I really wanted to give this hotel the full 5 circle rating, but my conscience just wouldn't allow me to...
Things started very well with the manager Tho Sina coming to the airport in person to pick us up. He was so understated that we didn't even realise he was the manager until later when we asked the staff who he was! If he'd made that more obvious then we could have had a more interesting conversation on the way to the hotel, but never mind.
On arrival, all the staff turned out on the driveway to welcome us, which was really nice. First impressions of the property are positive - the building is smartly renovated and architecturally appealing, and together with beautiful period furniture and some funky decorating touches make the place look very cool indeed - and we were promptly given the guided tour of the facilities, which was helpful.
Our room was also nice - fairly plain but comfortable and functional with a decent bathroom. The fact that there are only 7 rooms here means that the hotel has a tranquil, private feel to it, which we really liked. So far so good...
As part of our package we had massages included- so I'd booked these in advance for when we arrived. However, the massage room upstairs was like an oven - hot, humid and stuffy with no air conditioning so we elected to have our massages in our room (not ideal). Two sweet ladies appeared (late) with no equipment, towels or anything, and seemed a bit lost - it didn't help that they spoke no English either. It was a bit uncomfortable for us as well having a dual massage on our bed, but hey ho. In hindsight, I wish I'd never bothered with this - the girls we had were rough and fast, and chattered away to each other the whole time. Not the relaxing experience we'd hoped for...
What became apparent almost immediately was how stuffy and hot the hotel is, and in particular the bedrooms. The air conditioning units take a long time to cool the room down and it's unbearably hot in the common areas - except for the little balcony above the bar which is nice for a drink at sundown. In cooler months this wouldn't be a problem, but for us it was uncomfortable.
Also, previous comments on Tripadvisor about the dogs and roosters did not prepare us for the cacophony of noise late at night and early in the morning - luckily we had earplugs, but if you don't, you can be sure that crowing roosters will wake you from about 4am - fine if you're getting up for a sunrise tour, but otherwise unbearable.
The big plus for this place is the staff - everyone we dealt with was helpful and respectful to a fault. Always lots of smiles from Lita at reception, Heang who appears to be everywhere at once and seems to be the happiest bloke on the planet, as well as the super-friendly bar dude and the lovely guy who serves breakfast.
The other great thing is the free on-demand tuk tuk service, which meant we could go where we wanted when we wanted - except for one major problem, which is that one of the drivers had no idea where he was going at all, ever. The first night we used him he got lost trying to find a restaurant, and stalled the motorbike going up a small rise, and then almost fell off it - which freaked out my lady companions. The second time we used him was even worse - a 7 minute trip took him an hour because he again couldn't find a restaurant, despite having the directions before we left the hotel, and me calling the restaurant 4 times so they could explain to him where it was. He fell off the motorbike again and nearly spilled us all out. Time for a complaint to Lita, and from then on we had a much more competent driver.
There were also other minor service niggles, like asking for a sheet (because it was too hot to sleep under the duvet) and not receiving it, which meant we had to untie the duvet from its cover and just use that. But overall the great attitude of the staff made up for minor glitches.
Food at the hotel is decent - we only had breakfast even though our package included a complimentary dinner (we didn't fancy hanging around the hotel for dinner when there are so many great restaurants around), and the omelettes are very good. However if you go for an 'American' breakfast you will find your sausages and ham are processed, bright pink and off-putting. The coffee is also verging on being terrible - it's dark and rough - we only drank it because there was no alternative, but a small investment in a proper coffee machine would be a big bonus.
I would like to have talked about all these things to Tho Sina, but we never saw him again after he dropped us off from the airport. The staff told me that he's busy in town setting up a new travel agency. Shame, this place needs some focus and attention if it aspires for excellence.
If I came back to Siem Reap I wouldn't stay here again even though we really liked many aspects of this place. Instead I'd opt for something more upmarket - it's true that you get what you pay for...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.