Family and friends tell me I am an absolute Nazi when it comes to booking hotels. Most of the time I go for mid-range hotels specially if were staying for several days. Luxury hotels are few and far between in my booking list because I can’t afford it and whenever I can, I actually feel like crap for choosing it (the kuripot mode sets in). I’m extremely choosy though when it comes to the hotel facilities (no flowery bed sheets or flowery curtains thank you very much!), a pool would be nice, an elevator if there are lots of floors and I’m crazy about location. The location usually makes or breaks the place for me.
But for single night stays and specially when I won’t really spend anytime in the hotel except to have a nap or a shower, I usually just pick a good budget boutique hotel. Such was the case when we traveled back from Manila to Siem Reap. We were arriving late at night and traveling to Phnom Penh the next day. So I booked a hotel beforehand so we won’t have a hard time looking for one.
In Siem Reap, you’ll actually be spoiled for choices when it comes to hotels and I was at a loss where I wanted to book. So I got a travel map, and scoped out the streets nearest the Old Market and Pub Street. Why these places? Well, I knew when we arrive we don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere, and my daughter is bound to be irritable and wanting a huge meal. So it had to be near where the restaurants are. Also it had to be where I could easily arrange our travel to Phnom Penh the next day.
entrance. love the warm and welcoming ambiance to this place ..
And I found Viva Hotel Siem Reap. It’s a few meters from Old Market and Pub Street in a quiet street. And the rates were a freaking bargain considering its prime location. So I booked a standard room for $20. And really I was expecting it to be teeny weeny room with just the very basic motel-like amenities.
the adjacent Mexican restaurant. Love the cheery orange color!
the mini lobby..
But we were in for a surprise. The rate included a free pick-up from the airport (have the hotel number handy in case they come in late). The pick-up was about 10 mins late and when we checked in the night manager apologized for the delay and upgraded our room free of charge to a superior. The room was pleasant and huge. With a huge king size bed, a sitting place, flat screen TV, ensuite bath etc. The only downside to the accommodations were the lack of elevator, a definite con if you’re traveling with lots of luggage.
the room. image via vivahotelsiemreap.com. I forgot to take photo of the room lol. was just too exhausted from the trip.
We also got free breakfast. And since I just paid $20 I was thinking maybe we’ll just be given coffee and toast. But nah. They actually had a special breakfast menu for their hotel guests and with good serving sizes too. Also, our daughter was traveling with us and in most cases, hotels charge an extra for bed as well as breakfast for kids. But Viva did not. They even prepared 3 pancakes and a glass of milk for her at no charge. Lol. I was just stumped at how good value the place is. My sis told me, just the breakfast alone would cost us not less than $15 outside. The service was also prompt and very friendly. And Viva has that laid-back, artsy and vibrant feel to it that would appeal to those looking for some cheering up.
It’s not really a habit of mine to recommend hotels even if we stayed on a fair share of them specially here in Cambodia but since this time I was given excellent value and excellent service, then I’d like to make an exception and pass the word on. If you’re ever in Siem Reap and looking for a place to stay at a good price & good location, check out Viva Hotel Siem Reap.