STAY SIEM REAP (CAMBODIA)
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, sometimes where you stay can be just as exciting and worth looking forward to as the actual destination. True story, I bookmarked the Park Hyatt Siem Reap when it was relaunched, rebranded and reopened as a Park Hyatt property sometime in 2013. I knew I wanted to stay there, had no clue when I would be going to Cambodia but it was on my wishlist.
I tend to do that with travel, save places on my wishlist, bookmark hotels and properties I would love to visit. No better feeling than striking another one off the list. So the question remains… did it live up to my expectations? And that would be a very enthusiastic YES!
Location: I arrived in Siem Reap by way of a less conventional route; a route that so many tried to dissuade me from taking. I basically got up very early in Bangkok, called a cab to the Cambodia border and then at the border, took another taxicab to Siem Reap. I wish it was all as smooth and carefree as it sounds (there’s a reason many guidebooks etc will suggest you fly), but there were so many little things to figure out especially at the Cambodian border. I’ll share more on that another time. The reason I reference how I arrived is to stress that I was told the hotel is 20minutes from the airport, but I didn’t get to experience that. What I do know is that once I actually got to Siem Reap, the Park Hyatt was delightfully smack dab in a very central location filled with shops, restaurants, great lively energy and literally a stone throw’s away from Pub Street (Siem Reap’s party and nightlife hub). More importantly, the hotel is only a 15min ride by tuk tuk to Angkor Wat- the reason most people visit Siem Reap.
Dining: There was no cutting corners for breakfast- an expansive spread that included anything you may need or want for breakfast. I love a nice filling breakfast before a day out and I couldn’t have been more pleased. I’m trying to think if there was anything I missed and I can’t think of anything. For dinner, I opted for a traditional Cambodian meal. The meal was accompanied by a traditional live performance which made it feel like a really special night out. They offer different performances on different nights.
Amenities and Service: They really excel here as well. Every single person working at the hotel was warm and friendly, very caring but not overbearing. The hotel boasts 2 lovely pools, one on the ground floor and one on the 1st floor. I was so excited about the ground floor setting that if I wasn’t reminded- I wouldn’t have made it to the 1st floor pool which includes pool service (food/drinks) and very many cool spaces to chill or layout. To the far end of the pool section is the spa which I unfortunately didn’t get to try out. I did check out their service list and they were very varied and reasonably priced.
Pros: Location, Design, and Service
Cons: Location (that’s if you’re looking for something away from the hustle & bustle of the city). Although, I have to say, as long as I was in my suite and hotel grounds, it felt like an oasis. However, the moment you step out the hotel, you are reminded where you are due to street traffic etc.
Overall: If you’re visiting Siem Reap, I don’t think you could do much better than this and many people leaving reviews on TripAdvisor would agree as well.