Accommodation

Cambodia 2014: Shinta Mani Club

1/13/2015 10:36:00 PM

Hi everybody! Well, now that my two epic round-up posts are done (December Unblogged Files and the 2014 Round Up), and I'm just about settled back in at work after the Christmas break, it's time to go back to the Cambodia posts! Today I want to tell you about the awesome hotel we stayed at, Shinta Mani Club.

Shinta Mani Club
Junction of Oum Khun and 14th Street
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ph: +855 63 761 998
Website

Shinta Mani Club Foyer

We'd never been to Cambodia before, and picked Shinta Mani Club based on its website and TripAdvisor reviews - when we booked it was the number one in Siem Reap! First impressions were great - pre-booked airport transfers were all arranged smoothly, the foyer of the hotel was beautiful, and the check-in process was quick and easy.

We loved the scent of mint and jasmine that perfumed the halls thanks to little oil burners, and there was an abundance of lotus flowers throughout the hotel - lovely!

Shinta Mani Club Reception

Welcome drinks and lotuses in the foyer

We booked a Deluxe Room, which on first impression seemed a little small, but was extremely comfortable. The bed took up most of the space in the main room, but there was also a balcony, wardrobe, and a humongous shower! One word of warning though, it was on the second floor and there are no lifts - if you have any mobility issues I'd definitely suggest confirming with the hotel before making your booking.

Shinta Mani Club Deluxe Room

Tea & coffee-making facilities, fresh fruit, welcome drinks (half finished!) 

Free mini bar!

Complimentary Mini Bar

Bathroom

The shower was about as big as my whole bathroom at home!

Fancy shower

Balcony

View from the room

On our second night, we were feeling a bit exhausted from all the temple trekking and decided to stay in and order room service. Great burger, great steak.

Australian Prime Beef Burger (Beef Patty, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Grilled Onion, Crispy Bacon, Melted Emmental Cheese - $9USD
Australian Beef Strip Loin, Sautéed Garlic Potatoes and Brandy Cream Sauce - $15USD

The breakfasts were really a highlight of the stay! Breakfast was served in their in-house restaurant, Kroyafrom 6:00AM, which seemed very ambitious, but made total sense when you consider that most people start their temple visits early to avoid the heat!

Scrambled eggs

Included in the price of the room was an impressive breakfast buffet, including fresh tropical fruits (zomg!), pastries, breads, yogurts, cereals, salads, cheese, local hot breakfasts (noodles, congee), juices and sparkling wine.

Breakfast Buffet

I tried fish congee for breakfast one morning, loading it up with as many different accompaniments as they had - lime, boiled eggs, peanuts, chillies, spring onions, bits of dried fish and shrimp, and the light brown rectangular thing in the picture below, which I thought was tofu at first, but had a really pungent, blue-cheesy / blachan type taste - I think it might have been fermented, or a type of prahok.

Fish congee

You could also order from the a la carte breakfast menu (no extra charge) - the best items we tried were the waffles (so fabulous), and the amaaaaazing bacon they served. Bacon!

Waffle with vanilla bean chantilly

I didn't think the eggs Benedict would come with bonus crispy bacon, roast potatoes and tomatoes, but I wasn't complaining!

Eggs Benedict on Brioche, Topped with Ham, Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce
Served with Roasted Potatoes, Baked Tomatoes and Pan-grilled Bacon

Now, we've just got to take a moment and appreciate the awesomeness of their bacon. Ta-dah!

BACON!

They served streaky bacon in wafer thin slices, grilled until super crispy. LOVE! Once we realised how great it was, we started ordering extra bacon every morning. Bacon, with waffles and maple syrup, is an amazing breakfast.

Top left: French Toast with Honey
Top right: Pancakes with Honey
Bottom left: Scrambled Eggs, served with Roasted Potatoes, Baked Tomatoes and Pan-grilled Bacon
Bottom right: Waffles with Vanilla Bean Chantilly and bonus BACON

You may remember that we visited Angkor Wat for sunrise one morning - the 5:00AM departure time obviously meant that we missed out on the breakfast that day, but the hotel still takes care of you! There's coffee and croissants waiting in the foyer before you head off...

Croissants and coffee

...and they give you a breakfast hamper to enjoy after sunrise. (You can eat these in one of the cafes near Angkor Wat as long as you buy a drink - in my case, an icy icy iced coffee half full of condensed milk.)

Breakfast Pack

Iced coffee. Yessssss

Doing all the temple touring early in the day meant that our afternoons were free for lazing around the pool. Yay. Shinta Mani Club's sister resort, Shinta Mani Resort, is located across the street and has a much bigger pool, which guests are also welcome to use. We did have a quick look at Shinta Mani Resort, but we enjoyed the relative peace and quiet here, and were never tempted to venture across the street to swim.

Shinta Mani Club Pool

View from my deck chair. Sigh...

Jasmine Iced Tea; Lime Ice 

The Pool Bar offers a range of drinks, cocktails, snacks and light meals - of course I had to order a club sandwich! The club sandwich was fantastic - the best one I've ever had, come to think of it. (The others I've had were at Palazzo Versace in the Gold Coast, and Casa Del Mar in Langkawi, for those following along at home).

Club Sandwich (Grilled Chicken, Lettuce, Bacon, Fried Egg, Tomatoes) - $8USD
Classic Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon, Romaine, and Parmesan Cheese - $7USD

Mmm... Open Faced Club Sandwich

The staff would also come around with complimentary mini ice-creams in coconut wafers - hooray!

Free mini ice-creams!

Let's take another look at the pool. Aaah... so pretty!

Shinta Mani Club Pool

Rest assured I made very, very good use of Shinta Mani's Spa while we were there, indulging in four treatments across our seven day trip: a foot beauty treatment, pedicure, relaxation massage and a Khmer coffee scrub. (That's right people, I'm not just drinking it any more, I'm rubbing it into my skin.) The treatments were great, and you received tea before and after each treatment, and a little prawn rice paper roll after each treatment.

Tea, Cold towel, Lotus!

The treatments were cheap by Australian standards ($45USD for an hour massage, for example), but expensive compared to the other spas around town. However, I was happy to splash out a little extra so that I could just float back to my room or back down to the pool, rather than brave the traffic after a treatment in town. (I didn't try them myself, but my friend Penny who lives in Battambang highly recommends Bodia Spa and Lemongrass Garden in Siem Reap and I completely trust her opinion!)

Shinta Mani Spa

In addition to the breakfasts, we ate at Kroya, twice: once for lunch and once for dinner.

Kroya - Outdoor Swing Seating

Kroya - Indoor Seating

Kroya serves both Western and local dishes - we enjoyed everything we ate there, but the local dishes were definitely the standout. I loved the beef loc lac, and totally want to try making it at home!

Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato, Long Beans and Eggplant - $10

Stir-Fried Khmer Beef Loc Lac served with Pepper Lime Sauce - $10USD


I know I've spent a lot of time talking about the facilities, the food and the spa, but the key difference is the staff, who were really fantastic. While we were in Siem Reap, we were having a chat with the owner of another hotel, who commented that Shinta Mani has a really strong training program, and it definitely shows. They were always happy to help organise temple tours, tuktuks, spa treatments, even to walk us across the street when we had a look around their sister resort! And it was such a treat to always have cold towels and cold bottled water waiting for us whenever we got back after a day in the hot sun. Every staff member we met was really friendly and very thoughtful - they seemed to have a genuine interest in the guests and really appeared to enjoy their jobs.

And that was our stay at Shinta Mani Club! Obviously, we loved it and absolutely recommend it if you are visiting Siem Reap!

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6 comments

  1. This is pretty much my perfect vacation! Spa, food and a great hotel! :D

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  2. I can smell the luxury from here. What a gorgeous getaway. I love having hotel congee for breakfast but that bacon! :P

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  3. I love the way they arrange (or rather don't arrange!) the flowers! Just gorgeous.

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  4. I've totally now added this to my list of places I want to go - looks amazing!

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  5. It looks like heaven! Just the crispy bacon and array of tropical fruits for breakfast alone would be enough to convince me to stay there. :)

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  6. A perfect vacation! I am so loving the place. Everything just seems so perfect. And the food is absolutely great!

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