Viroth’s Hotel, Siem Reap – Review
If you google top hotels Siem Reap, invariably Viroth’s Hotel will pop up as a top hit. The boutique hotel has received the Trip Advisor Travellers Choice awards for Top Hotel in the World 2018 and Top Hotel in Asia 2019. Trip advisor is the world’s largest travel platform and hosts myriad travel related content including hotel and restaurant reviews and traveller forums. As such the bestowing of this award on this boutique hotel means something, it has been vetted by the international travelling community and come out with top marks! If you look up the reviews for Viroth’s Hotel, you’ll find similarities throughout: attention to detail; friendly staff; well appointed rooms and sophisticated decor and design. The kicker though, is that the price point for a luxe stay at Viroth’s Hotel is relatively cheap! It is comparative to the cost of booking a room in a one starred hotel in the not so tourist friendly areas of NYC!
After reading all the reviews, we were expecting a lot during our stay at this hotel, thankfully it did not disappoint! The 50s inspired hotel is a slick and discrete property that is set back from the hustle and bustle of downtown Siem Reap. Stepping through the entrance, the fragrance of lemongrass is redolent in the air and the service although discrete is attentive. The bright colour palette weaves throughout the hotel with pops of colour that highlight modern design elements and 50s era photography and art.
The boutique hotel houses 35 guest rooms and suites that are offered as a pool room or deluxe room option. The hotel rooms are housed over three storeys in an elegant stucco building that is bursting with greenery. The hotel complex sadly has no lifts which can make rooms difficult to access for those with mobility limitations. All the stairs of the hotel are well maintained and the hotel staff are available at all hours to assist with carrying luggage up and down the stairs as needed.
We booked a stay in the deluxe double room, which was quite large with a comfortable king bed, a sofa chill out zone, study desk and balcony area. The bathroom was clean and modern with luxurious amenities. The hotel also provided slippers and robes for use by hotel guests. A small bar fridge was provided filled with drinks and snacks and was serviced daily. House keeping was offered daily and a nightly turn down service was also provided nightly. On request housekeeping also sprayed insect repellent in the room to help keep the bugs away at night.
The hotel prides itself on its attention to detail, the guest rooms are immaculately maintained, the restaurant service is fantastic, and the front of house staff cater to guests every need. During check in, a refreshing tamarind drink and cold face towel is provided on arrival. The reception staff also take the additional time to explain the hotel and the surrounding area to guests. This includes how much you should be paying for a tuk tuk around Siem Reap!
The hotel doormen are friendly and remind guests to utilise the umbrellas and/or insect repellent on offer. They are also the first to welcome you warmly back after a long and dusty day of sight seeing. On arrival back to your hotel, expect to receive a refreshing drink of ice tea and cold towel. The hotel has a 24 hour reception desk and security guard on duty overnight, which makes the early morning start for Angkor Wat a lot easier to accomplish.
The outdoor 20m swimming pool is the crowning glory of the hotel with a vertical hanging garden as its backdrop. Pool side umbrellas and lounge chairs line the side of pool in anticipation of guests. The staff are incredibly attentive and bring towels on arrival as well frequently stop by for drinks request. We were in Siem Reap during the monsoon months and as such the water temperature in the pool was a little on the cooler side. However on a warm day it was a perfect way to while away the hours.
The pool bar/ lounge
This is a relaxed low key area where you can relax by the pool during the day time or meet with friends for a drink in the evening. The lounge has an open air bohemian vibe with fantastic service and variety of Cambodian inspired cocktails. The bar also offer a selection of European and Australian wines/beer.
Where the bar/lounge area is laidback the restaurant is uber classy. It is enclosed on all sides by a wall of glass, creating a see through oasis. The enclosed area in the balmy evening is actually a god send especially when those pesky mosquitos start attacking!
The restaurant is filled with fresh orchids, sophisticated tableware and saffron coloured table linen. The menu is small but varied with authentic Cambodian dishes as well as a short western food selection. The fresh salads here were fantastic, our favourite was the eggplant salad. We also enjoyed the Amok fish curry which is a traditional Cambodian style of steaming fish in banana leaf.
The hotel offers a 24 hour room service menu, however it is quite limited. The menu is sufficient for the occasional snack or quick meal late at night.
The hotel provides fresh drinking water in glass bottles which help to reduce the amount of plastic used and promotes sustainability and reduces the need for guests to purchase their own water.
We ate the majority of our breakfast in the poolside lounge area, although you can opt to eat in the restaurant if you wish. Breakfast is generally included with your room rate and is a sit down multi-course meal. On arrival you are offered tea/coffee and a basket of fresh baked goods (think croissants, pain au chocolate, bread) and are provided with a menu to make your breakfast selection from.
A range of healthy options including cereal, granola, yoghurt and fruit are avialable. The good stuff though is in the next section: French toast; waffles; pancakes; banana bread; as well as a range of egg dishes like omelette. They also offer noodles for those who are interested in trying a traditional breakfast! The restaurant provides a selection of freshly squeezed juices including orange and watermelon juice.
For your breakfast you can choose options across the multiple sections. All the food is served to order so you can ask the waiters to reduce your portion size or alter the dish to your taste. This set down style of breakfast has everything you can find in a buffet but with the convenience of having everything delivered to you.
We did manage to spend some time at the hotel’s Sokkhak Spa, which is an oasis from the hot and dusty city of Siem Reap. The spa uses Cambodian hospitality and beauty therapies to create a tranquil environment of relaxation and rejuvenation. The cost of the services are all in USD, although are incredibly reasonable. I was able to splurge on a facial and full body relaxation massage during my time there.
On arrival to the spa area, your therapist greets you with a traditional Cambodian style foot soak. Salt, mint leaves and lemon are used to help cleanse and invigorate tired feet. The Spa also offers a pandan and ginger tea to sip on whilst you wait for your treatment to commence.
I chose the avocado facial which was deeply hydrating and helped to even out my complexion after days of sight seeing in the sun. The facial also included a foot massage, which was a bonus! My second treatment at the spa was a full body relaxation massage, that I was able to tailor to my liking. I was pleasantly surprised by the therapists skills, it was one of the best massages I have had in a long time! Following the treatment you are served fruit and iced tea, a perfect way to end the spa experience!
The Gym at Viroth’s is contained in a small room with a weights bench, treadmill, exercise bike and free weights area. A small TV is available for entertainment, a water cooler and towels are also provided for guest use.
The airport transfers through the hotel are expensive although worth it! For the 20 minute drive to the hotel, you can be picked up in style in one of the hotel’s classic cars. The hotel has a few different models of vehicles to choose from and all are immaculately maintained.
Although the airport transfer option is expensive for Cambodia, it is probably the best option if you have large pieces of luggage. The majority of other other options include tuk tuks which can be difficult with luggage. We were also disorganised and only informed the hotel the day of our arrival regarding the airport transfer, they were able to accomodate us with no fuss!
The hotel has lots of tour options available for guests and these can be viewed on their website before you arrive, to better help you plan your time in Siem Reap. Your options include booking a car or tuk tuk as well as the hiring of an English speaking tour guide. We chose to do the short circuit temple tour and added the inclusion of sunrise at Angkor Wat. The hotel organised a car and driver for us to use for the day. Although the tuk tuk option is cheaper than the car, we found that having access to a car during the heat of the day was a much more comfortable option.
The benefit of hiring our own driver was that we were able to take the temple tour at our own pace. We had an early morning pick up at 4.45am and then were able to return back to the hotel for breakfast and a short rest before heading out again for the day. In the heat of the afternoon we decided to come back to the hotel for a rest, before departing for our sunset viewing in the evening.
Location and surrounding area
The hotel is situated by the river, a five minute walk from the Made in Cambodia market and ten minutes from the night market. The hotel is in a quieter area far away from pub street although there are many eateries and shops catering to tourists close by. We even took the opportunity to dine at Viroth’s Restaurant which is around the corner to the hotel. It is an open air restaurant that is beautifully decorated and offers an extensive list of traditional Cambodian fare. As guests of the hotel you receive a discount whilst dining there.
Viroth’s Hotel provides a boutique stay in the centre of Siem Reap. The staff are dedicated to guest comfort and the attention to detail at this hotel embodies refined luxury.