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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, World Independent Hotel Promotion, Odigeo, Ctrip TA, Ebookers, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, HotelsClick, getaroom.com, Cancelon and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Shinta Mani Angkor reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Shinta Mani Siem Reap