Favourite expat haunt, Rosy Guesthouse has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the second year running. The award, given for consistent positive reviews, places Rosy firmly as one of the best loved guesthouses in town.
“For us it means a big pat on the back,” explains Rachel Band who runs Rosy alongside Simon Tufts. “It’s a big congratulations to all the staff from all the people who have stayed with us and then reviewed us on Trip Advisor over the past year. We’re really pleased.”
Simon took on the lease for Rosy in 2004, just three months before meeting Rachel, in January 2005. In what is perhaps one of the longest running romances to spawn from Pub Street – seven years, and two children later – Rosy has gone from strength to strength. Situated riverside, more than just a guesthouse, Rosy has become Siem Reap’s closest thing to a British pub. “We didn’t really have a business model that we wanted to be the English pub in town. When we first started Simon and I were working a lot behind the bars ourselves, this was our home. People came to Rosy and we welcomed them as our friends, so the local expats our very important to us.”
With a menu packed with hearty western favourites – try the bacon-wrapped chicken – and a regular schedule of quiz and movie nights, many an expat has made Rosy their local.
Rachel says the award, which is given to venues who frequently score four stars or higher on the independent review site, comes at a time when online marketing is increasingly important. “When I first started travelling in 2004, I wasn’t aware of what Trip Advisor was, but now having a good online presence is essential for a hospitality business,” she explains. “Whether it’s a good website, or good Twitter and Facebook interaction with your customers and guests, and online reviews as well. When it’s from an independent website, people have more trust in it.”
Rosy is in good company among the Temple Town properties acclaimed on Trip Advisor, Journeys Within Boutique Hotel, Raffles Grand d’Angkor Hotel, Soujourn Boutique Villas and La Residence d'Angkor all receiving nods from the site with Pavillon d'Orient Boutique Hotel coming out on top as the best hotel for service in Asia. Earlier this year Siem Reap itself was listed on the site as one of the best destinations to visit in 2012.
Rachel credits the staff for the award, saying that as an established guesthouse, they have much of their systems in place, but it is their customer service record that really sets them apart. “If someone comes into Rosy, we want to make sure they’re happy, whether they’re here for one Anchor, or they’re here for five nights. And all of our staff are happy, they’re happy with working here, they’re happy to talk to people, they love practising their English and they like interacting with people, when the guests are happy, they’re happy.”
Perhaps unknown to many of their guests, Rosy also partakes in several initiatives to help the business contribute to the local community without diverting cash or attention from the business, these include the White Bikes project to which Rosy has contributed $5,500 to date, donations of used cooking oil to a local NGO , food scraps to a pig farmer and the aforementioned popular quiz nights which have raised over $6000 for local charities.
Rachel says Rosy is continuing to up its game to ensure it keeps the title for a third year running, with renovations on rooms and improved amenities, “We have the pressure on ourselves that we’ve had the award for two years running so we are obviously aiming for it next year as well,” she explains. ”We’re constantly trying to improve what we have, of course keep the main staples that people like and building on that.”