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“Lovely hotel but package overpriced”
Review of Shinta Mani Angkor

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Shinta Mani Angkor
Ranked #15 of 365 Hotels in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 January 2008

Booked the hotel's 4 nights Discovery Package at $850 for two, room only would have been half that. This included everything we thought we'd need and want to do and was our bit of luxury on a 3 week Vietnam/Cambodia trip. So although it wasn't cheap we thought it would be good value in the long run.

The hotel greeted us at the airport and picked us up in a big 4x4 with cold water and a cold towel. We felt very special and were expecting a lot after this great start. The driver told us that we could use this vehicle if we wanted for our temple visits at a not insignificant extra charge. As we were paying a large sum (relative to the country) already for a package we thought this was cheeky but there was no hard sell.

The staff greeted us and showed us to our pool side room (an additional $10 a night). It was nicely furnished and had all you would need, a luxurious big double bed, A/C, TV, safe, minbar and a good shower (no bath).

The only problem with the room was the door fitted poorly and we had to fumigate with the supplied insect spray frequently to stop getting bitten by mosquitos.

Our package included 2 day tours to the Angkor temples and half day to Tonle Sap lake. The guide, car and cost of the 3 day temple pass was supplied and we enjoyed these a lot. Without the guide we wouldn't have known the history and stories behind the carvings. The temples were the reason for coming to Cambodia after all so we were very glad to have such a good guide.

We were a little disgruntled on the first day that we were charged extra to take a sunrise tour which is one thing most people do and we had to ask for some breakfast to take with us. The second day we did the rest of the temples on our agenda by midday and were then told we could go and see another temple in the countryside at an extra charge. If we didn't want to do this we could go to a local craft village. I was starting to get annoyed at these hidden extra charges and felt like we were just tourists getting pumped for money but, we weren't here to buy crafts so we paid to go to the temple. Our lake tour was good but only took 2 hrs not half a day.

The afternoon we had free we had a local tuk tuk driver take us to see sunset at a temple which cost us a fraction of the extra cost levied by the hotel for similar.

We had 2 lunches at the hotel included in our package. They had a very limted set menu to choose from, one western and one eastern option which was exactly the same both times. Fortunately the fish we had was lovely. The restaurant was very quiet and didn't get much busier in the evenings even though they do have organised entertainment and themed nights. We chose to go in to town rather than sit in a dead resturant and pay the steep hotel prices. You can walk to the main part of town and it's bars restaurants in 15 mins. For a treat go to the FCC around the corner, an old colonial mansion in a lovely setting with great atmosphere and tasty interesting food.

Breakfast was to order one day and then a buffet the next, presumably because the hotel was busier. It was ok, the usual juice, tea/coffee, eggs your way and fruit, and then a bit more selection with the buffet although the uncovered fruit and cheese put me off.

Pool is nice but small. Great for a dip at the end of a hard day climbing dusty temples. Limited number of loungers which could be a problem if the hotel was full.

A lot has been made of the hospitality school attached to the hotel and the pleasant staff that are trained there. This is a great scheme however someone is making a lot of money at the western prices charged and I doubt the staff are sharing in that. If you want to help the poor of Camboida take up the schemes offered of donating a water pump to the families in nearby villages rather than giving it to the hotel.

Whilst we enjoyed our time at the hotel and seeing the magnificent temples was awe inspiring it was marred slightly by the tourist trap feel of Siem Reap and some money grabbing aspects. Not all us western tourists are made of money.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank dlb1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,638 - 2,644 of 3,116 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2008

We had a number of rooms at this hotel for a week - it was a lovely lovely stay. Ths staff were all charming and helpful. The hotel is a great size with just 18 rooms and the spa treatments, cooking class and food in the restaurant are all fantastic. There were 4 children in the group and they loved the hotel too, particularly the pool.

We all donated various things through the community outreach programme and spent part of Christmas day delivering school supplies, pigs, waterwells and bicycles to 3 villages. It is a great programme and we enjoyed our visit.

One other thing to do in Siem Reap is to visit the Butterfly Garden who employ some Shinta Mani gradutates and are also doing good things for the local community.

1  Thank Bugsy5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2007

The rooms were spacious with very comfortable beds. The shower was different, with multiple jets at varying heights. Our room was on the second floor up a flight of steps. The night that we were there, a group of local children were performing at dinner, which was a treat.

There are so many new and modern hotels being built in Siem Reap, that the choices are numerous. We were pleased with the more intimate setting of the Shinta Mani and with the courteous staff. There is a spa on the premises that we did not have the time to take advantage of.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank bobbie_ford43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2007

LOCATION: Very good, not perfect. About a 10 minute walk to the town with all the restaurants, bars, etc. 3 minute US$1 Tuk Tuk ride into town each way. Tuk tuks are directly in front of hotel and are easy to catch in town as well. On a great, quiet street. Probably don’t want to stay in town since it’s busy.

BEST WAY TO GET THERE: Hotel can arrange taxi for $8 or you can save a few dollars by getting a taxi at the airport.

BED/SHEETS/PILLOW: Excellent. Down pillows, comforter, and mattress. Linens are high quality and soft.

LIGHTING: Great in both bedroom and bathroom.

BATHROOM/SHOWER: Shower has moderate water pressure and the water can get very hot with consistent temperature.

TOILETRIES: Excellent. Spa quality, the kind you want to take home.

CLEANLINESS: The entire hotel and room is overall very clean. There were water stains on our bedroom wall and lots of mosquitos in the room, some dead on the sheets.

A/C: Quiet and got the room cool quickly.

STYLE OF ROOM: Comfortable, but nothing luxurious. Bathroom style isn’t as nice as the rooms and reminds me of a Holiday Inn.

QUIET: Room is quiet and hotel is on a quiet street.

FOOD: Only had breakfast. One morning it was a buffet and the others a la carte. Breakfast was good. Eggs, yogurts, fresh juices, cereals, but not much else.

TV/INTERNET: TV is not a flat screen but is of decent size for the size of the room. Wireless only internet is available in the rooms at no charge. Painfully slow. There is a computer available for use in the lobby which I think is also no charge.

SERVICE: Overall good, with some minor service issues. This hotel provides free hospitality training to kids that come from poor areas, but even though they are learning, the service was still fine.

COMMON AREA: Pool is nice, but not as nice as the website shows. Some signs of wear. Pool is on the small side and less inviting than I was expecting. Lobby is not much more than a place to walk through to get to your hotel. Spa looks nice.

ROOM & CITY TIPS: The hotel is very comfortable but not a “wow” experience. Incredible value at just over $100/night. Also stayed at Viroth’s hotel (see my review) but preferred Shinta Mani since it was way more comfortable (but not as stylish). I strongly encourage people to donate a well to a family and take a tour of the local village. (arranged through this hotel that also runs a charity organization). It was very emotional and such a memorable experience that helps about 5 families ($90 well, $30 transport). I strongly recommend this hotel and if you have a few extra bucks, stay at the Hotel de la Paix (same owners). Or, better yet, stay at the Shinta Mani and donate the difference!

  • Stayed: December 2007
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3  Thank TravelSnob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2007

Shinta Mani was a welcome treat after viewing some of the other hotels in the area (i.e. Apsara Angkor or Somadevi). For just over 110 USD/nt, it offers great value. Stylishly decorated, clean and quaint, the hotel is full of friendly staff. I have stayed at enough luxury resorts to be a bit picky; Shinta Mani was up to my standards in cleanliness, friendliness and service. The breakfast is basic, but that is to be expected for such a small hotel and for the price. I also like the rainforest shower head, with the option of side sprays and standard shower nozzle. My half day spa treatment of bath, massage and facial was excellent value and performed by a very professional therapist named Maria. The best: I think that Shinta Mani's community programs and hospitality institute is a great business model which allows travellers to contribute to helping the local economy in a tangible and measurable way. We visited the villages to see the new houses built by Shinta Mani from the private donations. We also saw the wells, the delivery of supplies and witnessed the happy smiles of the villagers who are so desparately poor that you cannot understand until you see for yourself. We take for granted our home, food, clothing, education, mobilitiy and the luxury of education, toys and hygiene products. I felt good about spending my money at a hotel that takes an active role in improving the lives of its local community through offering relief in the most basic ways and also creating future opportunities through education and support. If you are looking for an amazing romantic experience, this hotel isn't likely the best option. If you want a comfortable stay with relaxed ambience while exploring temples, this should definitely be one of your top picks.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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Thank LilyChina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2007

This Hotel is a mixed bag depending on what you are looking for. If you are looking for the top end luxury product, you will be a little disappointed with the rooms.

They are of a great size, beds and housekeeping in terms of cleanliness standards are great. The toilet has its little flaws such a slow draining shower stall and low pressure in the shower. The amenitities provided are of spa standards and very good for the price and you will find that at that price range to have a hairdyer, safe and bathrobes a great steal !

We stayed at a superior room @ room 16 and there is really no views to speak of. The 3 rooms with the pool views are the absoute best in terms of views if you can stand the mozzies and the lack of privacy. The pool though small is more than sufficient for the 16 rooms hotel. The lounge chairs are very clean and pool towels are provided.

The hotel has a training institute attached and is owned by the same owners as the fancy Hotel de le Paix and the standards in terms of service is the gem of this little boutique hotel.

The staff from the receptionist to the bellhop, housekeeping staff and the staff at the restaurant represent the true spirit of hospitality. They are eager to please and when one thinks of them, you just get the warm fuzzy feeling that this is what all hotel staff should be ; oblidging and willing to please and always with a warm smile.

I agree that the food in the restaurant including breakfast is nothing to crow about. The standards are pretty standard fare and visitors may be better off heading out to the Old Mkt Pub Strip or even the nearby FCC Hotel where the food is absolutely top notch even though the service pales in comparison to the people at Shinta Mani.

The Spa is another great find, well deserving of their 2nd best rating in Asia Spa Mag. My partner & I tried the 3.5 hr spa package and was just well pampered !!! the service was great and all spa services and amentities are of international standards. The shower & drainage works great in the spa rooms and the amenities provided are very thoughtful and add to the experience. All of the spa staff are truly great and smiley and do their jobs in an excellent manner unobstrucive and the ending tea & capers were a great touch !

All in all, a very good stay in Siem Reap and a very quiet hotel to stay in.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2007

We booked this hotel off their website after reading its reviews. It was chosen for its Community Projects and that the cost of our stay contributed towards training the young staff who worked there. Prior to arriving the hotel communicated with us really well over email.
We were not disappointed. The room was on the first floor overlooking the pool, was very clean and had the most comfortable bed. Any tiny little problems, like no towels in the bathroom on arrival were rectified immediately. The staff were shy but very friendly and as helpful as they could be. The hotel appeared empty at times but in fact was fully booked so was especially quiet and unintrusive.
A highlight of the stay was the trip to Angkor arranged by the hotel who got us a fantastic guide. Then we went to the village with our donation of bicycles and school attire. We were escorted by 4 people and had a very humbling experience meeting families and children in a school during our trip. It was special to us to be able to meet all the people yet we were made to feel special by them. The poverty was as extreme as we have seen and we felt that our donation was just not enough so would like to contribute more since returning home. The project are doing a fabulous job educating and helping the villages.
We highly recommend this hotel to everyone who travels to Siem Reap. It was the first leg of our holiday around SE Asia and probably our favourite part - Great!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mezzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shinta Mani Angkor

Address: Oum Khun Street | 14th Street, Siem Reap 17252, Cambodia (Formerly Shinta Mani Club)
Region: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Siem Reap
#2 Business Hotel in Siem Reap
#2 Family Hotel in Siem Reap
#13 Spa Hotel in Siem Reap
#13 Luxury Hotel in Siem Reap
Price Range: £139 - £267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Shinta Mani Angkor 4.5*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shinta Mani Angkor is an upscale boutique property in the French Quarter of Siem Reap town. It boasts 39 contemporary designed rooms and public spaces in a European style with Khmer inspiration. This exceptional hotel enjoys a tranquil and leafy setting just a 15 minute tuktuk ride from the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. Shinta Mani Angkor, with a culture of Open Doors, Open Hearts, reflects its commitment to responsible tourism. The staff hope that during your visit you will open your heart to the beauty of the Kingdom of Cambodia, its gentle people and its fascinating culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shinta Mani Siem Reap

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