I needed a base in Siem Reap to explore Angkor, so I booked a bungalow at the Heritage since it was so highly rated by previous reviewers. Their rates are not the cheapest, but since I was treating myself anyway, this was not an issue. Was picked up at the airport by a chauffeur in a vintage Mercedes; who promptly offered a cool refresher towel and fruit juice for the short drive back - great first impression.
The hotel is located in quiet residential neighbourhood next to a Buddhist monastery near the river. The main building is a charming colonial French villa, now converted into the lobby lounge and bar with restaurant on two levels (floor and mezzanine). The check-in staff (and for that matter ALL staff) were prompt, friendly and extremely gracious in a manner which I later discovered is typical of the Khmer. Was also personally greeted and had a pleasant chat with Magnus the GM, who was mingling with other guests in the lounge.
After the sultry heat of the early evening, the cool air of the 'Chan Thou' bungalow was very welcome indeed. On entering, I noted the highly polished timber flooring and the well lit private tropical garden on the other side of the full length glass. So far so good. The bungalow decor is along Zen/modern Asian lines - smart and stylish. Flowing white curtains cleverly divided the living and bedroom areas; the latter area also has a 'half-egg' bathtub at one end and an outdoor shower shielded by a wall and tall bamboo for complete privacy. In addition there was also the standard shower inside. All in all, three bathing options to choose from depending on your mood! The bed was very large and comfortable, with probably the best pillows I've ever slept on. One notable absence was a TV, but given that I came for the temples and not television, this was not a negative for me. Still, there was free Wi-Fi and a small stereo system for your iPod is also provided.
I never ordered room service but chose to dine on the mezzanine level restaurant which overlooks the bar and also has views of the side street facing the monastery. The menu was the same throughout the week, but was varied enough for me to have different two course dinners very time. The quality is simply magnificent. My absolute favourite was the tuna maguro starter (tuna, pineapple and mango with balsamic vinegar reduction) - this dish alone was worth the trip to Cambodia! The breakfast and luncheon menus are also superb. One notable point about this hotel is the top quality dining at very reasonable prices.
I spent a leisurely week at the Heritage, probably longer than most guests. But that gave me time enough to get a feel for this hotel, which was simply elegant and delightful. One nice memory I take back is waking up to the songbirds kept by someone in the neighbourhood, and also the soft beautiful music coming in from the monastery on Saturday mornings. But the best impression I got was from all the staff I encountered - you would be hard pressed to find more gracious and charming people to help you enjoy a holiday in an iconic locale.
Just spend a bit extra to get a bungalow suite rather than a deluxe room. You've come this far...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC