Siem Reap will forever hold a special place in my heart because it's a destination that marks a major milestone in my life: my first solo travel adventure.
I know, Cambodia was an unconventional choice, but an incredible yoga retreat outside of Siem Reap was calling my name, and I'd heard nothing but good things about the city itself. So I booked the retreat and began my search for an affordable, wellness-oriented hotel to stay at afterward.
After combing through Tripadvisor, I concluded that Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel was the little slice of paradise that I was seeking. If you want to read all about my experience and learn why Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is one of the best hotels in Siem Reap, then just keep reading.
Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is an ethical, tropical oasis located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It's an award-winning hotel with hundreds of 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor. Here's why you'll love it:
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At Baby Elephant, all of Siem Reap is at your fingertips. The hotel is located just 20 minutes from Angkor Wat, 17 minutes from the airport, and about 1 kilometer from the center of Siem Reap.
Baby Elephant is located within walking distance of pretty much everything in downtown Siem Reap, if you like to walk. Personally, I love getting around on foot because walking is a great way to see the city, get some exercise, and save money on transportation. Hiring a tuk-tuk to take you from Baby Elephant to downtown costs $2 each way, so it's very affordable to get around Siem Reap if you prefer not to walk.
Despite being centrally located, Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is very quiet at night because it's tucked away from the main street, so you can count on getting some quality zzz's at this hotel.
Baby Elephant is a sustainable hotel that is dedicated to reducing its environmental impact. Every month, they implement a new eco-friendly initiative to reduce their carbon footprint and they've accumulated quite the list of achievements: they donate used cooking oil to make bio-diesel, feed leftover food scraps to farm animals, and they're phasing out all styrofoam and single-used plastic.
Baby Elephant has a saltwater swimming pool, which is much gentler on the eyes and skin than traditional chlorinated pools. They made the switch to a saltwater pool in an effort to reduce chemical usage as part of their eco-friendly efforts. They have daily poolside drink specials, including $2 sangria and 2-4-1 cocktails and mocktails.
The hotel's wifi is available poolside, so the lounge chairs are a great place to relax or work. I spent quite a bit of time working by the pool while sippin' a tasty $2 sangria. Ahh, life was good.
The loungers don't get a ton of sun, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on your priorities. Cambodia is HOT, so some might prefer a shady respite. For me, I'm always tryin' to get my tan on, so I would have liked a touch more sunshine at the pool.
Nevertheless, the Baby Elephant pool is no-doubt one of the best pools in Siem Reap. You won't be disappointed in this rad hang-out spot.
Hotel breakfast isn't great in SE Asia, so I woke up on my first morning at Baby Elephant with low expectations. To my surprise, I was handed an a-la-carte menu full of delicious breakfast options, from eggs benedict to vegan french toast made with cashew milk. Breakfast is served with toast, coffee, and a bowl of fresh fruit. One morning, they also brought me a glass of fresh pineapple juice.
Baby Elephant is a great hotel for groups and even has the capacity to host yoga retreats. Together with their neighboring property, BE Happy Guesthouse, they have 25 comfortable, air-conditioned rooms across seven room types, including twins, doubles, family rooms, and more.
Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel and BE Happy Guesthouse share all of the same facilities —the only difference between the two is the quality of the rooms. I stayed at both hotels and found Baby Elephant to be more chic and comfy compared to BE Happy, but BE Happy is a wonderful low-cost option if you prefer budget-friendly accommodation.
Hidden at the back of Baby Elephant is a quaint little spa that offers traditional Khmer massage and other spa services. I had a 60-minute coconut oil massage and felt completely relaxed. The spa was very clean and the therapist was professional and kind.
Bonus: the cutest dog in Siem Reap lives at Baby Elephant Hotel. His name is Lenny, and he's the adorable pup of hotel owner Ilana. He's super fluffy, loves people, and has a stylin' Instagram feed.
Thank you to Ilana at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel for welcoming me to experience the hotel on this visit to Siem Reap! All opinions and photos are my own. The links in this article are affiliate links.
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