Angkor Village Resort, Siem Reap
After receiving an offer from American Express for complimentary top-tier status of Small Luxury Hotels and finding ourselves in Siem Reap, we decided to try the Angkor Village Resort for 1 night. At just $95 for the night, we didn't research much before booking and were delighted when we arrived at a country-style Cambodian retreat. We were greeted warmly and served a fruity welcome drink and chilled towel whilst check-in formalities were completed. Then, to our great surprise, the hotel gave us two vouchers for a complimentary cocktail at the bar and another two for a complimentary 1 hour spa treatment. We are unsure whether this is because we visited in low season or due to our status with SLH, but this was a very generous perk, especially considering the low room rate!
After a few minutes, we were escorted to our room, pausing briefly for a photo in front of the water feature in reception. One thing to note about Angkor Village Resort is that you are outside of Siem Reap city and feel much closer to nature - we saw plenty of butterflies, lizards and insect-life.
Our rate included breakfast, which was served outside on the terrace, although you could choose to sit indoors. Perhaps because it was low season (there was no-one else at breakfast) choice was minimal. We tried the chicken noodle soup, which was edible but not much more and was definitely made with Cambodian roadrunner style (stringy) chicken! Fresh fruit was tasty, but on asking whether the hotel had any gluten-free bread, we were surprised to be told they had no bread of any kind!
We ate at the nearby Touich, which is an excellent choice in Siem Reap, providing delicious food at affordable prices. As such, we didn't try the hotel's restaurants, which offer mostly Khmer cuisine. Having eaten breakfast at the hotel, we wouldn't recommend eating dinner in-house. The bar was a welcoming place to sit, but we unfortunately didn't have time to experience it on our stay despite the complimentary cocktail vouchers.
We had booked a standard Travellers Double room but were upgraded to a Pool View Double because of our SLH status (a double upgrade). This moved us from the ground floor to the first floor, where we also had a balcony overlooking the pool.
The room itself was a good size (42 square metres) and traditionally decorated. A King-sized four poster bed with numerous pillows and bolsters welcomed us after a tiring day out at the temples. A small desk area and seating for 2 increased the utility of the space and the bathroom was a good size, although it had no shower, only a corner bath for relaxing. The toilet was in a separate room near the front door. Air-conditioning was effective when the key was in the slot, but unfortunately it was not possible to keep the air-con on when not in the room. Fresh fruit and bottled water were provided free of charge, although wifi was only available in the public areas, not guest bedrooms.
The main feature of this hotel is the swimming pool, which we were blown away by. The member of staff who showed us to the room explained that the pool was 200 m long, but we assumed that this was an error. In fact, the pool really is that long and snakes around the resort so you can swim a length or so and see all the rooms. Along the poolside, cabanas and sun beds are plentiful and there are phones every so often so you can order a snack or drink. For those who are weaker swimmers or prefer to float, the hotel provides kayaks to enjoy the pool too!
As we had been provided with a voucher for a complimentary massage, we booked this on arrival. The treatment started with a cool drink and chilled towel whilst our feet were washed and massaged. We were then shown to a couple's treatment room and treated to a deep but relaxing massage. The therapists were very good, applying just the right amount of pressure. Afterwards, we were served hot jasmine tea - the perfect spa ritual.
Overall, we were impressed with Angkor Village Resort, especially the value for money we received when taking the complimentary extras into account. The style of the resort would appeal to many with a traditional Khmer design and lots of greenery. In particular, the 200 m long swimming pool is a major attraction and the hotel is very close to the Angkor Temples. Service was warm and friendly throughout and we were delighted to be presented with a framed photo of us in front of the water feature and a small trinket box to remember the hotel by when leaving. However, the hotel did feel a little tired and food at breakfast was only just good enough and a disappointment for SE Asia. For us, the best hotel in Siem Reap remains the Park Hyatt, which is often excellent value if using points plus cash or you manage to get a best rate guarantee. However, not everyone wants to stay in a chain and this Small Luxury Hotel is a solid choice if looking for something more traditional. For anyone needing an extra stay in order to earn a free night with SLH, staying at the Angkor Village Resort is a no brainer.