We were so so excited to stay at the FCC after countless hours of due diligence researching hotels in SR, but despite previous glowing reviews and high expectations, it was frankly, a disappointment.
Off the bat, slightly odd architecture with reception area off to side of driveway. Lovely reception staff, but English comprehension was an issue, and it appeared to be pervasive. You felt the staff wanted to accommodate, but the lack of training was, unfortunately, obvious. Room service orders were never correct. Calling room service became a giggle as the phone would be passed to various staff who might have a better shot at understanding you. In one instance, I had to go to the bar upstairs to order cocktails as the phone was not working again (no explanation) and no one was manning the pool restaurant. Ordering a vodka tonic and gin and tonic turned out to be like a game of charades – had to say vodka tonic about four times before the bar tender (or whomever it was that stepped up to the bar at that moment) understood, then a cacophony of different sized glasses and ice levels tried, (frequently ice to the top of the tumbler-sized glass), with me miming instruction and trying to show enthusiasm before they got it right. Just too much effort! Then, when I asked the price of the drinks out of curiosity as mixed drink costs were not mentioned on the bar menu, the bartender looked blank and embarrassed, and sheepishly admit he did not know. Unfortunately, variations of this happened the entire five days we were there.
Rooms – definitely small – all rooms open via a glass sliding door, which is part of an entire glass wall, facing onto pool or garden area. Thus, zero privacy so curtains are always kept closed, which creates a slight feeling of darkness and isolation. Garden rooms particularly so and particularly dark. Inside, minimalist chic, which is wonderful to look at, but there is no space to put or hang things, thus the room always feels cluttered with things on surfaces!!! Form over function. Bathroom good but not great – ours situated behind the bedroom with a glazed window that opened onto some sort of heating duct. Kind of creepy. And like the rest of the hotel, felt a bit tattered with paint peeling or marble stained or wicker tray broken. Mini bar allows you to buy normal sized bottles of spirits, with a hefty price tag. I believe a bottle of vodka or gin was $30 versus $7 in the stores.
Pool area another example of form over function. Pretty, but impractical – too small and steps at opposite side of pool from loungers, so essentially you have to walk around the pool if you want to get in or out using them. Loungers thisclosetoeachother. Great for reading your fellow lounger’s novel, but not so great if you don’t want to hear everyone else’s entire conversations. Food in restaurant pretty average and too expensive for what it was. In addition, a couple of boutiques/stores within the property were vacated, giving a feeling of a ghost town, further evidenced by the fact that the hotel was clearly struggling with lack of guests. Location great, however, right on the river, but considering all of the negatives, I just wouldn’t recommend it.
In terms of comparison, we looked at several hotels while there and would strongly recommend Viroth’s – low-key, comfortable chic. For a more up-scale experience, Raffles offered all the bells and whistles of the brand with excellent service, a killer pool area and for roughly the same price as the FCC. Hotel de La Paix, while undeniably well-done with a great aesthetic, just felt too over the top and wholly out of place for the area. La Residence looked nice and terrific location next to the river, as well, though didn’t make it there. I would skip all the hotels along the main routes, such as the Tara Angkor and even Le Meridien, which looked like tour bus meccas. Yuck. Also checked out the Pavilion d’orient – raved about in trip advisor – disliked location – verrrrry far away from things, not great area, and not well done enough to justify the negatives. I guess all boils down to the experience you want. While we would return to Siem Reap, we would definitely not check into the FCC.