There’s no doubt the Sarai Resort & Spa is beautiful, with it’s sun drenched swimming pool, luxurious rooms and Moroccan inspired decor adding to the chilled vibe in this new Siem Reap boutique hotel.
It’s conveniently located in the ‘Wat Damnak’ area of town, being only a short tuk-tuk ride away from the ‘Old Market’ and ‘Pub Street’ area and approximately 30 minutes from Angkor Wat.
Book a stay here and it’s possible that you might even find it hard to leave and see the sights outside, especially once you’ve had your complimentary 30 minute foot massage by the pool (it really is very good).
But there’s another thing at sets this new hotel apart from it’s competitors in Siem Reap and that’s their keenness to meet the needs of their vegetarian and vegan guests. We loved the fact that they already had dishes on their menu that were labelled as vegetarian and so we jumped at the chance to visit when they invited us to test out how well they could adapt to looking after luxury loving vegans guests.
Our Vegan Food Quest is all about finding, eating and writing about the best vegan food in the world, so what did these two travelling vegans find at Sarai Resort and Spa?
The Vegan Food:
There was a decent choice of both Western and Khmer dishes that were already labelled as vegetarian and ready for us to veganise. Our favourite Western style dish was this ‘Grilled Vegetable Salad’ which was generously doused in balsamic and was full of mushrooms, courgettes, onions and tomatoes and peppers which had been tossed with salad leaves and fresh herbs.
There was also an offer of ‘Deep Fried Taro Spring Rolls’, not the usual ingredients we’ve seen in a fried spring roll but we’re happy to report back that they were really good. Mixed with shredded carrot and rich shiitake mushrooms, the grated taro made for a moist and comforting filling in these little fried snacks.
Our two main courses were Khmer favourites; ‘Cambodian Veggie Curry’ and Vegetables in Clay Pot’. The curry was a rich velvety smooth coconut curry that was full of lemongrass and like most Khmer curries it was sweet instead of spicy. It was finished with rounds of fried soft tofu resulting in a delicious dish with great texture as well as flavour.
The clay pot dish consisted of a sweet and rich, soy sauce, mushroom and garlic flavoured broth packed full of greens as well as mushrooms, broccoli, carrot and cauliflower. A truly tasty vegetable bounty.
At breakfast the Sarai Resort & Spa offers à la carte choices that can be veganised, with our favourite being a specially created vegetable fried rice with tofu.
All breakfast dishes were served with fresh fruit and bread with homemade jams (which we loved because they were delicious and full of fruitiness).
As always, it’s best to make contact with the hotel in advance to tell them you are vegan and remind them what this means. Often ingredients such as oyster sauce, shrimp paste and fish sauce are considered to be acceptable vegetarian products in this part of the world and so it’s best to be clear that you don’t eat these whenever you are in this part of the world.
The Vegan Essentials:
Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel were all offered in refillable ceramic dispensers so we were unable to tell if they were vegan; vegan guests would be best to use their own products to be on the safe side.
There were synthetic, feather free pillows available in our room.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to Sarai Resort & Spa for a luxury vegan stay that will give you the chance to relax in a cool and stylish environment as well as eating great vegan food served by staff who are really keen to look after you as vegan guests.
You’ll be well placed to visit the amazing temples like Angkor Wat and you’ll be well looked after when you return (don’t forget to book your wonderful complimentary foot massage).
We were guests of Sarai Resort & Spa but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Sarai Resort & Spa
Wat Damnak Village,
Telephone: +855 (0) 63 962 200
Cost From: £60 / $90 per night (May 2015)