I discovered The Cashew Nut Guest House on TripAdvisor, where it is a top-ranked B&B in Siem Reap, Cambodia with tons of glowing reviews. Now, I take five-star reviews of accommodations online, especially on TripAdvisor, with a grain of salt, as one can easily be had for as little as $5. In the case of The Cashew Nut, however, I am happy to report that it lives up to the hype, and more.
The Cashew Nut is a bit of a distance from either the airport or the city center, but it wasn’t an issue at all for us, as one can easily get a tuk-tuk. The Cashew Nut arranged for us to be picked up by one at Siem Reap International Airport for free. Our flight was delayed for almost two hours, but our driver Kay waited patiently for us until nearly midnight. (Apparently free airport pick-up of independent travelers by tuk-tuk is a common arrangement in Siem Reap budget accommodations, since these folks almost always need one for a temple tour. We certainly did not disappoint Kay, and got him to drive us around the next day for the entire day.)
The Cashew Nut‘s non-central location was actually a blessing in disguise — it was in a relatively quiet neighborhood and we slept well for two nights (an experience we would miss on the next leg of our trip in Phnom Penh).
We booked a Twin Nut Deluxe Room for only USD 19. 00 per night. The room was a pleasant surprise — it looked small on the picture on their official website, but it was actually very roomy and more like a triple room. (One of my overseas sojourns before this trip was in Hong Kong, where typical budget rooms are the size of matchboxes. Needless to say, I was quite satisfied with our spacious digs at The Cashew Nut.)
This is what sets The Cashew Nut apart from other budget accommodations — it gets five stars for excellent customer service alone. The owner/manager, Alan, and his courteous staff went the extra mile to help us with the nitty-gritty. Among other things, they helped us arrange the following:
- an Angkor Archaeological Park tour guide on very short notice (like, two hours)
- dinner reservation at Koulen II Restaurant
- Giant Ibis bus tickets from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, with free transport to bus station
- Mekong Express bus tickets from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh
In Siem Reap, there is literally a guest house, inn, or hostel in every corner. If you are planning a budget trip here for the first time and are overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, look no further than The Cashew Nut. It made our stay in Siem Reap extra memorable, and I can’t recommend it enough.