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“Great garden, pool, location--too expensive”
Review of The River Garden

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The River Garden
Ranked #54 of 313 Specialty Lodging in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2010

This was my second visit to River Garden and I don't know what happened to the prices, but they went way up. I missed the candlelit walk (replaced with bright lights directed somewhere toward the tree tops and my eyes).

The food is good, the staff wonderful, the setting spectacular. And the village area around is delightful--

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank NancyLee_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 29, 2010

Spent 8 days with the family and staff of River Garden in Siem Reap including Christmas Day. We were welcomed at the airport by Mr. Soc who was one of our ongoing tuk tuk guides during our stay. Deb and Glen were wonderful hosts, as were their daughters. The staff were helpful and nothing was too much hassle. Having English speaking owners made things easier but it wouldn't have mattered if they were away, because the staff did a great job of making us all feel welcome, particularly our kids who were 12, 10 and 7.5. We were given great directions to local attractions that were popular and not so popular. Our trip to The Barray as made all the better by being told to take something for the local kids, which we did. Bananas. They were quite taken aback that we had a gift for them and even though we did end up buying some of their trinkets, we were struck by their pleasant blessings and conversations. If I was to return to Cambodia (and oh so hope this will happen soon), then i WILL be staying back there if nothing more than to eat the chocolate brownies.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank UrbanDrifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2010

For my trip to Cambodia with my Father, I did extensive research into hotels in each city we visited. While I was traveling Southeast Asia for a summer, he was only coming for two weeks and I wanted to make sure it was a special trip. I was really impressed by the photos of Viroth's but they only had rooms with one bed, so I went with my second choice, Lonely Planet recommended River Garden.

When we arrived we were a bit disappointed to see that the hotel was under construction, an understandable and unavoidable fact of life for hotels, but still not the greatest thing to arrive to. The lobby was totally under construction and even a bit hard to access. That aside, the room and bathroom were beautiful, as were the grounds and the pool. I would recommend they add better lighting to the grounds at night though, and in the meantime bring a flashlight. Also bring bugspray, they can be nasty by the pool, which is fantastically refreshing after a morning at the temples.

I really liked the location of this hotel, being a bit removed and out of town allowed us to see so much more about how local people live, but we were still close enough to town to enjoy the restaurant and nightlife scene. I do recommend this hotel, with previously stated reservations.

I blogged about other hotels we stayed in and our trip extensively. You can read my angkor reviews and tips and more at: [--]

  • Stayed: June 2009
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Thank alexinwanderland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2010

On the outside, the River Garden is a tropical oasis. With a jungle pool, lush gardens, and a communal room with books, toys and dvds (great for kids), i really thought it was going to be a winner. Add to that a free upgrade on arrival to a family room and a low season price of $US25 (not including breakfast)...but it just didn't cut it. The previous place we stayed (River Village Manor) didn't have a pool or beautiful gardens, but in the end I found the hospitality much more sincere.
The food at River Garden is superb, though small portioned and crazy expensive (even for a tourist town like Siem Reap). Staff at the restaurant are wonderful, and very accommodating (especially considering my three year old boy insisted on being an absolute terror the entire time we were there) but I think there needs to be alot more clarification about what's included in the room rate and what's not. Also, if you're planning on taking daytrips, make sure you liaise directly with the tuk tuk drivers and not with hotel itself. The drivers don't get paid immediately and the hotel takes their commission, meaning the poor guys get even less.

i think if we'd ended up staying in the original room (standard double) I booked, we would have been sorely disappointed and felt ripped off. With the free upgrade though, I really can't whinge too much.

all in all, can't say i'd recommend this place, even with its surroundings and eco-friendly practices.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank PhoebeandMarty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2010

This is a great little hotel. It's not at the flash end of town so initially you may be a bit shocked when the tuk tuk drops you off. Ignore the street frontage as it's what's inside the gate that makes it all worth while. We did have the best rooms (deluxe with huge balcony) so can't comment on the other rooms. Nice pool (not huge but very refreshing)and beautiful gardens. Plenty of seats in gardens to sit around chatting and day beds to laze on. Beautiful food and you can see them cooking it and presentation is excellent. A highlight of our trip was the Cooks in Tuk Tuk tour where we were shown around a bit of Siem Reap, taken to the market and then back to the restaurant for a cooking lesson which we participated in and then got to eat. Also included a booklet of the recipes and some extras. Great value for $US25.
Beer cheap, Australian wine available at reasonable prices, cheap internet access.
What makes this place special (as well as the lovely gardens) is the staff. They are attentive, friendly, enjoy a joke and will help with organising any extra trips or things you want to do.
There were a couple of minor maintenance issues we talked to the staff about and which they are on to, but nothing that impacted on our stay.
If you like small, intimate, boutique type hotels this is the one for you.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank leonjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2010

Hello,

I actually agree with all the good comments this place receives, it's absolutely beautiful and the staff is very friendly and helpful. Just one thing: at night all the frogs come out of the little lakes and they even enter the restaurant, so if you have a frog-phobia, as I do, it's very uncomfortable. The swimming pool is with salted water, so the frogs don't swim in it luckily. I recommend this place to anyone,except if you have a problem with frogs. Because they were literally everywhere!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Harlinde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2010

i was also mislead by the LP review of this place... if you can, avoid staying there. there is SO much more and better to chose from in Siem Reap that you should not even consider this place. to start with, it is far from everything. yes, you can get a tuk tuk to move into town, but forget about a nice walk. at night time, there's virtually no lighting around. the website is great, it is a super marketing tool, but it does not reflect reality.

i stayed in the khmer cottage which is AVERAGE. there's plenty of mosquitoes, the bathroom is outside and not in the best condition. for 55 USD... you can get a VERY decent room elsewhere. the internet connection is weak and not reliable so, if you need to stay connected, also stay elsewhere. i ended up moving to a different hotel much better that the rivergarden for a cheaper price. in SR there are plenty plenty of last minute deals, so consider (specially during the low season) waiting til the last second to book.

as some other reviews mention, the tours offered are an absolute rip off. you can get cheaper for exactly the same. also bear in mind that all the prices on the website, although it is not stated, are for tours of minimum 2 people. so, 90 USD for a tour around the 'jungle temples' turns into 115 USD for a single traveller... a rip off.

as for the staff, i must say that i found some extremely friendly and helpful people at the rivergarden, but in general the staff is not too keen on providing a great service.

so my advice, GO ELSEWHERE.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank nihontrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kulen, Market Manager at The River Garden, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2010

The Management wish to advise that we have little tolerance for guests who verbally abuse staff over their misinformed expectations not being met. The calm approach they took is to their credit faced with a barrage of issues presented by this guest. Being a 3rd world country street lighting clearly is something everyone looks forward to but is not a reality when people are trying simply to get by and clearly a government issue as is internet connection relaibility and speed where the local telecos continue to struggle to maintain services across all of Cambodia.
Mosquitos are a tropical climates fact of life that is tackled by regular spraying and we feel that experienced and knowlegable travellers have no difficluty in managing themselves and maintaining a flexible and understanding outlook whislt travelling through poorer nations than their own.
We take this opportuntity to thank all of people who have taken time to write a review. We will make the most of these opportunities to improve our services and facilities and pass on your thoughts and good wishes to our hard working and loyal staff and team members,
Kulen
Marketing Manager.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #54 of 313 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
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