Travelling along the airport road to Siem Reap, you might think you’ve arrived in one of Asia’s biggest hotel wastelands. Fortunately, you’d be wrong.
Push past the dozens of tributes to quick-buck, bottom-of-the-barrel tourism (there’s even a bizarre copy of Raffles Le Grand) and you’ll discover that Siem Reap could make a claim to having more delightful small hotels than most comparable places in Asia.
Whether you’re spending $40 or $400 a night, there’s a good chance you’ll find something special.
I’m just back from Siem Reap and these three new hotels stood out for travellers looking for digs at around $100US per night.
I like these places for a few reasons.
Location is always important and it is especially so in Siem Reap. Avoid the airport road and you'll have a much better base for exploring both the town and the temples. The Wat Bo area is a favourite. It's quieter, it has great access to town and the river gives it an added sense of serenity.
Next, these three hotels are locally designed and have a distinctive design sensibility. I’ve written before about the cool boutique hotels of Phnom Penh. Similar things can be said of Siem Reap.
It’s especially nice to see a design style evolving in some of these hotels that gives a nod to the glorious years of Cambodian architecture in the late 50s and 60s - where Khmer architects produced their own unique modernist style.
Finally, all three of these properties are owned by small local entrepreneurs (some in partnership with expats). They’re essentially small to medium sized businesses.
Another thing I liked about these hotels was that most of the staff I spoke with were from local farming families and had done time working with the larger international hotels in town and were now putting their skills to work for these smaller, locally owned properties.
So, here are the hotels -
For an independent listing of Siem Reap's best hotels, click here.
Viroth’s, Siem Reap
This is the newest (it literally just opened) and is not to be confused with Viroth’s Villa Hotel from the same people.
The style is vintage 1950s Cambodia - simple but with some bold colour choices - all of which work a treat.
Rooms are spacious and tasteful.
The Wat Bo area is probably my favourite location for a Siem Reap stay too.
Read our full review of Viroth’s and view more images here.
Lynnaya Urban Resort, Siem Reap
Lynnaya also opened in 2015 and is not far away from Viroth’s in the Wat Bo area.
It’s similar in style to Viroth’s as well - though Viroth’s has an extra, indefinable polish that Lynnaya doesn’t show yet.
Still, this is a lovely hotel and well priced too.
Read our full review of Lynnaya Urban Resort and view more images here.
Sokkhak Boutique Resort
At just 12 rooms, Sokkhak Boutique Resort is the smallest of the three selected here. It’s located away from town too - towards the Angkor temples.
Intimacy is the theme here. From the cosy common areas, pool garden and restaurant, Sokkhak feels like a cool and cosy private home.
Read our full review of Sokkhak Boutique Resort and view more images here.
Rusty Compass reviews are always independent. We visited all three hotels at our own expense in March 2015. We have received no financial or other inducement from the 3 properties mentioned here.