Journeys Within Boutique Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsJourneys Within Boutique Hotel Siem Reap
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.
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.
The location (quiet but close to everywhere we wanted to go), the rooms (spacious, beautifully decorated, great beds, terrific bathrooms, lovely touches like free water, laundry & Khmer scarves, etc), the pool & garden(so relaxing after a morning at the sites), the staff (NOTHING was too much trouble, and honest - Father left his wallet in the room, came back with everything intact), guides & drivers (great English, paced to my parents ability, physically helping my parents over the difficult bits, changing the schedule to avoid the crowds & heat etc) were all outstanding. Our hostess Andrea was hugely knowledgable and thoughtful, nothing was too much trouble - genuine hospitality cames naturally to her .
Whether you have special needs or not, this is a great place (and great value!) to stay and immerse yourself in this wonderful country.
The Ultimate Cambodian Experience
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.
Andrea and Brandon proved to be the ultimate example of gracious pampering of their house guests. Our tour began with a short flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap including (free) airport pick-up, and included three days of Angkor Wat exploration as well as visits to other fascinating and majestic temples in the area. Our highly experienced personal guide, selected by Andrea, knew all the ways to help us make the most of our daily excursions and how to best avoid the bus tour masses.
The Journeys Within Bed & Breakfast website and brochure describe their lovely accommodations, but omit the availability of their (free) same day laundry and (free) Internet access. I was also extremely pleased with their knowledge of the Siem Reap area and their sensitivity to the problems facing the Cambodian people today.
In summary, Journeys Within consistently exceeded our expectations before, during, and subsequent to our stay with them. I encourage anyone planning a trip to the Angkor Wat area to look no further than this outstanding B & B to book their ultimate Cambodian experience.
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
A Gem of a Retreat in Siem Reap
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.
Wonderful place to stay
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
TripAdvisor Reviews Journeys Within Boutique Hotel Siem Reap
Travel Blogs from Siem Reap
The special time slot assigned to Angkor Wat was to see the sunrise over one of the world's most famous temples. Leaving the hostel at half 4, we joined a stream of tuk-tuks all heading to Angkor Wat with the same plan. We feared, as many have said in guidebooks or reviews, that it may make the spectacle less enjoyable but once through the ticket check we found only peaceful and calm groups of people. Most were patiently gathered ...
... like this. Phnom Pen was the place I liked least in Cambodia, out of the other places we went to. We stayed in Mad Monkeys hostel and although it was in the city centre, there wasn't much around it, not even restaurants or bars. We only had 2days there so it wasn't too bad. We spent one day at the Killing fields and genecide museum. It was a sombre day but the locals encourage you to go to see these places so that their history will not be repeated and the people not forgotten. ...
... we headed next.
When prisoners arrived at the killing fields, they were taken to the edge of a mass grave, bludgeoned to death (to save bullets) and then pushed into the graves. While this was happening, loud music was played in the area to hide the screams and moans of the dying. We visited the sites of the mass graves, including one where children and babies were buried after being killed by being picked up by their feet and having their heads smashed in on ...
... representations of Khmer art. Restored and well preserved. (Tomb raider was filmed here) Home to chill by the pool before Foreign correspondents club for dinner. It is Khmer New Year so lots of lights throughout the city with people celebrating everywhere. Loud music and people gathering with family and friends . Another car ride this morning to travel to a fishing village. An amazing site as you ...
... boiled the water to cook/steam the small water snails. He offered me one and handed me a toothpick to pull out the meat. Yes I DID eat one, but can't say that I loved it. Just a little chewy!!!
We enjoyed our quaint hotel the Golden Banana , tucked in behind the busy streets and markets. We could experience the local traffic of people of tuk tuks ets. Now back to Phnom Penh.