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“i cant believe the negative press”

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Rambutan Hotel Siem Reap
Ranked #124 of 365 Hotels in Siem Reap
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 March 2009

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.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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3  Thank psygram9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 March 2009

My friends and I stayed at the Golden Banana. We had a wonderful experience. The room was spacious and unique. We were waited on generously by the staff. We also had a tuk tuk and driver assigned to us who took us anywhere we wanted to go for a fixed rate. We had a great time whether we were sitting poolside at the hotel or exploring Siem Reap. We would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank abroadtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2009

I spent 4 nights at Golden Banana Suites hotel this february and I have been recommending Golden Banana Resort to everyone I have met who is on their way to Cambodia and Siem Reap. The staff were gracious and friendly and the rooms and the property are spotless. They serve a very delicious breakfast in the morning with some nice choices, the pool was a salt water pool which I loved and I had wireless internet in my guest room. The complex is just a few steps from all the action in town but far enough away across the river to be very quiet day and night. They have recommended drivers to take you wherever you want to go around town and to the ruins and I felt completely safe and cared for while staying at this great resort. You can tell the owners are very hands on because the environment and the staff coudn't have been more perfect.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank LoveToTravelQC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2009

I have been reading some of the reviews here and I must say that I did not have a bad stay there. I am currently in Sierra Leone, West Africa and have traveled to other tourist and poverty stricken areas. Siem Reap is a mixture of both.

For the individuals that wrote bad reviews... I get it. I also get that when you do not have the comfort of your own environment everything is out of place and courtesy and maintanence does not always transfer well between cultures. And sometimes bad or unexpected things just happen. Any American that has gone to France can testify to that.

What Golden Banana offered my friends and I were a courteous staff and great hands on direction around town. We were able to navigate around the daily insecticide spraying and other non-Western habits that they have there. Chey Sovanna, the current manager was just a staff worker at the time and took us on as friends and showed us the real Siem Reap. We had a blast! I plan to go back this year as I work with underpriviledged children around the world and will look to start a program there. I look forward to my stay and dip in the pool at the Golden Banana again!

Rod

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rodzphotos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2009

I have just returned from 10 wonderful days staying in the Golden Banana Boutique Resort whilst I explored the temples of Angkor. The managment and staff were an absolute delight. Freindly, helpful and truly wonderful people. They made my stay. I opted for the Resort (it is still very cheap!) and got all the benefits. A clean, comfortable room. Great bathroom, balcony, day lounges all overlooking the pool.

It was great to get dropped back by my guide for a two hour break in the middle of the day. Lunch, a quick dip and then back out to the temples or shopping.

My bed was fantastically comfortable and the a/c in my room was great in the heat of the day. I had no issues with mosquitos in my room, no cleanliness issues. Linen was changed everyday, crisp and new.

I really do say guys, you get what you pay for. Backpack, you get backpacker hostels, B&B ... you get B&B, basic hotel... you get basic hotel. I chose the resort for a reason and it paid off.

I sourced a guide and driver before arriving. I mean really guys, book via any hotel and of course you pay a premium. Research, plan, book. Simple.

I LOVED my stay here and met some great people. I'll be going back to Cambodia and to the Golden Banana Resort. I thoroughly recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank m_a_b_077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2009

I traveled solo last summer to this hotel and it was by far one of my best experiences. I'm not sure why the other reviews are so low, but take this from someone who has stayed at many hotels. I happen to love the local flavor and the treehouse-type feel of Golden Banana. My room had a little hammock-like seating area which overlooked the town. My room was very clean and had cute native decor. Free internet too!

My tul-tuk driver was on time with a sign waiting for me at the airport when I arrived in Siem Reap. I was given a room on the second floor which required a ladder to access, but it made it all the more fun! The pool and food were both excellent and the staff was so friendly. I even went out one night with two of the staff workers to a siem reap bar club and dinner.

I highly recommend this hotel for someone who enjoys a valuable Cambodian experience and real local hospitality. If you're looking for catering, pampering, and luxury, Ritz-style hotel, however - this place is not for you.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled solo
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Thank Jeanius215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2009

We stayed at the Golden Banana Boutique Hotel for 4 nights, in one of the Villas (60 USD/night).
The premises are very pretty, we liked the room, which was actually made of two rooms, so quite a lot of space available. It was fairly clean. The location is excellent, 5 minutes walking from the Old Market, but away from the noise of the bars and restaurants.

The staff are very sweet and generally quite helpful. However, as other reviews have already pointed out, service is haphazard. There's a general lack of professionalism, that can be very annoying if you happen to have a problem. We had a broken toilet and an invasion of ants in the bathroom and the staff didn't seem to know what to do about it. Luckily we could move to another room.

Breakfast is supposed to be included in the room rates, but it is not. If you want to have a real breakfast comprised of more than some coffee and a baguette you have to pay extra. We complained directly to the management and they offered us a full breakfast at the Golden Banana Boutique Resort located next door.

The swimming pool can be a lovely place to rest after a tiring day on the temples, but it can also become a sort of noisy party venue if some obnoxious clients decide that's what they want. The staff won't stop them, they'll join the party if anything.

So, after a few grievances at the beginning, our stay was very pleasant, but next time we'll try the Golden Banana Boutique Resort.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MsPieFlorence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rambutan Hotel Siem Reap

Address: Phum Wat Damnak, Kum Sala Komreuk | Krom 10, Siem Reap, Cambodia (Formerly Golden Banana Boutique Hotel)
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 Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#51 Romantic Hotel in Siem Reap
#60 Family Hotel in Siem Reap
Price Range: £57 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Rambutan Hotel Siem Reap 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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

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