Subscribe Search

Search form

Sisters open guesthouse

Sisters open guesthouse

SISTERS are doing it for themselves in Siem Reap. Four young women – two Cambodian, one British and one American – have set up their own guesthouse in the Central Market area of town. At first I thought that the guesthouse name, Avie Moriya, was a cute play on Ave Maria, the title of the famous aria by Charles Gounod which was based on a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach.

But the guesthouse name is a combination of the moniker of 30-year-old Dy Avie, the director of the new establishment, and her daughter’s name.

The other women involved are American Emily Meader, Briton Bryony Rice (both 21) and Cambodian Na Solina, who is 26.

Na Solina, the general manager, seems to be the glue that binds them all. She is a former manager for high-profile restaurant The Banana Leaf on Pub Street, which is where the team members first got to know one another about six months ago.

“It was just perfect timing,” explains Avie. “I was looking for something to do, and then one day, two months ago, I passed this building that was for rent. I spoke to Solina and suggested a guesthouse. She said ‘yes, we can do it’, and after that it all just came together.”

An unofficial member of the team is Jampa Devi Radmall, one of the most impressive front-of-house staff I’ve ever encountered. Her patience, thoughtfulness and attentiveness are exemplary, which is not bad at all considering that Jampa, Solina’s daughter, is only seven years old.

The guesthouse has 10 rooms, decorated with pleasant feminine touches such as plants, quilts and softly coloured furnishings. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, air-con, a mini-bar, television and hot water.

“We’re aiming for travellers who like a bit more comfort, and a homier feel. We’re so small that we can really give a personal touch,” says Meader.
“It’s a very exciting new thing,” says Avie, “but also I’m nervous. We really want to make it go well.”

“But we’re all determined women, we can make anything work,” added Meader.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which