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Hotel Highlights

  • Evocative mod-Cambodian design by US talent Bill Bensley
  • Central but quiet location near the river, shops and bars
  • Smart dining scene, soothing spa, poised pool and tailored tours

Overview

American interiors whizz Bill Bensley has worked wonders at Shinta Mani Club boutique hotel in Siem Reap, which seduces with soft lighting, fragrant scents and stylish mod-Cambodian design. Mission out on tailored tours to Angkor's dazzling temples, then retreat to the luxe suites, cool pool, soothing spa and romantic swing-seat dining.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Shinta Mani Club with us:

A Khmer tasting menu for two, excluding alcohol

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Shinta Mani Club

Exclusive: 35% off plus a swing-seat dinner for two

Flash deal: 45% off Special offer: 20% off Flash Deal 40% OFF

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

39.

Check–out

12pm; check-in, 2pm, but both flexible subject to availability. A room for changing or showering can also be made available for early arrivals or late check-outs.

Rates

Double rooms from $249.55, excluding tax at 17.81 per cent.

More details

Rates include welcome drink, breakfast, daily fruit platter, pool bar cocktail on day of arrival, 30-minute foot massage bath with your first spa treatment. From now until 30 June 2014, minibar treats are free.

Also

Make time for a session in the soothing, top-floor spa, which sports one spa suite with a massive bath tub, three double treatment rooms and an alfresco relaxation and yoga terrace. Aromatherapy massages kick off with a choice of fragrant oils and a footbath or banish jetlag with a Khmer Coffee Scrub, using white clay and coffee beans from Ratanakiri Province.

At the hotel

Spa, concierge, charity centre, library with books, DVDs, games and magazines, guest computers, gallery, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen cable TV, DVD player, CD player, radio, iPod dock, minibar, toiletries, pillow menu.

Our favourite rooms

For views over the courtyard pool from your balcony, opt for a spacious upper-floor Deluxe Room, or for privacy and a small garden, make it a ground-floor Deluxe pad. Our personal faves are the Superior Poolside boudoirs with chill-out porches just steps from the refreshing lap pool. Showers get more sumptuous as you upgrade.

Poolside

In a tranquil internal courtyard, the sculptural black-tiled lap pool encourages cooling dips, backed by a soothing waterfall feature and flanked by palms and sleek loungers. The adjacent Pool Bar is a stylish spot for cocktails, smoothies, juices, coffees, teas or snacks, with a cabana den for private dining or shaded snoozing.

Packing tips

Trainers for temple-hopping; flip-flops for tackling town in the wet season. The hotel provides umbrellas, but bring your own mosquito repellant and sun cream (afternoon rays can be scorching).

Also

Pets are not permitted. All rooms are non-smoking, but guests can smoke on Deluxe Room terraces.

Children

Welcome, although the hotel has a sophisticated, adult feel, with lots of toddler-unfriendly antiques and stairs. Baby cribs are free and extra beds can be supplied for older kids for US$49 a night. Babysitting costs US$5 an hour, with an hour's notice.

Read more

Pet‐friendly

Pets are not permitted.

Eco‐friendly

US$5 of each night's booking goes towards the Shinta Mani Foundation, which trains local Cambodians in the hospitality industry (guests can visit the development centre at the hotel). The foundation also supports a raft of other social projects in Siem Reap, including health and dental care, a village school and small businesses.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Meaning 'food' in royal Khmer, streetside Kroya restaurant includes a chic grey dining area with stripy floors and temple maps on the ceiling, and a breezy terrace slung with suspended dining swings and lined with lotus-dotted pools. Enjoy smart à la carte modern Cambodian dishes, such as prawn skewers, crab bouillabaise, fish amoc curry with rice, or ginger and lemongrass pannacotta.

Hotel Bar

Perched above Kroya, Bensley's Bar is a relaxed, airy space with smart charcoal-grey screens and booths cantilevered out over the terrace below. Snaffle a style mag, then kick back with Asian, Spanish or dessert tapas platters and an Open Heart cocktail, a heady mix of Cuban rum, passionfruit, mint leaves and palm sugar, picking up on the hotel's motto 'Open Doors, Open Hearts'. The lounge tune-toting Pool Bar, dotted with slouchy sofas, saffron accessories and striking ornaments, also dispenses drinks and delicious day-long snacks (look out for daily cocktail deals or ask the staff to whip up your preferred tipple).

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 6am until 10.30am; Kroya takes last orders by 10pm.

Room service

Mirroring the restaurant menu, room service can be yours from 7am until 10pm, offering tasty soups, salads and curries. You can also order breakfast boxes, including coffee, pastries, fruit and yoghurt, at extra cost for sunrise temple trips.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Informal by day, elegant by night (linen trousers beat skirts for decency on the dining swings!).

Top table

Anywhere in Kroya's air-conditioned interior for breakfast or lunch; the seductive outdoor dining swings for dinner.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

At Shinta Mani Club, be sure to sample the soothing spa, cool pool or try a yoga or cooking class. Bonalai Library offers a chilled out spot for reading style mags or playing board games. You can also visit the hotel's development foundation to find out more about local life, with two classrooms for hospitality workers upstairs, as well as off-site charity projects.

 

The team can also arrange half- or full-day tours by tuk tuk or air-conditioned car to visit the famous Angkor temple sites on the edge of town (buy a one-day pass for US$20, a two- or three-day pass for US$40 at the entrance to the Angkor Archeological Park, open 5am until 6pm). Early-birds can head out to catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat or the Bayon, with a breakfast box to go; sunset trips to Phnom Bakheng hilltop temple or Angkor Wat are also atmospheric, although you may find yourself dodging the tourist crowds. You'll need at least two days to make a good dent in the temples, and be sure to catch the carving-coated, massive Angkor Wat itself, the many-faced Bayon and surrounding Angkor Thom complex, and tree-hugged Ta Prohm. If you have more time, take a trip to the outlying delicate, pink Banteay Srei temple, about 16 kilometres north-west of Siem Reap.

 

Fancy a break from the temples? Then ask hotel staff to arrange a visit to the Angkor Silk Farm (+855 (0)63 5555 768), in Puok, about 16 kilometres from town. You can see the whole process from silk-worm cultivation through to textile dyeing, then snap up gifts to take home. The team can also organise guided or independent tours to outlying temple groups, local villages, Kulen Mountain, or the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you can see communities living on the water. You're also near the Angkor National Museum (www.angkornationalmuseum.com) if you're a fan of artifacts, and want to find out more about the history of Angkor.

 

The Old Market (Psar Chaa) is a short walk away if you fancy perusing packed stalls of local fruit, veg, fish, meat and spices, as well as jumbles of clothing and knick-knacks, and tiny food stands. For souvenir-friendly scarves, bags and Buddha figurines, make for the nearby Angkor Night Market, west off Sivatha Street, buzzing from around 6pm until midnight. Divided into several covered areas, it also plays hosts to bars, massage centres and the ever-popular, if creepy, Dr Fish foot baths, where small fish will nibble the rough skin off your feet. Artisans Angkor (+855 (0)63 963 330; www.artisansdangkor.com) is a good bet for authentic craft finds, with the chance to see artisans at work. This fair-trade Cambodian studio supports stone- and wood-carving, lacquering, silver-plating and silk-painting workshops.

 

For more hot shopping, walk up to the FCC Angkor complex (+855 (0)63 760 280; www.fcccambodia.com), just five minutes from the hotel on Pokambor Avenue, surrounded by tempting boutiques. Try Eric Raisina (www.ericrasina.com) for vibrant 'haute texture' scarves, fashion and textiles; Tiger Lily (www.tigerlilypnh.com) for covetable Khmer antiques, Buddha figurines and tableware; WA Gallery (+855 (0)92 746 287) and Wanderlust (www.wanderlustcambodia.com) for funky accessories, jewellery and bags; and the McDermott Gallery (www.asiaphotos.net) for moody black-and-white photos of Angkor.

 

Local restaurants

Just a 10-minute stroll away across the Siem Reap River, respected Viroth's Restaurant (246 Wat Bo Street; +855 (0)12 826 346) is a must for elegant Khmer, Thai and pan-Asian fare, served on an airy garden terrace hung with red fabric screens. Classics such as Khmer sour soup, fish amok curry and mango sticky rice are a delight, although you may find yourself sharing dining space with the odd tour group.

 

A five-minute meander from Shinta Mani, Sugar Palm (Taphul Street; +855 (0)63 964 838) is a favourite for zesty pomelo salads and Khmer curries, served on the upstairs balcony of a traditional timber house. Share a platter of bestselling dishes, such as spring rolls, banana blossom salad, Khmer crispy noodles, fish amok and rice, or opt for the tasty mains (frogs' legs in season nod to French influence; squid with Kampot peppercorns picks up on Cambodia's coastal cuisine). The tempting cocktail list includes the Lychee Breeze, fusing vodka, cranberry and lychees. Pick of the pews are the lounging day-beds by the balcony edge, great for groups.

 

Set in another old wooden house, Khmer restaurant Café Indochine (44 Sivatha Street: +855 (0)12 964 533; www.cafe-indochine/asia) is also nearby, serving Asian and western fare. Choose between the air-con dining room, French colonial first-floor or lush garden.

Local bars

Just a five-minute walk up Pokambor Avenue beside the Siem Reap River brings you to the colonial-chic FCC Angkor (+855 (0)63 760 280; www.fcccambodia.com), a top spot to combine a cocktail or glass of own-label sauvignon blanc on the balcony with prime people-watching. Black-and-white photos of Cambodian life deck the upper floor, with slouchy seats beckoning down by the reflection pool on the ground-floor courtyard, too, prettily illuminated at night. Happy hour kicks off daily from 5pm to 7pm, and there's a wide range of Cambodian and western food up for grabs, from fish amok to fish and chips, burgers, pizza, pasta and salads. Smith can vouch for the Passionfruit Caipiroska.

 

If you fancy a splurge, you're also a hop from Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor at 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle (+855 (0)63 963 888; www.raffles.com/siemreap), an impressive edifice overlooking a park. Retire to the Elephant Bar for a signature Airavata cocktail, a tropical temptress blending rum, coconut, lime and other fruity liqueurs. Restaurant Le Grand is also rated for Khmer cuisine paired with fine wines.

 

Aha (The Alley, Old Market; +855 (0)63 965 501), a short stroll or tuk tuk ride away in the heart of town near Pub Street, serves a smart list of wines and spirits, alongside tasty Khmer and European tapas in a Scandi-style room with a tiny open kitchen and adjacent art gallery.

+ Enlarge
Tranquil French Quarter

Shinta Mani Club

Junction of Oum Khun and 14th Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 85563

Set near the river in the quiet old French Quarter, centrally located Shinta Mani Club is just a stroll from buzzy bars, restaurants and shops, and 15 minutes by tuk tuk from the Angkor temples.

Planes

Fly into Siem Reap International Airport (www.cambodia-airports.com), which receives direct flights from Bangkok (70 minutes), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Luang Prabang (although not currently from Hong Kong), as well as domestic flights from capital Phnom Penh (40 minutes). For regional carriers, try Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com), Silk Air (www.silkair.com), Air Asia (www.airasia.com), Jet Star (www.jetstar.com), Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeairlines.com) or Vietnam Airlines (www.vietnamairlines.com). If required, you can obtain a tourist visa on arrival for US$20 cash, plus one passport photo. The hotel is a five-mile or 15-minute drive away.

Trains

There are no train links to Siem Reap.

Automobiles

There's free on-site parking at the hotel, but self-drive isn't permitted here, so we recommend hiring a chauffeur-driven car, tuk tuk or moto (motorcycle) for getting around Siem Reap's bumpy, busy roads.

Other

If you're travelling overland from the capital, fast boats connect Phnom Penh and Siem Reap via the undulating Tonlé Sap river and lake (it’s still a five- to six-hour ride). Luxury cruise operators also run between Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, if aquatic action floats your boat.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from a stay at this stylish boutique hotel, a full account of their Cambodian city break will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Shinta Mani Club in Siem Reap... With its motto 'Open Doors, open Hear…
Read more

Shinta Mani Club

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from a stay at this stylish boutique hotel, a full account of their Cambodian city break will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Shinta Mani Club in Siem Reap...

With its motto 'Open Doors, open Hearts', Shinta Mani Club boutique hotel in Siem Reap has garnered an impressive reputation for its commitment to local development projects, but guests at this serene urban oasis will feel equally well cared for. Set in the sleepy but central French Quarter, the hotel embraces the outdoors, with alfresco balconies, terraces and corridors linking its evocative public spaces, dotted with pools and palms. As with the best retreats, as soon as you enter its temple-like portrals you feel like you're in a sanctuary, with a chic yet inviting reception ushering you into a calming cocoon.

Bangkok-based, American interiors talent Bill Bensley has worked his magic here, with hand-crafted furniture, specially commissioned art and customised ornaments and accessories so gorgeous you could happily float around ogling them for hours (we love the charcoal-grey, white, black and saffron palette that holds it all together). Interiors feel luxuriously modern but nod to the town's famous temples, with lanterns burning in alcoves, a small shrine in the lobby and temple maps and photos decorating roofs and panels above each bed (so you go to sleep dreaming of Angkor Wat).

Spacious rooms, an inviting courtyard pool, two smart bars, and a soothing rooftop spa ensure a seductive stay, with tasty Khmer dining best enjoyed on the terrace day-bed swings. Temple tours by tuk-tuk or air-con car are yours to command, or you can visit the on-site charity projects that have put the heart into this compassionate haven.

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Shinta Mani Club from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the staff!

Don’t expect

I think they could definitely do with a gymnasium.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Impeccable service. Keep up the good work!

 

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the really efficient, capable and genuinely friendly staff, the breakfast and the hotel property. Everything was perfect!

 

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the fact that the resort is part of the Shinta Mani foundation and absolutely everyone is happy to tell or show you the work they do. We even had more than one conversation with the general manager. The included set meal was of a very high standard; 10-minute free massages are given poolside.

Don’t expect

I would've liked a better understanding of room types as the hotel is across both sides of a street.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I enjoyed everything about the Shinta Mani – their service was outstanding. A guest wanted for nothing. Staff remembered your name, and catered to your every need with a smile. I would recommend this hotel far and above any other five-star hotel in Siem Reap. Thank you so much for this recommendation.

Don’t expect

I could not find anything wrong with it.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is well located, has good facilities and the staff is very friendly. They also support a foundation and some of the students get to work as interns in the hotel, which is great.

Don’t expect

The bathroom amenities (shampoo, etc) could be better. The rooms by the pool can be noisy if there are children playing.

Rating: 9/10 stars