Upper East River Road, North of Wat Polanka,Siem Reap, Cambodia
Rates starting fromUSD 100
per night or lessCHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
You’re coming to Siem Reap – home to the mighty Angkor Wat – and you want to experience its authentic charms like a local. Where do you go? Take a tip from us and head straight to Maison Polanka: the beautiful former family home of Jean-Pierre and Nathalie, founders of the acclaimed Artisans d’Angkor, the Chantiers Ecoles charity and some of Cambodia’s most renowned designer boutiques.
Located just a stone’s throw from town, Maison Polanka consists of an antique Cambodian wooden house and a smaller villa with just five personality-filled rooms. Each one is individually decorated with antiques, vintage 1950’s furnishings and a private collection of artworks from around South-East Asia. Outside, you’ll find a glistening pool and a small spa caressed by tropical palms – with your fellow guests running on tight temple-hopping schedules, there’s a good chance that you’ll have it all to yourself. As you’d expect, the atmosphere is warm and intimate, with a cosy restaurant serving up beloved family recipes and staff who welcome you like old friends.
If you can bring yourself to step outside, downtown Siem Reap is within easy walking distance, while the Angkor temples are just a tuk-tuk ride away. Jean-Pierre and Nathalie are both deeply involved in the local community, and they generously share their address book filled with their go-to restaurants, tailormade tours, boutique shops and hidden picnic and sunset spots. In other words, a stay at Maison Polanka is like being invited to your incredibly stylish friend’s home and introduced to all her best insider contacts. Welcome to the family.
- Bicycle rental
- Car rental
- Shuttle transport
- Laundry & dry-cleaning
- Luggage storage
- Spa treatments
- Free WiFi
- Safety deposit
- Airport transfers
- Souvenir shop
- Swimming pool
- 24 hour front desk
- Multi-lingual staff
- Cooking classes
- Breakfast menu
- Room service
- 24-hour security
- Daily housekeeping
- Boutique Hotel
- No. of rooms:
- Swimming Pool:
- Disabled Access:
- Recommended for:
- Art, Architecture & Design
- Romance & Honeymoon
- Culture Vultures
- Group Getaways
- Weekends from Singapore
- Luxury Life
What to Know
- Surrounded by tropical gardens and filled with antiques and artworks, Maison Polanka is the perfect mix of style, personal service and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Expect to be thoroughly pampered by the detail-oriented staff who will treat you like one of the family.
- The location is just far enough from the touristy parts of town, yet close enough to be within walking distance.
- Owners Jean Pierre and Nathalie are the movers and shakers behind some of Cambodia’s most inspiring non-profit organisations and businesses, with deep ties to the local community.
KEEP IN MIND
- The temple ceremonies at next-door Wat Polanka often start at the crack of dawn, so pack a pair of earplugs.
- Television in the rooms is provided only upon request, but you probably won't be missing it.
- Surrounded by tropical gardens, the open-air estate is not mosquito proof. Mosquito repellent is provided in your room.
More than just hoteliers, both Jean Pierre and Nathalie have been active leaders in numerous non-profit initiatives for the past 24 years and counting. Aside from their flagship Chantiers Ecoles and Artisans d’Angkor projects, Nathalie also serves as chairman of Osmose, a social environmental project on Tonle Sap lake that supports community development through skills training programs, ecotourism and various health and educational initiatives. They also collaborate closely with Weaves of Cambodia, providing income to local villagers through handicrafts; as well as the Nginn Karet Foundation Cambodia, which promotes cultural development in the rural villages of Bantey Srey.
IN YOUR ROOM
Each of the individually-decorated rooms at Maison Polanka feel intimate and cosy, reflecting Jean Pierre and Nathalie’s lifelong dedication to Cambodian arts and crafts. Inside, a curated mix of wooden antiques and vintage Art Deco furniture lend an eclectic touch, while the walls are lined with original artworks by regional artists such as Cambodian painter Lim Muy Theam and Singaporean photographer Chris Yap. The attached bathrooms all feature luxe rainshowers. All rooms are equipped with mobile phone for easy communication, while sarongs and woven baskets gently urge you towards the swimming pool.
The striking Khmer House is the largest at 53 square metres, and boasts soaring ceilings as well as a spacious outdoor living room below. The light-filled Green Room comes with an enormous terrace overlooking the pool and gardens – ideal for spreading out – while the cheery Yellow Room is no less delightful. If you’re travelling as a group, the cosy Orange Room has twin beds that are suitable for sharing or for kids, while the Purple Room boasts a contemporary vibe, complete with white-washed furnishings and locally-made encaustic cement tiles.
A former family home converted into an intimate and art-filled hideaway, surrounded by tropical gardens.
Food & Drink
Located in the heart of Maison Polanka, the open-air Sala pavilion is your go-to spot for the surprisingly excellent Cambodian-French home cooking, inspired by authentic family recipes. Expect a fresh and modern twist on heritage dishes on offer via the seasonal a la carte and set menus: think fresh spring rolls and grilled marinated pork spare-ribs with cucumber pickles. Almost everything is sourced fresh from the organic garden or the local market daily.
After dinner, linger besides the pool with an expertly-mixed cocktail in hand.
Wake up to a lazy Khmer, Continental or American breakfast in the Sala pavilion besides the pool or request for an indulgent breakfast in bed, complete with freshly-baked breads and tropical fruits. Wash it down with a cup of local Cambodian coffee, latte, fine tea or fruit juice.
In the afternoons, come home to sip on restorative cups of fine Mariage Frères tea and freshly-baked cookies – a welcome pick me up after a long day of wandering around temples and markets. Later on, if you’re in the mood for some romance, ask staff to arrange for an outdoor candlelight dinner underneath the stars or dine in the privacy of in your room, courtesy of the excellent room service.
Pop around the corner to neighbouring Marum Restaurant, a training restaurant for local street children, to sample their Asian-inspired tapas menu within a beautiful outdoor garden. For Khmer-fusion fine dining, book a table at Cuisine Wat Damnak – recently named Cambodia’s Best Restaurant and among Asia’s 50 top restaurants by San Pellegrino. Post-dinner make your way down to Chinoiserie-inspired Miss Wong along bustling Pub Street to enjoy their killer cocktails and sultry lounge tunes.
The tropical gardens are home to a generous infinity pool, surrounded by a spacious wooden deck that’s perfect for lazy afternoons.
After a long day of temple-hopping, turn yourself in to the expert masseuses at the private spa treatment room, or outdoors on the massage beds. The healing therapies incorporate ancient Cambodian herbal remedies using ingredients from the organic gardens. Restorative yoga classes and retreats are also regularly held in the open-air pavilion.
Shopaholics and arts lovers are in good hands at Maison Polanka, given that Nathalie is also the visionary behind two of Siem Reap’s finest boutique shops. Housed inside a sleek showroom at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Khmer Attitude showcases a collection of gorgeous silks, silverware and jewellery, all handmade by master craftsmen using traditional techniques. A few doors down, Galerie Cambodge specializes in fair-trade home accessories, bags and clothing made from organic cottons, linens and eco-friendly materials.
Finally, no visit to Siem Reap is complete without a visit to Artisans d’Angkor, a non-profit collective dedicated to preserving traditional Cambodian craftsmanship, founded by Nathalie and Jean Pierre. Stop by their workshops (just a 2 minute walk from Pub Street and the Old Market) to watch silver-plating, wood carving and lacquer painting in progress, or visit their Silk Farm and gallery, set amidst 8 hectares of mulberry trees. The hotel staff can arrange for free transfers.
Visit the majestic temples of Angkor Archaeological Park (including the legendary Angkor Wat) with a tailormade tour organized by the Maison Polanka staff. Later on, take a canoe tour of traditional floating villages and environmentally-rich bird sanctuaries on the mighty Tonle Sap Lake with sister organization Osmose Ecotours. Finally, explore Cambodia’s rural countryside with horse-riding, 4x4 wheel drives, bicycle and helicopter tours, hiking, kayaking, zip-line adventures and other outdoor activities – staff can assist with all the necessary arrangements.
Your Booking Makes a Difference
For every booking that you make at Maison Polanka, Indistay donates 1% of profits to the Cambodian Children's Foundation for providing library supplies to Tuol Ampil School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Learn More
Siem Reap International Airport (REP) serves a wide number of regional airlines from around the region, including Singapore (via SilkAir, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and AirAsia), Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Manila, Hong Kong, Luang Prabang, Guangzhou, Kunming and Seoul; as well as domestic flights to and from the capital of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. The flight time from Singapore is just 2 hours and 20 minutes.
FROM THE AIRPORT
20 minutes in a tuk-tuk or taxi will bring you to Maison Polanka in the tranquil vicinity of Wat Polanka – the (modern-day) temple across the city’s river. Traffic during rush hour can get a little out of control in the narrow lanes around the compound, but your driver should know his way around. Maison Polanka provides complimentary airport pick ups, while drop-offs can be arranged for US$18 (car), US$30 (van) or coaster (US$45).
In The Area
Leave the Old Market to the tourists: Maison Polanka is tucked away in an authentic neighbourhood behind the tall walls of Wat Polanka, down a narrow lane that buzzes with temples, schools and local charm. Cross over the wooden bridge to find yourself in downtown Siem Reap, where dining venues line the streets, while the majestic Angkor Wat is just a short tuk-tuk (remork) ride away.
It’s just a 10-minute stroll from Maison Polanka to downtown Siem Reap: a pleasant walk during the cooler parts of the day. When the afternoon sun strikes, hop on board the hotel's tuk-tuk (remork) shuttle, or ask the front desk to call for an air-conditioned taxi if the heat gets too much. For longer excursions, borrow one of the complimentary vintage bicycles (complete with leather seats and wicker baskets), or else staff can organize air-conditioned cars and tuk-tuks to take you anywhere you please.