I’m writing to you today, not from the grizzly cold and snowy weather of Seoul, but in the glorious sunshine of Seam Reap, Cambodia. Nice work if you can get it right? I was invited to stay at the beautiful boutique resort of Pavillion D’Orient Hotel. An absolute gem of a place in a tropical paradise of never ending sunshine. I sit writing upon one of their wonderfully comfortable sun loungers gazing across a tranquil blue pool, a cold Angkor beer sitting beside me along side a bowl of deliciously addictive lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf seasoned nuts. Honestly life couldn’t be better right now.
We began our stay by taking the overnight flight operated by Eastar Jet direct from Seoul, Incheon to Siem Reap airport. Due to a slight delay thanks to the snow we arrived late, but as we had booked our visas online we were swiftly through immigration and on to our awaiting driver, who was arranged on a complimentary basis for all guests making the process that much easier.
Knowing that our room was to be comped, we were eager to see our room, and were thrilled to find out that we had been upgraded to a suite which was absolutely fantastic. A huge king sized bed, day bed, seating area, larger balcony and gigantic rain shower. Everything about about the room was fantastic. Including a lovely basket of fresh fruit which was replenished daily, music to my fruit eating ears. The room prices start from $70 per night and include a one way airport transfer.
Our first breakfast we awoke quite early thanks to the 2 hour time difference. Breakfast runs from 6am-12pm, so no need to worry if you are a late riser or getting up bright and early to visit the temples. The breakfast is half buffet and half a la carte. Every morning we were delivered a glass of sweet and delicious tropical smoothie and a pot of homemade yogurt. We then helped ourselves to fruit, pastries, homemade jams and tea and coffee.
Our hot selections were brought to the table, the western breakfast was a particular favourite of ours with fried eggs, bacon, and toast, we were on holiday after all! However the real star of the show for me was the local cuisine, fried rice, and rice soup (bawbaw) which I fell in love with. The only way I could describe it is that it has similar flavours to pho but is also completely different. I had a bowl every day. The best thing about breakfast is that you could have it in bed for only an extra $2 per person! Most hotels charge you through the roof for this service so it was such a pleasant surprise.
The restaurant is open until 10pm each night and also serves lunch, dinner and plenty of cocktails. On our lazy days we took full advantage of it enjoying many a drink by the side of the pool. As with breakfast the food was again fantastic they had a nice mix of local dishes and western favourites with nothing costing more than $6 and all deliverable to your room for no extra charge. We tended to stick with the local cuisine and couldn’t get enough of their cashew chicken and fried noodles. The Pina Coladas weren’t bad either!
There are two pools in the hotel, so you should have no problems finding a shady sun lounger if you are looking to get out of the sun. There are also several large day beds and a communal seating area in which to enjoy a few drinks with the other guests if you want to socialize. There is also an in-house spa, the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing massage after trekking around the temples of Angkor Wat, and trust me you are going to need one.
The town center is just a short tuk tuk ride away, and drivers are always on stand by or can be booked and take you in for a mere $2. It was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the popular nightlife area and being slightly further out made sure our sleep was never interrupted. The hotel also provided us with a tuk tuk driver for the whole day to take us out to the temples for $18. He was very knowledgeable about all the best sots to hit and which order to best avoid the crowds. I don’t think we could have managed without him.
Honestly I could recommend this hotel enough, the staff and the food and the luxurious garden surroundings were fantastic. We have stayed in many luxurious resorts over the years but this one was hard to beat as it had such a personal touch. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again upon my return to Siem Reap, nothing was too much trouble for the staff and we were always greeted with a smile. If you are looking for 5 star service on a 3 star budget then this is the place to stay.
Pavillion D’Orient is located at Road no 60 (rd to Angkor), after Psah Leu market, Siem Reap, Kingdom Cambodia. Room rates start from $70 and include daily breakfast for 2 people, and a one way airport transfer when booked directly with the hotel. For more information please visit their website.