This little Gem of a property is not well known by the local tuk-tuk drivers, so getting instructions written down might be a good idea (although I managed tolerably well with the small map written on the room key holder).
I much preferred being in this central location where I could walk to interesting sights than being in one of the mega resorts along the airport road.
The hotel is tastefully decorated in local woods which gave it a pleasant Cambodian ambience.
The owner Darryl regularly chats with the guests and is keen to know what's right and wrong, so I expect continual improvement on an already strong base.
The front of house staff (bar and dining service members also) are nothing less than spectacular. I must particularly commend Po Napha as being one of the most engaging and efficient FOH agents I have seen in quite some time. Nothing was too much trouble and she learnt guests names and greeted them personally when they entered the property. She was also responsive and timely in managing the many email contacts we had prior to my arrival.
Please don't take any of the criticisms in this review as detracting from the property. This is Cambodia, and as such you can't expect the same service as in Las Vegas. I was surprised (but not greatly so) by the fact that Amex is universally *not* accepted in Cambodia. Bring another card or be disappointed. I couldn't even use it in the Airport duty free.
Since this is a smaller property, they don't appear to have a backup generator or regulator for the electricity supply, so I would recommend bringing your own powerstrip for powering/recharging devices.
The shower was also a bit complex to figure out, but by the last day I had got it. It seems you need to wait quite a while (5 mins) for the hot to reach full pressure and then you need to adjust the temperature.
The local guide I had for the trips arranged was not the best available. Others are more committed to enhancing the Cambodian experience of their guests. Having visited many sites at a variety of locations I would probably recommend that you just get several good guide books and arrange a local driver or for visits within the Angkor Complex just engage a Tuk-Tuk driver, rather than engage a guide. The tuk-tuk driver won't guide you, but he'll stick like glue to you for a whole day and wait at the appointed spots. He'll usually also be there the next morning waiting for you if you want :)
Heart-breakingly the young children frequenting some of them temples have learnt so much from listening to the guides that they can mimic them to a high degree. Please don't be tempted to reward them as they should be in school rather than being the very effective tourist $1 begging machines that they are. Give your heart to the rest of the country rather than the industrialised tourist milking. There are many legitimate charities that you can donate to on your return home (but please do).
Back to the hotel. The pool is pretty much an afterthought. Next to the bar and hedged in from the street. I didn't use it. If you want pool days, this is probably not the place to come.
The bar and restaurant are acceptable, but there are many better options within easy walking distance.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent property for the money (booked through Expedia) and unless you are looking at spending megabucks for some of the very exclusive (and pretty amazing, often with less than 10 rooms) boutique hotels in Siem Reap, I think this is a good choice. I'd certainly rate it over a 5 star megaresort hotel unless you intend to go everywhere by tour guided coach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking the picturesque easy flowing river and historical old French quarter of Siem Reap, Angkor Sayana Hotel & Spa is the latest addition to the Cambodian boutique accommodation sector. ... more less
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