Siem Reap, Cambodia ~ Templation

March 2017

It takes a long time to get to Cambodia from the Twin Cities, and in some ways, that raises the stakes for a visit. More travel time means less holiday time, and so each day on the ground becomes extra precious. We’ll say right away that Templation was worth the trip — all around. Even if the name is a bit precious, this hotel is one of our all-time Top 3, and we can’t wait to get back.

The lobby at Templation

We arrived at Templation on the recommendation of staff at our hotel in Phnom Penh; Templation is a sister property, so the recommendation wasn’t a surprise. Our plan was to do just an overnight up to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh to see the temples at Angkhor Wat. But once we arrived, we knew we had to extend our stay. Our first task upon arriving was to take a tuk tuk into the city center and buy a new plane ticket back to Phnom Penh a day later than we had originally planned. Our second task was to add another night at Templation.

Private villa

Our private pool

Yes, perhaps the defining feature of our stay at Templation is that we had our own villa with two structures — one for living and one for sleeping — and a private saltwater pool. We certainly didn’t need our own villa — the more standard rooms at Templation are perfectly lovely, and there’s an amazing and huge pool for all of the guests. But the  sanctuary that the villa provided made the place all the better.

Looking out from the bedroom

Architecture in alignment with our tastes

All of the low-slung structures at Templation are concrete, native wood and glass with green roofs and space that moves indecipherably between outside and inside. It’s all understated and, in our minds, beautiful. This kind of building would never work in a cold climate — nothing really sealed shut — but it was perfect for the tropics. Our villa’s bedroom and living room had air conditioning, but each of the two bathrooms were open air, and we made friends with a bright green frog that slept on the bathroom wall by day and came out to catch bugs in the night. Both bathrooms had showers open to the stars, and one had a huge concrete soaking tub. The private saltwater pool was small but perfect for soaking and short laps. It was surrounded by our villa’s structures on two sides and greenery on the other two that attracted singing birds. All of this made for a completely private setting.

We’ll say right away that Templation was worth the trip — all around. This hotel is one of our all-time Top 3, and we can’t wait to get back.

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 6.14.22 PM
The entrance to our villa







And the breakfasts

The “local” breakfast

Breakfasts are included with the room, and we took ours in the hotel’s main dining room, which overlooks the massive pool. (We could also have ordered breakfast to be delivered if we wanted to eat in our villa.) For breakfast, there were several choices, but our favorite was the “local” option: amazing French coffee and pastries, spring rolls, fried rice and fresh juices and fruit. It was a breakfast we’re fairly certain we would never tire of. We also had lunch on site, which was equally good, and on our first day there, we were recruited to help judge a staff cocktail contest. We were at Templation during the slow season, so the staff had a little extra time to engage with us and have some fun.

Hopes for a wonderful maturation

Templation was relatively new when we stayed — just a little more than a year old. New is always nice in that properties are fresh and haven’t had to withstand the comings and goings of too many visitors. But it’s also important for properties to grow into themselves a bit; maturity can be a good thing. Perhaps our only critique of Templation is that its grounds were a little young. The gardeners were hard at work the whole time we were there, so we imagine the landscape will grow into something pretty fantastic. But the jungle is thick in Siem Reap, so it looked like the ground was cleared on the property for building, and then the gardens were planted. We still managed to spot lots of jungle critters, including all kinds of lizards, but we’re guessing as the grounds mature, the place will feel even more a part of its environment.

Stay details

  • Templation:
  • Location: A few miles outside Siem Reap near the temples at Angkor
  • Stay length: 2 night’s stay, March 21-22, 2017
  • Room: Private pool suite

What we saw, what we ate

  • Temples at Angkor
    • Angkor Wat
    • Ta Prohm
    • Preah Neak Poan
    • Preah Khan
    • Bayon
  • Dinner at Sugar Palm

Back to HOTELLING home


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