“My reviews reveal a shameless sybarite, happily wallowing in the decadence of suites in the top hotels all over the planet; the Amans, the Four Seasons, the Six Senses, the Belmonds. Siem Reap has most of these and visitors would be served well at any one of them in their visit Angkor Wat.
For something wildly different and unique, however, book the “”Khmer House”” at Maison Polanka, the best of the five available rooms. This is a lush garden, about two acres, surrounded with high walls off a bumpy, unpaved back street not too far from the main canal road and the Museum (and the Aman). Behind the electric sliding door is a beautiful, cool and shaded oasis of grass, kept wet, with high trees and flowering shrubs. It is quiet and peaceful; there is no traffic noise Khmer House is a small, simple wooden, single room building on stilts in the center of the property. The large living room is underneath the house and the equally large bedroom with a sitting veranda is above. The bedroom is air-conditioned and has fans, in addition. See the website for photos. All this at less than half the price of the chains.
Dining is under an outdoor pavilion adjacent to a very nice 50 foot pool, suitable for laps and cooling off after a visit to the temples. The menu, though limited, is varied and offers excellent suggestions for any palate. We were so pleased we ate all our meals there for five days, not venturing outside. I also attended the cooking school; one student and three cooks. Lots of fun.
As it turned out, a great advantage of our booking was the superb service we received with our private car with driver and guide. Our guide, “”Pich””, is a certified, uniformed guide for Angkor Wat and accompanied us on all our temple tours for two days. She arranged for the tickets and the timing for our visits to avoid crowds.
(We enjoyed the sunrise over the main temple.) She is an excellent, knowledgeable guide. The driver awaited us with ice-cold towels and water when we finished each temple visit. He was also available on call and waited for us on shopping and museum visits. a very worthwhile indulgence.
The staff is small but attentive and anxious to please. Upon each return to the garden, a young women awaits with a cold towel at your room.
This is not “”roughing it””; it is equal luxury in a different guise. A superb alternative to the usual.”

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Secret Retreats is a curated community of independent boutique hotel, villas, yachts and river boats keen to share their Asian Homes with travelers, sustainably and responsibly. Conservation of the environment, culture and traditions of Asia is of paramount importance to all in Secret Retreats. A community of like-minded hospitality professionals, we offer our guests authentic travel experiences that go beyond typical offerings to unveil the essence of Asia. Supporting the Asia based hoteliers and hospitality professionals and providing incredible holidays in Asia and tailor-made Asia travel itineraries direct to public ad travel agents.
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