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“Amazing charming staff and lot of character”
Review of The River Garden

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The River Garden
Ranked #43 of 292 Specialty Lodging in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Stayed here for two nights without booking ahead. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

There were some intermittent issues with power and water which were explained and understandable in a developing country.

Staff were always very friendly and keen to help. Pool was truly amazing and the food, buffet breakfast and dinner were delicious.

Would recommend to anyone particularly if they are looking for something a bit further back and quiter. We will be back.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Williamdawson2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 15, 2013

This hotel came as a recommendation to us from a friend and it did not disappoint. We stayed in a garden bungalow room. The price was absolutely fantastic for what you get (included a lovely breakfast). A really great-sized room that was comfortable, clean, and had a well-working air conditioner. The hotel has beautiful, well maintained grounds -- truly a secret garden where you would have no idea you were in a bustling town like Siem Reap. Very quiet. It seemed like someone was always pruning, raking, trimming, or sweeping. The staff were wonderful with us and went above and beyond to book things for us and arrange transportation when required. Would definitely stay here again and would recommend to others.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 2OttawaTravelBugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

My recommendation would be not to risk a stay at this hotel. The pictures online look great, and many of the reviews we read before booking
were good, but you are in for a surprise when you get there. This was our experience:

1. We booked a room with ac, and it was was not working when we got there. They took 3 days to fix it. We asked for a room change in the meantime, but they couldn't do it because they were fully booked. We therefore requested a discount in the room price, and they refused that too in a very nasty way. We made this request throughout the 3 days and they would say they would consult the manager. The manager (an Australian citizen) said no, and didn't even bother to come in person to tell us. When we requested to speak with the manager upon check out, he came out in a fury and yelled at us for daring to request such a thing. He didn't even ask what the problem was or how our stay had been overall, ie. they don't care about their customers.

2. The breakfast is very poor. The basic eggs, bread (they bake it there, but it's not great), and cereal (which doesn't taste great- must be the cheapest brand?). The dining menu is good though.

3. The room had mosquitoes, which is relatively understandable given that Siem Reap is in a jungle area. However, we had to ask twice for a mosquito net before we got it, because the first request, to another Australian manager, only gave us the answer: "turn the fan on, the Mosquitos can't fly when the fan's on" (needless to say I have the bites to prove her wrong). Does she understand that if a client asks for something, they might actually want it for a reason?? Another cavet is that, since it is a mosquito infested area, it would help if the doors were properly sealed, which they weren't. There were wide cracks all around the door frame, which let all the bugs in.

4. Cleaning of facilities is superficial. A better upkeep of the swimming pool area (eg. cushions on chairs, boards around the swimming pool), lobby area and rooms would make everything look much better.

In brief, the Khmer staff is very nice, but the managers are not customer service oriented at all. They were patronizing and rude, ie. unprofessional for the hospitality sector. A shame because we were really looking forward to staying in this hotel. In the end, we couldn't wait to leave.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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3  Thank Nooriah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kulen, Public Relations Manager at The River Garden, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Hello Nooriah
you were clearly expecting that Siem Reap perform like a Five Star travel experience for you.
Travelling in a third world country presents many challenges many of which are outside of the control of the hotels and indeed the local authorities. For example electricity can be turned off for the entire city area for hours and sometimes days and this does stop air conditioning to rooms and most other things as well.
As for other "comments" made it is hard to see what you did like about Siem Reap - "dirty, mosquito infested" as you seem to describe it... maybe Siem Reap is not for inexperienced travellers.

This "review" flies in the face of all recent reviews by guests who have without exception enjoyed and taken time to comment on the the "good value", "great staff" and "lovely, air conditioned rooms" describing The RiverGarden as "A lovely hidden Gem" or "Oasis in Siem Reap" and "The Secret Garden - The price was absolutely fantastic for what you get (including a lovely breakfast)" all with 4 or 5 star ratings.

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Reviewed January 8, 2013

Our first visit to Siem Reap and cambodia. We didnt know what to expect. The river garden is a hidden gem not too close to the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap but with easy access into town by tuk tuk. We had 4 nights stay here and the staff here made it a wonderful experience. Nothing is too much trouble. Friendly, always smiling staff make your stay pleasant. Not far from the airport or Angkor, we had a guide arranged for us by the river garden and he was knowledgeable with 10 years experience. A wonderful tour, we achieved our sight seeing in 1 day we saw the major temples and it was enough for us. The freshly baked produce available here is wonderful and its like a homestay where u feel part of the family. A great valued hidden gem, we will definately return.

Room Tip: Khmer garden cottage is wonderful. A top floor tree house, Very peaceful and tranquill setting.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BijouHemingway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2012

We arrived at the River Garden at 11pm ...driving down a dusty road and pulled up at the front of a not so outstanding reception area...concerned what we were in for....we booked into our room....we were escorted behind the reception area to come across a beautiful oasis. Fish ponds, lush gardens, swimming pool and freindly staff.
We were recommended the RiverGarden by an expat friend of mine Richard.......Im hoping he received a nice bottle of wine for his troubles!!!!.....The room on the first night, had a double bed ,however, unbeknownst to Deb and Graeme, my housemate Chris was not male and by no uncertain terms were we going to share the bed lol....first thing in the morning we were offered another room with single beds.
River Garden was just what we were looking for. We had a separate chalet, with our own verandah looking out onto the swimming pool.
Complimentary breakfast included home made breads, cereal or/and omelet with fresh fruits coffee, tea and juice.
The rooms were large and clean, linen change everyday if required, Deb was very approachable and ensured our stay was pleasant.
The staff, were beautiful, they were our highlight of everyday, we became very close to them and enjoyed the time they spent with us, I will continue to stay in contact with the girls and will on my return look forward to spending my next visit at the Garden. Highly recommend the RiverGarden.

Room Tip: Room no 1 very private, set within fishponds, wooden bridge, bali hut, swimming pool.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank michele p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

This was my second stay at River Garden. We stayed in the deluxe balcony room this time around, massive area inside and out. Great air con, spotless room, though the tinted water for showering was off putting at first. We cant praise staff and management too highly, cheerful and so helpful. Whatever you do, (as well as the Temples) go on the street food tour. Mind blowing selections and a peek behind the scenes at markets and food stalls. The staff have very good English and laughed at all our jokes. Thats service !! The pool....magic, great food in suitable portions. I'd recommend this accommodation to everyone, non intrusive staff, yet intuitive and polite. Glasses of beer by the pool, refreshing water... Kim and Jules June 2012

Room Tip: Splurge, go for the deluxe balcony. Like a tree house, private, quiet, charming view of the gardens...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Juliette P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kulen, Public Relations Manager at The River Garden, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Hello Juliette - we are always delighted to have guest visit us again it simply means that we have been able to share some of the magic of Siem Reap with you and we have welcomed you back for more. Thank you for your review we are very pleased you had such a great time with us, Kulen Public Relations Manager

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Reviewed November 27, 2012

This property has a great website with what may feature photos that are a little dated. The garden and ambiance of the place is lovely and the restaurant and pool are top notch. It was clearly well decorated a few years ago, but needs a freshening up in the interiors. The painted sign behind reception is starting to peel off the wall and my room probably should have been repainted a year or two ago. Because the website was such a great marketing piece, I was a little let down when I arrived. There is an excellent guide in your room that gives you an overview of the property, explains some of the inconveniences of Cambodian infrastructure, and does an excellent job of managing expectations and was a great practical guide. Too bad some of that isn't also included in the website.

However, I had a great time and don't regret staying at this great value and charming place. The room was very clean and the laundry service was a god send as hot treks to the temples and tooling around town makes it a necessity. I did three tours with the property: Angkor Wat, Rolous Temples and Artisan Village, and Cooks in Tuk Tuks. They were all fabulous and the guides that work for the property were quite good. The cooking class was a joy and I fell in love with Khmer cuisine and greatly appreciated the informative tour provided by the owner of street side vendors and the local market. Everyone spoke English very well and service was excellent. I tipped the guide who doesn't share out of the kitty as the owner requests that tips be pooled and has collection boxes at the front desk and restaurant. I respected her request and thought it was a good system and I tipped about $25 at the end of my four-day stay based on the going rate and how much I used the facilities. Getting around was super easy and the property has about 4 tuk tuk drivers that support the guests. I had one driver, Kim, who was great. Super friendly, excellent service, taught me a lot about local life and culture, and was very proactive in anticipating needs. Airport pick up and drop off was a breeze as well.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank bigskymj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The River Garden

Address: Wayism Road | Treang Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 292 Specialty Lodging in Siem Reap
Price Range: $35 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The River Garden 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River Garden Hotel comprises 2 large traditional Khmer style Villas set in jungle gardens opposite the Siem Reap river. We are 2 minutes to the city center, 10 minutes to Angkor Wat and 20 minutes from the airport set in a vibrant local village area. The rooms are a mix of classic design and beautiful Khmer furnishings. Formerly the painting studio of world renowned french artist Michel Delacroix, the rooms are not spacious, with an ensuite and feature an inadequate balcony or patio looking over the un attended jungle gardens. Enjoy one of our 3 dining options, including a restaurant, a bakery cafe and our poolbar. Or refresh yourself in our outside swimmingpool or book a massage in our exclusive massage house near the pool. Amenities: Spacious well presented rooms, Large uncomfortable bed, Air conditioned, Ceiling fans, Cable TV, Free WIFI, Large private en-suite, Shower and shower facilities. Immaculately clean. Rates include breakfast for 2 persons. Airport, bus station or boat dock pickup $17 per 2 persons. Tours and activities, like our "Chooks in tuk-tuks" cooking classes and streetfood tours are available and recommended. ... more   less 
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