The Central Boutique Angkor Hotel was a gem. We didn’t discover it ourselves, it was recommended to us by fellow travelers we met in Ho Chi Minh City. They raved about the relative comfort and luxury of this boutique property on the outskirts of Siam Reap. I admit, initially I was tentative since I was nervous that anywhere with such great reviews would be way out of our $15-per-person-per-day budget.
We had just come from a three-day cycle tour of the Mekong Delta where we got utterly rained out and stayed in some very odd homestay properties. Budget aside, the thought of a pool and spacious rooms with crisp clean sheets and western-style bathrooms was very, very appealing. I sent off a booking enquiry on the hotel’s website.
The hotel has single, double and triple rooms with or without pool views. They also have interconnecting double rooms for families. For the princely sum of US$70 per night we stayed in one of these. That’s $17 each for two full rooms. Each room actually sleeps three (one king, one single) but that just meant that my boys didn’t need to share a bed. We felt like kings. (The room rate also includes a generous breakfast).
The Central Boutique Angkor hotel is a 5-minute tuk-tuk ride from downtown Siam Reap. It’s in a quiet neighborhood with a couple of backpacker hostels and the French-style Sala Bai Hospitality School nearby. The property is down an unpaved side street – which might make you a little nervous – but once you’re through the gated entrance, the peaceful garden setting seems to emanate calm.
The rooms are spacious. The linens literally gleam. There are some Cambodian decorative accents but everything is stylishly understated. Rooms have TVs with cable, free wifi and coffee-making facilities. The bathrooms are a dream. OK, maybe they’re just a dream if you’re coming from budget-backpacker-land. The large tiled bathroom has an American-style tub and shower. There’s a hair-dryer, refrigerator, safe deposit box and (whoo-hoo!) bathrobes.
The friendly owners live on-site with their vivacious little girl. We found the staff welcoming and helpful for everything from ordering food to booking onward transportation. There’s a small restaurant on site where you can get Khmer and Western food. Our kids ate there every evening and we felt comfortable enough with the hotel overall to leave them at the hotel while we went out for a date night dinner.
The pool was where we lounged after our dawn visit to Angor Wat and all the next day as we took a break from our travels just to enjoy this peaceful garden oasis.
If you are visiting with very young children, be aware that the hotel does not have any pool guards or alarms but the hotel does have baby-sitting services on request.
The Central Boutique Angkor Hotel provides pick-up services from the airport (and the bus station if you’re traveling cheapo-style like we were). The drivers will also do tours to Angkor Wat. There are a lot of hotels in Siam Reap but this one is a great base for visiting this area or just relaxing between temple rambles.