Saem swung between a high 4 and a disappointing 2
As we walked out of Customs we were met by a polite (and very smiley) representative from the hotel. We were quickly ushered to a clean and comfortable minibus and offered ice cold bottles of water on our 20 minute transfer to the hotel (which included our first view of Angkor Wat). Check-in was quick and smooth, and despite arriving mid-morning we were quickly taken to a lovely room, with everything explained (including pointing out Angkor Wat in the distance from the balcony outside our room). The room was spacious and included a small balcony over looking the swimming pool. The room service was reasonably priced and tasty. So far, a definite high 4
The not so good
On the first evening we discussed our plans with the staff at the front desk and booked a tuk tuk for 7.15am the following morning. Although the 'booking' was sribbled down on what looked like a scrap bit of paper, we had no reason to doubt the hotel (everything had been brilliant so far). Unfortunately the following morning, there appeared to be no record of our booking .... so by the time we managed to explain that we had definitely made a booking and they then found a tuk tuk driver, we were much later than hoped at starting our sightseeing.
That evening, during our chat with the staff at the front desk, we explained that our tuk tuk driver would be collecting us at 5am for sunrise at Angkor Wat. They offered to have a breakfast box prepared ... excellent idea! Unfortunately it was again 'booked' on a scrap bit of paper. So no surprises that the following morning, the staff at front desk had no idea what we were talking about ..... but annoyingly tried to bluff by pretending the chef was just finishing the pancakes. After waiting 20 minutes ..... when we finally opened our breakfast boxes 2 hours later, they contained a slice of white bread, a pot of butter, a pot of jam (but nothing to spread these with), 2 tiny pastries and a tiny piece of fruit ..... definitely not impressive and most definitely not worth the 20 minute wait at 5am!
I really wanted to award Saem a solid 4 .... the staff were friendly (although many struggled with English) and always enthusiastic, the breakfast was tasty and varied (excluding the disastrous breakfast boxes of course)and overall the hotel really was as charming. However, the hotel is really let down by it's poor booking system - a definite need for improvement where tourists are only visiting for a short period of time trying to pack in as much sightseeing as possible.If this can be resolved, Saem is definitely a consistent very high 4!
A few other useful things to know:
The front desk staff during the day were efficient and spoke good English so i would suggest making any bookings during the day (dont leave it until late evening like us!)
The hotel is slightly out of town but only a $2 tuk tuk ride away
The hotel offers a fairly reasonably priced laundry service but if you have more than a few items, there is an excellent laundry service outside the hotel gates .... $1 for every kilo (our t-shirts are the softest they've ever been!)
When sightseeing, all the tour groups seem to start early morning ..... the temples are all quieter at lunchtime (if you can handle the heat) and quietest late afternoon (when all the tour groups seem to have finished).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Saem Siemreap Hotel is equipped with premium room amenities and facilities and services, according to Hotel Five Star Standard. Its elegant and unique Khmer architecture is boosted with cool and fresh air, flower fragrance and a salt-water pool at the center. Every service point is just a few steps away to give its residents perfect convenience in a relaxed atmosphere.This hotel is a newly opened 78-room luxury property just 5 minutes from the national museum, night market and pub streets and about 7 km drive from the airport and the Angkor UNESCO Heritage Site. It is designed and professionally operated to provide its residents excellence in care and hospitality. ... more less
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