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“Great potential, poor delivery”
Review of Kia Kaha Villa

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Kia Kaha Villa
Ranked #101 of 513 Siem Reap B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 March 2013

This little place has all the potential to be a great hotel. Super location, great public areas in the hotel and the best beds in Southeast Asia. And it really looks good in the pictures. But the delivery of the product appears to have slipped. The rooms are spacious but austere. The only decorative wall hanging in our room was a "Prohibited" poster. The furnishings and wood work are made of plywood and in need of a good paint job. There was a broken box for facial tissues--when we commented to the staff, the box was removed, still no facial tissues. Or soap for that matter. It took two days to get a small bar of hand soap. There are NO towel bars anywhere or a shower curtain for privacy or to keep water from spraying around the bathroom.

Breakfast starts out as a good idea. A quiet breakfast on your own private patio. The first day the breakfast, very nice, was delivered cold. The second day it was so late we went to plan "B", deliver it to the pool area as we waited for our driver--cold again! The third day we opted for a fruit plate...hard to mess that up.

The front desk staff was friendly and did their best. And "Jim" the hotel tuk-tuk driver was outstanding in every way.

The hotel needs a good kick in the butt by ownership to get it back on track. The potential is just below the surface.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tombo081649
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 March 2013

W stayed in Pipelli for 3 nights in February and, contrary to some of the other reviews, enjoyed our stay. Mariela ( hope I have remembered her name correctly) on reception was extremely attentive and friendly throughout our stay- big thank you to her. Our spa rooms on top floor were large and included a big balcony with a bath and where we ate breakfast. bed was super comfy. The only down side was, as already noted, bathroom toiletries were not replenished during our stay.

Small swimming pool was extremely refreshing after dusty day at the temples!

We found the location great, in easy walking distance from the main market, eating and drinking area, but far enough away to avoid the noise and crowds. Pipelli arranged a taxi to pick us up from the airport, the driver arranged for a tuk tuk driver ( son in law ) to take us round the temples the following day.
Overall, a good place to stay and I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Julianary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2013

We stayed at Pippeli for 3 nights in February and could not recommend it more highly - helpful and attentive staff - great location - large very modern room with a comfortable bed - breakfast was excellent served by the pool and included weetbix and vegemite (a first for us in Cambodia and greatly appreciated as Australians). The rooms were serviced daily and were meticulously clean. We loved our stay here and will return when we come back to Cambodia in November.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Australians60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2013

We stayed at Pippeli Pensione for seven nights at the end of February 2013. Reading reviews on tripadvisor can often give a conflicting impression. This establishment rates highly but it's perhaps worth keeping in mind that its 2013 Travellers' Choice Award was in the top 25 B&B and Inns in Cambodia category - we found it difficult to rate but are very happy to give it a four out of five.

Having arranged our visas at landing in Siem Reap and leaving the airport, we hired a taxi to take us to Pippeli at a very reasonable seven dollars.

We arrived earlier than expected at Pippeli and our room wasn't ready. However, a couple of nice cold towels and welcome drinks had us very comfortable and we were shown to our room ahead of check-in time. We had booked a spa terrace room, which, being on the ground level, had a nice and secluded courtyard, set with outdoor furniture and a large tub.

The room was large in size and very open - there is no shower door so sitting on the bed you can see into the shower. The bed was very nice and firm and allowed for good sleeps. A previous review mentioned it being noisy but we didn't experience it overly so, other than the barking dogs of the next-door neighbour that seemed to start late at night. The only complaint would be that of the toilet door not shutting because of it being improperly hung, which could be somewhat awkward at times.

The room was nice and clean - we too found that items weren't necessarily restocked/replaced with the exception of water, which was topped up every day. Having used the same towels for days, which absolutely didn't bother us, one evening we came back to find that we had no towels at all. This was quickly sorted out after approaching staff.

And I suppose this is why we thought it difficult to rate and thought it worth mentioning the category that this establishment falls under. A B&B, Inn, Boutique Hotel often offers more of a sense of belonging and a home away from home. On the other side of the coin, the consistency in the level of service is often not to the same standards as that of a hotel.

Pre-ordering breakfast, which was absolutely delicious, we found this to consistently delivered 10-20 minutes after the time it had been requested. We don't mention this to be petty as it really didn't bother us but more as a tip and something to keep in mind if you have pre-booked a driver to catch the sunrise at one of the many temples. Similarly, we often found certain things missing from the breakfast we had ordered, or replaced by something else but this is not to be taken as criticism - once again, in our minds it is one of the tradeoffs you accept. It is also a fairly new establishment and so it's entirely possible that consistency in service will be achieved in time.

The wifi was excellent, with no dropouts experienced, and good coverage. The pool too was a blessing and something to long to when you've done your umpteenth temple for the day. Location too is fantastic with the old markets a short five minute walk away and with the whole area feeling very safe even at night.

We experienced a power outage on our second to last day of our stay and this remained as we left Pippeli. However, there was a backup generator outside and this impressively kicked in within, what seemed like, ten minutes from the start of the outage. That same evening we came back with staff asking to verify that our room had electricity, which it turned out we didn't. Something seemed to set off a short circuit breaker and staff were working on correcting this for about 20 minutes - continuously apologising for what they considered to be an inconvenience and offered to take us to another hotel if one last attempt at restoring power were to fail. It didn't and we were very happy and impressed with how they resolved the problem - and even identified the problem of power not being available in our room even before we knew of it.

The English of the staff is limited with the exception of one young lady. It should be said that all of the staff are extremely helpful but because of this lady speaking excellent English, she helped book us a tuk tuk driver for three days. Speaking of tuk tuks - unless you have respiratory or back problems, there really is no other way to travel between the temples or see the countryside. You'll end up with a mouthful of dust but will see all the sights and sounds, and experience the smells, that you'll miss out of when travelling in a car. On that note, our driver hardly spoke a word of English but we would still strongly recommend him as he took great care in looking after us. Whenever he dropped us off, he always made sure to keep an eye out and make sure he spotted us on our return. An incredibly friendly and helpful man that you might end up with if you're lucky and are booking through the hotel and, once again, please don't let someone's lack of English keep you from employing their services. It's amazing what can be communicated by gestures and smiles and it all makes for an even more memorable experience.

We only ate once at the hotel and the foot was great - as was the daily breakfast. A word about breakfast. There are four selections to be made, for a hot and also a cold drink and same for a hot or cold breakfast. There was some confusion as to whether or not this was per person or per room. We were initially told it was per room. However, late in our stay we were told we could order more as there was more than one person in the room.

One last thing we want to mention is the mosquitoes. There seemed to be an endless amount of them in our room, possibly related to the location of our room. We went through a can of raid within four days but nothing seemed to get rid of them. Having said that, we didn't experience it as being bitten throughout the night.

To sum it all up. This is a great place to stay, being at a great location and with helpful staff at hand. Keep the above in mind though so that if you experience any perceived inconsistencies in service, you don't let this affect your stay - and again, make sure to order your breakfast somewhat ahead of when you actually want to have it. Perhaps worth mentioning that we always opted to have ours in our room as opposed to the pool and so perhaps this played some part in it. We would absolutely stay here again - very much enjoyed our stay, loved the country and its friendly people that help keep things in perspective.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank cubba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

THE GOOD:

- Location was ideal for us... just a 15/20 minute tuk tuk drive from the airport and about 15 minutes by tuk tuk to Angkor Wat. We also enjoyed being able to walk to restaurants/markets etc. in about 5 minutes.

- Service was generally lovely... everyone was very polite and happy and offered advice whenever we asked for it.

- Breakfast was good and filled you up for the morning... I enjoyed the coffee but my partner didn't like the fact that it was just luke warm every day.

THE BAD:

- Service can be VERY slow... one day it took about an hour from ordering lunch to receiving it. It was a good job that we didn't have any tours planned for that day! What was quite frustrating was to hear most of the staff trying out some new weird voice app thing on their phone (very loudly!) and giggling about it and so we weren't sure whether there was actually anyone in the kitchen for a while?! It would certainly explain why a couple of dishes took so long (oh and there were no other guests around, so it wasn't busy!) Same for when we ordered cocktails - it takes 20 minutes to make 2 drinks... really?! If you stay here, definitely order everything well before you actually feel hungry or thirsty.

- Items in the room are not restocked/replenished consistently. When we turned up there was no hand soap or shower gel, which I found odd, as even the most basic of hotels would have some kind of soap, so we went out and bought our own shower gel... one then turned up a few days later when the cleaner replaced the shampoo/conditioner... hmmm. Tissues ran out, we didn't get more. Hot chocolate mix ran out, we didn't get more. And don't even start me on the towels - aaaargh! We don't use a new towel every single day but because the temples are so dusty, we did find ourselves washing more and therefore after a few days, we put some used, dirty, dusty hand towels on the floor and looked forward to receiving some new ones... they were taken away but we didn't get any more. We didn't dare throw our shower towels on the floor, as I was scared that we would then have nothing to dry with! And we had to use the last flannel as a pathetic bath mat for when we came out of the shower!

- We didn't sleep very well most nights, somewhat due to the pillows (the kind where 2 together are ridiculously high and 1 just flattens itself down the second you put your head on it!) so we both had to put our own clothes underneath one pillow to try and bump it up a bit. It is also VERY noisy at night... the neighbourhood dogs especially love making a noise and so we had to turn our fan up very high to try and drown out some of the noises. Maybe other hotels are worse for noise level or maybe different locations are more peaceful... I don't know so I can't comment, but I'm just saying that we found the noise at night disturbing.

- The hotel had some workers in to fix blinds to the balcony during our stay, which was fine... I appreciate that renovations have to happen at some point (although why they chose one of the busiest times of year, when everyone is on their Chinese New Year hols and ALL of the rooms are booked out, I'm not quite sure) Anyway, what was frustrating is that we came back from a busy day out to find 5 men standing on our balcony... and with no explanation, no note or comment from the management to say that some noisy work would be happening and apologies for the inconvenience etc, which was disappointing. So after getting up at 4am for the sunrise visit and wanting a quick snooze, that was soon out of the question when we heard the electric drill going for about half an hour and so we had to venture outside instead. When we came back, of course noone had cleaned up so we were left with a balcony and a bathtub full of dust and dirt - thanks very much.

AND THE UGLY:

- Continuing with the towel theme from earlier, there seems to be a reluctance to replace towels by the pool too. On the first day, we asked if there was an extra towel as there were 2 sunloungers left for us and only a towel on one. The guy looked a bit frustrated and asked ''can't you use that one?'' Ummm, yes, but there are 2 of us and if it isn't too much trouble, we'd both love one each?!?! Too much to ask...? And then the part that really creeps me out... I'm fairly certain that once someone has finished with a towel and it's dried, they roll it back up for the next person. Now, I'm not absolutely positive about this, but once when I unrolled a towel, it was still slightly damp down the middle where someone would have sat on it and I knew that there was someone on that sunlounger an hour or so earlier. The thought absolutely creeps me out but considering the lack of cleanliness at this place, it certainly wouldn't surprise me. If you stay here, take your own towel unless you like to sunbathe on a towel that someone else has recently sweated on.

- Housekeeping is unfortunately a disaster... we were pretty underwhelmed when we walked into our rooms anyway, as we didn't feel like it properly reflected the photos we saw on the website. The wallpaper is beautiful (hence why the website photos show that off!) however what they don't show is the cheap green curtains, strange green padded covering on the desk and green tiled floors - we definitely felt as though we were in a hospital at times! The worst part was the fact that it all felt very unclean. I have included photos of the floor with this review, which were taken ON OUR FIRST DAY and I have never done this before on a hotel review! I never actually saw the staff bring a mop to the room... and it shows. We tiptoed around everywhere or else wore sandals and it was horrible to feel so disgusted when we should have been relaxed on holiday! And they may wonder why a lot of people chose to have breakfast by the pool... would you sit on this balcony with dirt everywhere on weary looking chairs with a very dirty, dusty cushion!?!? Sad to think this hotel is so new (part of the reason why we picked it) and yet it already looks so unclean and tired.

I realise that this all sounds a bit intense but I don't think I've mentioned too many things that other reviewers haven't already picked up on (On Trip Advisor and other review sites, I've already seen people mention the cleanliness, luke warm coffee, pillows, noise from the neighbourhood etc) so I'm just sharing my opinion on things that the hotel could do to genuinely make it a 3 and a half star hotel, instead of feeling like a dirty 2 star hostel.

Siem Reap was, however, amazing - the temples, the people, the food... all of that was wonderful! But if we come back, I'd look to stay elsewhere...

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nipon4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2013

We booked 2 rooms for 2 adults and 2 children which we had confirmed via email well in advance of our arrival. Arriving late evening after a 6 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh we were informed there was only one room available. After inspection of the room this was not going to be suitable for 4 nights. This left one of two choices find an extra room or move hotels. Not wanting to move hotels late in the evening we took up the kind offer of a free nights accommodation and meals whilst searching for a new venue. Upon return to the hotel, after a tour the following day, another room had become free due to cancellation and as we had been looking forward to staying here we decided to stay ( due to previous reviews and a recommendation for our previous hotel) and very glad we did. The rooms are spacious clean and comfortable. The breakfast and small meals available from the kitchenette were basic but very nice. The pool area was clean comfortable and kept tidy and the pool very welcoming after a hard days touring. The staff, particulerly Merrani (not sure of the spelling) were friendly and helpful as was the one owner there at the time.

The room error seemed to be a miscommunication between the owners, our previous hotel and ourselves and I will not dwell on it, a small cock up that was not going to mar our holiday. Fix the problem and move on.

We had a fantastic time in Siem Reap and hope one day to return and when we do I know where we will stay

Hope you like the Kiwi
Thanks for everything
John, Ali, Matthew and Josh Winchester

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Travelbags4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2013

We have both visited Siem Reap many years ago and were both very disappointed by how much the city has changed with the influx of mass tourism (Pub Street is a case in point, as is the one-hour queue to climb up the Angkor Wat). Pippeli Pensione was a paradise away from the chaos - relaxing by the pool after a fully-packed day with deliciously fresh Caprioskas during happy hour, and super comfortable, clean rooms to fully recharge our bodies for the next day! (the only downside was that despite the availability of 4 pillows in the room, they were all the same size and all of them too high - it would be add an extra touch if half of them could be of different height/texture ;)

The rainshower was great, as well as the organic shampoo, conditioner and body foam. As pointed out in the previous reviews, the quality of breakfast varied from day to day (the coffee was often luke-warm, and the orange juice was definitely not "freshly squeezed" as indicated on the menu). But overall they were delicious!

Unfortunately we didn't know that there was a free pick-up from the airport, but we were informed on the last day that the drop off to the airport is free, and it was great to make our last journey in Cambodia with a warm breeze on a tuk-tuk!

Last word about the staff at Pippeli Pensione- they are super friendly and kind, they even lent us their own bikes on our last day when all the bikes were rented out! We were very touched and will not forget this place. THANK YOU for the great stay!!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank hungrycat27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kia Kaha Villa

Address: Group 07 Wat Damnak | Salakomreuk, Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia (Formerly Pippeli Pensione)
Region: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #101 of 513 B&Bs / Inns in Siem Reap
Price Range: £52 - £67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kia Kaha Villa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
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