Got to know about this boutique resort from TripAdvisor. I did some fact finding and found out it is managed by the same people who manages Rambutan Resort in Phnom Penh. So I thought, give it a try. We enquired and made our booking via online for both resorts hence enjoyed some discount. Yeay! The GBR is slightly more expensive than the Rambutan Resort in Phnom Penh however GBR is slightly older resort. After a long journey from Phnom Penh (8hours journey via private taxi), we arrived safely in Siam Reap. We reached the Golden Banana Resort in the evening so we decided to check-in and freshen up as we were quite excited to explore Siam Reap.
Registration seemed easy as we have given most information when we booked earlier. Similar to Rambutan Resort, the staff takes time to explain on the hotel where about, hotel policies, the surrounding tourist attractions areas and provided us with a map. The resort can arrange a tuk tuk or taxi, should you need one. We did use the tuk tuk / taxi service here as we came by a private taxi from Phnom Penh who will be our dedicated transporter in Siam Reap.
We got a room on level 2, called Sandlewood. The stairs to go up to the room seemed scary to me, it’s not very wide so you need to watch out when you climb up. On the day we arrive, it has rained earlier so the steps are slippery as it was wet. The room was clean and spacious. The room could have been more spacious if it is not for the slightly odd room shape. It has open a closet, bath with rain shower, a 21” TV, air conditioner, mini bar, jug kettle, coffee & tea amenity, 2 bottles of drinking water (refilled everyday) and FREE wifi throughout resort. The bed was very comfortable and comes with soft & hard pillow. We have a nice balcony facing the swimming pool which has an outdoor bathtub.
We had some problem with the air-conditioner so we informed the staff. They came very quickly and tried to sort it out but apparently it was not sorted out. We have problem with the AC whereby it is not cold at all and kept switching off approximately every 2 hours. The whole night we kept waking up to switch ON the AC! Grrr!
The room comes with complimentary breakfast at the pool side. If you want, you can have it in your room but you need to make prior arrangement. The breakfast is not buffet style but set menu which comes with juice, coffee / tea, dessert and your choice of main breakfast menu. It is priced at USD5 per person.
On the next morning, we left the hotel very early at around 4.15am as we were going to Angkor Wat for the sunrise view. We informed the resort on the night before so they prepared light breakfast for us which were few baguettes, butter & jam and fresh fruits. The following days, we had breakfast at the resort. The concept is pretty similar with Rambutan Resort but over here, you need to ask for everything. They only serve you with coffee/tea and your main choice of breakfast. You need to ask for the juice, yogurt, fruits, etc. Seems weird to me. Why don’t they practice as how they practice in Rambutan?
On the second day, the room AC was still having the same problem despite being told by the reception staff that the problem has been fixed. After a while, I couldn’t take the heat anymore especially after doing our 1st round of Angkor temples hopping. We informed the staff again and they came to check on it. The manager (sorry, I can’t recall his name) but was a nice guy. After checking, he said it is sorted out as managed to reset the AC. After about 30minutes, the same problem occurred; AC switched off on its own! I explained to him again on what has happened since yesterday with the AC and he immediately rang someone from the air-cond company to come over to check the AC. The technician came pretty fast to check on the AC but by then, I was really tired and frustrated. Here we are after a whole day doing temple hopping and now we are having some AC problem for couple of hours when we are supposed to relaxing! I requested him to get us another room. He immediately checked and offered us a room at the other building which has a functional AC but doesn’t have a pool view. I had no choice. We packed our stuffs and went to another room. The staff was helpful in taking our luggage. I was hoping I wouldn’t fall down on the stairs while moving to the new room.
The new room is called Butterfly Pee. Everything is same except there is no view. When you are at the balcony, you will be facing the wall of the other building. On the right there are some local houses I think. On the left is another wall. I am more than happy to get this room as everything is functional but I was just wondering, is this what happens when you have advance booking, especially booking more than one hotel one the same chain?
The location of GBR is very good. It is few minutes’ walk to the Hard Rock Angkor (café & shop) which was just opened in mid-June! We were so excited to visit Hard Rock, more on that in my next post. Back to this resort, it is about 5 minutes’ walk to the old market, Pub Street and the night market. In terms of the resort location, it is very convenient spot. You can walk around for food and perhaps some drinks. Also shopping for souvenirs and local goods are very convenient. The Siam Reap road traffic is less chaotic than Phnom Penh.
Oh yea, there is another hotel with similar name right next to this one. When we reached the hotel, one of the staff checked with us on the exact hotel name before ushering us to the reception, which was a good thing. We were actually at the wrong hotel. Changing the name will be a good idea for everyone. And, another thing, what do they mean by “Strict child policy”? Don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons why I booked the hotel as it ‘seemed’ like an adult hotel hence no kids around but obviously I was wrong. I find it a bit too noisy.
So did I enjoy my stay at Golden Banana Resort? Actually I did. The bed and pillows are comfortable and its clean. It is located on the good area for us to explore the town, especially in the evening. I was unhappy with the whole problem with the AC and with the fact that they fully booked hence getting another room was a challenge. The staffs are generally pleasant.