By Courtney Ridgel
At Journeys Within, we believe that philanthropic travel – where travelers actively contribute to improving the communities that they are visiting – not only helps the local communities in the countries we visit, but also creates incredible experiences for our travelers. With this philosophy in mind, we seek out hotels, restaurants and experiences that support and give back to the local communities to include in our itineraries.
So, it was with great pride that this philosophy allowed the tour company to grow to a point where the company was able to invest in the Journeys Within team members to make sweeping changes in their own lives. One such investment allowed Linda Chhay to design and build her own boutique hotel from the ground up – Kralanh Petite Villa.
Linda has worked tirelessly at Journeys Within behind the scenes for over a decade, and she put her vast experience to use in planning the perfect retreat for travelers. Chances are, if you’ve traveled with Journeys Within, then Linda helped put your tour together. We are so grateful to have her as part of the Journeys Within team, and are so proud that she is now a business owner in her own right – with two enterprises! Linda owns a flower shop and Kralanh Petite Villa.
We love sending our guests to this hotel because it not only supports a local Khmer-owned and run business (and Linda of course!), but also because we know our guests will be treated like family. They will be warmly cared for by the incredible staff, many of whom including Ruat and Kanha, originally worked for Andrea over a decade ago at the Journeys Within Boutique Hotel. This small property is particularly great for families as the rooms are spacious and there is a Family Suite option. A relaxing dip in the pool feels perfect after a warm day out at the temples. For families with younger kids, there is a Kid’s Club with games, and baby-sitting services available.
And while the location is not centrally located downtown, we feel that this adds to the charm – you’ll be able to sit and enjoy breakfast while watching the local neighborhood come to life around you – children riding bikes to school in their neat navy and white uniforms, motos and tuk-tuks taking people to work, and neighbors fishing in the canal next door. And in the evenings, Ly, the resident tuk-tuk driver will be standing by to take you into town to explore the night market and Siem Reap’s delicious food scene.
You can read more about Linda’s story in this Huffington Post article, where she, Kralanh Petite Villa and Journeys Within were featured.