For our first visit to Cambodia we decided to take the luxe option when picking where to stay in Siem Reap.
In Australia, we’ve avowed users of the Luxury Escapes deals and this was a ripper – including airport transfers, breakfasts and a couple of meals and cocktails.
Communication with the hotel in the lead-up to the visit was problem-free – even when we had a last minute change to our flight pick-up time because of a cancellation.
One of the reasons we chose the Park Hyatt is that it’s firmly in the centre of the town. That meant we could walk pretty much to wherever else we wanted to eat rather than constantly be getting tuk tuks.
The Park Hyatt is a stunning hotel. Reception areas feature lots of dark timber, while the gardens are beautifully landscaped. Our airport pick-up whisked us to the hotel and we were greeted with a welcome cocktail while the formalities were taken care of.
One of the first things we discovered about Siem Reap is that tourists are very much discouraged from using the local currency – everything here is conducted in US dollars which makes everything in the hotel reasonably expensive. Prices at all the local cafes and restaurants are also quoted in US$. C’est la vie.
The reception area adjoins a small dining area and bar.
Be aware there are lots of little insects – all the outside tables have small pump bottles of insect repellent and hand sanitiser and there’s also a gigantic bottle of repellent in the rooms. Don’t be shy about using it.
We decided to head into the hotel’s coffee shop for a little sweet treat. The coffee was quite decent, but expensive. Having said that, European-style coffee anywhere in Asia is expensive. But we relished a very sticky slice of pecan pie.
And so we were shown to our room. The Park Hyatt is a low-rise hotel over three storeys. We were on the second floor and were given a ‘double upgrade’ for our stay. It was a seriously large room.
The bathroom is huge (as you can see from the picture at the top of this post). There’s also a separate toilet and a decent walk-in wardrobe which has good hanging space and a safe.
On our first evening, the bathtub was put to good use, sitting back watching the news headlines on a small screen. It was easier to use than a huge flatscreen in the bedroom.
Oddly though, the lighting in the shower was very muted. Another downside to the bathroom (from a girl’s perspective) was the hairdryer. It connected to the sockets through an ill-fitting adapter, so any time you moved your arm while drying, it would come loose.
Still, minor quibbles. We promptly headed downstairs for our first included dinner and ‘cultural show’. Dinner was three courses, with choices for the first two.
Khmer food has a lot of similarities to Thai but seems a bit more subtle. There’s no great whack of coriander, although some of the fish sauces/pastes used in other dishes we had at the hotel were very strong.
The cultural show consists of a variety of dancers and musicians in traditional costume. It goes for at least an hour several nights a week.
Breakfast in the same restaurant is a real treat. There’s a wonderful selection in the buffet, plus freshly-made juices (we had a carrot and apple juice to start the day).
There’s also a small menu of cooked-to-order items. While gluttonous husband enjoyed the Cambodian offerings, Greedy Girl loved the exceptional eggs benedict and had it every morning.
The sleep quality here is perfectly acceptable. Rooms either face what’s next door or into the courtyard. Ours had a particularly salubrious view of the Burger King outlet. It was a little noisy but not to the point of distraction.
We also made good use of the pool, especially some semi-private cabanas. This is the main pool, but there’s a smaller, saltwater pool next to the internal courtyard.
All told, it was a very comfortable stay. We paid a visit to the spa, where the included massages were a treat and enjoyed our base for a few days in Siem Reap, with some excellent food (see the review of Embassy restaurant herehere) and a great tour of the temples.
The hotel is decorated well – with a mix of old and new art.
The staff here were very good. There were very few ‘lost in translation’ moments and everything worked as it should. If you’re looking for a little luxury and comfort in Siem Reap, it’s a very, very good start.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Sivutha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia