After travelling over from Thailand where we enjoyed many a wonderful cheap Thai massage, we decided to try a Laos massage, expecting something similar but not really knowing anything about it.
We shopped around and were looking in the range of 40-50,000 kip for an hour when we came across Lotus who were offering 2 hours for 70,000 kip. Their brochure/info sheets outside really talked up the massage as a full body experience. My partner, who loves having a massage thought it sounded like heaven and we decided to give it a go.
Walking in, the place itself looked well presented and downstairs the aromatherapy/menthol aromas were amazing (they must be using them to cover the damp smell that other travellers commented on) and we headed upstairs to an area with 6 massage beds on a wooden base with four posters and curtains round each. It all looked nice.
Then came the massage. Firstly, we both had male masseuses, which I know is not uncommon but was my first male massage and at first I felt a little uncomfortable, but not wanting to rock the boat or offend I went along with it. We were asked to lie on our backs, where as I am used to lying face down, and found it awkward that my masseuse seemed to be looking at my face the whole time. I normally have my eyes closed during a massage but felt it imperative for the whole two hours as I didn't want to see him looking at me.
The massage itself was average, I'm not sure if it was the Laos style, but it felt more like pinching than massaging and over 2 hours very repetitive. We had thought we were getting a whole body experience and were excited to see the bits they must skip over in an hour long massage, but we were thoroughly disappointed. They did the same things over and over again, spending almost an hour on our legs and it felt like they struggled to fill the time. I know there is only do much of the human body but different techniques/pressure would have made all the difference.
For me, I'm now a bit wary of a Laos massage and would definitely stick with only an hour from now on. I didn't feel it was a waste of money as such as it is only a few quid, but it just wasn't what we wanted or expected.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.