Editors' Picks

Shinta Mani Angkor and Bensley Collection Pool Villas

Understated, personal, designer chic

Oum Khun Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

(855) 63-761-998

See Website

At a Glance

Harvard-trained architect Bill Bensley found his experience at this hotel-meets-social enterprise so moving that he upgraded the humble 18 room inn into a photogenic showpiece and is now a part owner of the property.

Indagare Loves

  • Bill Bensley–designed architecture and interiors
  • The "made in Cambodia" market held on the first Saturday of each month
  • That hotel profits support the Shinta Mani Foundation’s micro loans, mobile medical clinic and hospitality training school


Architectural Digest darling and Harvard–trained architect Bill Bensley, who also designed the nearby Park Hyatt Siem Reap, found his experience at this hotel-meets-social enterprise so moving that he teamed up with the owners and upgraded the humble 18-room inn into a showpiece. In August 2013, Shinta Mani expanded again, this time across the street with a new wing, the more family-friendly Shinta Mani resort with a larger swimming pool and tree-lined grounds.

The original Shinta Mani Club opened in 2004, along with a hospitality training center that provided free education to less fortunate Siem Reap youth. The 39-room property is considered the five-star older sister with a more exclusive, vibe and plusher rooms and facilities. The new 62-room Shinta Mani Resort has greatly expanded this philanthropic mission with a more affordable, four-star option. Now as the Shinta Mani Foundation, its operations include a micro-loan program, a mobile medical clinic and a new agricultural training center. Bensley built new facilities for the original Development Center within the hotel that provides free training in all aspects of hospitality, from maintenance to finance. Proceeds from guest stays support the Foundation’s work as do direct contributions.

Guests will see trainees working around the property, which sits just one block from the Siem Reap River (you can distinguish them from the staff by their shy demeanor). Staff meanwhile is friendly, helpful and engaging. Most guests recall this aspect as the most memorable of their Shinta Mani stay, topping even the powerful rain showers and chic high ceilinged guestrooms.

Meals can be ordered at the bar by the swimming pool but most come to Kroya, the hotel’s nouvelle Khmer eatery, whose dining room has a ceiling festooned with fantastical Angkor architectural renderings. Kroya, which means “food” in the Royal Khmer language, serves bountiful breakfasts including authentic French croissants and pain au chocolat, a legacy of a former chef who has gone on to open Siem Reap’s classiest eatery, Cuisine Wat Damnak. Dine inside with cooling air conditioning or outside on one of the half dozen day bed swings. Either way, order the lemongrass chicken burger and pomelo-prawn salad. The Khmer chef may be local but his cooking is world class, as are his desserts.

The tiny spa is staffed by program graduates, and massages feel even better knowing you’re helping more than just yourself with this indulgence.

Who Should Stay

Anyone with a heart. This has long been the choice of those who could afford something swankier but feel even better about their vacation knowing their hotel choice gives a boost to those struggling to build better lives. Best of all, now in these new digs and with the extension across the street, Shinta Mani offers comfortable luxury with an incalculable feel-good factor.

Written by Cynthia Rosenfeld

What's Nearby

More Inspiration

Indagare employees walking up stiars

Enjoy 30 Days On Us!

Start your Self Planner
membership trial today.

Unlock access to 2,000+ first-hand hotel reviews, 300+ Destination Guides and the most up-to-date travel news and inspiration.

Already a member?

Welcome back,
log in to Indagare

Not a member?

Forgot Password

Enter your email and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Type the first 3 letters to begin