5 best boutique hotels in Cambodia
Who wouldn't want to go for the vacation of their lives and enjoy the most luxurious treatment in the most beautiful little hotel that nourishes all the senses? You know, Cambodia is one of the most popular boutiques and luxury travel destinations, not without reason! Their hospitality and ability to present a world-level service but remain within an affordable price range are just a few reasons people travel to Cambodia.
Most will aim for Angkor Wat, a breathtaking tourist attraction, but many other things to do. Siem Reap has food tours, all the beach fun in Kep, or even hiking in the Cardamom Mountains. Or how about some learning about their complicated history? It doesn't matter what your initial drive to explore Cambodia stems from. You are in for a treat, and to underline the experience, a wonderful place to lay your head is a must, which is where I come in.
In this article, I will show you many of the best hotels in Cambodia that will appeal to anyone trying to avoid a mainstream hotel chain and instead find a rather wonderful and unique local experience. You will hear more about boutique hotels in Phnom Penh Cambodia, Siem Reap, and other places, so just sit tight and enjoy the ride! Even if you are not planning a trip to one of these hotels that I will mention on this list of hotels in Cambodia, it doesn't hurt to dream a little and delve into the promise of those pristine images, am I right? However, let's start from the basics.
What are boutique hotels?
If you are a novice to the world of accommodations, this might be the most important part of the article. So how do you even distinguish a boutique hotel, and why should you stay exactly there? Let me tell you that there is no unified definition to this type of establishment, but there are a few common characteristics that are usually considered when talking about such.
First, they are generally smaller. It is said that no more than 100 rooms should be in a boutique hotel. However, in my opinion, a true boutique hotel experience will be possible only in those with no more than 25 rooms. It is all about the atmosphere. In boutique hotels, you would usually expect a more intimate setting and attitude from the employees. After all, you are selecting this type of stay to enjoy a unique experience.
Second, there is a strong focus on design and a strong artistic sense. Even though boutique hotels can be very simple and even basic, the travellers will usually lookout for a considered visual appeal and some eloquence in the interior and exterior. It is where you will most likely find Instagram-worthy corners to feature on your social media.
The third is the local culture. There are often found close to city centres and other important locations because featuring a sense of the place's culture seems common among most boutique hotels.
Lastly, what is not a boutique hotel? It isn't necessarily a luxury hotel or necessarily an expensive hotel. Some of the cheap hotels in Cambodia are also considered boutique, and one doesn't necessarily exclude the other! So in the following paragraphs, I will try to display some of the boutique hotels in Cambodia that feature all the aspects mentioned above, focusing on the visual appeal and Instagram ability. Additionally, I tried to select various locations and price ranges to get an impression of the diversity. So...
Here are the 5 best boutique hotels in Cambodia!
1. Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang
Location: Siem Reap
It might be one of the best hotels in Cambodia if you are eager to experience surroundings that most resemble the local practices and architecture. While the hotel is still very modern and features everything one might want from a unique travel experience, it is also carefully crafted to mirror the typical Cambodian lifestyle. Private terrace and pool villas that generously capture the essence of traditional Khmer homes' essence are raised on stilts with high ceilings and have beautifully aged wooden floors. Just arriving there transports you to another world as you move through the lush rice and lemongrass fields. It will be the perfect place to take in the beauty of the Cambodian countryside! Keep an eye for the SPA as they feature traditional beauty practices, too.
2. Heritage Suites Hotel
Location: Siem Reap
If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this might be the best spot. French elegance combined with the Cambodian tropical vibe is just the first impression that will get you on arrival. Six intimate traditional rooms and 20 sophisticated bungalow suites each offer something special for the lovebirds. Outdoor shower, a stone bathtub with a view in the middle of the living room, or a private pool to enjoy after a long day in Angkor Wat. This and the great service are just a few of the amazing features the guests have loved so far. Prices are from about 100 EUR for a room to 260 EUR for a bungalow with a private pool. Not bad, is it?
3. Hanuman Alaya Villa
Location: Siem Reap
Located overlooking the Siem Reap River, it is decorated with beautiful art and collectables from around the region adorning the walls. An amazing and renowned traditional menu of classical Khmer cuisine for the curious bellies will nourish after a long day out exploring. However, the SPA highlighting the typical Cambodian herbs, rubs, and scrubs for relaxing procedures will lift the spirits and treat the soul.
4. Song Saa Private Island
Location: Koh Rong Archipelago
Remember what I said about cheap hotels in Cambodia? It is a private island, and there is nothing cheap about staying there. A night in a villa for two will cost you from 1300 to 2900 EUR, but you know what...the experience is worth it. It might be my favourite option for a nurturing and memorable stay if it wasn't for the price. Idyllic location on Cambodia's untouched Koh Rong Archipelago connects the retreat to the mainland with a timber footbridge. However, that's not all. Each of 27 villas built with sustainable materials has a direct view and access to turquoise waters and all-inclusive entertainment that will leave nobody indifferent. What do they have over other luxury hotels in Cambodia? The location and the social media appeal. It is through the roof!
5. Baitong Hotel & Resort Phnom Penh
Location: Phnom Penh
It is one of my favourite boutique hotels in Phnom Penh Cambodia. It is located well in the city centre, but the pool area says something completely different. Lush plants and trees make it seem like you are bathing in a fancy jungle hotel. If feeling closeness to nature is one of the must-haves in your selection rounds, go for Baitong Hotel & Resort! The prices are at 50 EUR per night, and the jungle theme is featured even in the breakfast area!
Am I required to get a Cambodia visa?
It is important to check if you must obtain a Cambodia visa and what information you will require. However, in this case, it is quite a simple task. First, Brunei, Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are not required to get it. Everyone else can either apply for an eVisa or get it on arrival. My suggestion is to do a little research if you want to travel to Cambodia to know what you are in for!
So what can we take away from this? Now you have gained some understanding of what are boutique hotels exactly and a list of hotels in Cambodia that will make your social media followers envious. Remember that boutique hotels might be your chance to create an impression that you are staying in one of the luxury hotels in Cambodia while still staying within the frames of a reasonable budget. With that said, good luck with your travel plans and a heavenly stay in the land of lush experiences!
* There is an additional tip that I would like to give. If you do decide to travel to Cambodia then please keep in mind that currently, the situation within the travel industry is still very shaky due to Covid restrictions. The Pandemic is still ongoing, and in many countries of the world, different measures might affect your travel plans logistically, which is when booking hotels (and flight reservations for what it matters, too). You should always strongly consider opting for a slightly more expensive option that will allow cancelling without extra charges. After all, if you find out that you would have to quarantine the whole trip in a hotel after arriving, you might want to reschedule, right? So save some nerves and money, make a refundable booking!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.