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Viva Restaurant & Guesthouse
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Reviews (130)
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Reviewed 27 October 2012

Viva Siem Reap has one of the best location and value for money accommodation. Generally, the overall experience was excellent, except for the one frontline officer, Phearak Sorn who had just annoyed me to the core on two incidents. They were:-

1. Dishonesty! He first offered to bring me to buy the rice (i enquired on the cost of rice for donation to the orphanages and churches) which is just near to the hotel. Later, he told me that he can help me get cheaper price rice from outside of city since I am ordering 460kgs of rice, all packed into 5kg per bag. He told me 0.75 USD per kilo but when the rice were delivered, i checked them and found broken rice. Upon checking at the market in the city area, for USD 0.75 per kilo, that is one of the top quality of rice available, put aside glutinous rice. I confronted him for an explanation and he still insisted it was USD0.625 per kilo quality but the shops in the city were only charging USD0.45 to USD0.53 per kilo only. I showed him the samples and then he was only willing to charge me at USD0.53 per kilo instead of the lower USD0.45 per kilo.

2. The 2nd dishonesty encounter with Phearak was the check out time. Before I checked in the hotel, I enquired via email from Singapore the cost of extension by 3 hours. He said it was at no cost. At checking out, he demanded USD$35 from me for the extension. I showed him the email. He let it go.

3. Finally, he asked me additional USD$22 for the transportation of rice donation to Tonle Sap lake. Initially he said it was at no cost, as we could use the hotel jeep and that we were so kind to donate 300 kg rice to the poor people of Siem Reap. We just to had to pay for our tuk tuk which was USD$7 per way and the cost of boat ride at USD$20 per person. At checkout counter, he asked for the funds, and not wanting to argue with him further, i paid via credit card - which had to be scanned in the restaurant area. There were chatterings amongst the few of them. I had asked so many times before the ride to tonle sap, what is the cost to tranport the rice and i was told over and and over again, none.

Having said all these, i must add that the overall experience at Viva Siem Reap was great - the breakfast was good value for money, tasty food, wonderful service staff and the rooms are in good condition.

If given a choice would i stay at the hotel again, the answer is a Yes but I would avoid Phearak Sorn. Instead, i would look for Phearn Nhe who works hard to go to university and is at the hotel for morning shift. The driver who picked us up in the jeep from the airport is also pretty decent.

Room Tip: the rooms which are facing the road can be noisy but then has an open view.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Littlepods18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2012

When I went to Cambodia last August. I researched for the cheapest and the best place I could find which was recommended by other travellers. I was able to find a decent "hotel," but on my first night there, instead of being excited about the fact that I was in Cambodia, it was a downer. Sure, it had all the amenities which you could not find in other hotels/hostels in its price range.. It had wifi, a bath tub, free breakfast, a welcome drink, etc. However, it was not accessible to the Old Market and Pub Street, you have to walk along a poorly-lighted alley and hail a tuktuk just to get around.

So, the following day, instead of starting my temple tour, I went straight to Pub Street and tried to look for another place to stay. My first impression of Viva Guesthouse was that it was tacky. You cannot miss it because it is bright orange, and under the scorching sun, it was gloriously orange. I tried to ask the hotel nearby if they had rooms available, however, it was fully-booked. But since I was a bit hungry already, and I did not plan on spending the whole day hotel/hostel hopping, I decided to check this one out.

My first impression of it was that the room was quite big for the price. It had all the basics, a comfy bed, tv, safe, free breakfast.. Moreover, what attracted me to this place was that they were offering me the low-peak rate, so I was able to get the $35 room for $20.

The breakfast was yummy! I stayed here for 5 days. The employees were quite accommodating, and would even suggest that I fix my own tour because it was less expensive that way. Despite their difficulties in communicating, they were the warmest, most helpful hotel/hostel staff I have ever encountered.

But perhaps the biggest bonus was, considering that it was near Pub Street, it was not right in the smack of the action. Meaning, there were no boisterous tourists, and people who hung out in the restaurant were mostly laid back.. It was also a street away from the Old Market. I guess, I was just lucky that I picked a "slow month" to visit Siem Reap, so I wouldn't really know if during the peak season, it would be the same.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Clarisse M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2012

We ate here the other night and we really enjoyed it. Two of the girls in our group hail from Mexico city and while they said it was American-style Mexican they really enjoyed it. Go for the chimichangas, perfectly crispy. Also, some of the most rich sour cream I have ever tasted. Staff are nice, food comes fast and nice part of town to eat and people watch.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Claire T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2012

I hail from the dusty Arizona desert. Mexico is my second home and a very big part of my first home. I bleed salsa. I crave refried beans and warm tortillas for breakfast. I love Mexican food. REAL Mexican food. The one cuisine that can never seem to be 'done right' outside of MX and the Southwestern U.S. is Mexican food. However, needing a fix after being away for so long, I sometimes fall prey to the lure of Mariachi music, colorful paintings of saguaro cacti, and the advertisement of (fingerquote) authentic (end fingerquote) Mexican food. Most times I am strong (and cynical) enough to pass it up but the reviews for Viva were too convincing. Preparing myself for another meal that would fall short we reluctantly stopped here for lunch - no harm done if you drop a few bucks on a bad lunch. I was encouraged when I saw Cazadores tequila and Damiana liqueur behind the bar. I perused the menu and saw a 'Mexican Pizza' - in essence, a tostada sandwich. I was compelled to order it for one reason - beans. The menu stated it came with refried beans - a delicacy I haven't found in over a year anywhere in the world. I was still skeptical - expecting baked beans, ketchup based salsa, and thick, doughy tortillas. I have to say, when lunch was served, I was mildly impressed. There were real tortillas before me, a chunky tomato salsa seasoned with garlic and a touch of spice. And the beans - Omigawd, I'm sure I tasted CUMIN and the texture was just right - not too smooth, not too thick, not too runny! Rejoice!!!! Viva is as close to Mexican as I've found in 40+ countries. We returned tonight for dinner and I had the shredded beef burrito. Very, very tasty and their Gringo guacamole (chunky with tomatoes) was quite delish. You will not find tamales, menudo, chorizo, or anything else that isn't typically found on a Gringo menu. But you can get a gringo fix here - even if just to tide you over until you get back to the spicy Sonoran desert. Also, the service is fantastic and the food comes out quick. The beer is icy cold. The prices are a slight bit higher than neighboring restaurants.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank StaceTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2012

Hi,

Slightly difficult to review as they upgraded me to a suite but truth is the truth!

I think this was because the guesthouse was full. It should call itself a guesthouse not a hotel!!

The location is excellent, view from my room was of the wall to next door. The breakfast is OK. The mexican restaurant downstairs serves great value meals.

My room was large as it was a suite room.Wi Fi had constant problems and was on/off all the time. Wi Fi area FOC for guests on ground floor. Water pressure was very poor in my room and you had to be early to get a warm shower.

Stairs only, no lift.There were lights that were off in my room for days and still never replaced even after complaining. This made the room very dark indeed.

Flat screen TV but doesn't rotate to the bed area and TV in lounge is old. Fridge was not working. Cups and saucers but no kettle. I would not recommend wearing the bathroom footwear which is pre used, plastic and dirty looking. Banging and clanging doing repairs commenced at 7.45am, and I am a good sleeper but the noise got me up. I couldn't tell if it was downstairs or immediately outside in the street.

The in room safe was a wooden box fixed to the floor with a cheap lock.

Room Tip: I can't really help with the rooms. If you get a suite at deluxe room rate OK, if you pay full rate at $55 USD, it's overpriced at that.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Mister K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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