'Welcome Home', the staff say as they smile and help you with your luggage out of your car/tuk tuk in the hotel's driveway. And straight away you're offered a much needed refreshing cool fragrant towel. Even after just the short journey from the airport in their air conditioned car, that refreshing cool towel is so welcome.
Even if you're not aware you're into architecture, you can't help but be impressed by the Bill Bensley design of this hotel - the ceiling height, sleek lines, muted whites and greys, black tiled swimming pool (so cool), doorways reminiscent of Angkor Wat temple doors (you'll see the resemblance as soon as you go to Angkor Wat) and the cool marble corridors, with lotus flowers placed on pedestals in bowls, petals so neatly folded by a group of women daily.
It's a real haven, coming in from the hustle and bustle of the streets and markets, traffic and tuk tuk drivers calling to you, and away from the heat too.
Our room was really stylish and well appointed - the mattress and bed were super - enormous and so comfortable, the air conditioning was really well thought out, and we were both pleasantly cool but not freezing or sweating - which we found in all the other hotels we stayed in on this trip to Cambodia - the only minor things we thought could improve it, would be a towel rail (otherwise where do we hang wet towels?) or different choices of music to listen to. Hardly a deal breaker.
We were lucky enough to meet the chef, and he was gorgeous; he was so grateful for the opportunities he has been given, to travel abroad and learn to chef, to earn good money, work for a hotel he clearly loves and to provide a good education and future for his children.
If the weather isn't too stifling you can walk into town from here, but we always preferred a tuk tuk as we love the air rushing past our faces and to be 'in and amongst' it all.
We were lucky to be there on a Saturday, so were able to go to Made in Cambodia, a really well thought through Saturday market selling ethically made goods made locally, that support local communities and projects. We learned that Shinta Mani has been heavily involved in setting up and sustaining this market and it is so much better than shopping at the markets where goods may be made in Thailand or China, in unethical conditions or badly made. The quality of the items sold here is second to none, and you will know you have bought ethically, and shopped responsibly.
- 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