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9 - 14 of 33 reviews
Reviewed 9 March 2015

I am surprised at some of the negative reviews of this hotel - it would seem some tourists expect the accommodations of a major city.

We enjoyed our stay at the Thy Ath. The lodge has a nice view of the lake, it's clean, and has a nice restaurant close by with a French chef. The wi-fi is free and worked fine for our needs, and the staff was friendly (although lacking in English).

However - to be clear, this is NOT a luxury hotel. As others have said, there is no toilet paper (common in Asia) but there are paper napkin packages provided with the complimentary items. The wi-fi is fine for WhatsApp but don't expect to have high quality Skype calls.

But you're not here for that, right? If your goal is a hotel to serve as a base for exploring the nearby jungle - this is the hotel for you.

Note: the mosquitos are FIERCE outside the hotel, most likely due to the lake. They were worse here than in the jungle itself. Bring DEET or use insect-blocker clothing. Malaria is not one of the souvenirs that you want to bring back from your trip.

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank theskaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2015

This stay was anything but average, but I don't know how else to rate it since I had a very strange, mixed - you could say bipolar - experience with this hotel.

First off, you should know that this place caters to upper middle-class Asians and not Westerners - in fact, I got the impression that they didn't particularly like having Westerners there. The appeal to Asian clientele is obvious from the emphasis on luxurious decor - heavy, expensive wood furniture, silk accents, flat-screen Sony TVs with a premium cable package with many Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese channels - and overlooking some basic functional deficiencies, like a sliding balcony door that wouldn't close all the way (Tired of scratching, I got up in the middle of the night to coat myself with mosquito repellent), and no toilet paper or hot water. There's ample on-site parking for SUVs but no easily walkable restaurant or other shops in the area (the lodge is located at the bottom of a remote street dotted with government agencies). Everywhere you go, the staff avoid interacting with you and service is usually cold and unsmiling. The reason is pretty obvious: They hardly speak any English, in fact, this family-run establishment uses their school-age son to man the front desk and translate for them. I asked him one morning if he wasn't supposed to be in school that day and he grinned and said he didn't feel like going.

Alrighty, then. Nice job, parents.

Anyway, all of my initial communication was in English. I made reservations specifically asking for the cheapest room available - $20, a male voice (in retrospect, probably the son) said on the phone. I arrived, and was set up in the room. It was then that I discovered the broken door, lack of hot water and toilet paper, and that my "balcony" was actually just a cordoned-off piece of the courtyard on the ground floor, which meant I had to keep the curtains tightly closed if I wanted any privacy (difficult, since the curtains were cut short so as to not overlap and there weren't any clips or ties available) and all conversations outside were clearly audible inside the room. There was absolutely no view of the lake. Grumbling, I decided there was no way this was worth $20 and I would not be staying a second night - though I later changed my mind when I realized I needed them to store my luggage while I went on a forest trek. (On balance, I appreciated the soft mattress on the bigger bed, the well-functioning aircon, and the availability of multiple English news channels, including Al Jazeera).

I can't comment on the availability or strength of wifi since I intentionally left all connectable devices at home for this trip.

On the morning of my second day I ate - slightly pricey, but not outrageous - breakfast at the on-site restaurant. Still trying to get by in English, I used a lot of pointing and gesticulation to order and then the woman made herself scarce. It was at the end of my meal that everything changed: I overheard a Western couple asking the woman for a change of towels in their room and she wasn't understanding them. It was obvious they were becoming annoyed and she embarrassed so from across the room I interrupted and translated their request into Khmer. She immediately barked out orders to someone outside, the couple left the restaurant, and she came over and thanked me, exclaimed in giddy surprise that I could speak Khmer, and started making smalltalk. I had just finished my meal so I asked for the check and she took off the bottle of water I had ordered. Cool, thanks.

When I checked out later that morning and asked the woman and her son to store my extra luggage they were all smiles and grace. (Communication is all in Khmer now). When I gave the wrong date and the woman had to go back and check again she was still patient and smiling. When I asked if they could make change for $100 they gave me five $20s instead of four, so there was an initial period of awkwardness where I thought I'd paid and stuffed all of the remaining bills into my wallet and she stammered, "well, I guess you'll just pay for both nights when you come back..." - oops - here ya go. Then she randomly gave me a few bananas for the journey. Er, great, thank you...

Three days later when I checked in for my second night, I was met with smiles again. This time, they only charged me $15 for the night and moved me to another groundfloor room with a working door and hot water! (Still no toilet paper and still next to the courtyard but choose your battles...)

However, at check-out there was one final moment that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth: when I asked the woman to make arrangements to go to Mondulkiri, the price she gave me was clearly inflated. "It seems a little expensive..." I said, and she smiled awkwardly and launched into a lengthy explanation about how the road was bad between the two destinations, and I knew she couldn't back down from the price without losing face, so I smiled and let it go. She took my money and walked out to the minibus with me to pay the driver on my behalf.

Hmm...

Later, smushed shoulder-to-shoulder with three other Cambodian passengers across three seats on the 6-hour drive to Mondulkiri, I confirmed that they had, indeed, paid $7.50 for their ticket while I had paid $12.

So it seems she got her $5 back.

Room tip: The lake isn't visible from the groundfloor rooms and higher floors are more expensive.
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank J R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2015

The ari con was good and the room was nice but our shower didn't have any hot water. Also, any time that anyone staying in another room had a shower you could hear the water running through the pipes really loudly. The hotel has a cheaply priced shop (we bought a dusty bottle of wine which was ok) and breakfast was good. We went to the restaurant next door which was fine.

Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank WildlifeFan01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2014

Very nice view, clean rooms and very friendly Staff. Also small shop and Restaurant available. I can highly recommend staying Herr if you are in Ban Lung and want to relax - sitting in the balcony is a gold place for this.

Date of stay: November 2014
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank Thomas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

This lodge is managed by a very nice family. I was there in low season and got a really nice room for 15$ with A/C and a beautiful view over the sea next to the lodge. The wifi was working fine, although it wasn't the best connection. Bathroom was beautiful, bed was huge, breakfast was nice (try the banana pancake! :)). I would definitely come back again.

Room tip: Ask for a room on the top floor: although you will have to climb some stairs, the view is definitely worth it
Date of stay: July 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Frau F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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