by Santorini Dave • Updated: December 6, 2018
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Siem Reap Hotels – Tips and Advice
- Best Luxury Hotels in Siem Reap: Sala Lodges (rustic and romantic) • Raffles Grand Hotel s’Angkor (most luxurious hotel) • Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa (best boutique hotel in Siem Reap) • Victoria Angkor (best for families)
- Best Cheap Hotel in Siem Reap: Tanei Boutique Villa
- The best areas in Siem Reap for travelers are the French Quarter, Old Market (aka City Center), Wat Bo, the Road to Angkor, and Krous Village.
- The best restaurants are Mie Café (local food in a traditional Khmer house), Bugs Café (insect tapas), Café Indochine (Royal Khmer fine dining), Flow Food and Wine (stylish French spot), and Little Red Fox Espresso (hands down, best coffee in Siem Reap).
- The official Cambodian currency is the riel, but the unofficial currency is the US dollar. All ATMs dispense dollars; you’ll even pay for your visa at the airport in dollars. US coins are not in circulation, though, so change less than $1 will be given in riel. Plan on carrying small bills most of the time; it can be difficult to break notes larger than $10. Break large notes at your hotel. Also, vendors only accept dollars in good condition, meaning no rips, tears, or excessive wrinkles (though riel notes are often mangled.)
- Tuk tuks (motorcycles pulling carriages) are the best way to get around the city. A good rule of thumb is to pay around $1 per kilometer, though rates do vary. Settle on a price before getting in the tuk tuk. The city is full of drivers, so if you can’t settle on a fair price with one, ask another.
- It costs around $15-20 to hire a tuk tuk driver for a full day visit to Angkor, roughly six to eight hours. Temple Tuk Tuk, owned by Ra Pheng, is a great company with fair prices and a comprehensive menu of destinations, including Angkor, Banteay Srei, and more. Customized trips are also available – just ask.
- Carry tissue with you. Many public restrooms don’t have toilet paper.
- Smoking is still allowed in most hotels in Siem Reap, though it is usually confined to bars and certain floors. Be sure to request a non-smoking room if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke and smells.
- Angkor Wat has recently imposed a dress code for visitors, both men and women. Tops need to cover shoulders, and bottoms need to cover the knees. A scarf over the shoulders with a tank top underneath is no longer acceptable. Admission to the temple complex will be denied for visitors who are not dressed appropriately.
- Do not miss Phare: The Cambodian Circus. Aside from the temples, this is the top attraction in the city, with acrobatics, theater, music, live painting, and original stories rooted in Khmer culture.
- All hotels in the following list are just 10-20 minutes to Angkor Wat via tuk tuk.
The 15 Best Hotels in Siem Reap
1. Sala Lodges – Sala Kanseng
A collection of traditional stilt houses from all over Cambodia, dating from 1956, has been dismantled and rebuilt here to recreate a Khmer village. Each one or two bedroom house has been lovingly restored and updated with modern comforts. The grounds include a salt water infinity pool, rice paddies, and a culinary garden. Two restaurants and bars serve authentic Khmer foods, tapas-style, using ingredients grown on site or bought the same day from the local markets. This experience-focused boutique offers photography tours, cooking classes, and cycling excursions. Sala Lodges sits off the main road in southeast Siem Reap. Though the setting feels remote and tranquil, it’s less than ten minutes to downtown via tuk tuk.
Hotel phone: +855 63 766 699
2. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor – French Quarter
An Art-Deco beauty, featuring Siem Reap’s largest pool, a luxurious spa, and six indulgent restaurants, Raffles is easily the most decadent hotel in the city. Its spa offers holistic Khmer massage complimented by herbal compresses, a sauna, spa, and Jacuzzi. Rooms in the 1932 heritage wing or in the modern wing are spacious, each with soaking tubs and butler service. Its Restaurant Le Grand serves dishes from the Royal Palace, Khmer recipes handed down over centuries, while Café d’Angkor is known for its champagne breakfasts and all day East-West menu. This hotel sits just north of the Royal Garden, three minutes’ walk to the National Museum, and just fifteen minutes’ walk to the bars and restaurants on Pub Street and the lovely Wat Preah Prom Rath temple.
Hotel phone: +855 63 963 888
3. Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa – Krous Village
A gorgeous all-suite resort, tucked away on sumptuous grounds, Anantara offers stylish suites with butler service, plus a cozy spa and modern Khmer fine dining. The hotel’s designated Experience Butlers offer a wide menu of adventures, including bicycle, Vespa, and tuk tuk tours of the temples, Tonle Sap, and the Cambodian countryside. Its Streetwise Gurus plan customized tours of Siem Reap’s markets, boutiques, back streets, and culinary destinations. Complimentary perks include a foot treatment on arrival, mobile phone, and evening cocktails and canapes. West of the city, Anantara is walking distance to the Cambodian Cultural Village and about fifteen minutes’ tuk tuk ride to downtown.
Hotel phone: +855 63 966 788
4. Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa– French Quarter
The best family-friendly resort in the city, Victoria Angkor offers a spacious suites and connecting rooms, a kids’ pool, and a kids’ club with a playground and garden. For adults, their spa features massage in its studio or gardens, a salt water pool and Jacuzzi, plus three stellar restaurants and bars. Built in the style of a ‘30s French estate, all rooms in this modern hotel are large and sunny with balconies overlooking the pool or Royal Gardens. Each one-bedroom suite is decorated in a theme to reflect a different colonial locale. Two vintage ‘20s French cars are available for excursions or airport transfer. Located in the Old French Quarter, about fifteen minutes’ walk to Wat Preah Prom Rath temple, two large Night Markets, and the party vibe on Pub Street.
Hotel phone: +855 63 760 428
5. J7 Hotel – French Quarter
This brand new, luxury hotel features extravagant rooms, a pool area with five Jacuzzis, and an extensive wellness spa. Rooms and suites feature rain showers and soaking tubs, some with private terraces and whirlpools. J7 is home to several outstanding restaurants, including a French-Italian al fresco spot and an East-West all day café. Its playground and huge rooms and suites, ranging from 60 to 180 square meters, make the hotel perfect for families. Adjacent to the Royal Gardens, J7 is just a short walk to the National Museum, two Night Markets, street food, and Pub Street bars.
Hotel phone: +855 63 768 777
6. Shinta Mani Club – French Quarter
This five-star, Angkor-inspired boutique offers refined rooms and suites, an infinity pool, lavish spa, and three phenomenal bars and restaurants. Designed by Bill Bensley, the large, chic rooms feature handmade lamps, local artwork, and espresso machines. Its spa features Khmer and Thai bodywork performed in a luxe suite or on an outdoor terrace. The restaurants fuse local and international flavors. Indoor dining is available at Kroya and Bensley’s Bar, but both offer the option of dining outdoors and above ground, on the Khmer swings over the lily pond at Kroya or on the benches suspended off the balcony at Bensley’s. Guests here also have access to the pool and restaurants at their sister property Shinta Mani Resort, which is just across the street. Located on the edge of the French Quarter, near the river and the Old Market hawker stalls, just a five minute walk from Pub Street and tons of local restaurants.
Hotel phone: +855 63 761 998
7. Borei Angkor Resort & Spa – Banteay Chas
A Khmer-style five-star hotel, Borei Angkor offers posh amenities, including the top spa in the city, a free-form pool, and hot and cold Jacuzzis. Spacious rooms have pool, city, or garden views, some with soaking tubs, balconies, or club access. Five dining spots here serve Khmer and Western cuisine and cocktails, along with cooking classes and culture night dinners with apsara dancing. The Privilege Floor, its top floor hotel-within-a-hotel, lavishes even more on guests, with an exclusive restaurant, complimentary mobile phone, a personal host, daily laundry, and private car service. On the eastern side of town, this hotel is walking distance to the restaurants and bars on Wat Bo Road and just a short tuk tuk ride to any of the city’s night markets.
Hotel phone: +855 63 969 300
8. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra – Road to Angkor
The Sofitel blends French and Khmer elements in its fine dining restaurants, refined accommodations, and elegant spa, all surrounded by lily pond landscaping. Perfect for families, this resort features suites and connecting rooms, a large free-form pool, kids’ club, and activities like treasure hunts and flower folding. The hotel also owns the Phokeethra Country Club, Cambodia’s first golf course, where guests can tee off surrounded by ancient ruins. Located just north of town, the Sofitel is a five-minute tuk tuk ride to the Royal Gardens and just five more to the city center and any of the night markets.
Hotel phone: +855 63 964 600
9. La Residence Blanc D’Angkor – Krous Village
This polished, boutique resort boasts an elevated saltwater pool, serene garden, and authentic Khmer dining with Western options. Rooms are tastefully appointed, all with soaking tubs, separate glass showers, and murals hand-painted by local artists. Suites are all two bedrooms with one king and one queen bed and can accommodate up to two extra beds. Service is impeccable, and the staff here (mostly students and grads from an NGO school) are genuine, warm, and friendly. This relaxed and secluded hotel is just west of town, about ten minutes’ tuk tuk ride to the downtown Old Market area or five minutes’ tuk tuk the opposite way to the Cambodian Cultural Village.
Hotel phone: +855 63 963 332
10. Viroth’s Hotel – Wat Bo
An upscale boutique with retro décor and lush grounds. Viroth’s offers a saltwater pool, holistic spa, spacious rooms, and a bar and restaurant. Rooms are spacious and modern, all with a private terrace and accented by local antiques; suites add extra space and a soaking tub. Food and drinks are superb here, with a seasonal menu of Khmer and Western foods and inspired cocktails. Owned by an openly gay couple, this is an LGBT-friendly hotel. Located on the east side of the Siem Reap River, walking distance to Wat Bo and Wat Damnak temples, the Art Center Night Market, King’s Road shopping and dining, and Pub Street.
Hotel phone: +855 63 766 107
11. Lotus Blanc Resort – Krous Village
A posh resort for couples, Lotus Blanc sits amid lush grounds with spectacular food, a luxe spa and pool, and Angkor-inspired design with French influences. The spa offers couples packages with traditional Khmer remedies and massage, while their richly appointed rooms include breakfast in bed for Landmark categories and above. All rooms include a private terrace and views of the city, pool, or coconut grove; suites add a separate living area and soaking tub. Their Privilege Floor includes perks, such as complimentary mobile phones, round trip airport transfer, and an exclusive restaurant. Located west of town, Lotus Blanc is just a five minute tuk tuk ride from the Cambodian Cultural Village and less than ten minutes’ ride to downtown Siem Reap attractions.
Hotel phone: +855 63 969 300
12. Angkor Palace Resort & Spa – Krous Village
This palatial resort showcases a spa designed to look like the inside of a temple, along with a free-form pool with attached whirlpools and a kids’ pool, and a choice of rooms, suites, or villas. Luxury amenities include a driving range, playground, tennis courts, and helicopter parking. All of the restaurants are outstanding here, but their fine dining Phum Kreus Khmer (Royal Khmer House) is the highlight; the food is prepared using traditional methods, including husking rice by hand, and is served in a replica stilt house. Situated west of the city center, the hotel is less than ten minutes to downtown and five minutes to the Cambodian Cultural Village by tuk tuk.
Hotel phone: +855 63 760 511
13. Park Hyatt Siem Reap – Old Market
The only luxury hotel in the heart of downtown, featuring sleek and contemporary design, generous rooms, two gorgeous pools, and a soothing spa. Large rooms feature oversized windows and Italian marble bathrooms with soaking tubs. One- and two-bedroom suites have added perks, such as whirlpool tubs for two, private plunge pools, or balconies. Three restaurants are on site, with The Dining Room specializing in French and Khmer dishes, the Glass House serving international cuisines, and the Living Room mixing fab cocktails until midnight. Sitting in the Old Market area, this hotel is walking distance to all four of the city’s night markets, plus bijou bars and restaurants, and lively Pub Street.
Hotel phone: +855 63 211 234
14. Le Meridien Angkor – Road to Angkor
The closest luxury hotel to Angkor Wat, Le Meridien offers a temple-style pool, stylish accommodations, and some of the best dining in the city. Rooms and suites include marble bathrooms with soaking tubs. Family rooms double the size and separate the bedroom from the living room, while suites add a butler’s kitchenette and dining area. Their award-winning, Khmer-style spa includes couples’ rooms and a Jacuzzi suite. Their Italian restaurant L’Angelo is one of the oldest and best-loved restaurants in Siem Reap. Located north of the city, Le Meridien is halfway between Angkor Wat and Pub Street, about ten minutes either way via tuk tuk.
Hotel phone: +855 63 963 900
15. Belmond La Residence d’Angkor – Wat Bo
An intimate, all-suite boutique featuring a wellness spa, delightful food and drinks, and a sparkling pool. Suites are generous and sunny, with pool and garden views, soaking tubs, and private terraces. One-bedroom suites can connect to junior suites to create two-bedroom family suites; family-friendly amenities include kids’ menus, board games, and babysitting services. Three inspired dining restaurants offer their take on elevated, Khmer street food, Latin-Asian fusion foods, and tapas with wine flights, and a variety of martinis. On the east side of the Siem Reap River, Belmond La Residence is close to the bar and restaurant strip lining Wat Bo Road, the Art Center Night Market, and just a five-minute walk to Pub Street.
Hotel phone: +855 63 963 390
Staying in the French Quarter
The city’s old colonial hub, the French Quarter retains much of its character in the stately French and Chinese architecture lining its wide, tree-lined boulevards. This affluent area is home to the surprisingly understated Royal Residence, which sits inside the Royal Independence Gardens, a favorite spot for travelers and locals to unwind. The Royal Gardens are also home to the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm pagoda, a temple for two Buddhas and important center for local celebration and ceremony. The Gardens are cut through the middle by a small strip of hawker stalls. In between the Royal Residence and the pagoda, is the smaller Ya Tep shrine that sits in the middle of National Highway 6 in a traffic roundabout. This tiny but popular shrine honors Ya Tep, a powerful spirit who protects the local area. The relaxed French Quarter is home to several upscale restaurants and bars, galleries, and boutique shops, featuring locally made silks and artwork. The French Quarter is walking distance to all of the city’s markets and nightlife, yet remains relatively quiet at night.
Best Hotels in the French Quarter
- Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 963 888
- Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 760 428
- J7 Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 768 777
- Shinta Mani Club • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 761 998
Best Restaurants in the French Quarter
- Guru Mother Café • $$-$$$ • No frills, Japanese comfort food.
- Café Indochine • $$-$$$ • Romantic, Royal Khmer fine dining in a traditional Khmer villa.
- Dakida Korean BBQ • $$-$$$ • Korean-style pub food in a casual setting, known for their all-you-can-eat pork belly.
- Siem Reap Brewpub • $$-$$$ • Stylish spot for craft beer and tapas.
Staying in Old Market (aka City Center)
The northern half of the Old Market area has a relaxed vibe with a cafes and boutique shops, much like the neighboring French Quarter. But the southern half of the Old Market area is the busiest spot in town, especially at night. Pub Street is here, the raucous home to bars, clubs, and restaurants. You’ll also find two night markets: the Angkor Night Market, and the Old Market, both of which sprawl out for several blocks in every direction. The hawker stalls here are the best spots to find cheap and delicious food, especially near Street 9. There are usually several little plastic kids’ tables near the hawker stalls where people sit to eat. The downtown area is small, so the markets blend into Pub Street and each other, with only a couple of blocks left out of the action. From the main market area, in the southern part of the neighborhood, you’ll find three bridges over the Siem Reap River that connect to the Wat Damnak neighborhood. Walk across to find the Art Centre Night Market. Follow the river north to reach Kings Road Angkor, an upscale and slightly sterile market with fine, sit-down restaurants and artisanal crafts. Make this trip any night after 7:00, and you’ll catch a live band along the way, rocking out on the outdoor stage at the Hard Rock Café. Tuk tuks are everywhere, so finding your way back to the hotel is never an issue, though late night travel may cost an extra $1 or so.
Best Hotel in the Old Market Area
Best Restaurants in the Old Market Area
Staying in Wat Bo
Just east of the Siem Reap River, Wat Bo Road is the city’s foodie zone. Sidewalk bistros, garden cafes, and posh, white tablecloth restaurants vie for attention, alongside the city’s trendiest bars. The main attraction here is Wat Bo Temple, one of the oldest temples in the downtown area. It is currently under renovation, but it is still an active temple with daily service. Admission to the temple is free. Keep walking south on Wat Bo Road, and you’ll run into the Wat Damnak neighborhood with a couple of night markets and the Hard Rock.
Best Hotels near Wat Bo Road
- Viroth’s Hotel • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 766 107
- Belmond La Residence d’Angkor • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 963 390
Best Restaurants near Wat Bo Road
- Banlle Vegetarian Restaurant • $ • Straightforward spot for veggie Khmer food. Western options, too.
- Flow Food & Wine • $$$$ • French and Euro fine dining. Do not miss the beef cheeks and chocolate fondant.
- The Hashi • $$-$$$ • Fresh Japanese food, known for their teppanyaki.
- Viroth’s Restaurant • $$-$$$ • Khmer fine dining, featuring regional favorites. Choose to dine al fresco or indoors with A/C. Reservations recommended.
Staying on the Road to Angkor
The Road to Angkor, officially Charles de Gaulle Blvd, begins north of the French Quarter, near the Angkor National Museum, and extends further north for six kilometers to Angkor Wat. Several hotels and resorts are clustered near its intersection with Street 60. This area is still developing and is not easily walkable, nor does it have a cohesive neighborhood vibe. But one of the city’s best-loved restaurants, Mie Café, is here, along with Theam’s House, a stunning art gallery with workshops onsite. This is where most of the paintings sold in the Old Market and Art Center Night Market are made. You can buy them here for much cheaper directly from the artists. Just south of the hotels, near Jayavarman VII Hospital, is a park, simply labeled “Memorial” on Google Maps. Built in honor of fallen soldiers fighting the Vietnamese, this is a lovely, contemplative park, with unique blue stone carvings and a pagoda. Of course, the best reason to stay on the Road to Angkor is proximity to the temples. From here, it’s only ten minutes to the gates of Angkor Wat.
Best Hotels on the Road to Angkor
- Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 964 600
- Le Meridien Angkor • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 963 900
Best Restaurants on the Road to Angkor
Staying in Krous Village
This area includes the hotels west of Siem Reap, off National Highway 6/Airport Road. Krous Village is home to the city’s largest resorts, plus the Angkor Golf Resort, which is not a resort but a golf course and restaurant. Everything here is really spread out, which makes it feel incredibly remote, though a tuk tuk will get you to downtown in fifteen minutes tops. The Cambodian Cultural Village is just west of the resort area and features traditional Khmer dancing, crafts, and history; performances are staggered throughout the day. Northwest from here is the Siem Reap War Museum, which tells the history of the Cambodian Civil War and features ex-soldiers as guides and a collection of weaponry.
Best Hotels in Krous Village
- Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 966 788
- La Residence Blanc D’Angkor • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 963 332
- Lotus Blanc Resort • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 969 300
- Angkor Palace Resort & Spa • Reviews • Hotel phone: +855 63 760 511
Best Restaurants in Krous Village
- Phum Kreus Khmer aka Royal Khmer House • $$$$ • Royal Khmer fine dining in a replica Khmer house, using traditional recipes and preparation methods. Reservations required.
- Abacus Restaurant, Garden & Bar • $$$$ • French and international fine dining with an extensive wine list. A little east of Kraus Village.
- Chi Restaurant & Bar • $$-$$$ • Modern, fresh, organic Khmer and pan-Asian dining. Cooking classes area available, too.