Cambodia has been a place I’ve long wanted to visit, so it was exciting to finally be here! Since my plans had changed somewhat, and was traveling alone, I opted to be a little more frugal and stay at the Le Meridien. Its a plenty nice hotel, but I couldn’t really justify the splurge on the new Park Hyatt when traveling solo. I’d rather share an experience like that with my wife.
My ride to the Le Meridien was booked by the hotel; and better yet, it was free. Hotel bookings made on the Starwood website for this property include one way airport transportation. That made arrival quite easy, and we even got a quick tour of some of the temples on the way to the hotel. I booked this stay with cash and points, so for this category 2 property, the cost was 2000 points per night plus $35.
I arrived in the afternoon, and after looking around the hotel a bit, I started making arrangements for my temple explorations the next few days. I was leaning towards doing a tour by bicycle, so as a first test, I rode to buy my ticket for the temples. This was important since the office was closed at the early hours I’d leave to see the temples at dawn. I’ll discuss my temple tours in much detail in a future post..
As for the hotel, I was pleased to find another nice Le Meridien hotel. I’ve been happy with most all of the Le Meridien hotels I’ve seen. I’ll visit 3 new ones on this particular trip. With SPG platinum status, breakfast was free along with a cocktail reception in the evening and complimentary soft drinks in the lobby lounge. In addition, waiting in the room was a fruit plate
The spiky fruits are rambutan, similar to lychee
The room itself was nice, a decent sized king bed room. The decor was a little dated, but it was perfectly comfortable for my needs, and at the price, a very good deal.
Views of a king bed guestroom at the Le Meridien Angkor
The grounds around the hotel were well manicured, very nice. Occupancy didn’t seem to be that high when I visited, as most of the time the hotel was relatively quiet, although I didn’t really spend much time there other than to sleep.
After a little exploring, I returned to the cocktail reception, to have some snacks and a drink. Here is the menu:
menu from evening cocktail reception in main bar
I went into town both nights I was here. The first night I booked a tuk-tuk from the hotel, but a full sized car showed up. The same situation when I booked a ride back to the airport before I left. The ride into Siem Reap was easy, and after some wandering, I found a place to eat on one of the various places along ‘Bar street’. After a meal, and browsing at various stalls selling souvenirs, scarves and other items, I decided to head back to the hotel since I would have an early start for my temple tour. This time, I took a tuk-tuk back to the hotel, which was my only ride on one of these. Cambodian style usually has a motorcycle pulling a trailer with the seats for passengers. Conveniently, the hotel staff told me the suggested prices for these rides, and although I paid more than what they said, I didn’t pay anything close to the initial offer the driver made.
heading back to the hotel via tuk-tuk
The Le Meridien Angkor is kind of on the edge of Siem Reap city, near the ticket gate for the Angkor Wat temples. Its an easy trip into town, but given the heat, it might be a bit much to walk for most people. On my second evening, I rode a bicycle into town for dinner and back. It was only maybe a 7-10 minute ride into the center of town. I used a bike for most of my touring and trips into town. I got a few looks, being one of the only barang (foreigner) on a bicycle most of the time, but it was a fun and easy way to get around.
Another common thing for tourists to do in Cambodia is traditional Khmer massage. I actually got 3 massages over 2 days there. For less than $10 each for an hour massage, why not? I had 2 traditional Khmer massages, and one that was more Swedish style with oil. I’d gladly recommend any of the places I went; Lemongrass Garden, Lotus Dream and Pura Vida. I appreciated the fact that there was never any hint of solicitation for any extra services, ‘happy’ or otherwise.
I really enjoyed my brief stay in Siem Reap and at the Le Meridien. Nice hotel, and an excellent value for the price. My next post will discuss some of the temples and other sites I visited.
Other posts in this series:
Around the world in a week
Air Canada to Toronto and The Maple Leaf Lounge
First Class all to myself: Lufthansa Inaugural Toronto to Munich
Munich Lufthansa First Class lounge then transiting Frankfurt
Thai Airways Royal First Class on the Airbus A380 Frankfurt to Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien
Malaysia Airlines economy from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap
The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap (this post)
Temples and bikes in Siem Reap
Best Western Amaranth for a short layover in Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge and Spa
Thai Airways Royal First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges in Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
Asiana Airlines First Class lounge in Seoul
The only passenger in Asiana Airlines First Class Seoul to Frankfurt
The Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
The best lounge in the world? Back at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class with a seat and a bed Frankfurt to Toronto