We pick the premier places to rest up after visiting the temples
Rambutan Resort and Hotel
‘Location, location, location’ is a mantra for the property world, and Rambutan has this all wrapped up. With a resort and a hotel set down a picturesque lane near the centre of Siem Reap, the LGBT-friendly accommodation provides an excellent base for those who want to be close to the buzzing restaurant and nightlife quarter of Temple Town. And while generous balconies, open-air bathtubs and swimming pools provide definite ‘wow’ factor, it’s the fantastic setting and friendly staff that really set the Rambutans above the pack.
Tel: +855 (0)63 766 655 Website: rambutanhotelsr.com
Buxom buffaloes regularly traipse slowly around the eight hectares of refined greenery at Phum Baitang, the closest one can come to a rural Cambodian experience without compromising on impeccable taste. Raised wooden walkways jut out of fully functioning rice paddies, and the subtle scent of fresh lemongrass perfumes the grounds, but the real stars of the show are the 45 villas, each one a careful replica of traditional stilted houses. Inside, exquisitely scarred floorboards continue the rustic charm alongside antique furniture and contemporary comforts including freestanding terrazzo baths and plump beds that prove heartachingly difficult to leave.
Tel: +855 (0)63 961 111 Website: phumbaitang.com
Sala Lodges’ exceptional accommodations are the result of an equally exceptional logistical feat. Eleven traditional wooden houses were identified in the provinces of Cambodia, bought, dismantled, transported and rebuilt on Sala’s sweeping grounds on the outskirts of Siem Reap. The unique style and history of each stilted building seems to pervade the resort, creating a wonderful aura for guests who leave luxuriously appointed rooms behind to sample the delights on offer at the restaurant or float their troubles away at the sizeable pool.
Tel: +855 (0)63 766 699 Website: salalodges.com
Relaxed luxury is the name of the game at Navutu, where three sparkling swimming pools, resident wellness experts and a laid-back vibe create a space in which to revitalise and rejuvenate. Lush gardens provide a chance for guests to unwind amongst the natural beauty of the countryside, while the subtle use of white and aqua shades hint at a Mediterranean influence. With spacious rooms housed in low-slung pavilions and dining offered at a spectacular circular restaurant, it’s the perfect spot to soothe your soul.
Tel: +855 (0)63 964 864 Website: navutudreams.com
Formerly the guest villa of Cambodia’s beloved late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Amansara remains the byword for luxury in Siem Reap. The 24 suites are modern and supremely well-appointed, two pools compete for your attention, and small touches, such as complimentary cheeses and cakes served all day in the striking circular restaurant, make all the difference. However, it is Amansara’s service and informal atmosphere that are its most striking elements. Staff chat casually with guests, who are treated more like old friends than lords of the manor, making for genuinely enjoyable connections between workers and visitors.
Tel: +855 (0)63 760 333 Website: aman.com/resorts/amansara
Located on Sivutha Boulevard, one of Siem Reap’s key thoroughfares, Park Hyatt brings all the class you would expect from one of the world’s most renowned luxury hotel companies. The communal spaces are particularly striking, from the beautiful inner courtyard where swinging day beds are gathered around a serpentine tree, to the Living Room, a chic bar-lounge of plush velvet seating, dark woods and intimate corners. The first-floor pool is also a delight – a semi-covered lagoon of miniature bridges and lush gardens that is perfect for unwinding following a day of temple traipsing.
Tel: +855 (0)63 211 234 Website: siemreap.park.hyatt.com
Designed by legendary architect Bill Bensley, dubbed “the king of exotic luxury resorts” by Time magazine, Shinta Mani is made up of two properties on either side of Oum Khun Street – Shinta Mani Club and Shinta Mani Resort. Both are clearly graced by Bensley’s charmed touch, and the result is two properties that feel exhilaratingly tropical, yet never at the expense of a certain refinement. Shinta Mani’s greatest strength, however, is its staff. Professional, friendly and, most importantly, relaxed, they are some of the best we have come across anywhere, not just in Cambodia.
Tel: +855 (0)63 761 998 Website: shintamani.com