HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence

Angkor Conservation Rd, Siem Reap, Cambodia Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A quirky, friendly little hotel on the quiet side of town, with refreshing pool and lush gardens
HanumanAlaya provides a great affordable base on the quiet side of town. It's a small lush world of gentle pleasures: fountains trickle into the swimming pool, curtains of manicured jungle shield you from the outside world, and shady timber-framed interiors bring in the breeze. Grab loungers by the pool or escape to the deep shade of the restaurant, where bamboo blinds and ceiling fans keep you cool. There’s also a cocktail bar and lounge with low-slung sofas, and a spa for an invigorating hot-stone massage.

Spotless rooms are idiosyncratically decorated with lots of profoundly dark-stained wood, almost-silky bedcovers and lots (and lots) of objects: lotus petals float in copper water jars, Apsaras dance, elephants prance, colourful gourds hang in the trees, orchids cling to pillars in a sun-trapping courtyard. Staff are exceptionally friendly and caring.

Highs

  • The soothing polished wood interiors and lush greenery create a very restful space
  • We loved borrowing the hotel's bikes and cycling to the Angkor Wat complex nearby
  • The swimming pool is a great spot to refresh yourself after the rigors of sightseeing
  • The grandmotherly lounge bar on the first-floor balcony offers peace in the city with garden views

Lows

  • You get what you pay for: it's not 5-star luxury but a warm welcome is guaranteed
  • The food is fine, but you’ll head into town for more atmosphere
  • The rooms are a little dark

Best time to go

Avoid March to May, the hottest season, also the least popular. The rainy season is over by November and the weather is relatively cool (but still hot) through to the end of February (making this the most popular time to come, thus the busiest). The paddy fields are at their lushest in the rainy season (June to October), which is an option since the rain rarely lasts more than an hour or two.

Our top tips

You need at least 2 full days to do the temples of Angkor justice, which means you probably want to stay 3 nights.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 24
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 8 Dec 2016 - 31 Jan 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Studio Suite

Rooms

The rooms all share the same traditional style, by which we mean the Bangkok tradition of ca. 1973. Expect wood floors, panelled ceilings, big beds and chests, all varnished to a deep shade of brown. Most rooms are big, none are small, and each comes with wooden armchairs and a surfeit of decorative objects. It’s worth splashing out on a first-floor Deluxe Room rather than one of the ground-floor Superior Rooms, as they get a smidgin more light and open onto a very pleasant covered terrace, with comfy seating at one end if you fancy a smoke. The Studio Suite has a Jacuzzi.

There are scented oils burning in your bathroom, ceiling fans, shuttered windows and air-conditioning; everything you need to keep cool. Quirky bathrooms come with pink 1980s baths and good overhead showers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The deep dark atmospheric Reahoo restaurant serves meals throughout the day, with a menu offering Khmer food alongside Western staples below silken hanging lamps. Or, eat on the terrace overlooking the pool, with the gardens gathered around you and the odd statue of Buddha to keep you calm. Expect smoked fish soup with coconut milk, fried chicken with cashew nuts, stuffed tomato with minced pork. There’s a short vegetarian menu, too. Later, retreat to either the first-floor Rama Lounge or the pool-side Asura Bar; their signature Hanuman cocktail offers a unique twist on the Singapore Sling!

Breakfast is a surprisingly solid menu, with homemade jam and good bread, eggs cooked to order, and the eternal congee if you fancy a break from stodge. There’s also Earl Grey tea, strong coffee, and fruit squeezed or chopped.

If you want to dine out, head to the nearby Wat Bo area for a wide choice of Khmer restaurants, or Barrio for informal French food.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • This ancient capital's principal temple is Angkor Wat: surrounded by a 5km moat, it's the largest religious building in the world
  • Visit the 216 giant, stone faces chiselled into the walls of Bayon
  • Head to Ta Prohm where the roots of giant banyan trees hold temple ruins in their mighty grip
  • Banteay Srei has wonderful pink sandstone temples and exquisite stone carvings
  • The night market is a 15-minute tuk-tuk ride away, and is full of great artifacts
  • Visit The Tonle Sap, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which floods with monsoon rains and teems with fish
  • Bliss out in the hotel's Sita Spa. The Herbal Steam Sauna is the perfect way to wind down, plus there are seaweed wraps, honey milk Jacuzzi baths and an invigorating foot massages
  • Reception can book cooking lessons at a local restaurant, language classes (if you're brave) and (fixed) hot-air balloon rides

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Language courses
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

Although all ages are welcome, bear in mind that space is limited and your neighbours may welcome peace.

Family friendly accommodation:

We'd recommend the large Studio Suite for families as it can sleep 4. Most rooms can hold an extra bed or baby cot.

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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