By Jeremy Khalil on March 13, 2019
Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort is an innovative property that meets the demands of today’s travellers. The resort’s strengths are attributed to its strategic location, refreshing ambience, efficient accommodations, wonderful gastronomy, top-notch facilities, and eye-opening experience.
The resort is 20 minutes’ drive from Siem Reap International Airport and five minutes’ walk to the lively Pub Street. It is an ideal base for exploring Siem Reap and serves as the gateway to the UNESCO world heritage site of Angkor, 15 minutes’ drive away, which contains ancient temples and structures dating back to the era of the Khmer Empire like the majestic Angkor Wat, root-riddled Ta Prohm, and multiple-faced Bayon.
Tips: For long-lasting memory, guests should visit Angkor Wat during sunrise, then explore Ta Prohm and Bayon after breakfast. Take this early morning tour of the temples to beat the crowd, which increases significantly as the day progresses.
Guests are greeted by attentive, welcoming staff when they enter the lobby. Once checked in, guests can easily connect to the resort’s strong Wi-Fi. As guests walk further into the resort towards their rooms, they will notice the soothing colour scheme and low-slung furniture that complements the resort’s understated look. The resort also has children’s pool and Kid’s club.
All of the resort’s 233 guestrooms and suites are graced with contemporary Khmer accents to remind guests where they are currently located. The resort’s ultra-comfortable beds and pillows guarantee restful slumber. In the evenings, turndown service is provided, accompanied by indulgent confections.
Accommodation starts from the 40-metre squared Deluxe room that gives more space to avoid clutter. In place of heavy carpeting, the rooms sport laminated and tiled flooring for fuss-free maintenance.
Each room has at least six multi-standard sockets fixed at various corners for charging several devices at once and removing the need for foreign guests to bring international adaptors when coming to Siem Reap. Besides integrated sound system with Bluetooth connection, each room also has a private balcony.
Daylight easily floods into the room all the way to the marble-cladded bathroom via large glass panels. Bathroom amenities like toothbrush and hairdryer are stashed away in boxes, while tea- and coffee-making facilities are tucked away inside the cupboard opposite the wardrobe to keep the space neat. Other than handheld and rain shower heads, each room under the Deluxe Double category and onwards is equipped with bathtub for guests to unwind after a whole day of exploring or working. The toilet has dual flushing system, helping to conserve water.
Guests should head to the restaurant’s light-filled all-day restaurant named Lok Lak for sumptuous breakfast and authentic Khmer ala-carte fusion menu for lunch or dinner such as pan-seared catfish or dishes sprinkled with Kampot pepper, deemed the best in the world. Other must-savour dishes include hummus from jackfruit seed and seared red ant beef salad. Be sure to end your dinner by relishing the resort’s smooth homemade ice cream.
In the evenings, guests are welcome to check out the stunning rooftop bar called Upper Deck on the seventh floor to admire the view of brilliant sunset and Angkor Wat in the distant horizon while downing a wide range of exotic cocktails and exquisite small-plate menu. Guests could even zoom in on Angkor Wat from the Upper Deck using stationary binoculars. Due to height restriction for buildings in Siem Reap, buildings are never taller than Angkor Wat.
Organisers of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) will find Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort ideal for staging events by using the resort’s 410-metre squared Grand Room that sits up to 200 persons in dinner configuration and five function rooms.
Quan Spa is Marriott’s own brand of spa, and the one at Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort is the only Quan Spa in the destination. Meaning ‘source of pure water’, this reasonably priced spa rejuvenates patrons using its own spa menu formulated using local ingredients like organic oil from Kampot province prepared in-house and indigenous techniques. Guests are advised to arrive at the spa 15 minutes before treatment begins.
Besides visiting temples and various attractions, the resort organises trips to nearby Phsar Leu (Leu Market) together with the resort’s Head Chef Chanrith Van, who is the best person to show guests around the market due to his passion towards Cambodian culinary heritage. With strong support from the resort, he is currently putting together a book containing authentic Cambodian recipes passed down from generation to generation.
Phsar Leu is the place where guests can see how prahok (spicy, salty and pungent fermented fish paste, used in the Cambodian day-to-day cooking, similar to the Malaysian fermented shrimp paste called belacan) is sold in buckets. According to Chef Chanrith, prahok is fermented up to two years – the longer it is fermented, the stronger the flavour.
Since freshwater fish is abundant and available along Mekong river and Tonle Sap lake, it is more affordable than meat. Cambodians also feed on fresh local greens, salads and herbs, including edible flowers like jasmine, needle flower, pumpkin flower, and the cheerful yellow-coloured Sesbania bispinosa. Insects like grasshoppers, crickets, black spiders and silkworm, which are part of the Cambodian diet, are sold at the market too.