Deciding where to stay in Siem Reap is not as easy as it seems. We visited Siem Reap for the first time more than 20 years ago! We’ve been back several times and seen it change dramatically. Today, Siem Reap has beautiful neighborhoods and some of the best hotels in the country.
The center of the city has been revamped and looks amazing. However, it has retained its laid-back atmosphere. Besides, new boulevards and roads connect Siem Reap’s neighborhoods. There are delicious restaurants and coffee houses all over the city. Thus, you have far more options to choose from.
We just spent 10 days in the city moving from hotel to hotel! Cambodians are elegant, professional, and classy. We believe that that’s why they are such fantastic hosts. Every hotel we stayed in was absolutely perfect. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about. You will find the hotel that’s right for you!
The Best Areas to Stay in Siem Reap
Close to the Angkor Wat
The best place to stay in Siem Reap is as close to the temples as possible. As pretty as the city is, Angkor Wat is the star of Cambodia. To us, the temples are the best in the world. This last time, we got the 7-day ticket and went to the temples every day.
As you know, the temples dot a massive area. Not only that, but the jungle is incredible. You will see lush green nature as you go from temple to temple. Fortunately, there are no big buildings inside the archaeological area. Just some restaurants and shops where you can rest and grab a bite.
It can be very hot and humid in Siem Reap. If you stay close to the temples, you can go back to your hotel for a short rest and continue afterward. The best luxury hotel in Siem Reap near Angkor Wat in Cambodia is Templation. Nowhere else in the city can you feel part of the temples.
We Recommend These Hotels near Angkor Wat:
Templation is an architect’s dream. The lush gardens seem part of the jungle. The huge pool is the best in Siem Reap. The rooms are plush and elegantly appointed. The restaurant serves the best Cambodian and international food in the city. Finally, the service is in a class of its own: professional, warm, and very Cambodian.
Grand Venus La Residence
The Grand Venus La Residence is a new hotel with a pool in the center, a bar, and a restaurant. The rooms are quite comfortable and come with a balcony and a seating area. They also offer big family rooms. The hotel is very quiet, so you can rest and chill to the bone.
City Center – French Quarter
The French Quarter is in the center, east of the river, south of the Angkor National Museum, and north of Prom Rath Temple. It’s a beautiful neighborhood next to the river with big parks. Therefore, is the best location to stay in Siem Reap if you want to be in the center but in a quiet area.
A visit to the Angkor National Museum is a must. The big modern museum exhibits statues and artifacts found in the temples and Khmer art. You can rent an audio guide. Stroll around the Royal Gardens, next to the Siem Reap River. Everyone comes to the beautiful park to exercise and socialize.
The Preah Ang Chorm Shrine is inside the park. The shrine holds two statues of princesses found in the Gallery of 1000 Buddhas in Angkor Wat. Keep walking next to the river until you reach Prom Rath Temple. Local people visit the pagodas to pray, so be respectful and enjoy the atmosphere.
We Recommend These Hotels in the French Quarter:
FCC Angkor by Avani
We spent a couple of nights in FCC Angkor and loved it. The hotel faces the river. The rooms are huge and come with a veranda. Book the Governor Suite for extra luxury, including an outdoor shower. The complimentary breakfast is a feast! We have to mention their zero plastic policy.
Raffles Hotel Grand Hotel D’Angkor
The art deco Raffles Hotel opened in the 1930s and is still one of the grandest hotels in South East Asia. The luxurious rooms are big and come with modern-day conveniences, a seating area, and a balcony. It’s got a lovely pool in its massive garden. The onsite restaurant is one of the best in the city.
Old Market and Pub Street
This is the best area to stay in Siem Reap if you want to go out at night. The Old Market and Pub Street are smack in the center of town. Gorgeous colonial buildings line the streets. You will find all types of restaurants, bars, and shops.
We especially like the Night Market, two blocks from Pub Street. Likewise, stop by the river market, also open at night. They sell just about everything! The whole area around the night market bridge is pretty atmospheric. Local families and friends visit to socialize. You will see couples taking pictures too.
Granted, Pub Street can be noisy, and that’s why we like it! Besides, not only tourists visit to party. You will also meet young and fun Cambodians in the bars and clubs. Take note that everything changes once you step out of the street. It is much quieter but also fun.
We Recommend These Hotels near the Old Market:
The Aviary Hotel
The best hotel in Siem Reap near Pub Street is the Aviary. The hotel is a gem in the center of town. However, it offers peace and quiet. The big plush rooms are perfectly isolated. It’s got two pools! One on the roof. The hotel features Cambodian art.
The Tito Suite Residence
Just a couple of blocks from Pub Street, The Tito Suite is great value for money. It’s a modern building with big comfortable rooms. All come with a balcony and some with brilliant views. The coffee house on the roof offers views over the city. You can use their bicycles for free!
Wat Bo Area
To reach Wat Bo, you have to cross the river. It’s the area in front of the center. Therefore, you can walk to Pub Street and the market in no time. You can walk along the southern bank of the river under tall trees. Khema, our favorite bakery in the city, is here.
We like it because it’s got more of a Cambodian flavor. In fact, the Siem Reap Campus of the University of Cambodia is here. The Australian Center for Education and the University of Southeast Asia are here too. Thus, you will see young students hanging out in the neighborhood’s coffee houses.
Wat Bo Temple is also a monastery. The giant compound is the home of local monks. You can stroll along the temple’s streets admiring the pagodas and gardens. The original pagoda was built 400 years ago! Since most of the restaurants in the area cater to locals, you eat delicious food while enjoying the vibe.
We Recommend These Hotels in Wat Bo Area:
We loved the 70 feet (20 m) pool at the Viroth’s. Gorgeous plants hang from the balconies of this contemporary building creating a vertical garden. The rooms are big and exquisitely decorated with Cambodian art and artifacts from the 50s. The Viroth is an oasis on a quiet street just minutes from all the action.
You won’t get better rooms for this price than at the Riversoul Boutique. The hotel is on a quiet street half a block from the riverfront. If you are traveling with friends or family, book the family suite. The 900-foot (80 m2) suite can accommodate 4 people and comes with a big balcony.
Wat Damnak Area
This area is to the west of the river and south of Makara 7 Avenue. To reach Pub Street and the center, cross the Night Market Bridge. It’s a low-density area with big properties. It offers some of the least expensive accommodation in Siem Reap.
In recent years the roads in the neighborhood have been fixed. Likewise, restaurants and coffee houses have open, so you don’t have to go to the center to eat. Grab a coffee and hang with locals at the Community Garden on Chocolate Street. You can also buy handmade crafts in this gorgeous garden.
Wat Danmak Temple is an oasis of peace a block from the river. The massive compound includes pagodas, a seminary, a school, and lovely lily ponds. Notice the intricate carvings on the pagodas. To our amazement, few tourists visit the temple. Remember that locals visit to pray, so be respectful.
We Recommend These Hotels in Wat Damnak Area:
Blanc Smith Residence
The Blanc Smith is on 7 Makara Street, half a block from the river. Thus, you can walk to the center. It offers big rooms with extra-comfy beds at a great price. You can chill by the small but fresh pool. Wat Danmak Temple is behind the hotel.
Grand Elysee La Residence
We had a great time here. The Grand Elysee excels in service and comfort. The extra big rooms are set around a splendid pool. It’s got a bar that serves fantastic cocktails and coffee. Though you could walk to the center, it’s best to take an inexpensive tuk-tuk. The area is quiet and safe.
Along the National Road 6
National Raod 6 is south of Angkor Wat and north of Siem Reap. It’s the road that takes you to Phnom Penh and the airport. If you are looking for big fancy resorts in Siem Reap, this is where to stay. Some of the biggest ones in Cambodia are along the road.
Since it’s not that easy to walk around the area, take a tuk-tuk. Go to the Cambodian Cultural Village. The cultural center features wooden houses, lakes, a waterfall, and a theatre showcasing Cambodian dance. The Angkor Golf Resort is to the south. Golfers from all over the world rave about the place.
The War Museum Cambodia is to the north of the road. The open-air museum exhibits old military equipment from the atrocities of the wars in the country. From there, go east to the Botanical Gardens. You can spend hours walking around the garden. It’s got a coffee house.
We Recommend These Hotels along the National Road 6:
Borei Angkor Resort and Spa
The Borei Angkor is one of the best 5-star hotels in Siem Reap. The hotel is set in one of the biggest gardens in the city. The pool is massive too. You can relax in the sauna and jacuzzi. You guessed it: the rooms are big too. Extra comfortable and with Cambodian wooden floors!
La Palmeraie D’angkor
One of the best hotels in Siem Reap near the airport, La Palmeraie is a hidden gem set in a gorgeous garden. The plush rooms are huge and decorated with wooden furniture, old Cambodian pictures, and art. You are greeted with wine and a smile. They also have bikes! The pool is fantastic.
How Long to Stay in Siem Reap
In all honesty, we were even thinking of moving to Siem Reap! The charming little town is next to the most impressive temples on earth! Not only that, but the hotels are some of the best in the world, the food is delicious, and Cambodians are great hosts.
However, we all have time constraints and a world to discover. Thus, you are probably wondering how many days are needed in Siem Reap to cover the basics. We believe that you should stay at least 3 days. Less than that is a mistake. You need at least two days to see the most important temples.
For a better experience, stay a week. You can get the 7-day entrance ticket and discover the temples that are far away. It can be extremely hot and it can rain a lot. In a week, you won’t have to exert yourself. Plus you will get to see the other jewels that Siem Reap offers.
We saved the best for last. The best way of moving around Siem Reap and Angkor Wat is with our friend Borey. We’ve known him for ages. He has a very comfortable tuk-tuk. Note that it is one of the old ones. Therefore, it is more comfortable and offers better views.
Borey is a local and knows the city by hand. In addition, he knows the less famous but equally impressive temples. An excellent driver, he will take you carefully everywhere. He’ll even remind you to stop for water and the right spots. Our friend is the best tour guide in Siem Reap.
We love tuk-tuks. They are comfortable and fun. You won’t have trouble finding them everywhere in the city. Cambodians are pretty honest, so don’t dare to be cheap. Where else can you have a gentleman driving you around? Walking is the best way to discover the center and the river boulevards.