Mar 24 2013
A friend and regular visitor to Siem Reap has begged me not to review the My Home Tropical Garden Villa – to give its full name — for fear that next time he comes it will be full. Well, he should be afraid. Located in a quiet area just 15 minutes’ walk from Pub Street, My Home offers budget travellers clean, bright ensuite rooms, with breakfast included, a lush garden restaurant and a large pool with spacious sun terraces that would be the envy of many a midrange hotel — all from just $12 a night in low season.
While My Home’s name might conjure up images of a homely British seaside B&B with the kind of soft furnishings last spotted in 1970s New Zealand bach, the reality is refreshingly modern and the most homely thing about this friendly guesthouse is the welcome you receive from the English-speaking staff as you enter the cool wood and wicker-furnished reception area.
Here you can hire bicycles, drop off your dust-covered laundry and book a range of tours to the temples of Angkor and beyond. Rooms at My Home don’t have their own safe but you can entrust your valuables to the reception staff who will store them securely in the hotel’s own safe – access is not 24 hours however — so make sure you don’t give them your passport for safe-keeping only to remember you need it as you depart for the night bus to Phnom Penh because you won’t be able to retrieve it.
A corridor runs from reception to a rear door which opens onto a slightly shabby courtyard and laundry drying area. But it’s worth persevering as beyond here is the eponymous tropical garden and the guesthouse’s undoubted piece de resistance, its large outdoor pool. The terraces are furnished with plenty of sun loungers and there are areas of sun and shade so you can enjoy this lovely spot at any time of day. Toilet facilities are also out here so you don’t have to traipse back through the guesthouse to your room to answer the call of nature.
My Home’s 26 ensuite rooms are fairly spartan but painted white they feel mostly spacious (although some could do with a fresh lick of paint) and are clean with white bed linens, colourful runners and the odd framed print to liven them up a bit. Single rooms all have a double bed, and although some are larger than others, they are good value for a short stay. You may wish to see a selection of rooms if you are staying long term as some of the smaller rooms can feel a little claustrophobic after a few nights.
Rates range from $12 a night low season for a fan-only single to $26 a night high season for an air-con triple. Air-con doubles and twins are a very reasonable $23 in high season and $20 in low season. Fan-only double and twins are even better value at $17 in high season and and $14 in low season.
Long term discounts range from 5% to 15% off normal rates, depending on length of stay, and possibly more if you walk in off the street when business is slack. My Home also offers various discounts for students and volunteers, and packages including free meals and temple tours. Daily drinking water, cable TV and WiFi are all included in the room rate.
Your included breakfast is served in the rather exotic garden restaurant out front and you can choose from a good selection of breads, eggs, cereals, fruit, pancakes and… hotdogs. The management also rather helpfully points out that if you miss breakfast “it is not deductible from your room bill”. So think on as you order another vodka bucket in Angkor What? Bar at 03:00… breakfast service here ends at 10:00.
The restaurant also serves snacks and more substantial meals throughout the day ranging from a plate of fries at $1.75 to burgers at $3 and a choice of traditional Khmer dishes from just $2.75. Free tea, coffee and fresh fruit are available all day in reception. If you want more dining options the bright lights of Pub Street and the charming Old Market area are a five-minute tuk tuk ride away or about a 15-minute walk on a well-lit street.
My Home attracts a discerning backpacker crowd, families, and a good share of long-term guests and expat residents lured by its great rates and excellent facilities. With its increasing popularity it’s easy to see why my friend wants to keep My Home to himself — it’s an excellent choice if you’re coming to Siem Reap.
My Home Tropical Garden Villa
142, Road to Psar Krom
T: (063) 760 035, (017) 601 909 or (012) 971 016
F: (063) 760 035
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