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“Warning: more straight than gay”

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Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap
Ranked #35 of 361 Hotels in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 11, 2011

I agree with all the other positive reviews - this is a gem in Siem Reap. The only downside is that it attracts more straights than gays (at least when I was there). This is fine, but a louder and prouder gay vibe would have been nice given there are so few LGBT options in this part of the world. If you go, be sure to eat lunch at the restaurant - the food is excellent.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Travelover02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worldtraveller062, Owner at Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2011

We thank you very much for your review and are happy you had a great stay. Just to clarify; Golden Banana Boutique Hotel & Resort is a gay friendly oasis and welcomes everyone regardless of sexual preference and orientation. We respect our guests and expect the same from them. (our motto from our website). Our clientele changes almost every night when guest check in or out and we never know exactly who is staying with us. That we sometimes have a somewhat more 'straight' or 'gay' client group is correct and something we cannot and will not influence and is mostly, we think, an extra reason for people to come and stay with us.

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Reviewed January 9, 2011

I stayed at the Golden Banana Bed&Breakfast, the least upmarket of the GB properties. I had planned for 5 nights, ended up staying 10. Mostly to take advantage of the fabulous relaxation offered by the hotel.

My room was just the way I love them : spacious, decorated with fine materials and art, in a thousand fine details. It had not one but two terraces - but I'll come back to that. I found the bed excellent, the sheets top quality. The room also sported real table, a flat-screen TV which I never got to turn on, a large cupboard, a fully-stocked minibar and a fan / AC. The bathroom is equipped with a giant showerhead.

Staying in a corner room, I enjoyed two terraces. A small one facing East for sunrise, and a large one overlooking the pool, equipped with a plush teakwood sunbed and numerous scented-flower plants.

When I managed to extract myself from the room, the staff took brilliant care of me. Tea at 5 am before temples, laundry ready at the crack of dawn, brilliant tuktuk driver. I asked them to investigate elephant rides, to make spa appointments for me... They never failed to deliver. There was one misunderstanding on my part, upon which the manager dropped everything and solved the matter within minutes. The cleaning staff also does wonders : rooms are spotless, as is the pool area, with fresh complimentary towels that never seem to run out. But the best thing is the smile and warmth with which you're welcomed "home" after a tiring day.

The location was exactly what I was looking for : in a popular part of town, away from the Old Market zoo but still within a few minutes' walk, a safe trip even at nighttime.

It was such a fine experience that it started me wondering what more I'd have gotten in a 500$ hotel. An elevator, surely : my top floor room felt like the Bayon after a day of temple climbing. A spa - but the Frangipani is a 10 mn tuktuk ride. A Western-style breakfast, which I don't want when I get tea, toast and a fruit salad - included - and all that gorgeous street food. A larger pool, which would be less intimate, and a bathtub, which would attract more mosquitoes.
I'm sure I'll opt for a starred hotel when the alternative sucks, but the GB is closer to my idea of a place I want to spend time in and truly enjoy. Actually, on second thoughts, it's as close as it gets to the hotel I would have liked to run if it had been my business. How many hotels can you say that about ?

A note regarding a traveler's remark below that children might feel out of place there : during my stay, there was one family with young children and it went totally smoothly. There was a constant mix of generations, geographic origins, straight and gay couples, solo women travelers...

Just a brilliant place. I wouldn't even consider staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled solo
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Thank TuktukLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2011

The best place we stayed on our honeymoon (with the exception of the Sukhothai in BKK). This place is quiet, spacious, spotless and brimming with style. We looked forward to returning to the saltwater swimming pool and our outdoor bathtub after a day temple-hopping. This is genuine affordable luxury. Stay here.

Only downside was a less-than-knowledgeable staff. When we asked for advice on the sites, the go-to response was to book an expensive car and let the driver figure it out. When we asked the front desk to change our reservation at a restaurant in town, they just plain didn't, said they did, and we arrived only to find our table no longer available. The worst was was leaving Siem Reap. We wanted to take the scenic train back to BKK and they arranged for an expensive driver, assuring us we'd make it to the train in time. We were an hour late and had to take yet another expensive cab into BKK. Just consult the guidebook poolside instead.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank micah-and-liba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worldtraveller062, Owner at Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2011

Thanks for your review and we are happy that most of your stay was pleasant. The service was not good and I am very sorry for that, we clearly have to do some extra training to some of our staff. I am not sure what went wrong but the normal procedure would be that we offer guests services at a very competitive rate, we have fixed prices and a price list so that there cant be any mistakes in that, and we for sure not try to get you too late for a connecting trip.
That it happened is not good and I really apologize for that and we will take action and retrain our staff. Our service is normally seen as exceptional and that is something we are very proud of, not this time time though.

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Reviewed January 3, 2011

Great rooms and facilities, and really friendly service. After the heat and crowds of the temples, it was so nice to come back to the laid back atmosphere of the resort. The pool was especially attractive!
Only tip is to watch out for mosquitoes in the bathroom. The first night, we were bitten a few times, but after some bug spray, we re left well alone.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ev_on_holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

This place is simply a gem of a place in otherwise hectic Siem Reap.
It is a gay friendly place so if this is not your thing stay away, but that being said it is by no means a sleazy hook up place. So sorry to my fellow gay travellers / this is not the place to go for action. It is a very elegant and above all friendly and welcoming place which I have yet to experience in many other cities. We were met by our tuk tuk driver at the airport who after a mild confusion with the spelling of our names took us on the 15 minute drive to the hotel. He spoke good english and was knowlegeable about the place, including many of the temples. So we actually used him as our driver for the next 3 days (cost US$15 / day for a full day - US$25 for the far away temples).
We stayed at the boutique resort. Definitely my preference of the properties they have. (they also have a hotel, which looks equally nice but for some reason I think the atmosphere was nicer at the resort though I didnt look much into the hotel to be honest) .
The location is great - it is on the quiet side of the river flowing through siem reap, but still only 5 minutes walk to the old market and the city centre. Absolutely perfect.
We had tried to book into the villa rooms, but they were full, so we got a 'regular suite' room.
Really nice. Elegant boutique furnishings, really clean, and with a nice bathroom and shower. The king size bed was wonderful to sleep in. While I still don't understand why they call it a suite, the room is really extremely nice. The extra treat is that all rooms have a balcony facing the pool area where there is also an outdoor bathtub and shower. Really nice after a long day of temple-trekking in the Anchor jungle.
The staff at this place go out of their way to help you in any way - be it food, drinks by the pool, organizing excursions to the jungle and the temples of Anchor. And a very nice breakfast is complimentary every day.
The price is 80 US$ per night for this type of room and it is worth every penny of it .

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nikolai69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

This is my third stay in one or other of the Golden Banana resorts at Siem Reap and it won't be the last. This is a small resort that delivers big resort standards of professionalism. But because it's small you feel immediately at home. The staff greeted us like old friends on arrival and seemed genuinely pleased we had returned. If you sit at the bar for a pre dinner cocktail (special mention for the good humoured barman Lee) you end up chatting with other guests and the owner and manager also drop by. They are a great source of recommendations for eating out etc in the town.
It's not so much gay friendly as people friendly. Typically there is a real mix, famlies, straight and gay, old and young, and as others have said nothing is too much trouble.
I haven't noticed any comments about the food they provide - we ate in a couple of times because we got chatting with other guests and we just wanted the vibe to continue . The food was excellent - good quality Khmer food and great value.
As everyone else says - great contemporary styling of the rooms and the whole hotel design, great staff, great location. The best boutique resort I know of anywhere, and it must be a huge effort to keep something like this hitting all the right buttons - yet they make it seem effortless.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank keithuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2010

Just came back from a week in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Our trip was an amazing experience from start to finish. Much of that had to do with the Golden Banana Resort. In the interest of full disclosure there were a few negatives. AC could have been better in the room (I'm incredibly heat intolerant so this is probably not going to present an issue to 99% of the people out there...my partner thought it was just fine and even with my heat intolerance I was able to deal.) Also, breakfast was slightly towards the lame side but again, acceptable. Finally, the location might be a turn off for some since it was in the older, more 'real' part of Siem Reap. Nothing dangerous or scary or anything like that. It might, however, appear a bit intimidating since the street is a little sketch looking. With that said you can walk to dozens of stores, restaurants, bars, markets, post office, grocery store, aspara shows etc. So that's the 'bad.' Here's the good: This resort is run with the guest in mind first and foremost. Everyone is so attentive and works hard to ensure the best customer experience. The restaurant was excellent. The room incredibly well appointed, decorated tastefully, comfortable and exceptionally clean. All you have to do is make a request and the staff works so hard in such a committed way to accommodate you. We typically stay in 5 star hotels when we travel and considered the Amansara, Hotel de la Paix and FCC. Something felt 'wrong' about these hotels for us mainly due to the lack of clarity regarding their role in Siem Reap and Cambodia's economic development as well as foreign ownership. It also felt wrong to rack up a hotel bill that seemed to exceed the average Cambodian's per capita GDP. So in the interest of social responsibility, we opted for the Golden Banana. My partner chose the hotel. I went in reluctantly thinking I was losing out on luxury and experience by opting for the more conscientious choice. Boy was I wrong! Sure it wasn't a five star experience, but when you strip away the pretension that's implicit to the best hotels you are left with one that stands head and shoulders above them. I also learned some great stuff from the manager about the GB's commitment to local/community economic and people development that left me really impressed. So if you want to do the right thing while having an amazing Siem Reap experience, choose this hotel. Finally, I really have to give props to the driver that we just happened to get through fortune/karma/luck. His name was Mr. Sochet and he was incredibly knowledgeable, spoke fantastic English (very conversational and really fun to talk to whole driving around the country), never pressured us to go to crazy places/shops/restaurants we didn't want to go to, quick with advice about itineraries in order to escape crowds, and generally just an all around great guy. He really made our trip a success. He even had direct, first hand, recent experience about Preah Vihear that allowed me to realize a dream by visiting this amazing temple (Think Machu Piccu of southeast asia with more relevance to recent cambodian history than you could even imagine!) With him driving (car 3 days, Tuk Tuk 2) we were able to cover most Angkor temples including Bantey Serei and Kbal Spean as well as Koh Ker, Beng Melia and Preah Vihear in a way that never felt overwhelming or rushed but instead relaxed and enjoyable from start to finish every day. And how's this for commitment: A family emergency came up making it impossible for him to drive us three days in. He arranged for a friend (David--another great driver!) to fill in and gave that friend the overview of our needs/likes/dislikes. He didn't leave us high and dry. That's really caring about the customer. So unusual these days but not at the GB!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Michael-and-Jose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap

Address: Wat Damnak, Krom 10 | Rambutan Lane, Siem Reap, Cambodia (Formerly Golden Banana Boutique Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Siem Reap
#12 Romantic Hotel in Siem Reap
#14 Business Hotel in Siem Reap
#35 Family Hotel in Siem Reap
Price Range: $57 - $112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Rambutan Resort - Siem Reap (formerly known as Golden Banana Boutique Resort) is located in a quiet pedestrian alley only 5 minutes walk from the old market and Siem Reap city center. It consists of Khmer style Villas and Deluxe Suite Rooms build around a salt water pool with waterfall settled in a lush tropical garden. Each room comes with an alfresco stone outdoor bathtub located on your own private balcony or terrace. The Resort is designed in a modern Asian style and consists all luxuries that you expect from a Boutique Design Resort. On top of all this we have: a pool-bar with unique selection of signature cocktails and new world wines, a restaurant with well trained cooking team that serves your preferred selection of Local and Western dishes, a fully functional Front Desk who can help you organize al your tours and travels and there are Spa treatments available on request! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Golden Banana Boutique Hotel Siem Reap
The Golden Banana Hotel

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