"Welcome home, Max and Meg!" After exploring Siem Reap each day, we went back to our hotel, and each and every time, we received this greeting from the staff at Sarai Resort and Spa.
We arrived our first day via Sarai shuttle, which graciously picked us up from the airport free of charge, and brought us to their resort. Upon entering the outdoor garden area, we were struck with a sense of luxury. "This is where we are staying?", said Max. I gave him one of those "I killed it" nods as we were led to the check-in desk. Immediately, we were given a cold towel and refreshing welcome drink, which couldn't come a moment too soon. It was hot! While waiting to check into our room, we found ourselves taking countless photos of the lobby. Pictures don't do it justice...the architecture and design work was stunning.
Since we arrived a bit earlier than our check-in time the staff was still getting our room ready, so we decided to wait by the pool. We changed into our swim suits and headed to the oasis. As we stepped outside we saw that the Moroccan-inspired boutique surrounds the salt water swimming pool...again, it is stunning. It was the perfect place to relax upon entering Cambodia.
We ordered Angkor and Cambodian beer, cosmos, and mojitos, which refreshed us in the hot Cambodian heat. One of my favorite things was their plate of fruit, which was only $3, and included apples, oranges, mango, papaya, pitaya, among other things. It was the freshest fruit I've ever eaten in my life. Though sipping a cosmo while eating fresh fruit at a luxury hotel in Cambodia wasn't on my bucket list, it quickly became one of the highlights on our trip to Cambodia.
After our bike tour on our second day in Cambodia, I secretly arranged a massage for Max and I. We received a Khmer Massage, which is the traditional massage of Cambodia. Unlike most massages, this traditional form relies on the body’s natural moisture and does not use oils, and it is also performed fully clothed. We changed into some loose fitting clothing the spa provided us and waited for our masseuse to begin. We loved it! The Cambodian massage is less vigorous than a Thai massage, and involves more natural stretching of the limbs, so we didn't leave the spa in pain. We didn't find out until later, but Khmer massages are not just for relaxation but are an integral part of the Cambodian culture. They are an ancient healing practice for the Khmer, which was used for monks who mediated for long periods of time and needed body alignment and muscle alleviation. We definitely benefited from this after our 15+ mile bike ride we had taken that morning and afternoon, and enjoyed a cup of tea before heading out to dinner.
Overall, the Sarai Resort and Spa is truly 10/10! The staff is so kind, attentive and accommodating. The food and drinks are delicious and fresh. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The atmosphere is that of a luxurious oasis. The spa is refreshing and relaxing, and the masseuses are professional and utterly talented.