Siem Reap is becoming one of the world’s premier destinations, due in large part to the incredible Angkor temples. One of the best ways to experience the wonders of Angkor Wat and the surrounding areas is to base yourself in the middle of the city, ideally near the quiet Siem Reap River.
I’ve always appreciated hotels that offer traditional luxury, combining the customary elements of each country with the comforts and modern amenities of a 5 star hotel. Lucky for me I was able to experience this traditional meets luxury style when I was welcomed as a guest at the wonderful Jaya House River Park Siem Reap!
A SMALL OASIS
The Jaya House Riverpark is a small and intimate hotel, composed of 36 rooms in total. This enables the staff to get to know each guest personally and we quickly became friendly with the familiar faces working at the hotel. The hotel also features numerous amenities, including two beautiful swimming pools, the Riverpark Spa, and a delicious on-site restaurant. The Jaya House is truly a serene oasis in the middle of the city, and was a wonderful place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
EXPLORING THE SURROUNDINGS
No trip to Siem Reap would be complete without at least a few visits to the awe inspiring Angkor Temples, and The Jaya House is perfectly situated to base your “tomb raiding” adventures from. Located only 5 minutes from the Ticketgate to Angkor, the hotel makes waking up early for those sunrise shots that much easier. Even better, the hotel provides a personal complimentary tuk-tuk driver every day from 4:30 am to 10:00 pm! Our driver was incredibly friendly, always on time and provided some great advice during our journey.
Once you’ve had your fill of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, you can visit many other amazing sites nearby the hotel, including the Angkor National Museum, Pub Street, and Old Market. All of these sites are within a 5 minute ride from the hotel. The hustle and bustle of Siem Reap city can be slightly overwhelming at times, so it was wonderful being able to see the sites, but also return to the calmness of the riverfront at the Jaya House.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
During my stay at Jaya House I was fortunate to meet with the manager Christian, who explained all of the initiatives they have to help the local communities – more detail below. Christian was absolutely wonderful, taking time to check in with all guests to make sure they were having a great time. His passion for the hotel and his staff shone through, with us seeing him carrying trays of cool water out to the tuk tuk drivers patiently waiting outside.
This example, has led the staff to also be incredibly attentive to guests and go the extra mile. One of the staff, offered to take us to a nearby temple to receive a monk blessing. He came with us, explaining all of the rituals that are performed by the Cambodian people as part of the buddhist traditions. We had seen tours offering this type of ‘authentic experience’ for over US $100, so we were impressed that Jaya House was not trying to profit from this, and simply wanted us to have the experience. In total we spent around US $5 to pay for the lotus flower offerings, and the donations for the blessing. A much more real experience.
The rooms, facilities, and amenities at the Jaya House were all outstanding, but what really impressed me the most about the hotel was their dedication to the local community. The hotel has developed numerous programs to educate and give back to the community, many of which are the first of their kind in Cambodia. For example, the Jaya House was the first hotel to hire a female tuk-tuk driver as well as creating the first handicap accessible tuk-tuks.
Another great initiative called “Refill Not Landfill” is aimed at helping tourists consume water in an eco-friendly way during their visit. At check in each guest is given their own aluminum refillable water bottle to use when out for the day, instead of relying on single use plastic bottles. The back of each bottle lists all of the free refillable water stations throughout the city, and there is a very cool map on the hotel website showing the refill sites as well. Many other hotels and restaurants have joined this Refill Not Landfill campaign to reduce the amount of plastic littering Cambodia, so it’s a wonderfully easy program to participate in that can have a huge impact.
In addition, Jaya House is involved with several other programs, including Made in Cambodia Market, Ten Thousand Trees, Phare Cambodian Circus, and Rehash Trash. As you likely know, Cambodia has a very tragic past with the infamous Khmer Rouge “killing fields” and the deaths of millions of innocent people, including countless intellectuals and artists. The Jaya House’s involvement with local programs for encouragement in the arts and eco-conservation are incredibly important, and it was wonderful to experience the effects of these programs firsthand.
A MEMORABLE STAY
I hope this review gave you a small insight into why I can fully recommend staying at The Jaya House Riverpark next time you are in Siem Reap. The hotel grounds are a beautiful oasis in the middle of the chaotic city, and it was wonderful to be able to relax next to the quiet of the river after a busy day. The rooms, especially the beds, are filled with the comforts you would expect in a five star hotel.
However, the most impressive part of my stay with Jaya House was learning about their charitable involvement and how great of an impact they have each day on the local community. The Jaya House is a beautiful hotel both in its design and its initiatives, and I strongly encourage you to book a stay when you are in Cambodia!
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I was welcomed as a guest by the Jaya House Hotel, as always all opinions are my own and reflect my true experience at the hotel.