A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Paper Tiger

In Siem Reap, we stayed at Le Tigre de Papier Residence, the hotel of a popular restaurant in town. It was a little out of the main Pub street area, down a dirt road. Not too far from the action but far enough so that it was a nice, quiet respite. I’m finding it hard to review this hotel after the kerfuffle that happened at the end of our stay. Basically we got unceremoniously kicked out. But, let me start with the good stuff.

It had a garden setting and little swimming pool, in front of a well-maintained guest house. The staff was super-friendly, even if some couldn’t speak English very well, they tried to accommodate our needs. Including early morning breakfast sandwiches when we toured the temples, trustworthy tuk-tuk drivers, and free hot water and ice (for our cheapo drinks we would make in the room). The room was very clean and comfortable with all the amenities: air con, tv, mini-fridge, and free wifi. All this for $25/night (usual is $30) which I negotiated before we checked in based on our booking of two rooms for 5 nights.

When my parents eventually checked out, Ron and I decided to stay an additional week. We had a half used 7-day temple pass and really liked the pace and vibe of Siem Reap. Everything was going swimmingly, until one afternoon while I was out for a walk there was a knock at our door. Ron was told that we had to check out, our room was booked. Say what?! I came back to find all of our bags packed because apparently they were confused about how long we wanted to stay (even though I double checked with two separate people at the front desk) and then went into a song and dance about how they did know but accidentally double booked a group of 20 people that they couldn’t disappoint by splitting up. Meaning they felt absolutely no remorse in disappointing us. Then they went into a third story that the room was overbooked because one of the girls didn’t write it down, and was subsequently fired because they found her pocketing the money instead of recording it.

All of this was inconceivable. If they were even a little bit organized, someone should have said something, I don’t know, the night before? Or at breakfast? Or at some point in the 11 nights we stayed at the hotel that there was a conflict!!! But not at 2pm in the afternoon, with three British girls yelling at Ron to vacate the room so they can check in. Can you fathom, that they didn’t even tell the new guests what had happened, and left Ron to take the blame for the situation?

The only reconciliation they offered us at the time for our trouble was to find us another hotel at Encore Angkor down the street (albeit more expensive, since we couldn’t bargain on our long stay any longer) but it had spoiled the dream world we were in up until that point. The owner was out of town when this happened but got our review and promptly apologized and offered us a free week if we return to Siem Reap, which was quite kind. Other than the shenanigans going on with the staff, it really was a lovely stay and their free breakfast is possibly the best in SE Asia, offering up strong coffee, perfectly cooked eggs, and fresh-baked croissants. So all in all, I still recommend a stay Le Tigre. Besides it has a cool name.


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