Chances are if you’re heading to Cambodia, then you’ll be going to Siem Reap, the gateway town to the ancient temples at Angkor. And if you’ve been temple sightseeing all day under the hot Cambodian sun then you’ll want somewhere with an inviting pool that feels like an oasis of calm; somewhere where happy faces, heartfelt smiles and a cold towel greet you at every turn.
It’s hard not to love Shinta Mani Club; the location is great, the interior design is cool and the staff are some of the friendliest hotel staff we’ve ever met. It’s truly a home away from home, albeit an incredibly luxurious one with some of the most beautiful flower arrangements made from hand crafted lotus flowers, that you might ever encounter.
But even the loveliest of places don’t always suit a vegan traveller, so we checked in to check out how vegan friendly a stay there could be.
The Vegan Food:
Top marks to Shinta Mani Club for a plant-powered welcome which offered a choice of sparkling wine or carrot, orange and lemongrass juice (of course we chose the juice!).
More plant-based love awaited us in our room; a nicely designed space with magical Angkor pictures on the ceiling, a spacious balcony overlooking the pool and a huge walk in shower in the bathroom. We love getting vegan food to welcome us when we check-in to a hotel so we were very happy with a lovely platter of tropical fruit and our own coffee machine.
Breakfast was served in Kroya where the staff were keen to help us with identifying vegan items available as well as making some vegan versions of the a la carte offering. We ate delicious fresh fruit and healthy fresh salads, there was vegan bread (which was also gluten-free) and every day they had a big tureen of plain (vegan) rice congee with several vegan condiments like chillies, fried garlic, pickled cabbage and fermented tofu.
Our craving for a Western style breakfast was also satisfied with a delicious plate full of well seasoned mushrooms, tomatoes, fried new potatoes and Heinz baked beans.
We were presented with stir fried rice and noodle dishes full of tasty ingredients like nuts and fresh vegetables. All in all, an excellent start to any vegan day!
For dinner we headed back to Kroya where they cooked us dish after dish of exquisite vegan food from traditional Khmer cuisine to western favourites.
We ate at Kroya for 3 nights in a row and never ran out of choices, for a more detailed account of all the amazing vegan food that awaits you in this very impressive restaurant, see our review here.
The Vegan Essentials:
The hotel requested us to deliver a training session about how luxury hotels can improve their offering for vegans, this was great fun and a learning experience for all involved, and something we will be offering to other luxury hotels in the future.
Our bed already had a non-feather pillow on it which made us very happy indeed feather-free dreams await you in this hotel room. The products in the bathroom were in refillable containers so we couldn’t tell if they were vegan.
There is an in-house spa where luxury loving vegans can go and get a plant-based spa treatments to relax and rejuvenate… exfoliating coffee-scrub anyone?
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in the Shinta Mani Club for a relaxing escape from your busy Siem Reap sightseeing schedule. Enjoy the genuine hospitality of the staff, the beautiful flowers (they really are special) and delicious vegan food whenever you want it. Don’t forget to book a table at Kroya for some of the best vegan food you’ll eat during your visit to Siem Reap.
We were guests of Shinta Mani Club but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Shinta Mani Club
Junction of Oum Khun St and 14th St,
Telephone: +855 63 761 998
Cost From: £130 / $195 per night (May 2015)