Journeys Within Boutique Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Siem Reap
Hello from lovely Siem Reap, Cambodia! This city has been our home for the past two weeks (the longest we have stayed at any location) ...and we are LOVING the change of pace. Cat Ba Island turned out to be a great place to do some kayaking and exploring, so we took a day trip through the limestone islands... just a quick boat trip away from our …
Duncan and Maddie tell me no one will know who Lara Croft is. Come on, didn't everyone either play the computer game Tomb Raider or at least see the movie? You know, Angelina swinging from vine to vine, leaping from mossy stone to mossy stone - with an arsenal of firepower in her backpack? Well, it didn't exactly win any Academy awards, but it did …
All templed out, and disregarding the protests of the rest of the family (who were feeling over scheduled at this point), on our last day in Siem Reap some pleading and encouragement and mild threats on my part convinced the family to venture out on the Tonle Sap lake. Visiting the floating villages and stilted houses on the lake is a recommended …
... not see the land on the other side), so I think the water levels do vary significantly with the amount of rainfall and flooding they have in the wet/dry season. It looked like quite a cool place to live, the kids were all splashing about on their front steps or swimming from house to house or paddling around in whatever they could find that would float. We ate some dishes made from river fish aswell as various other foods on their little floating restaurant (that did float, and so ...
... required a dinner break, which we took about halfway and Coco and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset while the others were eating. We had decided to prefer a dinner after the trip was over. Finally, at 21:00 we arrived in Siem Reap. However, the people from the taxi-van dropped us of at small bus stop, not the real bus terminal, which forces us to pay a completely overpriced Tuk Tuk to the area with the hostels. At least ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Wonderful oasis in Siem Reap. 6 villas tucked around a lovely pool and well maintained, lush garden. We didn't tour with Journeys Within but booked our stay independently as part of our family's 4 week SE Asia journey, and we are glad we did. What we got was luxury, but also an introduction to the work their non profit is doing to work with Cambodians to improve their lives. They are very low key about their NPO at the B&B. You would likely already know about their good work with Journeys Within Our Community through their website but if not, a pamphlet in your room explains their mandate and programs. It is very low key - no one ever approached us to donate towards the NPO but after you see how well organized they are, and the good work being done at their school next door you will want to make a donation to support them.
The well appointed villas are beautiful, but it is also the little things that show attention to detail. Gift scarves on the bed when you arrive, Shampoo, conditioner and body wash in beautiful ceramic pots (much more eco friendly), bug spray and suntan lotion at the reception desk, access to the kitchen water cooler so that we could fill our water bottles and not keep using plastic water bottles, offers of a cool towel and ice water at the pool side after a long day at the temples.
Also, I want to give a special mention to a tour guide who is independent but works often for Journeys Within. Leap Lam (who prefers to be called Luohn) english was exceptional - he studied as a Buddhist monk for a number of years and he was very knowledgable about Cambodia and able to share the little things of interest that make having a guide worthwhile. Guides can make or break an experience and Luonh made our day a memorable one. His contact info is Cambodianinsider@gmail.com or +855 122140 42 or +855 88 933 1526. He guides throughout Cambodia and SE Asia. Luohn took us to kayak at Kompong Pleuk and it was a wonderful experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
TravelPod Member ReviewsJourneys Within Boutique Hotel Siem Reap
Historical Traveler Reviews Journeys Within Boutique Hotel Siem Reap
I could not have been more delighted with my choice of accommodation in Siem Reap (where I have been before). My elderly parents (79 & 80) wanted to visit Angkor Wat so I needed to find somewhere to stay that would be sensitive to their needs. Guided by Trip Advisor reviews I chose Journeys Within - they meet every expectation.
To characterize our January, 2006 trip to Cambodia with the Journeys Within Tour Company and Bed & Breakfast as a "tour" would be a major understatement. Our experience should be better described as a personal invitation from a Western couple to share their home, staff of fifteen, and their experiences in Southeast Asia over the past three years.
We booked Journeys Within because of the rave reviews in Tripadvisor and were glad that we listened to them. we got a good vibe right from the start - all our queries were answred promptly by andrea and all the tours booked well ahead of time. We liked the fact that they organised the car and guide for us at a reasonable fee.We also loved the attnetion to detail - the welcome gifts of Cambodian scarfs, the constant turndown service (we always came back to a totally clean and madeup room, beds all turned down, towels all clean and dry) free water and soft drinks in room and also during the tours. The service was great, the atmosphere was homey and warm. the staff understood english better than more so-called posh hotels in siem reap. there's a really cute dog who is very well-behaved. and the banana pancakes at breakfast are to die for, especially with the caramelly honey that came with it. - Marcus and Rahita Hand
Recently we traveled to Cambodia to visit the magnificent Khmer temples near Siem Reap. The trip was fabulous thanks to the beautiful facilities at Journeys Within; the warm, friendly service of the owners and staff; and the arrangements provided by their team. We traveled with our 14 month old daughter and were looking specifically for a place that would be flexible to our special needs. Journeys Within is the place. The owners have a baby and were very understanding, and the entire staff was accommodating in every detail from cleaning bottles to providing whole milk for our daughter. Best of all, they accommodated us without sacrificing service to other guests. The team at Journeys Within met us at the airport, and, at our request, arranged a driver and guide who provided entertaining and informative tours of the ruins. The peaceful gardens and gorgeous pool at Journeys Within will help you relax after visiting the temples. Finally, our stay provided us a very unique and personal insight into life in Cambodia that one would completely miss if staying at one of the many large hotels in Siem Reap. This is truly a gem of a retreat in Siem Reap.
We absolutely loved our stay at Journeys Within. My wife and I were looking for a place to stay that had more character than a big hotel chain, but also had a few more amenities than the typical b&b...wow, did we find the place. This is so much more than a b&b. If you are interested in getting the traditional b&b experience, you can stay in the house with the staff and the owners. The staff is amazing. They are always smiling and eager to please. For a fun talk, ask the American and English husband and wife team how they started a company in Cambodia. However, if you are looking to stay in a less personal environment, Journeys Within has just had constructed individual cabins behind the main b&b building. They also addded a devine pool. It really is an amazing experience. They treat you like family no matter if you are there for one day and looking to do a budget tour or if you are there for one week and money isn't an object. We strongly recommend staying here and can't wait to return.
I've never felt so well taken care of by a tour company!
If you want a place that pays attention to the smallest details, makes you feel warm and welcomed, and makes traveling in a developing country easy and fun - get in touch with the people at Journeys Within. We spent a week with them in November 2005 and they exceeded all our expectations. I was so pleased with the experience that I plan to use them for a trip to Vietnam in 2006. If only all tour companies in the developing world treated their clients this well. They have also now expanded to having 5 bungalows and a pool from their original 3 rooms in the main house.
The success of Journeys Within totally is down to the excellent guides and drivers they employ. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Siem Reap and my stay at Journeys Within. I enjoyed the breakfasts and lunch and loved my room which was full of character. The owners are building some more rooms in the garden which look as if they will also be good. My only criticism is that I found the American owners to be rather patronising towards the staff - they ought to be wary of this as it is the Cambodians who are the real gems and make a stay in Siem Reap a very humbling and wonderful experience.
Great three day itinerary!
We didn't stay there, but saw the place and wished we had!! Having only three days to see the temples, Andrea, the host, hooked us up with our own personal guide for slightly more than the average cost. (We're talking just a few dollars!) The itinerary she came up with could not have been better. It was streamlined to give us the maximum time at the sites and minimum time on the road. We even had time to visit the surrounding towns and see the sunset from a "secret" place away from the crowds.
Journeys Within is highly recommended!
Great Bed and Breadfast - Resonable prices
This Bed and Breakfast was great with an excellent staff. They provide guides and drivers which I really thought was helpful in Cambodia. Your not being taken around in a bus either like some of the big luxury hotels, for my husband and I we had 1 english speaking guide and 1 driver in a comfortable car. They will even wash your laundry for free, which is wonderful depending how far into your trip you are, they just ask that you tip the girl who does the work. I would definitely stay here again, it is a great find for the price!
I would recommend staying at Journeys-within for anyone going to see Angkor Wat. They are excellent and the driver and guides they provide make touring easy. I can't imagine visiting Angkor without a guide, especally an English speaking one and one who has worked with Journeys-within before