An accomplished, pioneer boutique hotel in the center of Phnom Penh, located
in a quiet street, only a 5 minute walk from the colonial
Central Market and lively Sorya Shopping Mall, it offers two different
categories of accommodation: hostel
(with separate male/female
dormitories for 5 till 10 people) and hotel
(with budget, yet most
pleasant and large rooms). This must look like an odd combination at
first sight; but the recipe
looks good, mixing young guests with more experienced, adult travelers,
in a pleasant harmony which we enjoyed during three days. The rate is
fair in both options, and the staff doesn't make a difference of
treatment between the dormitory and room guests. Friendly, productive,
sometimes dealing with two or three clients at the same time in the
lively reception, they do the job with such a good humor that we think
that some four-star hotels should employ them!
SIEM REAP (ANGKOR)
RESORT (****): This
new resort, nestled in a lush park along the riverside, half way
between the Old Market and the temples, is one of the most inviting
residences in Siem Reap. The concept, as simple as ambitious, consists
in incorporating the guests into nature. The 21 rooms are spacious
comfortable, with all that you expect from a good four star hotel, but
designed with such clarity that they won’t catch your attention: just
projecting you to one of the nicest environment which an urban
eco-resort may offer. The trees bring a 24-hour refreshing air and
temperature: this is why we spent much more time on our large terrace
or in the pool are than in the room. Old trees, fragrant flowers,
birds, and squirrels hosted us in their home during four rejuvenating
days. The true well-being doesn’t need more than tranquility and
purity: Natura provides it at no extra cost, letting nature do the job.
PAVILLON D'ORIENT (****): Reflecting such a nice colonial atmosphere, this nostalgic and quiet boutique hotel made us quite an impression just stepping in the shady lobby, with greenery everywhere, and lovely artworks of Khmer contemporary artist Theam exhibited amongst period furniture. If the management doesn't wish to promote the hotel in the luxury category, it is a definition of a classy lodging at a fair price.
Welcome in one of our favorite hotels in Siem Reap! We liked many factors at Pavillon d'Orient. This is, first of all, a fairly priced hotel, with rooms from USD 45 in the low season: nice, reflecting three star superior standards, they are located in the older pavilion, with a view on the first swimming pool. The hotel newest extension has got a second more contemporary salted-water pool (the hotel is eco-responsible) with a SPA room nearby. Its rooms and junior-suites / family suite are actually four-star, with private lacquerware and Khmer art exhibition in each room, which is quite unique in Siem Reap, a ceiling fan, colonial furniture... This all provides more character to a perfectly homey lodging, with a large terrace with a romantic pool-view. We felt like staying in a villa, not in a hotel.
Another bonus is the location. Mid-way between the city and the temples, by a privatized hotel tuk-tuk, which guests can use as much as they want on a complimentary basis if they booking their stay directly with the hotel. It takes ten minutes maximum to get to Pub Street, and the same time to get to Angkor, after purchasing a pass on your way at the official Ticket Office, 600 meters from the hotel. Upon check-in, each guest receives a well-documented book about the temples, which he can keep during the whole stay. Of course, the reception staff can manage plenty of exciting attractions like helicopter flights (starting from around USD 100), diner cruises, Apsara shows...
The breakfast is most pleasant at Pavillon d'Orient. It can be enjoyed absolutely anytime...even in the afternoon! Which is another bonus. The buffet is limited to a few items, and guests can order hot and fresh dishes a la carte (the chicken sausages are the best we had in Siem Reap). It is of course included in the room rate. The restaurant “Le Planteur” is not air-conditioned, but located in a breezy “sala” opposite the new swimming pool, in the lush gardens. We enjoyed there most pleasant breakfast, with a very personalized service as, between 8 and 9 am, most of the clients are visiting the temples or still sleeping. Once again, we had the impression to stay in a private mansion, served by stylish staff. It makes Pavillon d'Orient more like a “special lodging” than a hotel, indeed.
PAVILLON D'ORIENT: Road no 60, Siem Reap, Kingdom Cambodia
PHONE: +855 63 760 646, +855 98 655 738
CHHAY LONG ANGKOR BOUTIQUE (****): The intimate, atypical lobby, with its collection of statues of Buddha, makes this delicious property different from the boutique hotels mushrooming in Siem Reap. It is still in its soft opening, with all the bonuses involved in a new hotel. Miss Ponn, the manager, worked for Accor and Raffles. She trained her anticipating staff accordingly to her five-star experience. Launching a hotel pairs with an enthusiasm, which we found everywhere and everytime at Chhay Long.
The rooms are spacious (from 38 sq.m) and tastefully designed. Contrasting with the simplicity of the lobby, they transported us in a modern transposition of the temples of Angkor atmosphere. Quiet and intimate, equipped with a very comfy king-size bed, they all feature Smart LCD TV, allowing to watch YouTube and the best Internet streaming. From our experience, only the plush Golden Temple five-star hotels bring this technology to their rooms. There is, of course, WiFi, and well-stocked minibar. The awesome bathrooms have rain shower with a powerful water pressure: which still comes as a luxury in Siem Reap. What we actually loved in the rooms are the artistic drawings applied directly on the wall by valued artists, and depicting scenes of the Khmer life and traditions. In our room, it was painted in gold over a deep blue support, which we found extremely classy. The same fresco, on a larger display, decorates the attractive pool, within a patio next to the welcoming Morodock SPA, lobby, and restaurant.
A place for a simple, traditional, savory Khmer cuisine, the “Blue Lotus” has a name reminding us of the Adventures of Tintin, in a nostalgic Orient still preserved in the magic city of Siem Reap. The specialties are the mirror of the hotel itself: family oriented, served by the kindest -and prettiest- waitresses ever. This is the place for a good -and safe- pork BBQ, Fish Amok, and tempting vegetarian dishes. It is, in term of price, on par with the small restaurants all around: definitely inexpensive. And the memorable kindness of the staff is priceless. A good breakfast is served at “Blue Lotus”, with an authentic Khmer orientation.
Miss Ponn wants to rise her boutique hotel to the level of a five star in term of services, yet charging a discounted four-star rate. Checking the enthusiastic reviews in Booking.com and Tripadvisor shows that she already reached her aim.
If you like being pampered like in a private Khmer house, this is the best, very central address.
CHHAY LONG ANGKOR BOUTIQUE: Steung Thmei, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia
PHONE: +85563 766 515
SALASARA (****): One of the top 20 best hotels in Siem Reap according to Tripadvisor and Booking.com most reliable guest rating. We enjoyed a relaxing and extremely pleasant stay in this secluded hotel, located not far to the action (Pub Street can be reached by a short walk).
This lush oasis of tranquility has multiple qualities.
The most appreaciated one is the staff. Young, as anticipating and refined as in a five-star hotel, it boosts this natural kindness which gives the envy to come back, again and again. This is surely the reason why Salasara has got so many regular guests: treated like members of the family by Dany, the enthusiastic GM, and his nice looking feminine staff who always greeted us joining hands for a gracious Sampeah, brought us fresh perfumed napkins each time we came back from a ride, and so proud to know a few words in our language (French). This obviously lucky and much involved team is fluent in English.
The hotel is three-star superior with its first category of “Superior” rooms: simple, yet offering convenient space and comfort. Perfect for those on two days tour to the nearby temples. Should you come for romance or relaxation, this is the ideal hotel. Just rather book a “Deluxe” room, designed like pleasant pavilions, set on the ground floor along a green alley, next to the superb swimming pool with its artistic Khmer frescoes. We liked the gold and red lacquerware over our large bed: it gives much character to the rooms. There is a large sofa, which can host a third person or children. The bathroom is also appealing, with discreet mosaics and a black stone sink. That category of rooms, with a private relaxation area al fresco (ideal for smokers), ranks in the four-star category, yet surprisingly fairly priced. This explains why this is one of the few hotels in Siem Reap showing high occupancy during the low season.
The laundry and minibar are inexpensive. Each room has a Samsung flat screen TV, complimentary tea/coffee facility, and WiFi.
The Sala Restaurant & Bar area, next to the reception, is smart and convivial. With long flowered sofas and small tables with a view of the surrounding greenery. Prices are copied on those at pub street. We noticed, after visiting a dozen of four star hotels, that the average bill for a draft beer was USD 3; here it costs only USD 1. Most of the dishes are around USD 5. This is a simple local cuisine, with much savor and lightness. The chicken broth with lemongrass is actually delicious. The breakfast is a la carte, copious and yummy.
There was a SPA under construction during our visit in May 2017.
Those looking for a warm, relaxed hotel at a fair price, and lots of smiles and plenty of kindness will love this urban boutique hotel at first sight.
SALASARA: 120, Angkor Night Market Street, Stueng Thmei Village, Krong Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia
PHONE: +855 87 756 168
ANGKOR BOUTIQUE TROPIC HOTEL ( ****): One of the most lovable boutique hotels in Siem Reap, with a superb location at the bottom end of a straight path, surrounded by local houses in a natural environment. We are on the road to Angkor, accessible within only 5 minutes by bicycle or tuk-tuk. The Angkor National Museum is a 10-minute walk away.
We liked the human size and awesome display of the hotel, featuring only 20 rooms. All with pool view, and half of them with a direct access to the landscaped gardens. We stayed in an attractive room at the first (and top) floor, with a large terrace, comfortable garden furniture, and a panorama of the rich flora surrounding the neighboring Khmer wooden houses. Due to the low occupency in Siem Reap during the rainy season, we swam and relaxed alone on our sundeck almost all the time. Giving us the impression to stay in a private house. The design is classy, actually residential. The stones over the façade, the little bit old-fashion design of the really beautiful and large salt-water pool, the discreet yet always responsive staff: all participated in making us feel like hosted by old friends in their villa on the French Riviera. That was a most pleasant impression.
The rooms are large, tastefully decorated with a classy silk bedhead and cushions, small Khmer popular-art items on display next to the flat screen TV, a double sofa, and a small safety box. The spacious bathroom has a shower plus a king-size ocean-blue tub. The flowered-shape sink brings an extra note of unexpected elegance in such an affordable hotel, where a room costs between USD 30 and 60, depending on the season.
There is a small, inexpensive restaurant opposite to the pool, serving a homey Khmer and Thai cuisine, with some international dishes.
“2017 Travellers' Choice” by Tripadvisor, this family run business, managed by Bruce, a Scotsman, and the charming Pukky, ambassadress of the legendary Thai hospitality, shines like a treasure of kindness and tranquility in the center of Siem Reap.
ANGKOR BOUTIQUE TROPIC HOTEL: Angkor Road or Pokambor Azv, Siem Reap 17259, Kingdom of Cambodia
PHONE: +855 63 966 399 , +855 99 999 735 FACSIMILE: +855 63 966 299
POPULAR RESIDENCE (****): A definition of a boutique hotel: small, quiet, nicely designed, pleasantly nestled among palm trees, and affordable... Its name doesn’t lie. This is indeed a popular family residence. Without the thrill of luxury, but providing comfort and peace. A loveable hotel, located in what should remain until hopefully a few years a semi-rural part of Siem Reap, it made us feel like in a remote province; though it takes less than 10 minutes to get to pub street. Either by bicycle (brand new all-road bikes can be rent from the reception at USD 4 per day) or, and we liked it, by complimentary tuk-tuk. The hotel has its own driver, lifting the guests to the city center every hour. There is also a free airport pick.
This is a new hotel, with immaculate rooms. The deluxe and the suites are nice, with not much difference except space and the capacity to host more people (parents and two kids in a suite). We like the 40 sq.m “Cabana Room”, located on the ground floor, with a direct access to the serene pool with a Jacuzzi. This category of room is a best seller, with an open-air bathroom (shower + tub). Back from a tiring visit to Angkor, we enjoyed a most relaxing bath amongst plants and trees, visited by a little frog which seemed to be a regular guest of this bucolic residence.
There is a cozy restaurant for breakfast (included in the room rate), affordable lunch and dinner. Due to its recent opening and a locating little bit off the beaten tracks, this well serviced and ideally comfy hotel offers the great advantage of being better value for money, compared with the same four-star category lodging opposite Pub Street or Old Market. Approximately USD 50 for a “Deluxe Twin” (with complimentary Internet, flat screen TV, safe, etc), during the high season, sounds like a very good deal in one of the most touristic Asian cities.
POPULAR RESIDENCE: Sala Kamroeuk Village, Sala Kamroeuk Commune , Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia
PHONE: +855 81 767 272 MOBILE: +855 16 783 425
MUDRA ANGKOR (***): Simple but smart, informal but well serviced, small but four-star equipped, central but quiet: all the combinations play in favor of this newly refurbished three-star hotel. Super clean, employing young and enthusiastic staff, very boutique, Mudra Angkor has 14 luxury air-conditioned rooms, a breezy rooftop restaurant & bar with a view of the Siem Reap River and the green areas of the city, free WiFi, complimentary pick up from the airport, and a nice cool salted-water swimming-pool in a lushly tropical environment.
We stayed in a Superior Double Room, spacious (36 sq.m) and immaculate, with a very elegant bathroom full of four-star amenities.
We liked the location, in a local area with a lively market next door. Pub Street is a five minutes bicycle or tuk-tuk ride. The hotel stands close to the road to the temples located 15 minutes away by taxi. Lux, the friendly hotel manager, used to be a guide: he and his staff will manage unforgettable and cheap tailored-made local, temple or regional tours, which you can manage with his team before your stay via his website. Phillip, a cordial Aussie, owner of Mudra Angkor, is always happy to chat and assist personally his guests. Lots of them are returning, making this relaxed hotel their home away from home.
Those looking for a three-star superior hotel, super well managed and reasonably priced, will love Mudra Angkor at first sight.
TO PHNOM PENH