A year ago, I went to the most amazing, most unforgettable bachelorette party I have ever been to in my life. No, it did not even involve any male strippers with greasy chests or games where we had to eat anything that resembled a phallic symbol. It was an all-girl only getaway at Siem Reap, Cambodia before our friend Alessa became a Mrs.! It was definitely a fun and educational trip for us bachelorettes… or should I say “Cambachelorettes”? (That’s CAMbodia + BACHELORETTES for you, in case it’s not obvious enough).
Before going to Cambodia, we searched for various budget hotels where we could stay in, and found some really good ones, as well as some quirky ones such as:
There was a long debate about what the name meant exactly. Is it being said in a very assured and ‘gangsta’ way that sidewalks never die, as in “Yep, sidewalk never die. Fo’ sure!” Or is it some sort of plea to the sidewalk, as if begging it not to die, as in “Please! Sidewalk, never die!” It could also be an assurance that nobody dies on the sidewalk. It’s so open to interpretation!
Needless to say, we did not stay there, although the reviews of the hotel are actually pretty good. Instead, we booked at Moon Boutique Hotel and I can say that it was one of the best decisions we’ve made in this trip.
From the Siem Reap International Airport, we were picked up by the hotel driver to Moon Boutique Hotel. On the way there, he was chatting us up and even teaching us some useful Khmer words and phrases. As we marveled at the sights that we saw on the road, he also shared with us some tidbits about those places. Technically, we haven’t even started our trip yet and we were already having so much fun and learning a lot because of our very friendly and knowledgeable driver!
When we arrived at the hotel, we felt like celebrities as the staff served us some welcome drinks.
I also loved that they provided us with a mobile phone during our stay so that we can easily contact them. There was even a tuktuk (Cambodian rickshaw, or a motorcycle with a cabin attached to the rear ) and a driver on standby for those who wanted to leave the hotel and explore the city. These tuktuks dropped us off to Pub Street for free. Now that’s what I call “proactive”! They were obviously keeping in mind what guests would need and provided these, even without guests having to ask for them. Such consideration!
|Not the Moon Boutique Hotel’s tuk tuk, but this is just to show you what a tuktuk looks like.|
It was indeed a boutique hotel – quaint and cozy with only 17 guestrooms. For people who wanted a little peace and quiet, this was a comforting thought. Since it was an intimate nook and did not exactly come at a hefty price, we really weren’t expecting much from it. All we wanted was a clean and comfortable bed and a bathroom that didn’t look like a setting of a horror movie. Well, we couldn’t help but shriek like a bunch of teenage girls when we entered our rooms.
Our room was unbelievably spacious that we wanted to roll around the floor (which was made of gleaming marble) – because we could. The room temperature was just right and the beds were quite nice and big, so we had some really blissful sleeps during our trip.We got a deluxe family room which was basically three connected rooms, with one king-sized beds and two single beds in each of the other two rooms. Each room had its own bathroom. We only paid USD 133 nett per room night.
The rooms had everything five-star hotels normally offer: a welcome fruit basket, two complimentary bottles of water that were replenished daily, free wi-fi, a TV, a hair dryer, robes and slippers, and tea and coffee making facilities… oh, and the head of Jayavarman VII, a king of the Khmer Empire also welcomed us to Cambodia.
One of the nicest things we found in the room was a handwritten note from the General Manager. Handwritten! She took the time to grab a pen and paper and exert her hand muscles for us, when she could easily just have had a ready template computerized by her secretary and just signed the paper once it was printed out. We felt so special!
We were already really happy with the rooms, but when we saw the bathrooms, it was a whole different level of glee. The bathrooms were huge, and I was worried that I might want to spend too much time in it that I wouldn’t want to see the rest of Cambodia anymore. I’m exaggerating, of course, but it really was so big that my phone was not able to capture the entire bathroom area in just one frame.
But the prettiest part of the room were the pink lotus flower petals on the sink. It gave the place a more calming aura, and it felt as if I just stepped into a serene spa. With all the pink things in this bathroom, I wonder how men feel when they’re showering here?
Dining & Drink
On our second day in Siem Reap, we started it right with a delicious and filling breakfast which was included in our room rate. Guests can choose from American, Continental, or Asian breakfast, which included a free drink, which can be a choice from coffee, tea, milk, or fruit juice.
|Doing the “Mahal Kita Kisap” pose. It’s an inside joke, you won’t get it.|
The hotel also serves a basket of various kinds of bread for breakfast – French bread, toast, and our favorite, their fresh-baked chocolate croissant! They were soft and heavenly, and we looked forward to brekkie everyday throughout our trip because of these sweetmeats. The best thing about them? You can ask for more! When we ran out of these croissants, all we had to do was ask for a little extra, and the kind waitresses would gladly replenish our baskets with a smile on their faces. Please don’t judge us but we would wrap a few pieces in tissue paper and take them with us so we’d have snacks if we ever got hungry during our tour. Well, this was supposed to be a budget trip anyway, and packing a few pieces of croissants helped us stick to our budget!
|The restaurant was surrounded by different kinds of plants|
If you’re the type who skips breakfast, you can opt to just have lunch or dinner at the hotel’s dining area. They also have a bar where you can grab a beer or sip some cocktails , all while taking in the beauty of the trees and flowers, as well as the glorious swimming pool.
The pool of Moon Boutique Hotel is breathtaking whether during the day or nighttime. Just right outside the guestrooms and the restaurant, the pool is hedged by flourishing flora, so it feels more tranquil and soothing. It’s too bad we only got to swim once because our schedule was so packed. We only got to swim on our last day and we loved it so much that we didn’t want to get out of the water anymore!
|No, we were not with them. We shared a pool with other tourists that day.|
Most of our time in Cambodia was spent on temple-hopping, and naturally, after all that climbing and walking under the hot sun, we were so pooped and sore, we felt that all the muscles in our body were falling apart! We knew exactly what we needed: a massage! It was a good thing that the hotel had an in-house spa!
They offer a variety of treatments such facials, foot reflexology, body scrubs, and more, but we just opted for their “Khmer Traditional Massage” for 60 minutes which was very affordable, priced only at 12 USD/KHR 4,400, but guests get 50% off on their spa treatments. I was so beat and the massage was so relaxing that I fell asleep after just a few minutes into the session!Guests had the option to pay for the massage right after their session or just have it charged to their hotel room.
When we were first dropped off to the hotel, I was a little worried because it seemed so remote from the main tourist hub. There were no 7-11s or any stores for that matter that could be reached by foot. I wondered how we were going to get around, especially late at night. It turns out that the seclusion was a good thing, as it was a break from the noise and busyness, which we already had too much of back home. Besides, as I mentioned, the hotel provided us with a tuktuk to take us places, and a phone to reach the hotel when we needed to be picked up, so things were much easier than I thought they would be.
The Moon Boutique Hotel was our home away from home while in Cambodia, and when I say this, I truly mean it. The hotel was not just a lodging for us; it really was like home. The staff made absolutely sure that our stay was pleasant and comfortable. Each day, after our tour, we would come home to a spic-and-span room, our things which we left scattered all over the place suddenly arranged so neatly. Every time we passed by, we would be greeted by warm smiles and friendly faces. Even the dining staff were so soft-spoken and gentle that we would feel guilty for being so loud and unladylike!
Moon Boutique Hotel really exceeded our expectations, and I can truly say that we were over the moon throughout our entire stay in Siem Reap because of this lovely hotel!
The Moon Boutique Hotel
Address: Phum Wat Bo, Sala Kamreuk Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tel: 855-63 964 577
Fax: 855-63 964 678