#120, Angkor Night Market Street, Steoung Thmey, Siem Reap Central Area, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Telephone Number: 088 727 2737
Sous-Dey … Hello!
It was a place suggested by Agoda to our group. It opened in September 2012. It was chosen because of the price and its proximity to Angkor Night Market and the Pub Street which is the center of Siem Reap’s night life. Like so many things in life, the people that you will meet have been predetermined … even before we were born.
This is a charming Khmer Villa with a very affordable price manned by a very warm and hospitable staff … all willing to be of help, of service. Genuine customer satisfaction is their aim.
There are only few rooms in this hotel but there’s a room good for a family of four which we took. This includes pick-up from the airport using the tuk tuk ( 15 minutes ) and free breakfast of different ways the egg is cooked … poached, fried, omelet and scrambled – served with coffee or tea, toast and fruits. Not bad for a very economical room. Though electricity is very pricey in Siem, there is an air-conditioning unit (a relief!) and 2 extra wall fans. Wait … there is more: free bottled water.
Even the floor of the lobby/restaurant is clean … they remove their shoes or slippers when entering it but tourists are not required to do so.
The best thing is its proximity to the Angkor Night Market and Pub Street. You can take a tuk tuk going there or walk. There is a “secret passage” or a shortcut to the place. Each room is given a key to the gate so you can enter in and out of the shortcut. As Sothearith Voeun aka Sivata, the owner, said : “it looks not safe but it is”. You will pass by a small pedestrian road but the bad thing is that you have to pass by a “smelly” canal which he always emphasize that will be covered soon.
They have their own tuk tuk driven by Rat whom we are so fond of … we taught him words like beki and charot … and he loved it! He became my hubby’s BFF and he told him his life and his frustrations. We particularly loved the story about his dog that died and he cried for a week. He is fun to be with and even gives free cold water after the “temple run”. He is so shy that he doesn’t want to join us for lunch. My heart goes out for people who never took advantage of other people’s kindness. They are always apologetic even when not necessary. Very careful with words. We have developed good relationships with them and I paid it forward by re-styling their lobby.
More than the clean rooms and hospitable staff … it is the very heart of Cambodia that captured me … too trusting, too pure, too kind. Some are victims of the landmines … but doesn’t want to beg … they would sing and you can pay them. There is pride in their hearts and a legacy etched in their temples. Yes, it is hot in Siem … but not as warm as their hospitality.
Will I go back to Secrets Pavilion? … yes, a hundred times more. Siem Reap aside from its magnificent ruins and temples has a heart of that I have never seen and felt in the places I have been to.