HanumanAlaya Villa

Angkor Conservation Rd, Siem Reap, Cambodia Book from

Vast rooms and great prices in a charming quiet setting by the river, just 5 minutes' drive or a cycle ride from Angkor Wat
This branch of the little HanumanAlaya empire (sister property to HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence) lies on the quiet side of the very small town of Siem Reap, right by a river that in certain lights looks like Wiltshire. Its rooms and suites are enormous and inviting, decorated in an idiosyncratic take on Asian modern with an emphasis on dark wood and mysteriously glowing bric-a-brac, plus all the mod cons to hand.

In the little courtyard outside are a cooling pool and restaurant, while lushly planted paths lead to your pleasantly private realm. And if everything has a sense of ‘almost’ about it - almost stylish décor, almost competent staff - it somehow adds to the authentic Cambodian rather than blandly international feel of the place. Highly recommended for restfulness and ease.

Highs

  • Excellent prices for the sheer space you get to occupy
  • Just 12 huge rooms with individual character, kept spotlessly clean by an army of friendly staff
  • Bikes to borrow - you can cycle to Angkor Wat
  • Then cool off in the pool after a dusty, hot day at the temples
  • A perfect location, perhaps the prettiest spot in town, yet just a stone’s throw or short tuk-tuk ride from everywhere else

Lows

  • The pool consists, to an astonishing degree, of shallow end
  • When we visited soon after opening we found the food average, but we're assured it has improved considerably since then
  • Why oh why does an row of betel palms block your view of the bucolic river outside?

Best time to go

Winter - mid-November to February - is best and also the most popular time: it's dry and relatively cool. Avoid March to May, they fry you alive. The rainy season - June to November - is also an option, it usually only rains for an hour and the rest of the time it's bearably muggy, and everything is lush and green.

Our top tips

The nearby Wat Bo area is up and coming as a welcome alternative to the screaming tourist and backpacker ghetto of the Old Market.

Hanuman Tourism is an offshoot of the company, and can arrange tickets, tour guides, transport and its signature Temple Safari tours of Angkor Wat

In the afternoon, wander up the river: where the hotels stop is one of the most idyllic spots this side of Wiltshire, pretty much still in the centre of town.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The rooms are much the same in terms of space and amenities. There is a great expanse of dark wood, there are indirectly lit 'treasures', there are paintings of generic Asian provenance. Furniture is huge and comfortable, beds are magnum-sized, entertainment is provided on a big TV and entertainment system. Some are upstairs, some are down: see which suits you best.

Bathrooms are sometimes idiosyncratically arranged, but all come with beautiful egg-shaped marble tubs, and lotions and potions. Just beware: the refillable bottles are labelled in English, which the cleaning staff don't read, so on our first morning we washed our hair with body lotion.

Deluxe Suite Rooms are particularly lovely in terms of design, with large living areas. But the best room is the Pool View Suite above the restaurant, which runs along the whole front of the building and benefits from a balcony and 2 queensize beds.

Features include:

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

Eating

Breakfast dishes up excellent fresh bread and good pastries, fruit, fruit, and fruit. Tea is Twinings, and the preserves are locally made. Eggs are cooked nicely to order.

There is also a menu of authentic local lunch and dinner dishes (amok, deep-fried spring rolls, Pra Hok etc), and there's a restaurant at HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence, just up the road.

If you venture out into the Wa Bo area or the Old Market/Pub Street, you'll find a bewildering variety of dining options. Barrio is an unprepossessing but very decent French place with excellent Kampot pepper steaks and a French owner who'll give you a free glass of rotgut if he likes you. Several good Khmer places are nearby, along the river or down the main street.

Features include:

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

Activities

  • You're here for Angkor Wat, the principal temple of this ancient capital and the largest religious building in the world (it's surrounded by a 5km moat). Don't miss Ta Prohm, where the roots of giant banyan trees hold temple ruins in their mighty grip as they soar towards heaven, and Bayon, the state temple of Angkor Thom, where 216 giant faces are chiselled into the stone
  • We loved Banteay Srei, a wonderful pink sandstone temple with exquisite stone carvings
  • At Artisans d’Angkor you can watch the stonemasons and other craftsmen and -women at their tasks and buy their keenly priced work
  • Relax in the hotel spa
  • Visit the Tonle Sap, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which floods with monsoon rains. It’s 10km south of Siem Reap, and boat cruises plough the waterways, taking in various floating communities
  • Drink with the hordes in the Old Market/Pub Street. Miss Wong's is a great Old Shanghai-style bar down an atmospheric alleyway

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

Although all ages are welcome, the emphasis is on tranquility and the swimming pool is not cordoned off - watch toddlers carefully.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Deluxe Rooms can fit an extra bed; Deluxe Suite Rooms can fit a baby cot; the Terrace Suite can fit an extra bed; the Pool View Suite has 2 queensize beds and can fit a baby cot or extra bed.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
8/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

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