I had high expectations of Gloria Hotel from all the great reviews on trip advisor, but they just didn’t deliver. The first night arriving from Phnom Penh at 9PM, we took a tuk tuk to the hotel where after waiting to check in (about 30 minutes while they attended other people) and explained temple tours, the front desk informed that their restaurant was closed, and their free tuk tuk service (from 6pm-10pm) was no longer running. A tuk tuk can run you about 2-3 USD, for a ~15 minute ride into town. This is VERY expensive, although the standard, for a town where a budget room could go as low as 8USD a night. First issue, though not that big a deal, became the first of many.
Upon arriving at the room, we were given a two twin bed room instead of deluxe (full size bed) room, as was booked. Pulling out the reservation, we verified this, to which they responded that it was not the case, but that nonetheless they would change our room the next day as a "courtesy". This never happened and we decided to let it go instead of making a big deal and complaining (problem #2)
The second day, taking a tuk tuk service offered at $13 for all day service to the temples at Angkor, the driver who did not speak much English, did not like that I tried to squeeze in as many sites as I wanted in one day, and upon completion tried to charge $18. After going in to go over the tour, the manager agreed that I should only pay $13. (problem #3). The man was not reprimanded or visibly fazed by my confrontation. Apparently they try and swindle you on a regular basis. Losing faith in the capacity of the management, I went over the next day's schedule and secured a price to avoid any misunderstanding the next day with both driver and front desk.
Laundry service that was supposed to have taken a day (per their assurance), took two, and having had most of my garments washed, I was forced to head out the next day in the same clothes as the day before. Again not the end of the world, but my patience was wearing thin for their downright lies and miscommunication (problem #4)
The third day after a whole 10 hours of temple tours, leaving at 5am, returning at 3pm, we arrive to discover no towels in the room. I politely call to the front desk. They say "Oh yes, we will send them up," and don't. After sweating all day, with no towels, waiting two hours, I personally go to the desk to ask for towels so I can shower. I wonder, was it just our room left without towels, or is the hotel just out? They informed that they are out of laundry and that it would take 15 minutes. 2 more hours pass, and nothing. (problem #5) I finally go down again to ask for towels, at which point they were given to me at around 7:30PM. They claimed to have knocked a bit earlier, but seeing as were quietly in the room awake this whole time, I can’t see how this is possible. Another lie to shift blame away from them.
Finally, last day of tours, the tuk tuk driver informs us he cannot fit all the things I want into a day, and so we ask for a car and driver. A tour that would take about $60 for car service, as is advertised in their own printed itineraries, is attempted to be sold to me for $90. (problem #6) After asking for the name of the "company" that would be willing to do the tour, the front desk says it is a "private hire," code words for I called a guy willing to waste his whole day driving you around, with no actual expertise or experience. After being denied the company name, I go down to point at the prices they advertise, and they comply.
Simultaneously, we ask for the front desk to book a sleeper bus for the advertised $18 fare on their board, to which he says he will. On my way out, I ask if it’s been done and he says, “No, no worries, you can book tomorrow;” to which I reply, “No, you book and call now, and I wait.” After hanging up he informs that the bus company is sold out. No…Really?! Exactly why I forced him to call when he did. After this he says he can call another company that sells the EXACT same sleeper bus ticket, for $20, as it is the peak season (LIE, DO NOT LISTEN WHEN THEY TRY AND SELL anything at HIGHER PRICES). After repeatedly asking if he was sure that it was a sleeper, I reluctantly give in to the $2 up charge, being assured that this option would be our saving grace. (problem #7)
The last day, doing the tour by car, everything moves faster than discussed. Once again, we zoom through the requested itinerary, and at about 3PM, the driver asks if it is time to go home. Knowing that we have a balloon ride booked for sunset, (5:45PM) I tell him so, and he quickly calls the front desk to ask about this. Throughout the day, the driver continued to have questions about the tour (not surprisingly) not knowing what exactly was being asked of him (problem #8). Not only was this unprofessional and annoying, but it made the dynamic uncomfortable and very tense in his presence, as I felt I had to keep ordering him around in a less than polite manner to get through all the things I had requested the car for. From about 2 pm onward he seemed in quite a hurry to take us back to the hotel and this made everything rather unpleasant.
Finally after a whole day out, we arrive at the hotel to brush our teeth, freshen up, etc, before taking the sleeper bus at 12AM scheduled to arrive at 11am to Sihanoukville. Walking in after dinner at about 10:30 the front desk says, “oh, you can leave to bus now, no?” To which I say, “NO, we can leave later, I have to freshen up and get ready”. Finally leaving to the station, we arrive to realize the ticket sold was NOT what was advertised (problem #9). There is NO sleeper, no toilet, and to top it all off no one can speak English and explain the situation. Other people equally duped on this deal, start yelling at the personnel, to which one smugly responds, “Are you getting on then, or what?” Further, after asking around for what people paid, we realized we had been sold a ticket that other people paid $15 for $20 by the hotel already marking an easy target. Sitting on a horrible ride that actually stopped in Phnom Penh for an hour to switch buses (no one even knew why), the behavior of the hotel finally sunk in.
Not only did this hotel fail at every stage to deliver on anything that they sold and tried to charge for, but they further tried, and in many ways succeeded, in exploiting and overselling customers on anything when they found a chance. The “free” breakfast consisted of premade fried eggs and toast as brittle as melba toast, with none of the flavor. Flies flew around everywhere, making it a revolting experience (problem #10). This is just a microcosm of the macro picture of how this hotel operates. I would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone who wants prompt and professional service without having to worry about being treated with respect on the most basic levels. They are untrustworthy, unprofessional, and downright sleazy in the way they run their business. Stay elsewhere. I recommend toward the downtown area with easy accessibility to restaurants. You will definitely save yourself all the trouble and heartache of this truly ridiculous confrontation with everything that is wrong with humanity. If it weren’t for the beauty that is Angkor Wat, the Gloria would certainly have ruined this trip.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.