Posts Tagged ‘Boutique accommodation’

Charming Battambang

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Welcome to Battambang – the real Cambodia.

Battambang has a unique charm. It seamlessly blends together the outlook of a modern city and small-town friendliness, set against the backdrop of some of Cambodia’s best-preserved colonial architecture. Timeless hilltop temples and bucolic villages can be seen on leisurely day trips by bicycle or motorbike. A walk around the quiet city center will introduce you to its fine early 20th century architecture, the provincial museum offers a glimpse into what the Angkorian period meant for the region, whilst visits to the 11th century temple sites at Phnom Banan and Wat Ek Phnom brings that history to life. More recent, but troubled history is on show at Phnom Sampeau, infamous for its killing caves, while Wat Kor village is home to 21 Khmer heritage houses, that take you back to an era a hundred years ago. And who can ignore the Bamboo Train, an exciting adventure that is earmarked to disappear once the real trains begin rolling again. Our recommended accommodation for travellers to Battambang in the country’s northwest, is at Bambu Hotel. Excellent room facilities topped off by an inviting swimming pool and restaurant, make this a perfect place to reside as you take in the sights that this welcoming provincial city has to offer.

The colonial style National Bank of Battambang

The colonial style National Bank of Battambang

Trendy chic at the Teav

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The Teav Boutique Hotel joins Phnom Penh’s competitive boutique hotel sector.

Inside one of the 12 Teav Boutique Hotel rooms

Inside one of the 12 Teav Boutique Hotel rooms

With small boutique hotels opening up on a regular basis in and around the Boeung Keng Kang 1 area of Cambodia’s capital, any newcomer to the sector has to find its own niche. The Teav Boutique Hotel pitches itself as a modern trendy art hotel, and displays an urban chic feel with a mix of grey, black and white stone. Simple drawings depicting scenes from the Angkor period, including the traditional tragic love story of Tum Teav, adorn the walls, with each of the 12 rooms decorated with the designs. The luxurious rooms come complete with large bathrooms containing a deep stone bath, a power shower and balconies overlooking the pool. The hotel also has a restaurant, conference room and office space. Recommended for younger couples, looking for an honest and upmarket boutique style. It’s also located next door to Hanuman’s Phnom Penh office on Street 310.

The snug swimming pool on the ground floor of the Teave Boutique Hotel

The snug pool on the ground floor of the Teav Boutique Hotel

HanumanAlaya’s Green Season Discounts

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Fantastic Value Green Season Discounts at HanumanAlaya

HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence

HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence

We are pleased to announce our Green Season Discounts for the HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence and HanumanAlaya Villa in Siem Reap, which begin on 1 April 2014. Once again, our ‘Stay Longer, Save More’ offer until the end of August will benefit our guests who want to stay that extra bit longer in Siem Reap and Angkor. And why not, it’s perfectly understandable. There is so much to see and do. During September we are offering all rooms at half-price and October has a ‘Stay 3, Pay 2′ promotion. Contact the Hanuman Sales Team as early as possible to book these fantastic value Green Season Discounts.

Stay Longer, Save More
From 1 April – 31 August 2014:

- Stay minimum 5 nights get 50% Discount including breakfast
- Stay minimum 4 nights get 40% Discount including breakfast
- Stay minimum 3 nights get 30% Discount including breakfast
- Stay minimum 2 nights get 20% Discount including breakfast
- Stay                     1 night get 10% Discount including breakfast

From 1 September – 30 September 2014
- Stay minimum 1 night get 50% Discount including breakfast

From 1 October – 31 October 2014
- Stay 3 nights, pay only 2 nights including breakfast.

The Best of Cambodia’s Islands

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The spotlight is well and truly illuminating the islands sitting off Cambodia’s coast. First we brought you the Hanuman run down on Koh Rong and the rest, and now Rough Guides have jumped on board with their best of Cambodia’s islands.

A view of Koh Rong taken last week by Hanuman's Nick Ray

A view of Koh Rong by Hanuman’s Nick Ray

No less than sixty Cambodian islands dot the azure Gulf of Thailand. Easily accessible from Sihanoukville, Kep and Koh Kong, a growing number house rustic bungalows for overnight stays. They may not have roads, cashpoints or mains electricity, but this is a small price to pay for squeaky-white beaches, warm translucent seas and an escapist, easy-going vibe. Controversially, a number of these islands have been leased to developers, mooted for super luxury resorts, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how long this rustic tranquility will remain. Time is of the essence if you wish to see them in their humblest form. Article by Emma Boyle – Rough Guide to Cambodia:

Best for escapism: Koh Totang

Koh Totang, a tiny dolphin-shaped island in the Koh S’Dach archipelago, is an escapist’s fantasy. Just seven people, plus a handful of roosters and dogs, live permanently on this wooded 650,000 square metre isle along with the owners and guests of the Crusoe-esque Nomads Land, an idyllic, five-bungalow retreat set on its sand-swept eastern shores. If what you’re looking for is complete tranquility, a chance to channel your inner yogi, time for beach-combing on deserted sands or a perch to explore neighbouring islands, few can beat this little gem.

Best for volunteering: Koh S’Dach

With over 2000 inhabitants, this small island houses the largest community across the Koh S’Dach archipelago. Fishing is king here and the authentic, yet surprisingly prosperous village is unaffected by tourism. Shallow Waters, a British marine NGO, has a base on the island and encourages wannabe marine conservationists to volunteer their services surveying coral reefs, collecting data and getting involved in community projects. You stay in over-water dorms, and non-divers learn the ropes on arrival (the organisation is an accredited by PADI).

Best for beachcombing: Koh Rong

The paradisiacal snow-white beaches (all 43 kilometres of them), aqua-hued ocean and twilight phosphorescence make this a favourite island for many. Its southeastern shores are the go-to place for young party-loving backpackers, however with 78 square kilometres to explore – most of which is undeveloped – it’s easy to find your own patch of paradise (we love Long Set Beach’s striking alabaster shores). The verdant interior is also ripe for trekking; Gil at Paradise Resort is always discovering new species on his guided nature walks.

Best for full moon parties: Koh Rong Samloem

Although Samloem has long been Koh Rong’s quieter sister island, and is – for the most part ­– laid back, sunrise-facing Saracen Bay’s full moon parties are fast putting the island on the backpacker map. Party boats leave Sihanoukville pier at 5.30pm on the day (shuttles operate from Koh Rong) for the all-night beach rave. The next day, nurse your hangover in one of the many bungalows scattered between the island’s striking, deserted beaches, including the idyllic Lazy Beach resort, and newcomer Huba Huba on Samloem’s only sunset-facing shore.

Best for camping: Koh Ta Kiev

With a journey time of less than an hour from the mainland, Koh Ta Kiev is one of Cambodia’s most easily accessible islands. Given that you can turn up at Crusoe Island, a rustic campground, and pitch your own tent or hammock on the beach for just a few dollars (or have someone else do all the hard work for you), it’s mighty popular, but don’t let this put you off. The jungly island is large and for those looking for more than a mahogany skin tone, activities range from jungle trekking and snorkelling to Khmer cooking and spear fishing classes.

Best for bird-watching: Koh Thmei

Located within Ream National Park, this serene mangrove-ringed island is home to just one very low-key eco-conscious venture, the Koh Thmei Resort, set on the island’s northwest beach. It’s a useful place to base yourself if you’re interested in sighting some of the island’s 155 bird species, including the endangered Brahminy kite. Alternatively, there are shell-sprayed beaches to stroll, a coral reef to snorkel, and nearby, the uninhabited Koh Ses Island, within a kayak’s reach.

Best for day trips: Rabbit Island

A popular day trip from sleepy Kep is to Koh Tonsay or Rabbit Island, a 30-minute longtail ride from the mainland. Home to three pale sand beaches framed by spidery coconut palms, the impetus is on beachcombing, jungle trekking and snorkelling or simply feasting on fresh crab cooked up at the local restaurants. The same also have simple timber huts if you’re tempted to stay the night.

Best for diving: Koh Tang & Koh Prins

Situated between five to eight hours from shore, these two islands – accessible on overnight or multi-day liveaboard diving expeditions from the mainland – boast the clearest and deepest waters for diving in Cambodia. Divers come here to get up close and personal with the stunning variety of corals, the rocky reefs and wrecks, where you might encounter octopus, barracuda and batfish.

Virtual Tour of La Residence d’Angkor, Siem Reap

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Embark on a virtual tour of La Residence d’Angkor, one of the leading hotels in Siem Reap, in this exclusive Hanuman Films video.

From the Hotel

Set in a verdant jungle and surrounded by lush riverside gardens, the hotel celebrates the splendour of Khmer architecture. Built out of wood and furnished in the local style, modern comforts and luxurious touches give La Résidence d’Angkor a welcoming atmosphere.

From Hanuman

The delightful lobby is the epitome of understated elegance, with beautiful Angkorian sculptures adorning the walls. Rooms are open plan and inviting, including Jacuzzi-style terrazzo plunge tubs. The new wing is ultra-contemporary and includes the stunning Kong Kea Spa. The pool is long enough to invite a languorous dip. Dining outlets include the best in French cuisine and mod Khmer tasting menus. Orient-Express through and through.

http://www.hanuman.travel/Hotels/Cambodia/Siem_Reap

Hotel Inspections in Laos with Lonely Planet

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Nick Ray was recently working in Laos on a new edition of the best-selling Lonely Planet guidebook, out this month. This video takes readers behind the scenes to show them how LP goes about selecting the best places to stay.

The video starts with Nick inspecting the memorable Luang Say Lodge in Pak Beng. His cameraman colleague Andy Richardson then takes a look at the Xayana Guesthouse, also known as the X3 Capsule Hotel to see the dormitory options on offer in Luang Prabang. At the other extreme, Nick checks out the stunning La Residence Phou Vao, one of the most luxurious properties in all of Laos. Andy then gets to sample some style with a visit to Le Sen Boutique Hotel, one of the best all-rounders in Luang Prabang. They finish up at Villa Suan Mark, a family-run flashpacker pad with a great atmosphere.

Warning: these videos were made by toilet-humour obsessed Brits and several uncensored toilets appear throughout the video.

Uncover the Majesty of Luang Prabang

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Continuing the Laos theme of recent days, discover Luang Prabang with our 4-day Explorer tour.

Giving alms in Luang Prabang

Giving alms in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang oozes class and old world charm, it’s a living, breathing museum with its gleaming temple roofs and crumbling French architecture and deserves its World Heritage status as one of the most atmospheric cities in the whole region. In our 4-day Luang Prabang Explorer tour, we delve into some of its 32 stupa-studded pagodas like Wat Xieng Tong and the Royal Palace Museum, we take a boat upriver to river to visit the massive collection of Buddhas in the Pak Ou Caves and enjoy a relaxing day in the turquoise waters of the Kuang Si Falls. To complete our immersion into this lovely city, we also enjoy a cooking class of authentic Lao food at the classy Tamarind restaurant by making a classic dish such as mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaves). Recommended hotels in Luang Prabang include La Residence Phou Vao, Auberge les 3 Nagas, Apsara and Le Sen Boutique Hotel. Eat at Tamarind but also try the fare at Le Banneton, Coconut Garden, Rosella Fusion, Le Patio and Dyen Sabai. You are spoilt for choice.

In Heavy Seas

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Disaster strikes RV Saigon Pandaw.News just in that the RV Saigon Pandaw cruise boat has sunk off the Malaysian coast whilst under tug tow from Saigon in Vietnam to Singapore and then onto Yangon in Myanmar. There was no one on board thankfully, after the hull became swamped with water and the cruiser capsized in heavy seas. The boat was to be renamed the Sagaing for its move to Myanmar and was built just three years ago in Vietnam with three decks and room for sixty passengers. Pandaw River Cruises who own the boat, have two more cruise ships under construction.

The Best of the Rest of Cambodia’s Islands

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s not only Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem that offer idyllic island escapes. There are another two dozen or so islands off the coast from Rabbit Island near Kep to Koh Kong Island, the largest of the kingdom’s islands.

Koh Kong Island, Cambodia

Koh Kong Island, Cambodia

Starting out in the west near the border with Thailand, Koh Kong Island holds huge potential as the country’s largest island. However, it has remained somewhat impenetrable to hospitality and tourism developers due to a rumoured lease to exiled Thai business interests and military control of the area. Day trips to the island have long been possible, taking in the several beaches that line the western coast of the island. However, there is now one hotel on the island in the shape of Koh Kong Island Resort, offering rustic beachfront bungalows in the US$50 to US$100 range.

Moving further west along the coast, visitors arrive at the tiny Koh Sdach archipelago of islands. Located off the southern tip of Botum Sakor National Park, this cluster of islands offers a mixed bag of accommodation for intrepid beachcombers. Hanuman clients should make for Belinda’s Beach, a Belgian-run bungalow operation on Koh Sdach itself. While it lakes the quintessential tropical beach, it does have the best bungalows this side of Koh Rong and the hosts whip up some excellent cuisine, handy given how far it is to the nearest restaurant. However, the island pricing still applies, meaning rates pushing US$150 per night are considerably higher than one would pay on the mainland. Other accommodation options in this area include the very basic Mean Chey Guesthouse on Koh Sdach and the eco-friendly resort of Nomad’s Land on nearby Koh Totang, but both are a touch too rustic for Hanuman travellers.

Belinda Beach, Koh Sdach, Cambodia

Belinda Beach, Koh Sdach, Cambodia

Directly off the coast of Sihanoukville are several smaller islands with a range of accommodation available, but none quite fits the bill for Hanuman at this stage. A large part of Koh Russei and Koh Ta Khiev islands is leased by French investment firm Citystar, with plans in the pipeline for a 5* Alila Resort on Koh Russei, including a 150-room hotel and one/two/three bedroom villas. Spread over 25 acres, this promises to be a significant development on the Cambodian coast with rooms starting from around US$200 and villas from US$400. However, hold your breath, as it is unlikely to be ready before 2015 at the earliest.

Elsewhere options are similarly thin on the ground. Tiny Koh Pos just a few hundred metres off Sihanoukville, now has a splendid bridge but it leads to nowhere, as the Russian investors haven’t actually built any of the planned villas. Some observers suggest it might have been better to build the villas first rather than the bridge. Another Russian-owned resort looks like something out of James Bond, the lair of Scaramanga, and is known as the Mirax Resort. It might work well of Russian billionaires seeking something different, but Hanuman prefers to recommend Song Saa Private Island for a luxury escape. Other islands have one or two options, but they are predominantly aimed at backpackers looking for some peace and quiet. Koh Thmei, part of Ream National Park, has the German-run rustic Koh Thmei Resort. Further afield, islands such as Koh Tang and Koh Prins don’t yet offer any accommodation, but it is possible to visit as part of a liveaboard dive trip or even camp on the beach.

Scaramanga's Hideaway? Or the Mirax Resort, Sihanoukville

Scaramanga’s Hideaway? Or the Mirax Resort, Sihanoukville

The final small group of Cambodian islands lies off the coast of Kep. Here the sophisticated resorts are all found on the mainland with very little development on the islands. Rabbit Island has a cluster of ramshackle bungalows on the beach, but these are backpacker crashpads and not really suitable for Hanuman guests. The island has been leased to a major Asian developer and there are plans to create a resort complex at some time in the future.

There ends a snapshot of the Cambodian coastline in 2013. Koh Rong remains the best all-round island with everything from ultra-luxury Song Saa Private Island to rustic resorts of Koh Tui. Koh Rong Samloem is another fine option for an island escape, including long-running Lazy Beach and the up and coming resorts of Saracen Bay. Elsewhere the choice is more limited and it’s really all or nothing once you have selected your resort. Belinda Beach on Koh Sdach and Koh Kong Island Resort are the best of the rest, but it might be smarter to opt for Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem with room to move if the accommodation doesn’t fit the bill.

 

 

 

Welcome to Frangipani Villa -90s in Phnom Penh

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The expanding Frangipani group of hotels offers some smaller, intimate boutique hotels. Take a virtual tour of the Frangipani Villa 90s in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Frangipani Villa-90s property is a 1990s villa restored in the style of 1960’s Cambodia architecture with some contemporary touches. The hotel has 15 rooms providing suite, studio, double and twin room accommodation. Comfortable seating for relaxing at any time of the day or for informal meetings are available on the roof top terrace and on a shady first floor balcony. Food and drinks are served throughout the day in the shady restaurant immediately adjacent to a well designed and extensively planted garden.

The hotel is located in southern central Phnom Penh, a short tuk-tuk ride from the city’s popular Tuol Tom Poung Market (Russian Market) and providing ready access to other sites throughout the city.  A mini-mart, coffee shop and ATM are two minutes walk from the hotel.