i am now officially excited for our siem reap-bangkok trip this november, because we've just secured our room reservations for both cities!
so now, i'll be blogging about my booking experience for siem reap hotels, and to take the opportunity to recommend two hotels that stood out in terms of booking etiquette.
the story is, our group has already decided on staying on the villa, as they offer tempting siem reap packages that include accommodations, tours, and luxurious extras like an arrival pack of wine, chocolates, and cheese, massage vouchers, and cocktail coupons.
we stumbled onto some roadblocks while reserving our rooms. there were a few mix-ups, and it took the hotel a long time to reply. losing hope, i decided to make reservations in other hotels, namely ei8htrooms and golden temple villa. (i made bookings for both to be safe)
both hotels replied promptly, and just as i was reading their confirmation emails, in comes the villa's confirmation, sealing our bookings for the 3-nights lots of luxury package. i then had no choice but to email cancellations to both ei8htrooms and golden temple villa.
i normally don't expect much after cancelling a reservation, but these two hotels definitely surprised me. lee of golden temple villa thanked me graciously, "Thank you very much for kindly informing us, that is very kind of you. I feel sorry that you can't come."
jason and kifi of ei8htrooms are more laidback, but no less gracious, and even offered a few tips: "No worries and we have cancelled your room reservation with us. Do have a wonderful time in Siem Reap and if you have the time, do have areally nice dinner at Viroth's restaurant, Wat Bo road. Also do try eatingthe nice desserts at the Blue Pumpkin."
i felt all warm inside after reading their replies. i mean, they didn't really have to tell me these things, all they had to do was acknowledge the cancellation, but they did one better by being nice and courteous, even in the event of a lost reservation. and since i can't stay in their hotel for this trip, i thought i'd recommend them to anyone who's thinking of going to siem reap.
this is not to say, though, that the villa isn't worth staying in. they were apologetic for the delay, and have been very accommodating as well. the reviews i've read of them are all glowing praises, and i'm hoping that we get to experience quality treatment too when we get there.
oh, and keep in mind that all these are budget accommodations in siem reap. i don't really see any need to book a room in a luxury joint, because the range of accommodation choices are incredible, and seem to give a lot of bang for the buck.
here are some previews of my top hotels for siem reap:
the villa siem reap
153 taphul road, siem reap, kingdom of cambodia
tel. no.: +855 63 761 036
(use the booking form in their site for inquiries and reservations)
pictured on the left is a standard room in this purple haven. we decided to go with the villa because of their relatively affordable luxury package. we're paying USD 155 each for 3 nights of accommodation in a deluxe room, tours for 3 days, a guide for one day, a welcome pack of wine and chocolates, a sunset pack of wine and cheese, khmer dance performance with dinner, and other perks.
also, the villa promotes responsible tourism, by hiring locals from salabai, an NGO that trains underprivileged youth. the villa gives them english lessons and further develops their skills, and even gives them time to attend school. 7% of the villa's profits go to charity, and they have various advocacies to help the people of cambodia.
138/139 stheoung thmey village, svaydangkum commune
siem reap, kingdom of cambodia
tel. no.: 855-63-969788
i was attracted to this place because of the way their rooms were designed. i'm a sucker for simple, clean design, and ei8htrooms has that perfected, with their white and brown scheme, with random touches of asian design here and there.
what's more, their website is very straightforward and well-written. they're also a gay-friendly establishment, and i always believe in supporting such places.
what's more, their rooms cost USD 18-24 only, and jason and kifi, the owners, seem like a nice and accommodating couple.
golden temple villa
old market area, siem reap, kingdom of cambodia
tel. no.: +855 (0)12 943 459
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
golden temple villa comes highly recommended by a friend who stayed there earlier this year. this hotel wins because of its friendly manager, lee. from her email alone, i can sense that she's someone who'd be willing to go the extra mile to make your stay in siem reap unforgettable (in a good way!).
the hotel also has well-priced rooms, starting at USD 18 for the singles and USD 30 for the triples. good reviews, and the rooms look really inviting.
so there you go. three fantastic choices for affordable hotels in siem reap. you have no reason not to go. i'll try to get better pictures of their rooms when i get there.