Snooze you lose
No matter what your budget is, Siem Reap is full of places waiting to welcome you through their doors, from guesthouses and Khmer-style inns to luxury five-star hotels and resorts.
Wherever you travel, the place you choose to stay in can often be the difference between making your trip a beautiful memory or a time to forget.
Siem Reap has so many options that, whether you are taking a gap year out backpacking around the globe or visiting some of the world’s greatest sites with poolside champagne to end the day, you won’t have trouble finding somewhere suitable. For a fraction of the price of a hotel in your home country, you can wake up to proper Italian coffee, French bread and some exceptional Khmer hospitality.
In the past few years there has been a boom in the building of budget guesthouses, five-star hotels and everything in between. Siem Reap has plenty of affordable and stylish options from which visitors can choose. Here’s a sample.
Sokhalay Angkor Hotel Resort & Spa offers the ultimate in relaxation and reinvigoration, with lavish amenities and spectacular views, all within easy reach of the temples. Nestled amongst five hectares of beautifully landscaped tropical garden, amid lily ponds with freshwater fish, you’ll find 40 traditional Khmer-style wooden villas and the largest pool in town.
Memoire Siem Reap Hotel is a luxury artistic four-star hotel, astutely designed and developed using a Khmer contemporary art concept, epitomising the Cambodian culture and charm. It is an oasis for every traveller who will be pampered by local experts to ensure a pleasurable, and meaningful experience. Choose from deluxe or superior rooms, with family suites also available. You can dine within the grounds at Tamarind Restaurant, which is dedicated to a deep understanding of Khmer cuisine, blending together traditional and contemporary dishes. They also offer onsite spa services.
Jasmine Lodge guesthouse on Highway 6 (also known as Airport Road) offers everything from dorm rooms to air con, TV and hot water rooms at a bargain price. Alternatively, Wat Bo Road on the east side of the river has for many years been the main area for the budget-minded, with more than a dozen low-priced guesthouses from which to choose. As everyone vies for business, the amenities have become better and better. Be aware that this is the most popular time to visit Siem Reap, so book ahead to secure your first accommodation choice.
You can check out the latest rates on agoda.com, which now lists over 400 hotels and guesthouses in and around Siem Reap catering to all budgets.
The area half a kilometre west of Sivatha Street, one of the town’s main thoroughfares, is becoming another popular, low-price district with the bonus that the shops cater to locals, so it’s a nice place to go if you want to experience a slice of everyday life in Siem Reap.
The segment that has seen the most growth in Temple Town is boutique hotels. In the range of $25 to $75 per night, you will be able to find lovely rooms with sumptuous surroundings befitting a treasured holiday.
Wat Bo boasts a number of these Shangri-las, including Two Dragons guesthouse and Soria Moria, which offer a new dynamic. Tropical gardens, first-class cooking and an eye for detail are what make these places special.
The Rose Apple is a quaint affair, owned by a husband-wife team and tucked down a quiet lane. Boasting a saltwater swimming pool, the staff are friendly and the rooms are modern, cosy and clean.
The chances are that if you’re reading this and deciding where to stay, you haven’t pre-booked yourself into one of the city’s five-star luxury hotels. One of the great joys in life is staying five-star, and being completed catered when you’re on holiday. If it’s only for one night, it’s a real bargain to stay at one of Siem Reap’s best hotels and see how the other half – okay, how the top few percent – live it up on the road.
There are several international standard luxury hotels where rooms can be had for less than $120 a night if you’re willing to bargain a little, for which you will get access to a stunning swimming pool, a gourmet restaurant (or two) and a palatial room. Spas, golfing, the finest of dining – these have the makings of a quality vacation.
A few words of caution, though. If you’re cruising the web for a bargain, check carefully. That double aircon room for $10 is probably priced per person, not per night, so be sure to double check before going through with a booking.