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“Friendliest staff and an ethical owner”

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Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Ranked #121 of 342 Hotels in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Friendliest staff and an ethical owner”
Reviewed January 24, 2009

I stayed at the Soria Moria from January 5th to 13th ( If Miss Sokha or Kristen are reading this, it's Elizabeth from Room 403 :) ) and I loved every minute from it, so I'm surprised to read the negative reviews here.

The hotel arranged my tuk tuks every day ( $1 into town, which wasn't my idea of a mark up, especially when I would get a tuk tuk back to the hotel and was usually always charged $2). They also arranged my tours and I thought the prices were extremely fair and reasonable. The guide they arranged for Angkor Wat was great, as was the regular driver for all my tours. He always had a cooler in the tuk tuk with cold water and cold wipes for when I came out of each Temple and he would see how hot I was. .... I didn't see any other tuk tuk drivers with coolers etc. He also brought maps and guidebooks along for me...very thoughtful.

When I went out to Tonle Sap, Miss Sokha from the hotel called the driver when we were en route and he passed the phone to me; she just wanted to warn me about the scam some of the boats try on tourists and was adamant that I shouldn't buy the books for the school. I really appreciated her doing that as I would probably have fallen for it.

I particularly liked the ethical management and support of the local community... there was a strong sense of social conscience throughout the hotel which was great to see. I feel strongly about going to countries like Cambodia as a tourist and only thinking of what I'm getting out of it; I hope I'm also supporting the local community as a responsible tourist and not just the corporate sector. Kristen supports her staff with great training, ensures all products in the hotel (furniture, soft furnishings, staff uniforms etc) are made locally. There's a flyer in each room detailing exactly how the hotel supports the local community and it's extensive.

The breakfast was good... if people want 5 star breakfasts they should stay in 5 star hotels (and pay the 5 star prices too). There was always the standard dishes of fresh fruit and a couple of juices, tea and coffee, toast and baguettes with various jams etc, salad, a couple of cereals, and about 5 or six different hot items every day (omelets, boiled/ fried eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, potatoes etc)...what more do you want?? I thought it was very fair value for the room rates.

The dinner for the Apsara dance on Friday night was great.... two different set menus to choose from for either $8 or $10, and that was for 3 courses. The dancers were just fantastic and they only ask for a donation to support their school (unlike the Raffles hotel where dinner and dance is $33). The Wednesday night special of all tapas dishes and all drinks for $1 each is excellent value, and I was always given a complimentary plate of a hot baguette and aioli as well.

The hotel is only a 5 minute walk from the Old Market (10 for me because I'm slow!!... and it was so very hot) but it was nice to be just across the river, away from the noise of the bars at night.

I understand that people get upset when things go wrong, but we also have to understand that we all make mistakes... I don't believe for a minute that the Soria Moria staff would do anything to deliberately upset a guest. This is the first time in 24 years of travelling that I've ever written a thank you card to hotel staff. They were so lovely...from the doorman, to reception staff, the wait staff in the restaurant etc...everyone was warm and friendly and took an interest in my visit. When I came into the hotel every day, Miss Sokha would greet me by name and ask how I had enjoyed my tour/ helicopter ride/ massage etc...she would remember what it was I planned to do that day.

I also saw how a staff member handled a mouthful of loud abuse from a guest at breakfast one morning...he was complaining to her about something that had happened to him in a different part of the hotel the day before and that she didn't even know about (but everyone in the breakfast room sure heard about it). The staff member there listened with far better grace and manners than she was experiencing.

The only thing I didn't like wasthat there was no in-room safe. Thee were lockers in the foyer that guests could use so it was my choice entirely not to make use of them.

I loved my stay here and was sad to leave.

  • Liked — great staff, big room, quiet area, promotion of responsible tourism
  • Disliked — no in-room safe
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank yoyouws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Eze-sur-mer France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2009

I agree that the hotel is not a boutique hotel as such, but for the price you pay, the service given, the staffs approach, the good breakfast, the friendly atmosphere it is a GOOD option to stay in Siem Riep. Location is perfect, the rooftop terasse cosy. Food is OK, but then again you have hundreds of restaurants 7 minutes walk away. The scandinavian managers are cool and very helpful if you need any kind of recommandations as for travelling on in Cambodia.
They also support a childrens home, a well-foundation and more. Just do it!

  • Liked — The friendly atmosphere
  • Disliked — no pool
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Charlotte69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2009

A wrong choice.

In our visit to Vietnam and Cambodia everything was excellent except the hotel Soria Moria. At first they forgot to pick up us to the airport, for the simple reason of which the day previous to our arrival a person with a name similar to that of my husband called cancelling a eservation, the personnel cancelled ours, without verifying either the surnames or any other information.

Last day, when we went to pay the account it had charges of the restaurant that we had never realized, since we had never had dinner in the hotel... etc...

As for the room the hotel is not bad, anyway the photos of the web not fit with the reality, and the breakfast is a miser.

Summarizing: I think that Siem Reap is a place with a wide hotel offer therefore avoid this hotel.

  • Liked — situation
  • Disliked — staff and cleanness
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MissisFog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
108 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2009

I liked the place but it did not live up to my expectations as a boutique hotel as branded. The location is good, slightly out of the center but less then 10 min walk. The hotel is brand-new and rooms a spacious, well working AC.

However, to call it boutique hotel is a bit of a stretch. Design is not cluttered but traditional. Lightening in rooms is poor and to have a second chair in a double room would have been nice.

Breakfast is okay but most of the time something was missing and you waited for the staff to refill it.

Staff is helpful with tours and tuk-tuk drivers, but their price list is much higher then what you would pay if you asked a driver outside of the hotel yourself. While they have info on many trips advertised I was a bit annoyed that they posted a trip to the silk farm (i think tuk-tuk for around $15) omitting the fact that there is a free shuttle bus from town.

All in all our stay was nice, but I would probably try another place next time, preferable with pool.

  • Liked — location
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Wolrdwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sreytin, Manager at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 3, 2009
I have noticed that there have been a few comments regarding Soria Moria and the term “Boutique Hotel”. Many people have something specific in mind when they think of the term – and I thought I’d clarify why we have chosen to position our self as a boutique hotel.

I thought it would be natural to start with some industry terms and definitions before I go on to explain our approach.


What exactly is a boutique hotel?

The definition of “boutique hotel” varies amongst the hotel industries primary players.

One industry definition of a boutique hotel is:

“A smaller hotel, often in a historic building. Although there is no hard-and-fast rule, a boutique hotel will generally have fewer than about 100 guest rooms. Boutique hotels are known for offering a much more unique guest experience than the typical large, corporate chain hotel. A boutique hotel can be a good compromise between a large hotel and a bed & breakfast.”

There are other similar definitions available. Many people associate boutique hotels with “lifestyle hotels” or “design hotels” which certainly could be one type of boutique hotel…

However, even if there are no clear definition, the majority of boutique hotel operators, creators and owners can all agree on the following primary features/characteristics of a boutique hotel:

• The first characteristic is the size of the hotel
• The second characteristic being the architecture and/or design
• The third characteristic is the atmosphere of the hotel, with focus on personalized service and concern for the well being of the customer
• The fourth characteristic is Theme of the hotel.
• And the last characteristic is the target market (independent travelers, usually between late 20-50)


The reason Soria Moria has chosen to be profiled as a boutique hotel is

Our Size & Location & Target Market & Personalized service: Soria Moria is a small hotel, with only 38 large, bright and well maintained rooms, located in the town center – as opposite to the majority of the hotels in Siem Reap lined up along road 6, with 150 rooms ++ catering mainly to groups and package tourists. Soria Moria caters to individual travelers and small groups, as well as long term stays (1-6 months). We try our best to follow up on each guest individually. Knowing that every guest is different and have different demands we are happy tailor make tours on request to suit the individual traveler’s requirements. Being so small, we are able to have personal contact with our guest, give personal advises and even involve guests in community projects or participate in local celebrations if they wish to join. Many leave us as good friends that we stay in regular touch with.

Our Architecture & Design & Theme: Set in a colonial style building, Soria Moria has since the opening stage been very selective when choosing our suppliers of interior and decorations. Both to give it a personal touch – but more importantly: whenever possible, we use suppliers which have a direct impact on people’s lives and as such, improve their life chances. We believe in supporting these organizations to assist them to become self sustainable.

Bellow you can read some examples of how we have selected the design and decorations in our hotels interior:

The Iron Workshop (training project for disadvantaged young men):
All furniture at our rooftop bar (tables, chairs, barstools and lamps) have been specifically designed for Soria Moria and handmade to us to by the Iron workshop. The Iron Workshop has also made all furniture for our outdoor restaurant. This includes the fence, all tables, chairs, candleholders, menu stand and the torch burners for the entrance.
(Why: The Iron Workshops goal is to train young men in a trade, who may otherwise, may not have had the opportunity to secure employment. It aims to be self sustainable, offer professional training to the beneficiaries and support the Sangkheum Center. Soria Moria supports the Iron workshop by purchasing their products. )

The Silk Lab (training project for disadvantages young women):
All the colorful silk decorations in our bedrooms and all the decoration in the corridors and the Fusion Kitchen has been exclusively designed and produced for Soria Moria by the Silk Lab, in a mixture of traditional Khmer with a touch Scandinavian simplicity. Each floor has a different color scheme.
(Why: The Silk Lab, similarly to the Iron workshop, has been developed to assist the underprivileged women of Pouk District in the Siem Reap Province to get a skill, and a sustainable income help support their families. What we believe is the most important factor is that all profits the Silk Lab receives will go back to support the Sangkheum Center for Children. Soria Moria supports the Silk Lab by purchasing their products and by selling their products in our hotel)

Handicrafts training project:
All the cute handmade baskets from you will find in our bathrooms are purchased from the Sangkheum Center for Children.
(Why: As a part of the Sangkheum Centers training program all youths learn to make traditional Cambodian handicrafts. Soria Moria purchases baskets so they can continue making more)

Stone Carving Trainees - Kampong Thom province:
You will find all of Soria Moria’s rooms, and corridors are decorated with traditional handmade stone carvings.
(Why: We haven chosen to purchase traditional products made by Cambodian trainees from Kampong Thom in order to support their training and that this particular art remains part of Khmer culture.)

LHA - Life and Hope Association:
You will find all the Soria Moria staff uniforms, as well as the Fusion Kitchen’s linen is tailor-made by Life and Hope Associations’ sewing project.
(Why: Life and Hope Association (LHA) is a Cambodian non-profit, non-governmental and non-political organization, established by the young Monks of Wat Damnak here in Siem Reap. The goal of the Association is to improve the lives of orphans, vulnerable children and disadvantaged people, in order to give them HOPE in LIFE and the prospects of a better future. One of their projects to achieve this goal is to provide vocational training in sewing and tailoring.)



I understand that different people have different opinions regarding what a boutique hotel is. I hope this will clarify what we at Soria Moria mean by the term, so that we can avoid confusion or disappointment from those that have other expectations.

There are also other boutique hotels Siem Reap, and if you have something specific in mind – I suggest that you might want to research all of them to find one that suits your expectation.

We value feedback from our customers, and take it seriously, and we eager to improve.

Based on customers feedback, we do have plans to add more amenities to the rooms – however it is not possible to complete in the high season when the hotel is fully booked. This will be done in the low season.


I hope this was helpful.


PS. For those who are specially interested, a very interesting article called “What exactly is a boutique hotel?” by Kobrun Vidisdottit ( Manager of 101 Hotel, which is one of the most premier boutique hotels in Reykjavik) can be found on this link http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Exactly-is-a-Boutique-Hotel?&id=771281
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Siem Reap
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 14, 2009

I moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia November 2007, and the first 3 months in Siem Reap I chose to live at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel.

I booked my stay through direct contact with the owner of the hotel, because when I booked the hotel had not yet opened!!

When I arrived at Siem Reap International Airport I was picked up in a tuk tuk by a driver from the Soria Moria Hotel and taken straight to the hotel.

Arriving at the hotel was a great experience, the staff working at the front desk are so helpful and welcoming, and they really go out of their way to make you feel as comfortable as possible!!

The rooms are spacious, bright and really clean!!
And that`s not a common thing in Asia and a luxury to find at such good prices as well!

The Rooftop Bar is a great place to relax, have a drink and maybe something to eat. There is also a jacuzzi on the other side of the bar area..an amazing place to watch the sunset from!!

The restaurant serves wonderful tasting food from different countries as well as traditional khmer food, and the staff are just so friendly!!

The owner of the hotel is an amazing woman from Norway, and she really knows how to meet the wishes of the tourists and guests staying at the hotel, as well as the ones not staying at the hotel!

They have great events for social gatherings every night..some of them are :

Tuesdays are Ladies Night, where champagne or wine is served in the Rooftop Bar, and you can meet and talk with other women travelling or women who are living in Cambodia.

Wednesday is One Dollar Night in the downstairs restaurant, all Tapas and drinks for only ONE dollar each.
This is an extremely popular night at Soria Moria:)

And on Fridays they have Apsara dancing, a traditional Khmer dance performed by amazing children from Sangkhum Center for Children, an orphanage located on the outskirts of Siem Reap!
You can also visit this orphanage and other projects around town,the manager will help you arrange it!!!

The hotels location is perfect, only a 5 minute walk along the beautiful riverside and you`re in the heart of Siem Reap..with Old Market (Phsa Chas), and all the restaurants and famous Bar Street!!

The hotel is located on Wat Bo Road, a busy road in the daytime, but there is no noise at night, and you`ll get the sleep you need!!!

I would recomend staying here for anyone who wishes to see Siem Reap the best and the most comfortable way possible.

You can ask the staff any question, and they really do what they can to help you!!
And the wonderful owner of the hotel really knows everything there is to know about Siem Reap, and Cambodia in general!!

Hope this was a helpful review, and if you have any questions..just ask :)

  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank SreyDoidt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
81 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2009

Friendly, helpful, competent staff. Hotel buys primarily Cambodian made products and subsidizes the staff's language education. Room was large and bright. Breakfast substantial and tasty. Nice rooftop patio and bar for sunsets. Easy walk into town for restaurants and shopping. For restaurants, we enjoyed Amok and Khmer Kitchen. Walk across the street to arrange tuk tuk transportation if you'd like to avoid the hotel's markup.

  • Liked — Staff. Large, bright room.
  • Disliked — Slow Internet access. Single computer in lobby for entire hotel.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MikefromSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
152 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2009

I spent three nights with two friends at the Soria Moria in January 2009. We requested three single beds which were provided as requested. The room and hotel was clean and the beds very comfortable. The tapas menu was really nice and can be enjoyed on the top floor in the evenings with cheap beer if one makes use of the daily "happy hour". The hotel staff were friendly and very efficient and have clearly been trained very well. The hotel is a short walk to town or a 1 USD Tuk Tuk ride. Free airport transfer was provided on our arrival and a very good driver provided to visit the temples at a good rate. The hotel doesn't have a pool, possibly the only draw back of our stay. Would highly recommend as a great place to stay when visiting Siem Reap.

  • Liked — Staff and overall quality of the hotel
  • Disliked — No pool
  • Stayed January 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank BDBSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soria Moria Boutique Hotel

Property: Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Address: Wat Bo Road | Salakamraok, Siem Reap 063, Cambodia
Phone Number:
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Business Hotel in Siem Reap
#37 Family Hotel in Siem Reap
#56 Romantic Hotel in Siem Reap
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Soria Moria Boutique Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Soria Moria is a small cheerful hotel in the center of Siem Reap, with 38 bright and spacious rooms, establish by a Norwegian couple. Being a small intimate hotel, the Soria Moria Team is able to provide its guests with personalized service. It’s a 15 minute drive to Angkor Wat, and walking distance to the old market & the hustle and bustle of town. The hotel as an international restaurant and a Rooftop bar with great views, and there is also an open-sky Jacuzzi and a sundeck available. The initial idea behind Soria Moria was to combine a business opportunity with a strong focus on helping the community in which we work through various means. Through Soria Moria Educational Development Program the local employees have recently become majority owners of the business – an initiative to empower locals. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Soria Moria Boutique
Soria Moria Boutique Siem Reap

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