Because we all deserve a little luxury while exploring with our kids
We didn’t make all the right decisions with our accommodation choices in Cambodia, but one thing we got right was staying at the magnificent French Colonial style Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa during our stay in Siem Reap.
This post is part of our discover South East Asia Series
The lead up to our arrival had certainly been far from smooth. In what will go down in Globetrotter travel history as the day of “vomitgate” – not many details needed here; Imagine 4x upset bellies and a rocky little internal flight from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap – well you can paint your own picture on how we were feeling by the time we arrived at Siem Reap airport!
Our little taste of luxury began immediately from arriving at the airport where not one little taxi but 3 cars awaited us! One to take our bags then 2 open-top vintage Citroëns to transport the Globetrotters back to our home for the next three days and our base for exploring the Angkor Temples.
The kids, already very familiar with the open tuk-tuk rides loved this new adventure, and the cold towels and water on arrival have never been so hugely appreciated.
Vomit-gate unfortunately persisted well into our arrival (thankful not actually in the cars, phew!) – not the way the Globetrotters usually like to arrive at a beautiful new luxury hotel, but hey that’s how things roll when travelling with kids.
The staff were quickly on hand though telling us not to worry and trying to cheer the kids up with beautiful children’s gift bags. These included a hand made soft toy, activity book for exploring Siem Reap and the Temples, and my favourite, an invite to parents asking them to leave their children at the Victoria Kids Club and join in with their activities tomorrow.
Now my regular readers will know we are not normally a drop and dump at the kids club for 2 weeks kinda family; but after our last 10 days travelling as a family unit around Cambodia, I can tell you never in my life have I been so grateful!
The kids needed little enticement to go and check out the Victoria Kids Club the following morning – though they were torn between this and the pool. Only a handful of other children dropped in throughout the morning but as kids do they made friends in an instant and always had someone new to play with in the club or around the pool with us.
The other great part of the kids club was you could leave them there for the entire day and order their lunch or a cot to the kids playroom. We took advantage of this on Day 2 so Mr Globetrotter and I could do some temple exploring on our own SUCH A GOOD DECISION!!
One more bonus to add, the kids club is available to families outside of the hotel at a day charge rate.
RELATED READING: EXPLORING ANGKOR WAT & SIEM REAP WITH KIDS
The French Colonial theme runs throughout the hotel and you can see the attention to detail, like the towel table for example that really added to the experience.
There were also little touches in the room every day that weren’t lost on my Miss Z – fresh fruit and flowers in the room, turndown service with chocolates and a little bedtime story taken from local fables – really sweet and thoughtful.
The rooms were beautiful and eloquent – which yes took moments for our kids to cover in toys, clothing and all our travelling paraphernalia (I snuck back to the room after room service to get these nice shots!!).
We were staying in two deluxe interconnecting rooms which made things very easy, and gave us a little privacy in the evening after bedtime – we’ve never been happier to have two bathrooms as well!
As well as the main saltwater pool, there is also a large spa and kid’s pool. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful kid’s pools I have seen, with a commanding view above the main swimming pool the kids loved waving down to us. There’s no shade cloth but a beautiful canopy of trees – which does unfortunately have the side effect of a fair few leaves floating with us but this is no problem in such a stunning setting.
The kids absolutely loved exploring the lush gardens around the pool though, and several games of hide and seek with the new friends they’d made in the kids club.
Most rooms command stunning views of the pools and the lush gardens, you really wouldn’t know how centrally located you were to the bustling city of Siem Reap around you.
They have a beautiful spa as well, with indoor and outdoor massage services which we unfortunate didn’t get the opportunity to actually sample given our short timings on this trip, but handy to know that they have a 35% discount on services after 8pm – perfect for parents perhaps after kids go to bed. (As at April 2016)
Special mention must go to the breakfast buffet, one of the more stunning spreads I’ve seen in a long time. Parents, you must know how thrilling it is when your fussy kids actually eat something on holiday!
After a few days of being unwell, the breakfast was a revelation for us with a huge range including fresh juices, pastries, extensive fruit, cereal and egg station choices. Waking up to this in the mornings and knowing we had properly filled the kids up for much of the day was great.
The hotel also has a bar and two restaurants for evening meals, though we didn’t experience these as we were busy exploring around downtown Siem Reap in the evenings.
Location wise we thought it was great. The Victoria Angkor is very centrally situated opposite the very pretty Royal Gardens and sits equally far from the International Airport (7km) and the Angkor Temples (6km).
With kids and the heat in April, the central markets and Pub Street where you’ll find a lot of the restaurants was too far for us to walk but it’s a very easy negotiated $2US tuk-tuk ride away.
The concierge provides you with suggested tuk-tuk ride prices to the temples (at the time we went $18US for a full day driver or $11US for a sunrise or sunset only driver) – or they can arrange a car service – tuk-tuks are by far the way to go though in Cambodia, its all part of the experience!
Globetrotters Recommend Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa
We were really pleased with our choice of hotel for exploring Siem Reap and the surrounding Angkor temples. The wide range of family-friendly facilities, especially the all-day kids club and little touches like the Citreons and the beautifully designed pool really made us feel we were in a relaxed and enjoyable place for all of us. We would happily come back just for staying at the hotel!
Our only disappointment from a family perspective was the charge for babysitting. Having only had one night off in a fortnight of travel we were really looking forward to having a night off on our last evening to explore a few more parts of town that might not be as family appropriate. At $7US per hour this sounded reasonable (we were charged $5US in Phnom Penh), but sadly this was PER CHILD – so for us with 3 children – $21USD per hour – or $84USD for us to have an evening off (plus transport for the babysitter)!!!
I don’t know many places in the world you’d pay that much for hotel babysitting where all 3 kids will be asleep. They, unfortunately, could not bend on this point which families should be aware of if this is an essential part of your choice in booking.
Weighing this though with the free kids club during the day and all the little touches you’d expect of a luxury hotel, we were very pleased with our stay at Victoria Angkor and would recommend it to travelling families.
I know people often travel around Asia looking for a cheaper family travel experience but don’t be mistaken; touching on a little indulgence throughout your travels is never more needed than when you have spent a long, hot sweaty day exploring the wonders of Angkor – the pool and kids club were essential features for us.
How we did it
- We stayed at the Victoria Angkor Spa & Resort for 3 nights in April 2016.
- We arranged transfers through the hotel but taxi or tuk-tuk options are available from the Domestic or International Airport (REP), a relatively easy drive – less than 30 minutes.
- Prices vary by dates and special offers but can be booked in the vicinity of $100US a night – very reasonable by international standards for a hotel of this quality.
- We stayed in two adjoining rooms with a double/twin room combination, they were able to provide us with a very safe and sturdy cot for the baby which comfortably fit in the twin room.
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