Cambodia 2014: Shinta Mani Club1/13/2015 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
|Shinta Mani Club Foyer|
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|
|Shinta Mani Club Deluxe Room|
|Tea & coffee-making facilities, fresh fruit, welcome drinks (half finished!)|
Free mini bar!
|Complimentary Mini Bar|
The shower was about as big as my whole bathroom at home!
|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
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.
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.
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!
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.)
|Iced coffee. Yessssss|
|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|
|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|
|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!