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“Stay anywhere in Siem Reap other than this hotel!”
Review of Royal Empire Hotel

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Royal Empire Hotel
Ranked #148 of 361 Hotels in Siem Reap
Reviewed January 5, 2014

My partner has already given a fairly scathing review of this hotel but it deserves two! I use trip advisor a lot when booking hotels and had seen a few bad reviews when i booked Royal Empire, but overall it seemed ok, unfortunately it wasn't!
We're pretty easily pleased when going away, I do expect good service in hospitality and I do expect cleanliness. If we pay expensive(ish) I expect a higher quality and when we travel budget then I'm 100% fine with budget....
We booked Royal Empire expecting 4*.

On Check in we were shown our room, it was big which was a positive but it smelt of damp and the silk decorative bed cushions were dirty and smelt of greasy hair. Not sure they've ever been washed.

I was pretty sure we'd booked a room with a balcony which this room didn't have, we called down to reception to ask them to check, they said they'd call us back but never did. As fairly easy travelers we weren't too fussed and also our guide for the following day had arrived at reception so we went to meet him & forgot about it.

We were on a 5.30am start the next morning, breakfast started at 6am but our guide had mentioned the hotel would sort a packed breakfast to take with us. We then asked reception and also asked if they could book us a boat to Battambang for two days time! They said yes to both, perfect.

The next morning, up at 4.30am we tried to make a coffee in our room but the kettle was broken so we went down to reception to get our packed breakfast and see if they had coffee. They had no idea what breakfast we were talking about but managed to get some bits together, the coffee was not on so early but they would make sure they fixed our kettle for later. They never did!

After returning from our trip, and after the lack of response to the balcony and now lack of breakfast we thought we'd check on our boat tickets. After several blank looks across the team we were asked "what price were we quoted?" we said we hadn't been given one as yet (but our guide had indicated it was approx $25usd so we had a rough idea)
They quoted us $44usd, we then mentioned the $25 mark and "oh yes, they were very sorry, $44 was the price to Pnomh Penh, we were right, it was $25". We later find out that a boat to Battambang in the tour operators is $23 and the cost to Pnomh Penh was $36.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to barter on the streets, go for best price etc, I'm also happy to pay $2-$3 booking charge if that's what the additional charge is. But this was a 4* front of house reception, I expect transparency on charges not to be conned.

On our last night we went to dinner in town, we had little cash left (maybe out fault) but cards are quite limited use in Cambodia so having paid for our meal in cash we were down to $5. We also have Hong Kong cards so are limited on cash points we could use and the one in town was ooo. Knowing we had another 6.30am start to Battambang we thought we'd head back to the hotel as they'd be able to help with cash! Worst mistake ever.

At first we asked could they put money exchange onto credit card having explained the machine was ooo, not they couldn't. So then we asked could they put a charge to the room (adhoc charge or misc charge) and give us the cash, no they couldn't. We then got our iPad to look up all the ATMs that would accept our card, took it to reception, could they tell us how to get there; no they couldn't! Could we use either the hotel company car (that had collected us from the airport) or hotel tuk tuk (that had dropped us in town) to drive us if WE could direct them and we'd pay when we had cash, no they couldn't!
We were told to get a tuk tuk from the street; we re explained we had no money as the atm was ooo to which reception laughed at us, this was somewhat frustrating as this was what we had been explaining for last 45 minutes.
Going to bed deflated, we realized we had some HKD so thought get up early, check out, change money and go.

Next morning, we were leaving at 6.30am so went to reception at 5.45am to change the HKD, we couldn't. We'd have to wait till 6.30 when someone else started, eventually they did exchange the money for us after we went through again what we had the night before.
On paying our room bill $5, we gave our card and was told no, card payment had to be over $20 and so we had to pay cash with money we'd literally just exchanged. Somewhat exasperated I re explained the ATM was not working, we'd been trying night and morning and could the hotel help us as we had little cash, again no they couldn't! Eventually they took our card, at now 6.25 am we ran through to get breakfast and asked them to let us know when the driver came. The driver came, they didn't let us know?!?!
We left!
I got the impression even then that staff still were expecting tips, in fact I got the impression the whole time they were nice purely to receive a tip.

Fortunately the driver that picked us up, whilst he couldn't really understand English, could understand we needed an ATM; we didn't think he'd be able to help but when we got to the boat ticket office the manager shouted "hey, you want cash, jump on my bike". Whipped us off to a cash point and all was ok within 5 minutes. He did it for free but we gave him a tip.

Hilarious that the guy we bought two boat tickets off went out of his way to be helpful yet the 4* hotel couldn't manage it once.

Faith restored, we went on to stay at a further 4 hotels across Pnomh Penh, Siem Reap & Battambang - they were all excellent, super friendly, super helpful, very sincere! Not sure whether we were just unfortunate to have a catalogue of mistakes but I was very very unimpressed by Royal Empire.

Oh and the wifi drops out every 2-5 minutes in the rooms!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Emma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 5, 2014

So, we recently enjoyed a great holiday in Cambodia over Xmas but made the dreadful error of booking the Royal Empire to provide a welcome respite from 2 weeks trekking, for what we hoped may provide a few luxurious days rest to our stay in Siem Reap.

We're firm believers in providing a balanced and objective view so here goes!

THE POSITIVES
1. The room was large

THE NEGATIVES
1. The room and the bed linen smelt stale and damp
2. The Hotel staff all but pretended my girlfriend didn't exist. When she asked a question they gave me the answer!
3. The Kettle in our room was broken, despite asking for it to be changed for one which worked on three occasions it never was.
4. There is only one bank in the town which accepts our Hong Kong bank cards. When asked for their help to get a tuk tuk to take us there all they could say was go to the one next door despite explaining at least 10 times that this was not an option.
5. Once asked if they could simply point us in the direction of the bank, they laughed in our faces turned away and looked 'busy' doing other things.
6. Upon complaining to the manager he again laughed at us.
7. AND POSSIBLY THE WORST... Asked them to book a boat to Battenbang and was asked had we been advised a price ( which we had) we said no....they attempted to charge us US $44 dollar for a US $25 dollar ticket! When we confronted them on this they again seemed very sheepish and couldn't understand us all of a sudden. Crooks.

In short, possibly one of, if not the worst Hotel experiences ever, I have certainly stayed at 2* hostels and had better service and standards at Less than a quarter of the cost of this place!

My advice to those considering booking this a Hotel, do so at you peril there are so so much better places available in the town

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brinsward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

If you are visiting Angkor Wat, go for their 4D/3N package tour. Very convenient. Excellent room. Great service. Breakfast is very good. Lunch and dinner that are included in package is sumptuous. And extremely friendly and helpful staff. This is a very good place to stay. I will vouch for this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank N K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sokmono, Sales Executive at Royal Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2013

Dear Enkayem,

Season greetings form Royal Empire Hotel!!!

First of all, let us express our faithful thanks to you for choosing ROYAL EMPIRE HOTEL for your recent stay in Siem Reap – Angkor, Cambodia.

Thank you very much for taking valued time to share your experience regarding to your stay with us, our team & myself very much delighted to read that, you enjoyed with our facilities and Cambodian young generation 's hospitality, especially, enjoyed with our 4D3N package.

Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful time with us, and hope to welcome you to Royal Empire Hotel again soon.

Best regards,

The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

I liked this hotel quite a bit. Siem Reap is a hot place, and the air conditioning worked wonderfully. That alone put it on the A list, but in addition, the rooms were large, good bedding, nice tub and shower area. A flat screen accompanied all this with international multi language programming. BBC news and HBO. Hard to beat when your passing out at night after a long day chasing ancient relics. The hotel though could use a little more insulation in the walls, as you can clearly hear the conversations of those guests coming in later than you, or leaving for that early flight in the hallway.

I wanted to try the pool out as it looked terrific, but never managed to find the time. Nonetheless, it looked very inviting, and had a bevy of tourists in it throughout my crossings. As the pool was on the way to the breakfast area after crossing through the lobby, I came across it every morning. Speaking of breakfasts, it was quite adequate. International fare, varying in quality, but some exceptional items. Coffee wasn't good, tea was much better. The omelet bar, was very good. A large number of choices were present so weather you wished Pho or eggs and bacon, you could indulge yourself.

The location was quite central to the things you would visit Siem Reap for. Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, The Angkor Museum, Pub Street, the Night Markets. A tuk tuk ride to or from Pub Street and the Night Markets was around 3 to 5 USD with tip included, and as with everything in Cambodia, the price is negotiable.

On the plus side: the hotel staff (exceptional), rooms, location, pool area, in room wi-fi (good in the room, and the lobby), included breakfast (it's average in my opinion, but any included breakfast is usually better than foraging you own meal early in the morning), the hotel bar (excellent service and good wi-fi, however spirit choices are somewhat limited)

On the downside: Some noisy neighbors that you can hear too easily.

Would I stay there again? Absolutely.

Room Tip: ask for a pool view if you'd like more quiet, street view if you want to glance upon the action...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank steve9631
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sokmono, Sales Executive at Royal Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2013

Dear Steve9631,

Season greetings from Royal Empire Hotel!!
First of all, let us express faithful thank to you for choosing Royal Empire Hotel being valuable for your accommodation and relax during your holiday in Siem Reap - Angkor, Cambodia.

Especially, your kind to taking valued time to share your experience regarding to your recent stay with us, I myself and my team very pleased to read that, you have enjoyed your stay with our exceptional staff, hotel facilities & amenities and it was a pleasure to have you as our guest.

At the same time, On behalf of the Management & Staff, I personally do apologize regarding to quality of coffee and some noisy from neighbor, with your constructive feedback, we will work with F&B team to take good care of coffee 's quality in breakfast and do all best to cut noisy off.

Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your collaboration, and hope to see you again soon in Royal Empire Hotel.

Best Regards,
The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

I must say that the staffs are very polite and helpful and they greeted us all the time. We arrived early before check in time and yet the hotel prepared us a room. The breakfast was good. We have no complaints about the hotel. Swimming pool was great for kidss. Even the room service was fairly fast.. My tour was booked through a tour agent. Thanks to my Agent in Malaysia.and also thanks to Mr. Sareth my tour Guide.... who was knowledgeable and friendly... Overall, we enjoyed our trips to the all temples...Will come back again..

Room Tip: Choose room facing pool.. 4th floor
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Vijeyini K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

I’m very impressed by the hospitality and courteousness towards us by all of the Hotels staff, especially:
Sukhol – who’s very cute, charming & polite, sweet, helpful and patience with us.
Mr Tha – was very accommodating and calm in handling some issues about a mobile phone.
Everyone at the reception and especially the waiters and supervisor who served us during our morning breakfast. They did an excellent job with remarkable PR skills!
Chey – our fun and sweet guide!
Tra – our sweet tuk tuk guy..

Our experience in Siem Reap was unplanned, exiting and truly memorable.

Room Tip: Deluxe room facing the pool
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank ZahiraA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We stayed at Royal Empire hotel as part of a tour and were very pleased with service, cleanliness, and included breakfast. The hotel was a bit of civilization in a very hot and crowded part of the world . Showers were great Cambodia is a 3 shower a day country , so this is a big deal ! . The lovely pool area we didn't use but our room had a nice view of the pool and knowing it was available was nice . There was a quick power outage while we were in elevator and staff was there in less than1 minute and got us out . Staff was helpful and fast extra pillows and towels arrived in our room within about 5 minutes . Would be happy to stay there again

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank a5150mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Empire Hotel

Address: National Road 6 | Airport Road , Phum Krous, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #148 of 361 Hotels in Siem Reap
Price Range: $56 - $164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Empire Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 222
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built around a stunning landscape with Khmer décor and hospitality, Royal Empire Hotel offers visitors to Siem Reap the ultimate in luxury and services. It features an outdoor salt water pool, a restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi access.Fitted with wooden flooring and styled with eclectic Khmer touches, spacious rooms at Royal Empire Hotel are designed to be your home away from home. Each room comes with satellite TV, safety deposit box, complimentary bottled water, tea /coffee making facilities, bathrobes, slippers and a private bathroom with bathtub, show cubicle, bathroom amenities and hair dryer. Guests can enjoy a dip in the outdoor salt water pool, workout in the fitness centre, and indulge in massage and spa treatments while delighting in the splendor of historic and charming Siem Reap Angkor.Emerald Restaurant specializes in both local and international cuisines ranging from Khmer, Chinese, Thai, Asian and Western served in a modern Khmer-styled setting, and offers a sensational view of the pool and landscaped garden through its towering glass walls. Hotel is only 2-minute walk to the Angkor Shopping Arcade night market, 5-minute walk to Cambodian Cultural village, less than 5-minute drive to the Pub Street, and only 10-minute drive away from Siem Reap International Airport. ... more   less 
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