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Review of Hotel Be Angkor

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Hotel Be Angkor
Ranked #324 of 502 Siem Reap B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 7, 2010

My partner and I stayed at the Hotel BE in October 2010 and loved our stay here. Initially we stayed one night at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa as we didn’t know where to stay but immediately switched to Hotel BE after discovering it while dining at the restaurant below the hotel. Having traveled quite a bit, we know the best local experiences are found not in an international hotel chain. Out of all the other accommodation options we noted during our stay in Siem Reap, we felt very comfortable we had ‘lucked-upon’ one of the best accommodation options in this tourist town.

OPTIONS:

The rooms were exciting to view, SEPIA, BAMBOO & SAFFRON ROOM, each very different, the only hard choice was which one to select. Each room is modern in design and if our itinery had allowed, we would have stayed much longer than the three days we had available. This stay we selected the Sepia room which had a great room layout, and next time we will stay in the Saffron room, the lower cost option with a very homely feel to it. Access to each room is either by staircase or ramp from the foyer and restaurant at ground level.

LOCATION:

Located in the old market area of the town, the hotel is in the centre of everything. It is a short walk to the market, night-market, and the vibe that comes with the adjoining restaurants and bars. If you feel the need for a more local dining experience, there are plenty of low-cost establishments beside the market. While a tuk tuk generally costs $2USD for central locations, its central location means you can access most entertainment places by foot and we made definite advantage of the close-by bootleg DVD vendors.

ROOM:

We stayed in the Sepia room and we found it a great haven. The rooftop area afforded us an alfresco eating area and you could take in the local vibe each morning and evening this khmer town exudes. The room is not like the standard hotel which overcompensates with soft furnishings and instead provides a clean and comfortable layout. We noticed soundproofing is excellent despite its central location to the restaurant/bar scene.

AMENITIES:

The staff were surprising friendly and accommodating. They were able to arrange a reliable and trustworthy tuk tuk driver to visit Angkor Wat who spoke very good English and who helped us arrange travel back to Phnom Penh.

WIFI is available in each room, but this is Cambodia so don’t expect T1 internet speed. Banks (ANZ Royal Bank) and mini-marts are close-by for stocking up on the comparatively cheap consumer items. Water supply is clean, a refreshing change from Bangkok water! Other than the incredible Angkor Wat, try a visit to Miss Wong’s for one of their 3 unique cocktails.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Orbit008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 73 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2010

We have travelled across the world and stayed in all kinds of hotels, be it the luxury hotels or the basic ashrams. So even if a place has a couple of things not going right for them we can be forgiving.
But our experience at the ‘BE’ hotel was one of the worst and something we cannot forget for years to come. The people of Cambodia, Siam reap are wonderful, sporting a very pleasant smile but the staff at the Hotel Be is anything but hospitable.
The rooms here are so very basic that you feel robbed for the price you are paying. Simple attention to detail like keeping a simple dustbin, clean bathrobe etc in the room were missing.
We stayed her for just one day and were dished cold breakfast. The staff in charge was not competent to take any big decisions and had to contact the owner who was travelling and inaccessible most of the time.
Already unhappy with the experience, room, food and tariff, we were shocked to receive a mail from the owner that we could leave ‘if we didn’t agree to his terms of stay and payment’. There was no phone also in the hotel from where we book an alternative arrangement and had to find our own way at 11 in the night.
We packed our bags and left that very night but that was not the end of our problems with this place. We had forgotten a bag of toiletries back along with some food in the room and when we went to pick it up the next day were only returned the food and not the toiletries. It wasn’t the loss of a few shaving creams but the attitude and rude behaviour of the staff that would caution me from recommending it to anyone.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank DeepaliS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theonehotelangkor, Owner at Hotel Be Angkor, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2010

As the hotel owner there was no surprise to read this review as this was the presumed threat the guests made when they did not get the rate they mistakenly assumed they should receive. This guest announced themselves by email as being "young and brash" and proceeded to take it out on the staff. They booked a promotional rate for a suite (pay three nights get one night free) then downgraded to deluxe category which is not eligible for the promotion (if a business were to do such a thing it would be considered at bait-and-switch tactic). The guests argued incessantly about getting this promotion even though their email confirmation stated no such thing. Of course when they could not get the rate that they were not entitled to, they proceeded to complain about everything possible. The rates and promotions are clearly stated on our website, were clearly offered to the guest in black and white yet they did not understand. After all, would it be fair to our other guests to give this guest a special deal because they wish to insist and argue about it? It was a very disappointing case for us as we do are very best to please our guests but we are not in the position of giving away something that was never promised. I have written about this incident more thoroughly on our owner's blog which you can see on our website under "The Buzz" category (posting date August 17 2010).

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Reviewed June 20, 2010

We loved our two night stay. The owner, Martin, and his staff could not have been any friendlier or more accommodating. They went out of their way to ensure that we were taken care of and happy. There are only 3 suites in this little gem, and we were upgraded to the Sepia due to work on the Saffron we'd booked. It was spacious and modern with gorgeous sepia tone prints of the Angkor Wat temple complex. Such a perfect escape from the streets and temples. Definitely no other place like it in Siem Reap.

A restaurant, gallery and spa are conveniently located downstairs, and the building itself sits on the passage, a very cool strip of bars, shops and eateries. Yummy breakfast, waters and wifi included. For Angkor Wat temple complex, the hotel has a very good driver and guide that they can arrange, which we'd highly recommend.

We wish Martin had more hotels throughout Asia. You should absolutely stay here!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank renu-and-sam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

LOCATION
The hotel is located in a hip, bustling alley called The Passage in the Old Market area of Siem Reap. It is adjoined to the trendy McDermott Gallery and Aha restaurant. It is also walking distance to all the major shops, restaurants, markets, bus stops, ATM, and bars. By car, it is about a 10-15 minute drive to Angkor Wat. Even though you're in the middle of the Old Market's activity, the space felt private, comfortable, and serene.

SAFFRON ROOM & AMENITIES
Angkor Be only houses three, art-inspired rooms and ours is accessed through a stairwell and skyway between the gallery and Aha. The Saffron room is decorated with collages of Buddhist monks by local Filipino artist Loven Ramos. The sleek, modern room was spacious and comfortable equipped with a large platform bed, flat screen TV, wi-fi access, ipod player, mini-fridge, balcony, bottled waters, fresh fruits, and an open bathroom with rainfall shower with spa quality soaps and shampoos. There's lot of bench and seating space and small armoire to hang clothes; my only minor complaint is that I wish there was a dresser or drawers to better store clothing I could not hang. The rates also included deliciously cooked breakfasts and pick-up from the airport. Overall, a great value for the quality and highly recommended to those searching for a very unique, boutique experience.

SERVICE
The service was excellent and I can't rave enough about the staff's personal service. The owner got in touch with us over e-mail as soon as we booked and was prompt in answering any questions we had. From the moment we were greeted enthusiastically at the airport until the time we checked out, everyone made an effort to be gracious, knowledgeable, and attentive. Part of the reason why we chose the hotel is because the owner makes a point to employ Cambodians and works with the area hospitality institute for training. It's nice to know your money is going towards the local community and the employees are extremely appreciative for it. The staff was extremely accommodating in helping us plan our itinerary and setting us up with private guides and drivers. I think it's important to note that I never felt like the hotel marked up the prices for their arrangements. I did a lot of research before our trip, and the rates they quoted for guides, drivers, laundry, and spa service were all standard (if not lower than I expected) and they set us up with excellent, trust-worthy people.

AREA TIPS
I recommend dining at Chamkar a couple doors down across The Passage and trying out the adjoining restaurant Aha. Also, Blue Pumpkin cafe is a great place to pick up sandwiches-to-go for a day trip where you may want to picnic. There is also a good pharmacy on the same street as the café with everything you need in terms of toiletries and medicine. You can buy some nice spa souvenirs there by Bodia to bring home as gifts. Best of all, try to bring donations (or buy them in Siem Reap) to the Green Gecko Project. The hotel owner recommended this organization that helps gets kids off the street and visiting its amazing facility and children was one of the highlights of our trip.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank laratada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2009

My husband and I stayed here three nights - two in the Sepia, one in Saffron. Both rooms are very well appointed and the hotel staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Sepia has a great roof terrace where we enjoyed tasty breakfasts. Saffron has its own balcony. The building is in the heart of the vibrant Old Market area which was alive each night. Be warned: the noise from the revelry can float up to your windows (ear plugs are an easy remedy). The staff found us an excellent tuk tuk driver (seriously, ask for Mr. Thy) who we hired for two days. We didn't try the restaurant and bar downstairs, but it looked very sleek.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RedSpinner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theonehotelangkor, Owner at Hotel Be Angkor, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2010

If you look at our reviews you will see our location is one of our best selling points as it is certainly the most interesting and vibrant part of Siem Reap. That said, we want our guests to have a wonderfully comfortable experience. We have never had guests not wish to stay with us due to the city sounds in our location but that was not good enough for us. So, in the Saffron room we added decorative sound insulating panels, covered in beautiful Khmer silk, to offer nearly complete soundproofing. Recent guests confirmed this to me, said they could not hear a thing and slept wonderfully. So, we recently added the same panels to the Sepia suite to ensure complete comfort for our guests. The Bamboo suite is not affected as it faces an opposite direction. We love our hotel and our guests but will always look for ways to make our experience even better.

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Reviewed November 21, 2009

I agree with previous positive reviews. This is a stylish hidden gem in the center of all the shopping and nightlife in Siem Reap with impeccable service. On this trip I travelled alone thoughout Cambodia and can honestly say that this was the place I felt most at home and welcome. The staff are great and Martin the owner was always around to make sure things were ok and to have a general chat. While the hotel itself is small, the space that has been sublet to the restaurant and gallery make this a unique overall experience. My stay was very special and something I will always remember fondly.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank dsbali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2009

I have stayed in this hotel multiple times. I like the laid back atmosphere, comfortable beds, free wireless, friendly staff, rainhead shower, the close walking distance to the central market and restaurants. I am going back in September 2009.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank Okayiguess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Be Angkor

Address: On The Passage, Old Market Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #324 of 502 B&Bs / Inns in Siem Reap
Price Range: $78 - $82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel gets personal. No room numbers – just three beautifully created design experiences. Hotel Be Angkor lavishes its cherished guests with a choice of three rooms, each showcasing the work of a different locally-based artist. Hotel Be Angkor is the creative inspiration of American hotelier Martin Dishman and is a part of The One Hotel Collection. ... more   less 
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