This post is part of a larger trip report from my 16 day honeymoon in Southwest Asia!
Southeast Asia Trip Reports:
- Planning a Southeast Asia Honeymoon
- Park Hyatt Saigon Vietnam Hotel Review
- Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon Activities
- Le Méridien Angkor Hotel Review
- Angkor Wat / Siem Reap Activities
- Grand Hyatt Bali Hotel Review
- Bali Beach Town Activities
- Ubud (Bali) Hotels and Activities
After our two days in Ho Chi Minh City, we took an early morning flight to to Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is about an hour plane ride on Vietnam Airlines. This is the only direct airline and it is an extremely expensive flight for getting to Siem Reap as they really have a monopoly on this route. The flight was about $200 and for those who are familiar with flying around Southeast Asia, that is expensive! They realize that flying in and out of Siem Reap is primarily catered towards tourists so they have jacked up the price. Nonetheless, the $200 flight was money well spent!
Upon arrival we took a taxi to our hotel, the Le Meridien Angkor. From the airport to the hotel we paid a fixed price of $7 per person. The taxi driver was trying to convince us to hire him for our three days in the city, but we were skeptical. His prices were cheap and he seemed like a nice guy, but we had read about the Tuk Tuk drivers. We did not want to sit in a regular 4-door sedan during our stay in Cambodia. We were polite by taking his name and number, but really did not want to make any decisions until we got to the hotel and checked-in. It is really difficult to make money in Siem Reap, so they can be pushy with trying to get you to hire them during your visit. Their primary source of income is tourists.
Upon arrival at the hotel, the General Manager, who was Australian, sat down with us to give us all his recommendations and general information about the area. It sounds like he typically does this with the Western tourists as Cambodia is new to the tourism game. He knew the in and outs of the area and wanted to ensure his guests did not fall into any tourist traps or eat at any local restaurants that have been reported to not sit well with tourists. He spent a good 20 minutes with us, which is amazing. After our stay, I even emailed Starwood to praise the GM at this hotel. Throughout our entire stay the GM could be found in the lobby and helping guests. The entire concierge staff was also incredible helpful and would even call your Tuk Tuk driver when needed.
As a Platinum member, I was upgraded to a huge suite and given complimentary breakfast. The breakfast is buffet style and very Western. While in the hotel, I did not necessarily feel like I was in a foreign country. It is a beautiful complex and they tried to incorporate the temple feel, but many have described it as Disney World. I actually was okay with it as most of my time was not spent in the hotel and out exploring the country. From what I saw, this was actually the case with all of the huge lavish resorts around the town.
The pool at the resort is very nice in my opinion! We were there during the extremely hot and humid season and being able to jump in the pool was amazing. Since most people are out exploring the temples during the day, the pool area is pretty empty. For the few hours we spent there one afternoon, I thought it was very relaxing and a nice ambiance. They have tried to replicate the template feel and while it is kind of cheesy, I appreciated the effort.
The hotel is a Tuk Tuk drive away from the town, but is only about $1USD to get to/from. You could even negotiate for $.50, but that extra money means a world of difference to them. There are many less expensive hotels walking distance to the town and if on a budget you can probably get a room for $30/night, however, I was pleased with the resort feel and being slightly away from the town. Overall, I was very happy with my stay at the Le Meridien and would highly recommend it to others. While this resort is slightly more expensive for the area, on average about $150/night, it is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest program and only requires 7,000 points for a free night or 2,800 points + $45 with the cash + points option.
Coming soon…. activities and things to do in Siem Reap!