Impressive and family-friendly
Beautifully decorated bungalows with raw silk-curtained bay windows set in restful gardens with a pool and great facilities for kids and families; just based on the good reports that we’d heard, we had a feeling we’d like Unique Boutique (despite the name) even before we went there, but we had no idea how impressed we’d be in the end.
Formerly Journeys Within, the traditional Khmer villa at the front leads you around to a beautiful garden hotel that is perfect for travelling families, or those simply seeking a quiet haven just a little out of town, and within an easy shot of the airport and the temples of Angkor.
Six large bungalows are arranged around a mid-sized pool, in mature, tree-filled gardens where the greenness and near-tangible sense of space loosens out the mind virtually from the moment you arrive. And then there are the rooms. Plenty of space again, with understated but attractive furnishings, and everything thought of, even down to the free use of a laptop for each room.
Families are well-cared for here. There is a play area with slides and swings, and an enclosed “kids club” games area. The kids can also join in the games at Sunday art classes at Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC), next door. This is an NGO that was affiliated with the hotel before it changed hands in April 2015. The relationship between the two remains, and guests can also attend the free Khmer language classes or, if you have sufficient time and skills, can volunteer to support the highly credited organisation. This is one of the few organisations in Siem Reap that require volunteers to furnish a police check and references, making it legendary in our books.
The family suite is two big rooms, a double and a twin, co-joined and is suitable for families with young kids of any age. There is also a bungalow, with a kitchen and cooking facilities downstairs and the parent’s room upstairs. Two pull out beds below provide sleeping space for the kids. The hotel recommends this as suitable for older kids, six or seven and above. It’s also ideal for couples who fancy traveling a little more independently who would relish the space and freedom.
Above the restaurant a small spa offers massages and body scrubs and basic treatments, though not facials. You can also organise an in-room massage when your tired, templed-out bones aren’t able to, or simply don’t feel like, making it out the door.
The glass-fronted restaurant can serve food all day, and they are very proud of their breakfasts.
Everywhere we went, everything was spotless, the staff smiling and attentive, and everything sparkled. Located a 10-minute drive out of town, they offer a free tuk tuk service between 18:00 and 21:00, as well as a free laundry service and daily restocked soft drinks and water in the rooms. The positive vibes were strong. Recommended.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 11th February, 2016.