Only ten years ago, Siem Riep, and in fact all of Cambodia, was a whole lot lighter on the load, tourism-wise. The recent influx of travellers of all purposes and budgets has led to the appearance of a vast array of amenities to match. A relatively new addition to the fast-burgeoning hospitality scene in Siem Riep, Templation is the perfect spot for relaxation and exploration of the famous nearby Angkor Wat.
The name is a mash-up of Temple (referring to the ones close by) and ‘temptation’. To be tempted is often to be denied some forbidden pleasure, but you’ll be pleased to hear that this lovely, luscious resort caters to your every whim and want, whether that be within its grounds or through its prime location close to Angkor Wat, the behemoth historic site which is the reason for a visit to Siem Riep.
Templation’s position is one of its key attractions. The ubiquitous tuk-tuks of the city wait out front to whisk you off (ok, not whisk, trundle) to the temples. The ride takes about 20 minutes, relatively short compared to some of Siem Riep’s other resorts of similar stature. We were grateful for the ride, as any closer would negate the build up, the sense of anticipation as you slowly transition from city to jungle and then, finally, to seeing the dense foliage part, revealing stunning views of the temples.
The hotel is just a short ride from the town centre too, and although further from the hub than some resorts, there is a peace and tranquility to being amongst nature and Cambodian life that we would always choose over convenience
STYLE AND CHARACTER
Templation channels the water and flora of its surrounds, with cascading water and tropical plants lining the walk to, and from, reception. The building is low-rise, which feels respectful to the majestic beauty of Cambodian countryside. Don’t let the modest touches fool you though, there is luxury within.
Upon approaching the door of your living space, you’d be forgiven for expecting something on the cosy, unassuming side. That presumption is testament to the privacy within the walls. Once inside, you’re greeted with a small, private pool which separates two minimalist but perfectly formed rooms, each with their own bathrooms, both spacious and boasting elegant luxury. All of the area is dressed with the aforementioned fauna, only serving to add to the sense of seclusion. After a day of serious walking amongst the vast grounds of the temple, in the searing Cambodian sun, there really is nothing better than coming home to this.
If you never wanted to leave your oasis living space, no one would judge you. However, in casting your eyes further afield you’ll find a huge central pool, which rather than being uniform and rigid, seems to adapt to the area encompassing it. It shimmers in the sun and offers a wonderful focal point for the hotel, with the restaurant and bar area overlooking it.
There is also a Spa and Fitness area, as you’d expect to find in such a resort. What sets this one apart though is the atmosphere of the jungle, enhanced by the décor which channels the spirituality of the temples and escapism of the jungle.
FOOD & DRINK
Cambodian food sits alongside refined Western dishes in this tempting space. Breakfast follows the a la carte route, rather than buffet, with local eggs a must.
Of note, Templation provides a couple of superb, locally brewed craft beers – a first for Cambodia. They were both intriguing and unique, with flourishes of Asian flavour rubbing shoulders with the familiar tastes of craft ale.
Templation. Well, it’s all in the title isn’t it? A place with fantastically easy access to Angkor Wat, and an ambience which continues to spiritual mood of the temples long after you’ve left, this resort is a must-stay in Siem Reap. Give in to those urges and set yourself free.
Disclosure: IDEAL Magazine stayed as a guest of the hotel