice sink and mirror and a walk in shower. To put things into perspective a bathroom like this would look like luxury in a Bangkok oily massage parlor. The same sort of massage and full service is also offered though the expected tip is lower at 1300 Pesos ($29 USD).
Sessions on either floor don’t seem to have a set time limit and clock watching is rare. Things tend to go as they will with a slow and steady flow to them. There’s no indication of a rush to get bodies in and out of the rooms which is a good sign.
In the bowels of the basement lies a decidedly more dingy area called “The Gulag.” Rooms on this level are just enough to get the job done though perhaps no worse than many in the aforementioned Bangkok massage shops. The women also wait around for customers though they may ask for slightly lower tips even though as a general rule they don’t look much worse than any others in the building. The same sorts of services are available and there’s nothing at play that would make them better or worse on any particular level. As always it seems to come down to a combination of factors. It’s totally foreseeable that a guy spending less than 2000 Pesos in the Gulag could have a better experience than another spending over a hundred US greenbacks on the top floor in the right conditions. Some masseuses indicate that they don’t even offer services beyond massage in certain cases if they have some sort of hesitation due to the actions or appearance of the client so a big spender who is also a big asshole could end up with nothing but a lighter wallet.
Kremlin is a large and easy to find men’s spa with a lot of lovely ladies on staff along with some others. It’s not the easiest place in the world to navigate but it’s a lot easier than what can be found in some other areas. Taking everything into consideration including the presence of other similar facilities very nearby I give the place an average score of two-and-a-half-stars.
Kremlin Spa. 1008 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines. Open seven days a week 10 am to late night. Phone: (63) 024-115-333 Website: http://kremlinspa.thegentlemansclub.com.ph