Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Copyright 2015 Terence Carter

Where to Stay in Siem Reap — Best Boutique Hotels and Stylish Resorts

Where to stay in Siem Reap? Not an easy question to answer in a city with thousands of hotels, so we’ve separated our picks into a range of categories, from best boutique hotels to stylish resorts and luxury hotels. This is a very selective list of only the very best boutique sleeps, all tried and tested.

Where to stay in Siem Reap is a tough decision, because there’s such an abundance of beautiful boutique hotels. While Siem Reap’s luxury hotels like Amansara, Raffles and Belmond’s La Residence are best known, Cambodia’s temple launching pad city has plenty of smaller, stylish, and more affordable boutique hotels that are hard to beat.

From atmospheric traditional Khmer houses in tropical gardens to laidback resorts set amidst the rice paddies, here are our picks of where to stay in Siem Reap.

Where to Stay in Siem Reap — Best Boutique Hotels

Where to stay in Siem Reap depends upon how you like to travel and what kind of holiday you want. If you like the sound of a pool with peace, tranquility and exclusivity, Maison Polanka and Sala Lodges are unbeatable. If you want a pool, but prefer a buzzy atmosphere and a little glamour boutique hotel Viroths and Shinta Mani resort are your best bets. Shopping, eating and drinking are the priority? Then The Aviary and FCC Angkor, both boutique hotels, are good choices.

Where to stay in Siem Reap should also be determined by the location. Close to the temples? Templation is perfect. Slap-bang in the heart of town? Hotel 1920 is for you. Within walking distance of Siem Reap’s historic centre, opt for Rambutan or Karavansara. Happy to take tuk tuks everywhere? Natura, Navutu and Sojourn are lovely.

Many of the boutique hotels below offer similar levels of comfort and service to the luxury hotels, but are better value. Most hotels include breakfast and offer free Wi-Fi, and during the low season double room rates for entry level rooms can be found from as little as US$50 per night for some of these properties. Rates are higher in peak season from December through February.

Maison Polanka

Maison Polanka is one of our favourite Siem Reap boutique hotels, and along with Sala Lodges (pictured above) is easily one of the most beautiful. Hidden behind high walls behind Buddhist temple Wat Polanka, Maison Polanka is a bit tricky to find the first time, but its secret location is part of its charm.

While it might feel a little far from things — due to the bumpy roads, Siem Reap’s distances can be deceptive — it’s just a block from the leafy riverbank at lovely end of the river, and a 10-minute tuk tuk ride into the centre of town.

The problem is that once ensconced behind the high walls at peaceful Maison Polanka, it’s hard to leave. So if your priority when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap is peace, tranquility and privacy, then this is the property for you.

Other allures include a deep blue swimming pool, lush sprawling palm-filled gardens with a new tropical spa, alfresco dining in The Sala, and vintage bicycles you can borrow. The Khmer food is also a highlight, from the authentic soups to the fresh, light salads.

Spread across two traditional teak houses called The Maison and The Khmer House, the five light-filled rooms are decorated with retro Cambodian furniture and antiques, locally made crafts, design objects, and art that the French-Cambodian owners, Nathalie Saphon Ridel and Jean-Pierre Martial, have collected over the years. Our picks are the Khmer House and Green Room, both of which are super-spacious and have balconies made for sundowners.

The owners can often be found here offering a warm welcome and local tips. One thing that makes Maison Polanka really special is the personal service that’s more befitting a five-star luxury hotel. Like Amansara, down the road, the entire staff gather at the gate to wave goodbye to their guests. Read more about Maison Polanka here.
Off Upper East River Road, behind Wat Polanka.

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Sala Lodges

The atmospheric accommodation at this unique Siem Reap boutique hotel consists of 11 beautiful Khmer-style timber houses on stilts peppered around sprawling gardens of sugar palms, banana plants, and rice. The four owners travelled all over Cambodia to source the houses, looking for abandoned or dilapidated properties to buy, and transporting them to Siem Reap where they were reassembled.

The result of their efforts is a very special Siem Reap boutique hotel that feels like a small village — albeit one with a stunning swimming pool, restaurants and bar. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking as many photographs of this exquisite property as you do of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor temples you’re here to visit!

Boasting high ceilings and spacious verandas, the houses are charmingly decorated, with rustic wooden furniture and handmade Cambodian quilts, and modern touches like contemporary rocking chairs. As they sleep from between two to five, they can be great value for family and friends, especially during low season when they offer fantastic four-day packages.

The main restaurant The Monolith is a stunner, in a very cool, contemporary style with open sides, making it lovely on a breezy evening. Long Table offers communal dining and an alfresco lounge bar that’s a pleasant place to sip a drink in the evenings. Expats love the oyster and jazz nights — don’t miss this if it’s on when you’re staying.
498 Salakomroeuk Village, Sala Lodges Road.

Book Sala Lodges online with our booking partner Booking.com.

Viroths Hotel

The hippest of Siem Reap boutique hotels, Viroth’s feels like a glam urban resort in Phnom Penh with its sleek design inspired by the mid-century modernism of Cambodia’s Golden Age of the 1950s and 1960s. Retro furniture, vintage designer pieces, splashes of bold colour, and a central palm-fringed swimming pool make Viroth’s very easy on the eyes.

Light, bright and cool, thanks to floor to ceiling glass, breezy public spaces, and greenery everywhere you look, the hotel is a tropical oasis in Siem Reap’s increasingly urban jungle, and is a wonderful place to cool down after a morning traipsing the temples. After staff greet you with cold towels and refreshing welcome drinks, you’re ushered into the lobby from where you can survey the café-bar, inviting lounge areas, a glassed-in restaurant when you need some air-conditioning, and stunning pool.

Even walking to your room is a delight, with the snail-shaped staircase and views of the whitewashed buildings with balcony plant boxes dripping with ferns. Aside from the gorgeous pool, there’s a petite spa and excellent little gym, and while the food at the on-site restaurant (and room service) is delicious, the owners also have a stylish Cambodian restaurant around the corner, also called Viroth’s.

Rooms are spacious, even the entry level category at 35 sqm, and feel more like apartments than hotel rooms with beautifully mismatched furniture, books on shelves, old dial telephones, and the kind of decorative objects that one would lovingly collect over time. Complimentary fruit bowls and free Wi-Fi are bonuses. The sexy bathrooms boast big bathtubs and roomy showers and the black terrazzo that was so fashionable in Cambodia mid last century and remains popular here today.

Viroth’s was designed by Siem Reap based ASMA architects, who have been responsible for some of the city’s most interesting buildings and interiors, Their head office is opposite, above laidback Pages café, which is worth dropping into for a glass of vino and tapas in the early evening.

The location is terrific, in the Wat Bo neighbourhood. Just a short stroll across the bridge to the Old Market area it’s an increasingly cool part of town, with cafés, restaurants and bars popping up in the area all the time. Try nearby Artillery café; Flow resto-bar, owned by the Sugar Palm team; and Rockabilly’s bar.
Street 24, Wat Bo Village, off Wat Bo Road

Book Viroth’s online with our booking partner Booking.com

Templation

If you’re heading to Siem Reap with the intention of spending a lot of time by the swimming pool in between temple exploration and excursions around town, then stylish Templation is the boutique resort for you. This chic low-rise property in sprawling gardens is secreted down a lane off a quiet road on edge of Siem Reap and is just a fifteen minutes tuk tuk drive to Angkor Wat and ten minutes into the heart of town in the other.

Another stunning build by ASMA, the architectural firm responsible for Viroth’s, above, Templation’s design, with its striking stone feature walls, tips a hat to one of Siem Reap’s most iconic buildings, the King’s guesthouse, now an Amansara resort. It’s also an eco-friendly property, with solar panels providing most of the power.

Just opened in early 2016, it’s still something of a secret, but regardless, even when full it doesn’t feel it thanks to its enormous swimming pools (one of Siem Reap’s largest), spacious public areas, and rambling gardens filled with palms and frangipani trees. Like Viroth’s, Templation offers a cooling retreat from the tropical heat, with that massive deep green pool, water features, and airy spaces that are exposed to the elements. We spent a number of lovely afternoons in the restaurant during the wet season enjoying the monsoonal rains.

The al fresco theme extends to the minimalist rooms, with outdoor bathrooms so you are truly at one with nature. I encourage you to take a shower in the rain – we use Templation for our writing and photography retreats and culinary tours and our guests have told us it’s quite an experience! While all the rooms are spacious – so spacious at 40 sqm they call them suites – the Pool Suite (at 70 sqm) and Pool Villa (104 sqm), with private pools obviously, are huge and are ideal for families or if you’re planning to settle in for a while.

The restaurant and poolside bar are also fabulous, doing fantastic cocktails (a must for sundowners) and wonderful food. A highlight is breakfast (don’t miss the Cambodian soups), but their modern Cambodian dishes make dining in a real delight here. There’s an on-site spa operated by Bodia, a decent gym, business centre, and also a boutique called Cambomania selling swimwear, casual clothes, and gifts and souvenirs by local designers and artists, such as Theam’s famous lacquered elephant, the quintessential Siem Reap take-home.
Rok Rak Street, off the Temples Road

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Shinta Mani Club and Shinta Mani Shack

Boasting quite possibly the best staff of any boutique hotels in Siem Reap and in a fantastic location in the leafy French Quarter, a short amble from the river and the historic Old Market quarter, the glam Shinta Mani Club and its even more flamboyant sister-property across the road, Shinta Mani Resort, recently renamed Shinta Mani Shack, are two of Siem Reap’s most sumptuous boutique sleeps.

Designed by renowned hotel designer, Bill Bensley, the Shinta Mani boasts a grand Angkor-inspired design with plenty of columns, beautiful black and white paintings of apsaras, grey hues, and splashes of mandarin (to evoke monks’ robes).

The chic rooms, which have some of the city’s comfiest beds, either overlook the courtyard swimming pool or a private garden terrace at the 39-room Club, or the colossal garden swimming pool at the 62-room Resort, opposite. While the Club pool isn’t large, it’s perfectly adequate for laps or a cooling dip, and guests get to use the larger pool across the road.

The striking Kroya restaurant at the Club has fun swinging cushioned tables outside and serves contemporary Cambodian cuisine (the tasting menu is terrific value), while the Bensley Bar upstairs is a nice quiet spot for a pre-dinner drink. There’s also a small spa on site.

The Shinta Mani is a responsible travel hotel which supports a number of community projects and $5 from every nightly room rate goes to the Shinta Mani Foundation.
Oum Khun Street and 14th Street.

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FCC Angkor

This stylish, small boutique hotel is set on the riverside in one of Siem Reap’s most distinctive and most iconic mid-century buildings, the former French governor’s mansion. The FCC Angkor was, in fact, never a Foreign Correspondents Club, and not even a hang-out for reporters as its Phnom Penh sister property was.

The main building, which serves as a restaurant and bar, boasts abundant colonial charm with ceiling fans, shutters and retro sofas, however, the accommodation, located in adjoining low-rise buildings, is by contrast sleek, chic, and contemporary.

Refurbished in 2013, the 31 spacious, minimalist rooms overlook either a garden or the compact swimming pool. We recommend the garden view rooms for privacy or the pool-view rooms if you prefer light.

The breakfasts are very good (try the Eggs Benedict) and the restaurant, open late, is a fine option if you’re tired after a day at the temples, with tasty pan-Asian and Western food, from pizza and steaks to tangy salads and curries.

There’s an on-site spa that offers discounts for guests, which is always welcome after a few days scrambling temples. The property is also home to some wonderful shopping, including an Eric Raisina boutique; Tiger Lily, for Indochine collectables; and Jasmine, for elegant silk clothes.
Pokambor Avenue, next to the Royal Residence.

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Sojourn Boutique Villas

One of the best Siem Reap boutique hotels Sojourn is a special place to stay. A socially responsible resort of some ten lovely villas set within palm-filled gardens around a swimming pool, Sojourn supports the residents of Treak village where the property is located, a short drive from Siem Reap town.

Most of this small resort’s staff are from Treak and 7% of profits from the resort go to a village enrichment programme, providing water filters, garbage collection, and tree grants.

This caring Siem Reap boutique hotel belongs to the owners of Beyond Unique Escapes tour company and guests can do Beyond’s Treak Village 2-hour Walk and Talk through the village as they engage with locals. Another longer Day in the Life of a Village tour to another village takes in the projects of their NGO Husk, including a clinic, sewing centre and English school, as well as a pagoda.

While the low-key vibe makes Sojourn the ideal for doing nothing, there is plenty to keep you occupied, including cooking classes, moonlit theatre, and destination dining — breakfast on Tonle Sap lake or cocktails and canapés overlooking the rice paddies. There is also a good spa and restaurant on site.
Treak Village Road, Treak Village.

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Rambutan Resort and Rambutan Boutique Hotel

Formerly known as the Golden Banana Boutique Hotel and Resort, Rambutan Resort and Rambutan Boutique Hotel consist of two charming gay-friendly boutique hotels on a lantern-lit laneway that feel like something of a secret, tucked away in a local neighbourhood.

While it might feel a bit out of the way when you arrive by tuk tuk, another alley offers a shortcut through the Art Market and across the bridge over the Siem Reap river, getting you into the heart of the old centre within minutes.

Set around inviting swimming pools, the whitewashed buildings (just 50 metres apart), drip with bougainvillea, giving them a Mediterranean sense of style. Blink and you could be in Italy or Greece.

The rustic rooms, with pretty floor tiles, and Cambodian silk and art on the walls, are each different to the next, ranging from snug abodes with small balconies to two-storey lofts (called ‘villas’) with terraces with an outdoor bath on the balcony.

This is a good option when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap if character, charm and a swimming pool are important. Breakfast was satisfactory if a little underwhelming when we stayed, but there are plenty of cafés nearby so don’t let that put you off. Don’t get confused with the Golden Banana Guesthouse on the corner.
Golden Banana Lane, near Wat Damnak.

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Angkor Safari Hotel (formerly Karavansara)

Angkor Safari Hotel (formerly Karavansara) is spread across several buildings overlooking Siem Reap River in a handy location a few minute’s walk over the bridge and into the heart of the old town. This is a terrific option when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap if you want to be close to the centre without staying in it.

The reception area and a Khmer-fusion restaurant are located in a traditional teak house, while the Retreat’s 12 rooms are in a white, mid-century modernist building. The Residence’s light-filled apartments are in a modern brick block opposite.

Rooms in the Retreat have balconies, polished wooden floors, and black-tiled bathrooms in a curved black room that seems at odds with the style. There are two swimming pools on the rooftops of the two main buildings. They are small, but they do the trick at the end of a hot day spent scrambling the temples.

If you’re only in Siem Reap for a few days, the Retreat’s pleasant rooms will work for you, but any longer and we recommend staying at the Residence. We spent a couple of nights in a duplex apartment, with balconies with river views and a big kitchen, and we seriously did not want to leave. They also do room service deliveries across the road.
Corner Street #25 and Archasva Rd.

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Natura Resort

This lovely Siem Reap boutique hotel at the quiet end of the River, near Road 60, may feel as if its miles from the centre of town but it’s really just a very pleasant 10-minute tuk tuk ride into town along the riverside through one of the most picturesque yet most local parts of town.

This is a fantastic option when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap if you prefer to be away from the bustle of the centre and love to get some insights into local life. Highly recommend exploring the village-like neighbourhood and taking walks along the riverbank.

The whitewashed resort has minimalist, light-filled rooms with polished concrete floors and either a balcony or terrace looking over the garden. The more spacious Superior Pool View Rooms are the pick of the lot with a massive balcony and swimming pool vistas.

There’s a small bar overlooking the salt water pool, along with a restaurant with rooftop seating between the towering trees.

The philosophy of the Cambodian owner is reflected in the healthy fruit shakes and vegetarian and vegan food offered at the restaurants, and wholesome lunch boxes for temple excursions.
Upper East River Road, near Wat Preah Enkosai.

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Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa

‘Cambodia meets Ibiza’ best describes this laidback, low-rise, whitewashed boutique resort at the end of a dirt track set amidst rice paddies a 15-minute tuk tuk ride from town.

Don’t let the drive here along a dusty road toward the outskirts of town dishearten you, as this is a great option for when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap if you want to chill, you’re into yoga or are in need of some wellness time.

Once you arrive you won’t want to leave, especially after a complimentary foot massage as you relax on a rooftop four-poster bed to watch the sunset — curtains billowing in the breeze, chill-out soundtrack wafting your way, and a cold glass of something in your hands.

The 28 large light-filled rooms have polished concrete floors and big baths, and are set in tropical gardens overlooking two swimming pools. We love the larger Grand Tour rooms (obviously).

The hotel has a spa on-site, as well as a full programme of yoga classes and other wellness offerings, which is a big draw for many.

If dinner at the palm-thatched pavilion bar-restaurant doesn’t appeal, head into town — included in the rate is a tuk-tuk and driver at your disposal.
Angkor High School Road, Salakomruk Commune.

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The Samar Villas & Spa Resort

If your priority when it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap is being close to the temples, then Samar is a good choice. While it’s a good 15-minute tuk tuk ride to the centre, it’s just one kilometre to the Angkor Archaeological Park entrance, making it best suited for travellers wanting to spend more of their time exploring the temples than the town.

Set in a splendid traditional Khmer-style building and two smaller buildings, all overlooking the swimming pool, this boutique hotel’s rooms are very spacious, if a little dark, with enormous four poster beds, comfy day beds scattered with cushions, and polished timber floors.

Owned by two reserved French brothers, the decor is French colonial style with antiques, art, and maps decorating the alfresco public spaces that are open to the elements.

There is a good restaurant serving up delicious Cambodian food, both traditional and contemporary. The platter of tapas-size Khmer snacks to share is a great option if you’re new to Cambodian cuisine.
115, Group 7, Phum Tropeang Ses Khum Kochok Srok village.

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UPDATED: January 2018

When it comes to where to stay in Siem Reap do you have a favourite hotel? Also see our recommended hotels in Phnom Penh and Battambang, all tried and tested. Want help with trip planning? I craft bespoke itineraries and host creative retreats and our culinary tours. More information here on our Siem Reap Retreats and Tours site.

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