From the bustling Siem Reap town center, my tuk-tuk (a tuk-tuk is a popular local transport that resembles an auto-rickshaw, where the motorcycle pulls a trailer) drove across the river to the quieter side of the city. The noise slowly died away, and the view of congested shops and buildings changed to a rural peaceful setting. Amidst the lush greenery that line the dusty roads stands the Popular Residence Hotel, my ‘home’ in Cambodia while exploring the lovely town of Siem Reap and its ancient temples.
The Popular Residence Hotel is located in the Sala Kamreuk district of Siem Reap, a town located in northwestern Cambodia that is famous for being the gateway to the majestic ruins of Angkor. Away from the hustle and bustle of the Siem Reap town center, the hotel offers a little peace and quiet, with a backdrop of green fields and blue skies.
The 4-star boutique hotel offers 26 rooms in its one-building property, all surrounding its swimming pool and spread out between 3 floors. The architecture of the hotel is modern and contemporary, with traditional Khmer designs and decorations that add a classic touch while enhancing its relaxed settings.
The Popular Residence Experience
As my tuk-tuk turned into the short driveway of the Popular Residence Hotel, I was greeted with a lovely view of flowers and plants shading the white exterior of the hotel. The welcoming hotel staff then guided me to the hotel’s reception area for a quick and easy check-in, and I was offered a drink and wet towels (perfect for the hot Cambodian weather) while I waited. After that, I was escorted to my room and given a quick brief of the in-room facilities.
All throughout my stay, the service was impeccable. I was always greeted with a smile as I walked pass the reception area, my tours were easily arranged, they helped print several documents for me, and the tuk-tuks were ever ready to offer me a free ride to the town center. Despite the distance from any shops or restaurants, everything seemed easily accessible and available.
The 26 rooms at the Popular Residence Hotel comes in 3 different types — the Deluxe rooms, the Cabana rooms, and the Junior Suites. During my stay, I was put up in the spacious Cabana Room (No.4), located on the hotel’s ground floor with easy access to the pool. The room comes with all the luxurious amenities of a 4-star hotel, complete with a partially enclosed private garden area. I especially loved the huge bathroom. It has a bathtub and a shower area that could fit another bathtub!
I was also given a tour around the hotel — visiting the comfortable Deluxe Rooms and the Junior Suites. They all come with balconies offering either a lovely view of the pool, or a gorgeous view of the scenery surrounding the hotel. Prices range from US$38 for the Deluxe Rooms to US$66 for the Suites (as per their website).
Included in the room rates is a daily set breakfast at the Residence Cafe Restaurant, and the restaurant offers a variety of dishes with egg, sausage and ham; as well as french toast, cereals and a vegetarian choice. The set also comes with a fruit platter (with local fruits like dragonfruit and rambutan!), your choice of bread, and coffee, tea or fruit juice. I enjoyed my morning breakfast — however, I chose to sit outdoors; and that of course, attracts the flies that are commonly found in this part of Asia (including my home in Kuala Lumpur too). So if that bothers you to the ends of earth, sit in the comfort of the indoor air-conditioning!
The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner, and serves traditional Khmer food with a twist.
Facilities and Others
The hotel has a lovely, clean pool in the center of the building, with a couple of sunbeds that were usually full every time I passed by. I wish I had more time to lounge around the pool area — I was too busy spending my time exploring the Angkor ruins!
The Popular Residence Hotel‘s rooftop area (that is currently still under construction during my visit) provides 360 degree views of the surrounding area — lush greenery with red rooftops peeking out from under the canopies of trees. I took some time to head up for a little exploration — the sun was scorching in the middle of the day, but I’m sure the views from here are stunning during sunrise and sunset.
Other facilities offered by the hotel include a spa, bicycle rentals, a pretty reliable wifi connection, free airport transfers, as well as complimentary 5-minutes tuk-tuk rides into the town center. The return one-way trip from the town center back to the hotel usually costs about $3, though it could go as low as $2 if you’re real good at haggling (which unfortunately, I’m not!).
End of the Day
My stay at the Popular Residence Hotel was comfortable and pretty convenient, considering that the hotel is a little distance away from the Siem Reap town center. My room was lovely, the services were wonderful and I had a good time with the luxury the boutique hotel offered after my long days under the hot Cambodian sun.
If you’re looking for an affordable, quiet, and slightly secluded hotel to rest and relax after a day temple-hopping, look no further than the Popular Residence Hotel.
*She Walks the World stayed at Popular Residence Hotel as a guest with Agoda. As always, all opinions stated here are my own.