Amatao Tropical Residence is a tranquil paradise situated off a dusty dirt track, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
It is in fact, just a short ten minute ‘Tuk Tuk’ ride from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap’s famous Pub Street. Thus making it the perfect getaway for those looking to combine a safe haven with a bustling location – something often hard to find.
When our driver turned down the dusty dirt track passing fields, farmland and houses, we thought he’d taken a wrong turn. It wasn’t until he slowed to a halt that we found ourselves staring at some impressively large gates. Our driver didn’t speak the best English (although his English was better than our Cambodian) but he was adamant we were at the right place. Then the gates crept open and were greeted by five staff members, all wearing bright red t-shirts emblazoned with the words Amatao. With huge grins and a refreshing flannel to wipe away the perspiration (and dirt from the drive) we were taken to the open air reception. Here we were greeted by Naomi, the resorts owner who is the creative brains behind the resorts tranquil and almost fairy-tale-like theme.
Our rooms weren’t quite ready, so we waited by the pool soaking up the sunshine, and the immediate thing that captivates you about this place is the wildlife. There is so much of it. The resort is unlike anything I’ve seen before in terms of layout and location.
The grounds are somewhat unusual too – wild plants, trees and water displays are everywhere and you’d be forgiven for thinking the area needed a bit of pruning. But after a chat with Naomi I found that she had purposefully left it this way, so nature could “do it’s thing.” The result, a wildlife resort that has hidden water features, swinging chairs and hideaway tables that give the resort a fairy-tale feel and I loved it!
Nature is so wild and present here that you can’t really see where the suites are – but that’s the point. They’re almost hidden among the lush landscape, but once you do find them you’re not disappointed. Our suite was spacious and bright and most importantly, given the craziness of Siem Reap, quiet. It really did provide the tranquil safe-haven it promised.
Amatao doesn’t have an on-sight restaurant or bar (although plans are already firmly underway) but they do have an on-site chef who can cater for your specific needs and dietary requirements. We only stayed one night and thus didn’t take advantage of this service. Although I did have time to embark on a wine tasting lesson with Naomi, which was fabulous and a real must do.
I’d recommend this hotel for those looking to experience the wonders of Siem Reap and who want to enjoy a relatively central location, without being on the doorstep of bars and restaurants. You will have to take a tuk-tuk everywhere, but we found this a small price to pay for the relaxed and tranquility that Amatao Tropical Residence provided.