Viroth's Hotel

Wat Bo, Siem Reap, Cambodia Book from Book from £96 per night

Bright, smart and retro-chic, this brand-new hotel offers top-range comfort at mid-range prices and leaves the competition in the dust
Teaming up with ASMA, Cambodia’s brightest young architects, Viroth’s Hotel pays witty tribute to the country’s brief flowering of modernist architecture with a double-retro bow to the tropical Bauhaus revival. Think Kampala, 1958: diplomats’ wives, remittance men, a table of quiet, intent fellows plotting the overthrow of the regime. But the crisp white lines of the 2 wings are softened by drooping vines and burgeoning evergreens, while public spaces flow gently into one another, from lobby to lounge to bar to pool, all furnished with vintage-style Scandinavian furniture.

A bold winding staircase leads up to an equally bold walkway connecting the 2 wings, while underneath a pool, tiled pristine white, shimmers in the midday sun. The 35 rooms are little oases of Tropical Modern, with more clean lines and top-of-the-range fixtures and fittings, each decorated with a few well-chosen and fun pieces of bric-a-brac (chopped palm fronds, mounted sickles, door knockers). Ideal for the young and design-conscious, and surprisingly comfy for everyone else.

Highs

  • Bright, witty, elegant design and lots of welcoming public spaces, with greenery sprouting left and right
  • Good value
  • A sociable bar, decent restaurant and serene spa with fruity treatments
  • Lovely staff and a lovely manager, all keen to make anyone feel at home without being obsequious. Many remember your name
  • An easy 20-minute tuk-tuk from Angkor Wat, and you'll be given a breakfast basket if you want to go for sunrise

Lows

  • Bathrooms are compact and functional rather than lavish, and the towels were a bit stale
  • Lying by the pool puts you slightly on stagey display from the lobby and lounge areas, which sit on lower ground
  • It's not the quietest place on earth

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

Wat Bo is up and coming, and a welcome alternative to the screaming tourist and backpacker ghettos of the Old Market. New bars and restaurants spring up all the time. 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
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 35
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Deluxe

Rooms

Rooms are furnished in clean Asian modern, with clean white walls and amusing bric-a-brac stylishly mounted or shelved. The Deluxe Rooms overlooking either the street or the pool are a compact 35m2, with twin, triple or double beds and either an armchair or a small sofa that can be turned into an additional bed. All have a generous balcony and comfortable seating, protected from the sun and prying eyes by vertical louvres. Bathrooms have showers only. Flat-screen TV and bathroom lotions and potions are provided.

Suites feel double the size, with generous lounge areas and an iPod dock/media player. The balconies are also double-size, with plenty of room to lounge and great pool views. Bathrooms have a small bathtub in addition to their shower.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The chic restaurant spills over into the lobby and pool area, so there are plenty of seating options. Food is a list of Khmer or international favourites and bar snacks, all well prepared and tasty. The tabouleh makes a refreshing light lunch in the heat; breakfast is a decent choice of a la carte options. Staff can sometimes get confused but take it in good humour.

The heart of the restaurant is an all-glass, air-conditioned, sound-proofed bubble that offers another slightly stagey place from which to see and be seen.

Nearby, Barrio is an unprepossessing 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 decent Khmer places are nearby, along the river or down the main street.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit 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
  • Banteay Srei is 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
  • 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
  • Try exotic treatments in the hotel spa; perhaps a mango and honey body wrap or enzymatic pumpkin scrub
  • 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:

    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Private guided tours
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
    • Well being

Kids

Only children over 12 years old are accepted, and will make the most of the lovely heated saltwater swimming pool, but there are no dedicated facilities for them

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Deluxe Rooms or Suites can fit a rollaway bed; Triple Deluxe Rooms are good if you have 1 child and don't mind a single bed each yourselves, or book a Twin Deluxe Room for the teens separately. There are 2 connecting rooms.

Distances:

  • Airport: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Rooms
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We very much enjoyed our stay at Viroth's and received a very warm welcome from everyone. Clearly so much attention is paid to every little detail and nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff. We enjoyed every moment, from a delicious meal in our beautiful and well-appointed suite on the first night, before our 5am sunrise at Angkor (we sadly missed breakfast, but they kindly provided a picnic bag of goodies to have after the visit), to a wonderfully relaxing and indulgent treatment and massage in their spa and cocktails over a game of chess on their open-air poolside terrace after dinner at their fantastic restaurant, which did, as they promise, have a great ambience! The hotel was very well located a few minutes from the centre by tuk-tuk and I strongly recommend a visit to this tranquil haven from the bustling centre of Siem Reap. During our stay we arranged a two-day private tour of some of the temples in the region. We would highly recommend doing this, as it takes the stress out of organising several separate trips out to each of the different temples yourselves. We also saw a lovely Apsara performance one evening and visited the Artisans of Angkor workshops where you can watch many of the local art and craft techniques being demonstrated. We decided to take a trip out to Khbal Spean to see the lingas carved into the riverbed on the slopes of the Kulen mountain range - well worth it if you have time.

10/10, , September 2016

{{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Viroth's Hotel