Cambodia is undoubtedly a country that will be forever in our hearts here at Coolector HQ and you, hands down, won’t find a friendlier nation than this South East Asian jewel and that’s why we headed back recently because it’s just too hard to stay away – especially when there are hotels of the impeccable calibre of Jaya House River Park Hotel in Siem Reap to be experienced.
A welcome that was off the charts, namely a pick up from the airport in a vintage, 1950’s Jeep for the short drive to the outskirts of Siem Reap, we knew that Jaya House was going to be something special right from the get go. Things got off to a magnificent start when the wonderfully friendly and bubbly, Mr King, was kind enough to take us on a little detour on route to the hotel to get a glimpse of Angkor Wat before whisking us to the beautifully appointed hotel that was to be our home (and it really did feel like a home) for the next two days.
Upon arrival at this breathtaking property, we were overwhelmed with just how friendly each and every member of the staff was and, after a much needed cold towel and glass of red wine as a welcome drink, we were shown to our room which was a delightful offering a stone’s throw from one of the hotel’s two infinity pools and with its own quaint little patio area with a water feature which added a wonderful touch of serenity to the space.
One of the best things about Jaya House River Park Hotel in Siem Reap (other than its obvious beauty and wonderfully verdant setting) is just how serious they are about playing their part in helping the environment and making the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. Justin, the hotel manager, was a delight to speak to about these endeavours such as their “Refill Not Land Fill” objective which sees the hotel partnering with Coola-Products to take a lead on dealing with plastic waste in Cambodia. Now more than 40 members of Siem Reap’s hospitality and tourism industries and development sector have joined the scheme and helped launched a campaign aimed at revolutionising the way water is consumed by tourists in Cambodia and thus spurring a transformation of the kingdoms’s landscape.
So, safe in the knowledge that Jaya River House was a real advocate for the environment, we could set about revelling in the glorious grounds, swimming pools and restaurant that this sensational hotel has to offer. Situated a short distance from downtown Siem Reap, the hotel has a decidedly peaceful river side setting and with just 36 rooms, there is a real boutique sense to the property and the staff throughout the hotel are utterly exemplary and friendly as can be – something that makes a real difference in our opinion and elevates the enjoyment of the stay considerably.
There are three different room types to choose from at Jaya House – Deluxe Room, Junior Suite and Junior Pool Suite – and they all have a wonderful decorative nature filled with local pieces of furniture and design flourishes. Each room is designed to make the most of the beautiful hanging gardens which are meticulously kept by the hotel’s brilliant gardeners and we loved the relaxing vibes that positively emanated from our room here at The Coolector.
The hotels two swimming pools are both a sight to behold and we spent plenty of time unwinding and listening to nature (and spotting the odd chipmunk or two) in each of these excellent pools.
Jaya House River Park has a wonderful on-site restaurant where we were treated to a frankly incredible meal (we can’t recommend the local delicacy of Fish Amok high enough) and this served as the breakfast service area too (with the breakfast being first class as well). On site you’ll also find a spa for an array of massages and treatments and we enjoyed a couple of very good massages here (and, if they don’t have space to accommodate guests, they arrange for a massage in another local spa – which is a fine example of how they consistently go above and beyond the call of duty at Jaya House).
All About The Excursions
Another stand out feature for us during our stay at Jaya House was the excursions that the hotel offer their guests. Whilst they have the Angkor Wat trips as you would expect, we decided to head on a sunset mountain trip instead (having already visited Angkor Wat previously). This turned out to be without doubt, one of the biggest highlights of our whole trip. Accompanied by our guide, the wonderfully chatty and friendly, Mr May, and our fantastically monikered driver, Rambo, we headed to Phnom Krom, about a 45 minute drive from Siem Reap (although it took a little longer because it was rainy season and we encountered a flooded road or two – something that made the trip even more fun).
Phnom Krom is a breathtaking temple set atop a meandering road atop a large hill which affords visitors mesmeric views across the whole of Siem Reap which, during this time of year, is heavily flooded so the landscape was a good deal more aquatic than would otherwise be the case. Our guide, Mr May, and driver Rambo kept us thoroughly entertained throughout the trip and were filled with local knowledge and bent over backwards to ensure the trip was a memorable one. It certainly was and watching the sun go down over Siem Reap (between thunder and lightning storms) will definitely be one that lives long in the memory.
Siem Reap is a beautiful place to visit and hotels like Jaya House River Park are the lifeblood of the city. Exceptionally friendly staff, beautifully appointed rooms and out of this world amenities all combine to make this one of the finest establishments we’ve ever visited at The Coolector and we simply can’t wait to go back again just for the incredible welcome alone.