Baby Elephant has been around for a few years and during that time it has built up an excellent reputation for sustainability, environmentalism, and community involvement. We’ve heard the positive reports for years, but only recently had the chance to see for ourselves why people like them so much.
Located in the Svay Dangkum area of Siem Reap, Baby Elephant offered a soothing respite for your weary travel writer during a recent stay. Run by an Australian couple and an outgoing South African manager, Baby Elephant has a staff dedicated to making every guest feel welcome. A saltwater pool and ample seating in the leafy garden courtyard make it hard not to stop for a chat or a cocktail whenever you go in or out of the premises.
The Baby Elephant brand is all about being environmentally friendly. Little touches throughout the hotel attest to this, from glass bottles of water in the rooms and free water refill stations to hand pumps of organic soap and shampoo in the bathrooms instead of single-use plastic bottles. They also have a recycling program, an organic kitchen garden, and bicycles available for guests to use without charge.
But even if you don’t care about any of that, this is still a lovely place to stay. Late last year they split the property into two brands: Baby Elephant, and BE Happy, a less expensive and slightly more basic alternative. The two are side by side and share the pool and courtyard, which makes BE Happy an excellent choice for those on a budget who nevertheless want the amenities of a more expensive accommodation. They also advertise themselves as ethical employers, which means better working conditions for their staff. That might explain why they seem to have such a friendly and helpful team.
At Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel all of the rooms come equipped with electronic safes, flat-screen televisions, and mini-bars. Rates include airport pickup and free breakfast. There are three room styles: classic, deluxe, and premium. The classic double rooms are smaller–not tiny, but not as spacious as the deluxe rooms. The deluxe category includes doubles, twins, and family rooms, and the larger size makes these a better choice for sharers. The two premium double rooms are the largest rooms at Baby Elephant. Located on the top floor, they open up onto an outdoor terrace with a lovely view. Guests in these rooms are greeted with a fruit basket and a bottle of wine.
Next door at BE Happy the double and twin rooms are slightly smaller and more basic, offering a less expensive option for those on a budget.
All rooms at both properties come with breakfast, and the food at Baby Elephant has a great reputation. They have an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu, with locally sourced ingredients and gluten-free options. They also have a bar with happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. every night with two-for-one cocktails and from 12 to 7 p.m. on Sundays, when they also have a poolside BBQ.
When we stayed as walk-ins we found cheaper prices online, but the staff were happy to match the on-line prices. If you’re booking in advance (and you probably should), be sure to check their site for deals as well as Booking.com.
During the current coronavirus crisis, Baby Elephant are open and offering special rates of $21 a night, or $122 a week. Monthly rates are $450 for one person or $500 for two people. They’re also offering 20% off all food and drink for guests staying one week or longer. To take advantage of this offer, please book directly on their site or through their Facebook page.
→ Check prices and book a room at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel and BE Happy Guesthouse and Hostel now
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