On my birthday whilst I was in Cambodia, I decided to treat myself to a day at the local spa.
Banteay is a bit different to your average spa though, as it’s for women only and focuses on employing local Khmer women. The spa aims to help and empower vulnerable women, giving them jobs and providing them with education.
They do a wonderful range of treatments from massages, manicures, and pedicures to facials, full body scrubs, and herbal steams.
I originally was going to get a herbal steam, but being in Cambodia I thought it would be too hot so instead, I booked myself in for a black sesame and coconut body scrub, a banana-papaya-honey hair mask, massage, facial and a manicure/pedicure combo.
On the corner, they own a fantastic vegetarian & vegan cafe so you can order healthy snacks, teas and juices whilst having treatment or go there for lunch afterwards.
Unfortunately, it rained heavily all day and was pretty chilly. Any other day and the little bamboo hut where I had my body scrub would have been lovely, but I was actually very cold, and tiny drips of cold water fell from the ceiling onto my skin as I tried to relax.
They use all natural ingredients in their scrubs such as turmeric, black sesame seeds, jasmine rice, coffee, coconut milk and kefir yogurt.
I was given a small sarong in the bamboo hut to change into
and smothered with the fragrant body scrub which was massaged into my skin. She combed the hair mask through my hair and left it to soak in.
I was then taken to the bathroom to wash it out
Then I had a hydrating cucumber facial and my nails done…
It was a lovely, relaxing day. My treatments were very good and I left with baby soft skin smelling like a sweet coconut fruit smoothie bowl.
The treatments are inexpensive my western standards, and I think good value for money considering the positive impact it will have on the women who work there.
They also have women’s only accommodation and yoga classes (some of which men are welcome to), so I really advise that you look them up if you’re in Kampot!