i dont normally bother to write reviews about hotels. i do use them as a guide though when i am travelling so perhaps i should contribute something back. problem with many reviews is that they are often so polarised that there is a mix or both extremely good and bad reviews which tends to leave the reseracher somewhat confused. i guess this puts people in the position of relying on good luck and hoping they made the right decision. thats life. my reason for this review is that i have stayed at GB three times in 3 years and had such positive experiences here that i am shocked to read a number of bad reviews on this site. It's hard to believe that i can have such a great time here regularly and seem to keep missing out on the bad experiences.
I should probably mention that i have stayed at both the boutique hotel and resort (i chose a villa) but not the B&B so i can only comment on the former two.
The things about GB that makes me count the days until my next visit are:
1. the quaint architecture and attention to detail. The rooms are so different to the typical hotel layout that I often wish I could take this place around with me when i travel. I wont describe the layout of the rooms in detail. you can read about that on the website. what you do need to know is that things are truly like the website describe. The use of tiles and terazzo in the rooms as well as the layout with the rooms surrounding the pool provide an environment which is an ideal retreat are the sweat and dust of touring the temples. yes there are mozzies!! the staff will spray your room for you while you are out and you might need to splash on some repellant from time to time - no big deal surely. in terms of cleanliness, i have never experienced anything less than a spotlessly clean room in all of my visits.
2. the friendliness of the staff. mostly young khmers with a constant smile. always keen to have a chat with you. sure their english is not perfect and sure sometime they dont understand what you mean. they are learning english and the training and experience they receive here is helping them to become very employable in the hospitality industry. no doubt it is also helping their families as well since many come from very poor farming families. making an effort to get to know a bit about their lives can help enrich yours also. if you are need assistance and are having trouble making yourself understood them see one of the experienced supervisors to sort it out for you. i guess if you want perfect the efficiency of the starched english butler then this may not be the place (or country) for you although perhaps you could join one of the pastuerised package tour groups (you know, the ones you see marching on and off the aircon coaches at the temples with umbrellas and face masks).
3. the price. ok, i havent shopped around. maybe i could find a place that is just as good for a couple of dollars less. depends how important that is to you. the people that are really hard to please are the ones that expect 5 star service for a 2 star price. the way i look at it is to imagine what i would pay at home (in australia) for a similar experience. many, many times what i pay here. hopefully that puts the value for money issue into perspective. same with the breakfast deal. if you want a goumet buffet everyday then i guess you just have to pay for it. the breakfasts here are basic but fine. you even have the option of dining in the separate restaurant now.
In closing, everytime I leave here i am very sad to go and wish i had booked an extra week of holidays. my advice in visiting Siem Reap is to allow a few extra days on top of what you intend spending at the temples and just enjoy the vive of the town. the experience of relaxing and unwinding in such cool and triendly environment that GB provides is hard to put a price on.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Golden Banana Boutique Hotel by Rambutan. Villas built in traditional pagoda style in garden setting -5 minutes walking distance to the old centre of Siem Reap -Located in a quiet residential area - Swimming pool with fountain and cocktail bar -Gay friendly. Visiting the temples of Angkor Wat is an experience you will never forget. Staying in our lovely Hotel makes that experience even better. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Golden Banana Boutique
- Golden Banana Boutique Siem Reap