We love having families stay with us at Baby Elephant, and we go out of our way to make sure our tropical oasis of a hotel is a safe, fun and nourishing space for our younger guests. From pool toys and board games to special kids’ massages in our spa – not to mention a team of staff that loves children and are all ChildSafe certified – we’ve got all the bases covered when it comes to making sure the whole family can have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday in Siem Reap. And Baby Elephant just became an even better getaway destination with the kids, thanks to the launch of our new dedicated range of nutritious, affordable children’s meals at our trailblazing tropical restaurant and bar.
Children dining at the Baby Elephant in-house restaurant can choose from five bento-style options, each accompanied by a fresh juice. With everything from barbecue chicken wings to fried rice, these miniature meals all come with sides such as mashed potato or spring rolls, batons of fresh vegetable crudités, and fresh tropical fruit chunks. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
What’s more, our brand new children’s meals are available with a special introductory deal of 50% off from Monday 09 to Monday 30 April inclusive!
Baby Elephant is set on a quiet local lane, and the property’s spacious grounds include a safe, secluded garden that’s perfect for children to play in while parents have total peace of mind. The hotel’s team of enthusiastic and caring Cambodian staff love children, and are happy to help entertain little ones while their parents take a break by the hotel’s beautiful saltwater swimming pool. In addition, the whole team is trained in child safety and protection and is ChildSafe-certified, important in a country like Cambodia where child exploitation remains a real local issue. The hotel’s wide array of other family-friendly services include:
Breaking addition April 4, 2018: Today the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism meeting was held to announce the full schedule for the Khmer New Year and Angkor Sankranta celebration at Angkor Wat. The Baby Elephant management team was in attendance. Events take place across the entire Angkor Archaeological Park from April 12 – 16.
Please see these photos of the flyer they gave us. The text was too small for one photo but we hope this helps until we get a higher resolution copy. Please credit these photos to Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel if you intend to use them elsewhere.
Breaking addition March 30, 2018: Khmer New Year is on the way in Siem Reap, which means the annual Khmer New Year pop song is out! It also means it’s time for the city to come alive for this annual festival that is based on the lunar cycle.
This year’s Khmer New Year pop song is called “City Chicken” and is heating up the airwaves creating hype for the upcoming annual festivities. The song already has more than 1.7 million views on Youtube.
About Khmer New Year
With some similarities to the Songkran new year festival celebrated in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, this year’s Khmer New Year takes place between Saturday 14 and Monday 16 April. Here’s our guide to enjoying the festivities in Cambodia’s temple town.
The three days of the traditional Khmer New Year
Other names for Khmer New Year include Chol Chnam Thmey and Angkor Songkran. Whatever you call it, you can expect a lively atmosphere and cheerful celebrations to take over the whole of Cambodia – including here in Siem Reap – as the country sees in the traditional new year. Khmer New Year celebrations place over three days, and each day of the festivities has particular significance.
Day one – Moha Songkran
Day one of the Khmer New Year celebrations is known as Moha Songkran, when traditional beliefs hold that a new god or angel takes responsibility for protecting the world in the coming year. Cambodians welcome this new god or angel, and set the stage for the new year to begin auspiciously, by cleaning and decorating their homes.
It’s common for Cambodian Buddhist families to visit their local temple to make merit at this time. Back home, they also put out a table of offerings such as fruits, cake, and special festival-worthy Khmer dishes. This offering table is also often decorated with incense sticks, flowers, and chains of flashing lights that are traditionally believed to hold the power to protect the house and its occupants over the coming 12 months.
Day two – Virak Wanabat
On the second day of Khmer New Year, known as Virak Wanabat, Cambodians remember others and do good deeds, particularly by offering gifts to one another, including to parents, grandparents, the elderly, children, and the less fortunate, as well as by visiting the local temple to receive blessings from monks and to remember ancestors. The hope is that performing these good deeds will set individuals up for good fortune themselves in the year to come.
Day three – Tanai Loeng Sak
By day three of Khmer New Year, it’s time for the focus to really turn to the new year itself. Tanai Loeng Sak, the name given to the third and final day of the festivities, is all about new beginnings. The occasion is marked by making more offerings to elders, and by returning to the local temple to bathe Buddha images and receive further blessings from monks.
The last day of Khmer New Year is also when the water pistols come out and things take on a livelier, more fun atmosphere. Don’t expect anything quite on the same scale as the raucousness of celebrations in Thailand and elsewhere, but it’s common for Cambodians – especially young people – to take to the streets for light-hearted water fights and the chance to really ring in the new year in a fun and festive way.
What to know about Khmer New Year in Siem Reap
There are few better places in Cambodia to celebrate Khmer New Year than Siem Reap. This already atmospheric and fun-loving town acquires extra festive energy for celebrations at this time of year. As well as the water fights you’re likely to witness (and join in with!) on the last day of Khmer New Year, Cambodians also like to roll-out traditional, light-hearted ball games and tug-of-war variants – passed down through generations – as a way to mark the occasion. And this wouldn’t be Cambodia without those games being accompanied by plenty of traditional Khmer singing and dancing.
That said, Cambodia remains a traditional agrarian society and, for vast swathes of the population, the Khmer New Year holiday marks the end of an exhausting farming season. It’s a chance to rest, recuperate, and spend time with loved ones. It’s common for Cambodians to live and work far from their families in the provinces where they grew up, and Khmer New Year gives them a rare opportunity to travel back to spend time with their family and friends – often for a week or more. That means it’s possible that your favourite coffee shop, bar or restaurant may be closed during the Khmer New Year period.
How to celebrate Khmer New Year 2018 in Siem Reap
Street parties for Khmer New Year fun
The best way to enjoy the Khmer New Year festivities is to join in with them! Keep an eye out for spontaneous street parties around Pub Street, along the Siem Reap river, and in the Royal Gardens – and then head along and partake in the fun. Expect the likes of live concerts, fireworks, and plenty of delicious Cambodian food and drink to tuck into.
Angkor Wat’s Angkor Sangkranta Festival
The annual Angkor Sangkranta Festival is a highlight of the Khmer New Year celebrations in Siem Reap. The festival takes place around Angkor Wat and elsewhere in the wider Angkor Archaeological Park, putting on traditional games, Cambodian martial arts, music, dancing, and plenty of the best Khmer street food you’ll find. Just be prepared to be part of a huge crowd from across the country looking to get involved!
Head to the local temple
There’s no better way to get a close-up on the traditional side to the Khmer New Year festivities – which arguably remains more accessible in Cambodia than in neighbouring countries like Thailand – than by simply taking a walk to the closest temple to your hotel in Siem Reap. Local temples and pagodas are always happy to welcome inquisitive visitors, and you’ll get a real feel for the day-by-day significance of the holiday to the Cambodian people.
Hotels in Siem Reap for Khmer New Year
Khmer New Year is a busy time in Siem Reap – attracting Cambodians from elsewhere around the country as well as foreign visitors – and it’s common for hotels and guest houses to be fully booked well ahead of time. Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is perfectly placed to allow you to conveniently explore all the goings-on of Khmer New Year across Siem Reap, quickly reach the famous Angkor Wat temples, and enjoy seclusion when you want to just hide away and relax for a while.
The SR Monthly is a hand-crafted e-mail round-up of the latest goings-on in Siem Reap and at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, as well as news from Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, curated by our passionate team and delivered to your inbox – all designed to make your next trip to Siem Reap extra-special.
This edition was sent on 16 February 2018. Want to be in on the action next time around? Subscribe for free right now – just click here.
Gong XI Fa Cai and Happy Lunar New Year!
The Lunar New Year festival is here! Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel and the rest of Siem Reap have joined the celebrations. This year’s Lunar New Year festivities take place in mid-February, with the new year itself beginning today. As we step into the year of the dog, why not try some of Baby Elephant’s amazing Chinese-Khmer dishes, like our succulent honey-glazed pork ribs with sauteed bok choy and rice, or our tofu and vegetable stirfry with mushroom sauce. You can check out our whole menu here.
We’re elated to announce that Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel – Siem Reap’s leading ethical independent boutique hotel – has been ranked the ninth best bargain hotel in the world in the TripAdvisor 2018 Travellers’ Choice Awards, as based on the reviews of our many loyal guests and TripAdvisor users across the globe. Baby Elephant also ranked in first position as Cambodia’s best bargain hotel, and as the second best bargain hotel in the whole of Asia.
Our huge thanks go to our fabulous guests, our talented and hard-working team, and all our other friends and supporters near and far, for your help in making Baby Elephant the ethically run, independent oasis it is today. Of course, while we’re over the moon to be recognised for the excellent value we offer visitors to Siem Reap, in truth we offer so much more than just a bargain – if you’re thinking of staying with us some time soon, take a look at our blog for all the details of our recent accolades as well as everything else you can enjoy when you check in for a rejuvenating holiday at Baby Elephant.
Our Best Bargain Hotel Deals
Exclusive deal for returning guests and e-mail subscribers:
5% off the already discounted price
Book 3 nights get a free RETURN airport transfer
Book 4 or more nights and get a free return transfer and a bottle of sparkling wine
This month we’ve got not one, not two, but three fabulously special cocktail concoctions. We introduced them a little early for the very special occasion of the extra-big super moon, blue moon and total lunar eclipse that we witnessed here in Siem Reap in late January.
Pop by – whether to our gorgeously funky lobby lounge bar, the serene oasis of our tropical garden escape, or our ultimate chillax-worthy poolside bar – to try one of our limited-edition recipes…or heck, why not just go the whole hog and try all three!?
Take your pick from The Blue Moon, combining blue curacao, butterfly-pea-flower-infused Beefeater gin, orange and cinnamon syrup, lime, bitters, and tonic; The Mood Ring (which got its first outing last year at the similarly lunar-themed Full Moon Apothecary edition of our Siem Reap Gin Appreciation Society popup), a mix of butterfly-pea-flower-infused Beefeater gin, rose syrup, and lime; or the go-hard-or-go-home Il Giallo Rosso (aka Red Horror) that blends Campari, gold tequila, dragonfruit syrup, and lime. They are all $4 and, as always, they are all two-for-one during happy hour from 5pm to 7pm each and every day!
Power bowls to turbo-charge your next yoga class
Join our inspirational yoga teacher Lauren for another incredible class on Tuesday night, and afterwards for the launch of our new vegan power bowls!
These delicious, nourishing bowls showcase the incredible hard work our team have put in to understanding the needs of travellers who are health-conscious, ethical eaters or living with allergies.
The Banh Mi bowl is popping with flavour, and features our house-made lemongrass dressing, crispy tofu, red cabbage and papaya pickles, mixed salad and red rice.
The Mexican bowl’s spiced rice with beans, fresh tomato salsa, marinated tofu and salad are accompanied by comforting avocado and a creamy Tabasco sauce.
We will be adding to the power bowl menu, so stay tuned for even more delicious options! Best way to top off your nourishing visit to Baby Elephant? With a massage in our Lemongrass Garden Spa!
Ear Candy: Groove to the Baby Elephant mix tape
We know how much our regular guests and friends love listening to the eclectic mix of tunes we spin out poolside and throughout our tropical retro-chic lobby lounge bar and garden oasis. So we’ve taken the time to put together a mix for you to listen to at home!
About Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel – sustainable, ethical, creative
TripAdvisor’s best bargain hotel in Cambodia. Enjoy all the facilities and services of an international hotel when you stay with us in Siem Reap.
Baby Elephant is an inclusive, family-friendly and LGBT-welcoming property offering a dynamic, creative and nourishing space for guests. The hotel’s sustainable and ethical model is focused on providing opportunities for our team of Cambodian staff, while creating rewarding and memorable experiences for you – our valued guests. Read more here.
Merry Christmas from Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel!
Our guests often tell us how much they enjoy our poolside playlist. Hotel co-owner Adam Scott is a DJ with more than 20 years of experience behind the decks. He takes great pride in having brought together some of the sultriest tunes for you to listen to while relaxing at Baby Elephant.
From yacht rock to French pop and African jazz to Cambodian golden age, Adam has made sure to curate a mix of music that should impress even the most discerning music fan. So enjoy your Christmas present for 2017 – our first ever Baby Elephant mix, the first in a regular series.
The SR Monthly is a hand-crafted e-mail round-up of the latest goings-on in Siem Reap and at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, as well as news from Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, curated by our passionate team and delivered to your inbox once a month – all designed to make your next trip to Siem Reap extra-special.
This edition was sent on 10 December 2017. Want to be in on the action next time around? Subscribe for free right now – just click here.
Baby Elephant guest Máire wins the 2017 Angkor Half Marathon
Congratulations to our guest, Irish athlete and poolside babe Máire Nic Amhlaoibh, who won the Angkor International Half Marathon this year! Máire is a Singapore-based expat and senior physiotherapist at Ufit Clinic Singapore. This was her third time competing, and her first time to place first! We were proud to host her and all our amazing runners. Thank you for choosing Baby Elephant!
Pop by and see our sleek new look!
We’re thrilled to announce that Baby Elephant is looking more fabulous than ever – even if we do say so ourselves. Together with our talented artist-in-residence Tamara Venn, we’ve been putting the finishing touches to an exciting new look for our public spaces, especially our ground-floor lobby, restaurant and bar in the hotel’s west wing. Think a mix of moody greens and irresistible mid-century furnishings with a local flavour, all designed to make you want to linger a little longer. If you want to see it for yourself, pop by and join us for a cocktail at the bar – don’t forget our two-for-one happy hour runs every day from 5pm until 7pm. (Better yet, book a few nights with us and truly soak up our nourishing vibe!)
Tuck into your festive meal at Baby Elephant!
How are you celebrating Christmas in Siem Reap? Between now and 25 December, join us at Baby Elephant for a deliciously seasonal set menu. Our festive spread is available for lunch or dinner for groups of four or more, costs just $12 per person (plus VAT and drinks), and includes delicacies like pan-fried stuffed chicken breast, sautéed potatoes with garlic, bacon, and thyme, braised red cabbage with apple, and mince pie with vanilla ice cream – plus, of course, fabulous alternatives for vegetarians and vegans! Our usual array of innovative cocktails, wines, bubbles, beers, and soft drinks will all be available, and you can join us during our daily 5-7pm happy hour to get two cocktails for the price of one! To join us to mark this special time of year with friends or loved ones, click through to our web site for more details and to see the full menus.
Yoga returns with new teacher Loz!
It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re over the moon not only to have our regular yoga offering back on the cards at Baby Elephant, but even more so to welcome the fabulous Loz as our newest yoga teacher. Loz has been with us as a dedicated yoga student since the very beginning, and she recently took her practice to the next level by qualifying as an instructor in India. Now she’s ready to pass on her yogi wisdom to you in her twice-weekly gentle flow classes at Baby Elephant – join us every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm on our breezy, inspirational rooftop space to get in on the action!
Happy birthday to Siem Reap’s leading independent boutique hotel!
Hip, hip, hooray! Last month, we raised a glass to celebrate our second birthday! It’s officially been two years since we threw open our doors and began welcoming our fabulous guests through the doors of Baby Elephant. To all those who have supported us in that time (and if you’re reading this newsletter it means you’re already the crème de la crème!) on our mission to deliver a truly remarkably boutique hotel experience while creating invaluable opportunities for Siem Reap locals – thank you! We’re now in the midst of high season, as well as gearing up for the Christmas and New Year holiday season, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more of you than ever to our independent temple town oasis.
New restaurant & bar menu
If we’re going to give our interiors a reboot, then it makes sense to go the whole hog and revamp our food and drink menus at the same time. That’s the thinking behind the new array of delicious local and international dishes you’ll find on the menu at our in-house restaurant and bar – everything from locally inspired fish amok to Indonesian soto ayam chicken soup and comforting hand-cut potato wedges with our house-made sour cream. Of course, being Baby Elephant, there are also countless vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, plus a delectable range of cocktails, beers, wines and spirits (including our always-$1 draught Angkor beer!) Devour the full food and drink menu on our web site.
Siem Reap souvenir shopping made easy
It can be difficult to find the right gifts to take home from a holiday, whether you’re buying for yourself or for friends, family, and loved ones. Striking the right balance between personal and practical, and original but not overly corny, can turn the whole gift- and souvenir-buying experience into a stressful chore. But it needn’t be that way: Siem Reap is blessed with countless independent boutiques packed with original, thoughtful and ethically traded souvenirs that you’ll be desperate to find space for in your suitcase. Read our latest blog post for a specially curated look at the gifts we would take home (including plenty for ourselves!) if we were on a short trip to Siem Reap.
Cocktails of the month: El Diego & The Mood Ring
It’s officially the season to be jolly, so we’ve thrown caution to the wind and brought out not one but two special cocktails for December! The first is El Diego, mixing Sauza Gold tequila with house-made orange-and-cinnamon-infused syrup, lime juice, and soda. And we’ve rolled out the Mood Ring, too, which made its first appearance at our Baby Elephant Gin Appreciation Society popups earlier this year – watch it magically change colour from blue to purple as you squeeze lime into a delectable combination of butterfly-pea-flower-infused Beefeater gin and rose syrup! Better yet, as always, you can get two for one on both of these cocktails during our daily happy hour between 5pm and 7pm. But hurry, because both El Diego and the Mood Ring will be gone again come the end of December!
When you book direct with us, we can give you the absolute best we have and ensure that you get the most out of your stay in Siem Reap. To help make that possible, we guarantee that booking directly with us through our web site will bag you the best rates you’ll find anywhere – every time. But that’s not the only reason to book directly with us rather than through an agent – take a look at our latest blog post for heaps more reasons it’s totally worth your while.
Our December ‘Go Green’ story
The Baby Elephant team has commited to making one change per month on our journey to sustainability. This month we’ve successfully made the change from non-reusable takeaway boxes for our complimentary takeaway breakfasts, to these gorgeous locally-made hand-woven boxes.
Baby Elephant is an award-winning independent boutique hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia. When you visit Angkor Wat, stay in premium budget and affordable luxury accommodation and enjoy all the facilities and services of an international hotel.
An inclusive, family-friendly and LGBT-welcoming property, Baby Elephant offers a dynamic, creative and nourishing space for guests. The hotel’s sustainable and ethical model is focused on providing opportunities for our team of Cambodian staff, with rewarding and memorable experiences for you – our valued guests. Read more here.