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PARK HYATT - SIEM REAP

HYATT TO REBRAND RENOWNED CAMBODIA HOTEL TO PARK HYATT SIEM REAP
Experience authentic Cambodian hospitality at the first Park Hyatt hotel in Cambodia.  Park Hyatt Siem Reap, a luxurious five-star hotel, is situated near the renowned 12th century ruins of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site that researchers believe was one of the largest pre-industrial cities in the world.  The temples in the area number more than 1,000 and include Angkor Wat, the world’s largest single religious monument.  The hotel is also a short distance from Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, Cambodia’s second largest airport, which provides non-stop services to several major regional markets including Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore and Vientiane.

Undoubtedly an elegant hide-away, Park Hyatt Siem Reap introduces 108 stylish guestrooms and suites.  The suites are highly recommended for the most discriminating travellers. An exclusive haven with private garden and/or swimming pool, any of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap’s suites provide an exquisite retreat.

This blend of refined interiors and graceful garden settings suffuses Park Hyatt Siem Reap with an enlivening resort and residential feel.  The sequence of having restaurants and event spaces easily flow towards the Courtyard with its ancient Banyan Tree, lends it a refreshing residential feel.  Cuisine of French and Indochine inspiration is a feature of the main restaurant, The Dining Room.  In addition, the bar lounge, Living Room and the deli-patisserie, Glass House, feature comfort fare.  “Carefully sourced, thoughtfully served’ is the underlying philosophy behind each and every culinary journey Park Hyatt Siem Reap delivers.

We took a trip to Siem Reap to experience one of the best hotels the city has to offer and tell you all about it: the five star Park Hyatt Siem Reap. It boasts impressive independent reviews on TripAdvisor and was also awarded the Certificate of Excellence 2014, so we were expecting grand things.

The five star hotel is the city’s most prestigious address. Located in the heart of Siem Reap, this central oasis offers top class facilities, the finest rooms, exquisite food, splendid modern comforts and tranquil tropical gardens to escape the hustle and bustle. Only a short drive to the magic of Angkor Wat, we found it was the perfect inner-city hideaway and an ideal base for exploring the region at our own pace.

From the minute we arrived, we felt like royalty. We were collected at Siem Reap International Airport (just a quick 15-20 minute drive away) and delivered right to the door. 104 rooms and suites are encased in an elegant and contemporary residential facade that rises dramatically above Siem Reap’s skyline. The hotel is somewhat secluded from public view by lush, manicured tropical gardens, just adding to that ultra-exclusive feeling. We were even treated to a welcome cocktail on arrival in the stylish Living Room as a small taste of the lavish experience to come.

A is for Ambience
Exploring the elegant grounds within the hotel’s walls, it was immediately apparent why the Park Hyatt is a five star spot to stay. Every little detail is flawless. From the contemporary wall motifs and arty decorative features, to the soft mood lighting at night, glass-like pools and a towering 100 year old Banyan tree centrepiece. An oasis indeed.

A Space to Unwind
We stayed in the incredibly spacious and eclectic Park King Room featuring Khmer-inspired contemporary art, custom furniture and a warm palette decor. The effect is an exotic, resort-like ambience. The room boasts a King bed and striking views of downtown Siem Reap.

A 40″ LCD TV and DVD player, air-con, and high-speed in-room WiFi access kept things modern and convenient. The in-room Nespresso coffee machine was also a rare bonus for those of us who can’t live without that first cup of early-morning brew. Fresh welcome fruits were also awaiting our arrival, and would conveniently reappear every day after we’d devoured every piece.

We also fell head-over-heels for the elegant and spacious bathroom. A complete treat with the finest Italian marble, dual vanities and a deep tub right in the centre which made for an ideal finish to a day of exploring. We wrapped up in the soft, fluffy bathrobes too before settling in for a heavenly night’s sleep.

With the sunny tropical weather in Siem Reap, a leisurely dip in the cool water is always inviting and offers a welcome recovery after a day of tours in the temples. In a patterned Southeast Asian style lagoon, green tiled and surrounded by lush gardens; the hotel’s free-form swimming pool is an ideal place for an afternoon splash, a poolside cocktail, or a quiet moment alone with a good book. We always appreciate lagoon-styling with an infinity edge, but this pool also features a unique semi-indoor area. It’s reminiscent of ancient Roman baths with a low roof, stacked columns and enchanting tree motifs adorning the walls. There’s a private, spa-like feeling in here, with romantic little nooks and crannies to hide away in.

There’s also a beautiful lap pool on the ground floor, which we discovered first. Health enthusiasts can get a quick workout if the machines aren’t inspiring enough (there’s a fully-equipped fitness centre at the hotel too). Lounge chairs are situated at the pool edges, shaded under parasols and cabanas in the day.

Pool service is available from Glasshouse Deli. Patisserie too, serving a delicious selection of thirst-quenchers and light refreshments ranging from fruit juices, soft drinks and mineral water to delightful cocktails. We also found the pool attendants were always on-duty to help with anything we needed and hand us fresh, fluffy towels on a whim. There’s WiFi available in the pool areas as well.

Relax and Rejuvenate
From the moment we stepped into the spa, we felt just a little bit calmer. The area spans over 243sqm with a steam room, six spacious treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge with foot massages and the 24-hour state of the art fitness centre. We tested out the heavenly 60 minute Heritage Body Massage (in the name of research, of course) and also the soothing 30 minute foot massage in the relaxation lounge after we’d been on our full-day walking tour. The wonderfully skilled spa therapists use only natural and locally-harvested ingredients for a truly luxurious and revitalising experience.

The Finest Dining

Cambodian cuisine may not be the most famous of South East Asia’s regional delicacies, but that just meant our tastebuds were in for a rare treat. Our first meal at the hotel was an authentic ’Taste of Cambodia’ dinner at The Dining Room, serving a selection of exquisite French ‘au provencal’ and Cambodian dishes made from traditional recipes and fresh ingredients.

Siem Reap is dotted with old French shop houses, dating back from colonnial times, so the French influence extends easily into food. The highlight from the meal was a Seafood Amok; a mouthwatering traditional Cambodian seafood curry, made with Nhor leaves, creamy coconut milk and exotic herbs and spices.

Each day of our stay, we woke up to a delicious breakfast! The à la carte menu offered a dizzying array of choices ranging from French toast with mixed berry sauce and eggs-any-style with bacon, tomato, mushrooms, sausage and hashbrown, to smoked salmon, cold cuts and cheese with fresh breads, Cambodian sweet pastries and a selection of hot Cambodian dishes (for something more exotic).

We also dined on a delectable Park Hyatt lunch in The Living Room, the hotel’s chic bar and lounge that’s bordered by two colonnades overlooking the courtyard, gardens and the swimming pool in the distance. Comfort food is offered throughout the day over a glass of wine from the extensive wine library or over an array of tea on a lazy afternoon. Our three course lunch consisted of crispy spring rolls with Khmer noodles, stir-friend garlic and ginger pork with oyster sauce and palm sugar, and a tropical trio sorbet for dessert. Bon Appetite indeed.

Parking
The most centrally located hotel, the Park Hyatt Siem Reap is set on Sivutha Boulevard within a safe two-block walking distance to and from the Old French Quarter and Pub Street.

Activities:
Siem Reap is a beautiful, charming town made famous by the magnificent temples of Angkor.  Old buildings reminiscent of the French Colonial years, quaint villages amidst paddy-fields and idyllic waterways from the Mekong to the great Tonle Sap create a visually appealing landscape that lures travellers into a relaxing get-away.

The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is located in the centre of Siem Reap town.  It is the only hotel within a safe and short walking distance to the Old French Quarter where restaurants, bars and curio shops abound.  It is also a mere 15-minute drive to both the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Siem Reap International Airport.

Angkor Archaeological Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 200 temples within an area of 400 hectares. From Angkor Wat to other notable ruins such as the Bayon, Ta Phrom and Banteay Srey, the park attracts millions of tourists every year.  It is approximately 5 km from the hotel and 15 minutes by car.  

The Old Market and Pub Street

Steps away from the main entrance of the hotel, is a charming enclave dotted with buildings from the French Colonial era.  Places to visit include the “Psa Char” or the “Old Market- a haven for souvenir hunters and “Pub Street” where cosy hole in the wall bistros and bars abound.

Tonle Sap
Around 15 km or a 30-minute drive from the hotel is the mouth of Southeast Asia’s largest fresh-water lake.  Floating villages and world conservation areas are the main attractions within Tonle Sap.  Park Hyatt Siem Reap is able to arrange elegant tours aboard luxury French Indochine style wooden boats for interested guests.

The Angkor Golf

This 18-hole Nick Faldo-designed course is a short 15-minute drive from the hotel.  Well-maintained and known to offer a good challenge, this is Siem Reap’s must-stop for golf enthusiasts.

Angkor Wat, the Eighth Wonder of the World
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard for anyone to deny the breathtaking scenery of Angkor Wat. We went on an incredible full-day guided tour of this spectacular piece of ancient history and beyond. All we had to pay for was the small Temple entrance fee; the rest was all ready to roll.

Travelling by traditional Cambodian Tuk Tuk was a thrilling way to get from place-to-place. Our knowledgeable English-speaking driver and tour guide was friendly and enthusiastic from the get-go. We learnt how the Khmer Empire prospered between 9th and 13th centuries, around the time when Angkor Wat was built.

We visited Angkor Thom – not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9km² which served as the Royal Capital from approx. 1181 onwards. We discovered the Bayon Temple crowned with 216 giant, enigmatic, smiling faces. We also explored the Terrace of the Elephants and intricate Terrace of the Leper King, followed by famous Ta Prohm. This beautiful temple is overgrown with fig trees, giving it a haunting and enchanting atmosphere.

Explore Siem Reap
Siem Reap is a beautiful, charming town made famous by the magnificent temples of Angkor, but the vibrant city streets are also worth their own share of exploration. Old buildings reminiscent of the French colonial years, quaint villages amidst paddy fields and idyllic waterways from the Mekong to the great Tonle Sap create a visually breathtaking landscape that lures travellers from across the globe.
The Park Hyatt is located in the centre of Siem Reap town. We discovered that it’s the only hotel within a safe and short walking distance to the Old French Quarters where restaurants, bars and shops abound. Also visit the famous Pub Street in the Old Market area if you’re feeling up for a fun night out.

Siem Reap: The Gateway to Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple complexes are some of the most popular and culturally important destinations in Southeast Asia, and Siem Reap is their proud and bustling home town. We know you’ll be looking for the perfect places to eat and drink before and after mingling with monkeys around the massive park of ruins, and the best place to catch up on sleep after waking up at dawn to catch the temple in its best light. Here are our favorite hotels, restaurants, bars and markets, plus a quick guide to the temples themselves.

Angkor in a Nutshell:

Many people refer to Siem Reap’s overall temple experience as Angkor Wat, however Angkor Wat is really just one of the temples you’ll see on a tour around the complex. The most popular of the others include Angkor Thom, the Bayon and Ta Prohm. The last is best known for its appearance in Tomb Raider alongside Angelina Jolie. It’s quite easy to hire a tuk-tuk driver to take you around on a tour for a day, just find one and arrange the day before for him to pick you up the next morning. However, if you want the full on tour experience, there are many companies offering guided tours throughout the temple grounds. The most iconic view of Angkor Wat itself comes with sunrise in the morning, and it’s worth waking up early, for sure.
Don’t discount the opportunity to spend time exploring Siem Reap between temple runs! The town is known to be entering a golden age and is home to great markets, restaurants and shops.

Markets:

Psah Chas: This “old market” located in the southern part of the city is not only known for its great souvenir shopping but also its authentic local cuisine. It’s open from dawn to dusk. Souvenir shops generally occupy the outer ring of storefronts, and the inner stalls towards the center make up a lively wet market section with fresh produce and live seafood. This is also a great place to try those iconic fried bugs that you’ve been looking forward to! (Or to just snap a few photos.) Angkor Night Market: This is your spot if you want to bargain for souvenirs or clothes or want to sip a beer while having your feet nibbled on by fish.

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