When you travel in luxury you know what to expect. Brilliant amenities, comfort, location, and superb service. In a way, you don’t get surprised much anymore. As places go upscale, they tend to get similar. That is not the case with Templation: a one-of-a-kind hotel that feels like an extension of the famed temples.
Templation is set amongst one of the nicest gardens we’ve ever been to. It’s obvious that the architects prioritized the plants and worked around them. Tall trees, tropical fruits, and lush plants surround the rooms. In fact, the sleek modern architecture blends seamlessly with nature. It is all about a natural experience.
As architects ourselves, we couldn’t help but admire the buildings. You can tell that the temples inspired the modern design. However, nothing is literal or obvious here. A massive pool snakes through the garden. You can smell the plants, float, and let your mind travel to the grandeur of the Khmer civilization.
We visited Cambodia for the first time over 20 years ago. We’ve been back several times and plan on coming back many more. Siem Reap was a sleepy tiny little town with not much going on. Today, it’s full of great hotels, bars, and restaurants. We are not complaining: we like Siem Reap.
In fact, we’ve stayed in Siem Reap for days and had a blast. However, nothing compares to staying near the temples. You simply have to stay as closer to the temples as possible. Templation feels like an extension of the UNESCO-listed site. You wake up and sleep within the magic of Angkor.
It can be very hot or rain a lot in the area. As much as we love the temples, we sometimes had to go back to the hotel to chill. Since Templation is so close, you won’t waste any time going back and forward. Whenever you feel like it, you can take a short tuk-tuk to Siem Reap.
As soon as you enter the hotel, a couple of ponds, simple concrete slabs, and gorgeous plants greet you. The fantastic spa is to the left, and the restaurant is behind the reception area. Plants flank all the pathways and isles. The soft lights at night provide for the perfect atmosphere.
The common areas and the restaurant face the pool. The ceiling seems to float above the lobby. The architects did a wonderful job protecting the restaurant from the rain and sun while incorporating it into the garden. Though it looks simple, you can tell no detail was left unattended.
The architects probably had a hard job. How to imprint Angkor while being original? The hotel achieves both with an original design you won’t see anywhere else. Evidently, Cambodians know how to do things right. They have Angkor and Templation to prove it.
We fell in love with the hotel’s pool. We gather that it’s one of the biggest in Cambodia. The massive pool is in between the rooms and the restaurant. We would lounge while enjoying a drink next to the pool after a whole day of exploring the temples. Absolute perfection!
If you are a gym bunny, you will happy to know that Templation has a fully equipped gym. You guessed it: it overlooks a garden. Yoga lovers can take lessons by the pool in the mornings. Those of us who love reading can take advantage of the selection of brilliant books at the library.
We are happy to report that Templation is committed to sustainable tourism. You won’t see them, but solar panels cover the roofs. There are eco gardens that produce fresh vegetables for the restaurant. Since there’s fresh potable water throughout the hotel, there’s no need for little plastic bottles.
The rooms and villas have a contemporary design with strong angles, polished surfaces, wooden floors, and simple walls. Yet everything looks luxurious. The windows open to private pools, patios and gardens. Thus, you get loads of light and privacy.
The hotel offers rooms, villas, and fancy bungalows. The smallest unit is over 400 sq feet (40 m2) big! All face a private pool, patio, or garden. The exquisitely decorated rooms come with extra-comfy beds. Of course, you get a TV with international channels, a silent AC unit, isolated windows, and loads of space.
The bathrooms are equally big. Some feature outside showers and tubs. You get modern top-notch facilities in the jungle. You will have to decide whether to chill in your private spa, by the pool, or in the hotel’s spa. No worries about bugs and mosquitoes. They’ve taken care of that too!
Jungloo is part of Templation. We are talking about the most fabulous tents you can find near Angkor Wat. We have to be honest, we don’t like camping or glamping or anything of the type. However, we loved our incredible tent! It is a luxurious hotel room but in a contemporary tent.
All of the tents have their own private garden. Ours had two super tall palm trees, flowers, and plants. Not only that, but a big plunge pool. As soon as we came back from the temples, we would take a shower with premier toiletries and then have juice in the privacy of our own pool.
The room itself is huge, and comes with a fantastic bed, fancy furniture, and loads of peace. As mentioned, you feel like you are camping in the jungle of Angkor Wat. Your mind never leaves the temples. It is your body that enjoys the luxury and your soul that relaxes.
Though we really like Southeast Asian food, we have a bit of a problem with breakfast. What can we say? To begin the day properly, we need our western-style breakfast. The restaurant at Templation prepares the most delicious pastries, eggs, bread, and juices. The coffee is superb! It’s like breakfast at your favorite boulangerie in Paris!
The local food is simply irresistible. We had the best Beef Lok Lak in the country. If you feel like having western food, you will find a wide selection of international dishes. Their selection of wine and cocktails is impressive too. They have ice cream and cakes!
Fortunately for us, we walked so much around the temples that we could overeat when back at the hotel. Besides, after a couple of days, we were so tired that we ordered room service and enjoyed our dinner in our garden, next to the pool.
You can tell that the staff at Templation are proud of their hotel. The service is in a league of its own. Everyone is elegant, professional, and speaks English. It was such a pleasure talking to the staff, learning a bit about their culture, and asking for tips!
There’s nothing you can’t ask at Templation. Everyone will be more than happy to assist you. Even before you check in, feel free to ask the staff for info. We simply can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right information. Angkor Wat is big!
Do yourself a favor and book a week at Templation. Get the 5-day ticket to the temples and you will have the time of your life. You will travel to the 10th Century, breathe fresh air, learn about culture, relax in nature, eat delicious food, rejuvenate, and enjoy the best hotel in Siam Reap, Cambodia.