Accommodation in Siem Reap
Finding great accommodation in Siem Reap is a lot easier than you could ever imagine. Travelling on holiday or volunteering or even on business you will find amazing accommodation to fit every budget. From $4 per night to $300 for unimaginable luxury.
Many volunteer groups have their own accommodation in Siem Reap, where you might be staying with a family, a small guesthouse or a hotel which is know to them. For a better deal and a greater choice, I would use an Online Travel Agent (OTA’s). We suggest that you keep your volunteering and accommodation separate.
As someone who managed hotels in Cambodian and Thailand, I have worked with several OTA’s. One of Siem Reap’s greatest advantage is that the big 3 Online Travel Agents have offices there and should a problem arise you can go and visit their office. They are not keen on this, nor do they advertise this – but when needs must, you use everything at your disposal. However, not once did our hotels have any problems with Cambodian based OTA offices with overbooking. There are 900+ lodgings (industry name for a bookable room) of all descriptions to choose from in Siem Reap – priced from $4 per night to $300 per night.
Just as a footnote, you might want to avoid hotels with more than 100 rooms. These hotels cater mainly to large tour groups. These tour group bookings can be noisy and make buffet meals a free for all.
Book your accommodation as early as possible
This is especially true if you are booking for more than 2 or 3 weeks. The average stay for a tourist in Siem Reap is only 3 days! Therefore many hotels have problems in taking long term bookings at the last minute. Most OTA’s do not even ask for a deposit so you cam always cancel and the hotels have agreements that ensure they must honour any booking made with them. It is a no brainier.
What you must ensure a lodging has.
- First and foremost, they must have a power generator. Electricity is sometimes unavailable in Cambodia and your hotel has to have a working generator.
- Swimming pool. Stating the obvious.
- Where possible, a buffet breakfast. Great way to start your day
How to use an Online Travel Agent
We mentioned that OTA’s are the best way to find suitable accommodation in Siem reap; do not entertain contacting the hotels yourself by email. The travel industry did a survey and stated that on average it to took 7 emails to book a room and even then it is not certain that your booking is confirmed. Less reputable establishments may take a deposit and still rent your room out. Stick to the OTA’s. Many front desk staff are very good at spoken English and not so good at written (experience talking here) and more often or not they will wait for their GM which means that the booking process can be weeks rather than the 15 or 20 minutes online with an OTA.
- Use the customer review scores for filtering and sorting. The customer review scores in Cambodia reflect amazing value. If you look at scores of over 9 in booking.com you are in for a treasure of a place. I know of no other country that has so many hotels with 9+ scores at such value for money.
- Then price.
- Then check for facilities.
- swimming pool
- Then availability
- Then book NOW – do it now. You can always cancel if you have to
A By the By on star ratings
The star rating has hardly any value at all. These are up to the hotel and are not checked by anyone.
How to save a fortune.
Hotel rooms in Cambodia are always for 2 people. The cost of additional bed (3rd person) might just be the cost of a breakfast. A family room is tremendous value. Find a friend or friends to share with you! the example we gave on the home page of a 3 week stay for 1 person at $4,000 would translate into 2 family rooms (4 persons each) at a 4 star hotel for 1 month! Do the maths.
Book a hotel in Siem Reap and the hotel will pick you up at the airport for free! Remember we mentioned the company that was charging $60.
Lets re-state the saving here for 8 people for a 1 month in Siem Reap – $28,480. That is an extreme example.
What type of room to book?
Not only do you want to match your budget to your stay but also what standard of accommodation you require. We will go from cheap to expensive and how to get a bargain. We will recommend how to use booking.com and Expedia to get you the best deal.
Generally speaking the accommodation is not what you would want. Even though I have Khmer ‘family” and can stay in any of their homes, I choose to book a hotel. You will meet khmers and be invited to their homes; this is fine for a visit. remember to take a small gift.
I would say no. They are cheap; however they are very noisy and you never know who you will share a dorm with. Admittedly they are about $8 per night but they consequences are not worth the candle in my humble opinion. I booked into one for a month and had to leave after 5 days. Just too noisy; constantly. If you want to party in a hostel their bars are open for non residents and you can then go back to your own quiet affair. Currently we have 1 exception to the hostel rule, simply because of their very reasonable house rules. The Hi Siem Reap is definitely worth a stay. Book early as they have a limited number of private rooms and dorm beds.
These can be amazing of amazing value and the locals running them can be absolute gems. Expect top pay $10 – $20 per night for a really good one.
You have booked your hotel and now you will need travel insurance for volunteers. If you have not booked your flight to Cambodia go back and do it. Flights become scarce. Even if you have to fork out money today.