Thinking about making a trip to the gateway city to Angkor Wat? Check out these 3 Siem Reap hotels and why I love them.
LOCATION: SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
SHOP VACATION STYLE
I have said it before and I will say it again – I adore Cambodia. After 2 trips to Siem Reap in the last 1.5 years, I could still go back for more (and explore beyond too, of course).
Over my last 2 visits to Siem Reap, I have been lucky enough to stay at some gorgeous hotels, each with their own unique flavour. If you are thinking of making a trip to Cambodia and are still on the lookout for some accommodation, these are my recommendations on where to stay.
Heritage Suites was my first ever encounter in Siem Reap back in February of 2017. Upon walking out the doors of the Siem Reap airport, I was greeted by a hotel driver in the cutest vintage 60s car. As the name implies, ‘vintage’ and ‘heritage’ are a big part of the Heritage Suites brand.
While the majority of the hotel is a newer build, the main lobby of the hotel is set in the most gorgeous heritage French Provincial building. It is lofty and bright, and a very inviting space. There is also a bar in the lobby, and a highly acclaimed restaurant on the second floor. The grounds are lush and green, and the pool area is much the same. Like the hotel itself, the suites are tucked away from the main traffic through the hotel, and it all feels rather secluded and private.
Perhaps my favourite thing about the hotel is it’s commitment to the people of Cambodia. Not only do they routinely employ graduates of the Sala Baï hospitality school, but they also donate a lot of their time, money and expertise to other philanthropic ventures throughout the city. I found that staying in a hotel with such a compassionate outlook really does make such a difference to your time in Siem Reap.
The best bits
As mentioned, the philanthropic side of the hotel is one of my favourite things about Heritage Suites. Aside from that, I really loved the size of the suites here; there was plenty of room for activity. I also loved how quite the public areas of the hotel were. Because Heritage Suites is a boutique hotel, the maximum occupancy isn’t super high, and you can often be the only person by the pool. It is also quite tucked away from all the traffic, so it is a pretty peaceful place to be.
It takes about 5 minutes by tuk tuk in to the very centre of town – not that that is a deal breaker by any means! If you were hoping to be right in the centre of town, maybe Heritage Suites isn’t for you. The walk in is super lovely though!
There is also no TV in the suite; you have to ask for one from reception if you would like one. Again, not a deal breaker though.
Navutu Dreams is Siem Reap’s only dedicated wellness resort. As such, the resort offers daily yoga classes, a special wellness menu and even a range of different wellness treatments. You can book yourself in to any number of classes and extras, or you can stay at Navutu specifically to take part in their yoga or wellness retreats.
For my stay, I partook in one day of wellness activities that I booked in separately. My yoga classes ended up being private sessions, and I indulged in a reiki session before a 2-hour scrub and massage package. It was absolutely bliss!
The resort itself can be described with just one word – lush. Tucked away a 15-minute drive from town, the resort is in amongst farming and residential land. The grounds are so green and leafy, and there are 3 gorgeous pools dotted around the property. It is easy to spend an entire day just lounging by the pool/s (don’t forget to pack a few pairs of bikinis!).
The suites are super spacious and just the right balance between Cambodian and minimal. I stayed in a Grand Tour room and I even had enough room to practice my free-standing handstands indoors! Heck, we probably could have fit a whole family in the shower if we tried!
The best bits
I am an outdoorsy person so the 3 magnificent pools and super green grounds did it for me. It made you feel like you were on a lush, tropical getaway. The outdoor breakfast bar/restaurant was also a bonus; again, I just love being outdoors. I also really loved that there were daily yoga classes, as well as the option to book in private sessions. As someone who hates the conventional gym and struggles to work out alone, these sorts of classes are generally the only way I fit in some exercise while I am travelling!
Navutu is probably the furthest I have stayed from the main town. It is only a 15-20 minute tuk tuk ride, but it does mean that you can’t walk in to town (unless you are in for a bit of a hike). Because of its location, it also means that there isn’t much to do or see within walking distance either – everything is a tuk tuk ride away.
I was also slightly miffed at their choice to provide you with reusable water bottles in the room, but then continue to provide guests with plastic water bottles in the yoga classes etc.
Although it is now owned by an international chain of hotels, the Belmond still maintains all of its boutique charm. It is a grand hotel right on Siem Reap river and just a short walk into the centre of town. Characterised by its lofty lobby and dark wood build, it is a perfect example of luxe Cambodian architecture.
Being a more central hotel, the property isn’t as big as the others; but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t as lush or without a stunning pool. In fact, the pool is probably one of the most luxurious feeling that I have laid around in Siem Reap.
There are 2 high quality restaurants (they even have delicious burrata!) at the Belmond, as well as a second story bar, a luxurious spa and a number of small gift shops in the lobby. The breakfast buffet is well worth a mention as it is up there with the best that I have seen. Like breakfast, the menus at the 2 restaurants are a good blend of Cambodian, eastern and western cuisines.
The rooms themselves are a perfect harmony of luxury and Cambodian charm; think marble bathrooms, dark wood accents and crisp white linens. While they aren’t as large as the suites elsewhere, the rooms at the Belmond are well appointed and very comfortable. I am sure the suites are sizeable, but I haven’t seen those!
The best bits
The Belmond is super close to the centre of town so you really don’t need a tuk tuk if you don’t mind walking for 10 minutes.
Being a part of a luxury hotel chain, there is no detail spared. You even get served water every 15 minutes or so as you lay by the pool – in a traditional basket none-the-less. It really does feel so luxe!
It is more of a hotel than a resort, so there isn’t all that much space to enjoy outdoors (not like the previous two stays I mentioned). And being a hotel, the rooms feel more ‘hotely’ too… if that is even a thing?