Dec 30 2012
With spacious, air conditioned and spotlessly clean en suite rooms from just $18 a night, a quiet location less than a kilometre from the heart of Siem Reap and a rooftop terrace with a plunge pool no less, Siem Reap Rooms Guesthouse is an excellent budget option for the city.
Located in a modern four-storey building on a quiet street in Wat Bo village, Siem Reap Rooms Guesthouse is just a five-minute tuk tuk ride from the buzzing Old Market and Pub Street areas, and even closer still to the growing handful of decent bars and restaurants that have recently emerged on nearby Wat Bo Road.
Despite its relative proximity to all the “action” it is still far enough away to grant you a bit of peace and quiet and to actually make you feel like you are in the heart of Cambodia rather than another corner of backpacker land where people just happen to speak Khmer. The busiest the street ever gets is at the end of the school day when hundreds of children on foot or on oversized push-bikes fight their way home. But unless you are in a hurry to get somewhere, that shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
Most of the businesses on Street 26 where the guesthouse is located are locally-run enterprises, including typical street food establishments with ubiquitous brightly coloured plastic furniture, portable gas rings and sizzling giant woks. The Sam Veasna Wildlife Centre also has its HQ on Street 26 – an excellent place to go for well organised wildlife and bird-themed tours.
Siem Reap Rooms has a large open terrace fronting the road where you can sit and people watch all day if you are so inclined, and from here you enter into a fairly cavernous reception area. There are smart rattan sofas and in spite of the traditional Khmer decor – lots of varnished hardwood – it is a pleasantly light and airy space, and a good spot to relax with a coffee or chilled drink, read a book, or take advantage of the complimentary internet.
The 14 guestrooms rooms are spread over four floors and come in three categories – basic (also known as standard), superior and deluxe. All of the rooms are spacious with white walls, air-con, fans, cable TV, WiFi and wet room-style tiled en suites with hot water showers. Double rooms have king-size beds, and every room has a large wardrobe with plenty of hangers. Some of the superior and deluxe rooms have a bath as well as a shower, and Room 111, a superior double has a tub in the room itself.
Some of the lower-end rooms don’t have windows, but I suspect that for most travellers on a budget their size will more than compensate for their lack of natural daylight. Best to check when booking if this is a deal-breaker for you.
On the top floor you will find a sunny decked terrace with great sunset views which is furnished with wooden deckchairs and has the luxury of a small plunge pool. A few steps below this is a large, bright and well -furnished TV room, another good place to chill out while you catch up on X Factor, or share a beer ($1 for a can of Angkor or Crown) with your newfound friends.
The entrance to Room 115, a large deluxe double, is also just off the pool terrace so it might experience a bit of noise from the TV lounge and pool area but it is the best room in the house, and also has a bath tub if that’s what floats your boat.
High season rates start at $18 for a basic or standard room and rise to $27 for a triple and $30 for the rooftop deluxe double. Rates include pick up from the bus station, Tonle Sap ferry landing or airport. If you are booking online and it looks even cheaper than you could ever have hoped, note that prices displayed are per person, but if you are travelling solo you do need to pay for full occupancy. Rates drop after the end of February and early booking really is advised, particularly between November and March.
Breakfast is not included in the rate, but a good selection of food is available on the front terrace from 07:00. Cakes and pastries start at $1, eggs and omelettes with a baguette are $2.50, and fruit juices are $1. There is also a range of shakes, and lots of goodies are available all day long from the reception area. Sandwiches include tuna salad, cheese and onion savoury and bacon, tomato, cheese, mayo and mustard, all for just $2.50.
The English owner runs a tour business which offers individually tailored private tours with tried and tested English-speaking drivers and guides. Staff will also book tuk tuks into town for you, a bonus at night as the street is unlit. If you are determined to walk it, I suggest you bring a good flashlight.
Siem Reap Rooms Guesthouse
Wat Bo area
T: (089) 477 960 or (012) 208 472
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