Aug 29 2013
A top class five-star hotel closes and re-opens 14 months later, reincarnated as another top class five-star hotel. Goodbye Hotel De La Paix and welcome Park Hyatt Siem Reap. The results of the refurbishment of the achingly stylish former De La Paix have produced a not all that dramatic difference to the ambience, and this is not a bad thing. Nestling in the luxury hotel category, Park Hyatt brings its international branding to the table and still offers the high-end urban bolt-hole of its forbearer that will appeal to design-savvy discerning travellers.
The turns-anything-into-chic stamp of renowned interior designer Bill Bensley, also responsible for the polished monochrome look of upscale boutique Shinta Mani Club, is all over the hotel’s modern design. One-hundred-and-eight sophisticated rooms as well as 13 sumptuous suites, four with private plunge pools, are enclosed behind the art deco facade of the property, something of a landmark in Siem Reap.
The contemporary aesthetics and clean lines of public spaces and room interiors are accented with flourishes of Khmer inspired art. Rooms are well-appointed, technology is up to scratch, and Italian marble lures you into the bathrooms. The views from the Park rooms are not the most inspiring — hotel-speak calls them “city view” — but then the hotel does have a central location, making it very quick to pop out to the various markets and discover the dining options in town by tuk tuk. The privilege of a suite or even a night in the entry-level Park room does come with a significant price tag, however, as you would expect of a hotel of this calibre where hospitality standards are exacting.
Boasting a new — albeit fairly narrow — lap pool, this addition to the shady alcoves of the first floor swimming pool means there’s no longer an excuse to just take a dip, as well as more room for sunworshipers to pay homage to the weather gods; this is space that was lacking before the re-branding and re-opening of Park Hyatt Siem Reap in August 2013. The amenities continue with a fitness centre, but physical exertion on holiday is easily avoided by a treatment at the hotel’s spa, high tea or sundowner cocktails at the cosy lounge bar, The Living Room, or savouring the Khmer and French cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, The Dining Room.
Or, simply indulge in house-made ice cream at the renovated cafe, The Glass House. The deliriously good ice cream was one area where no upgrades or redesigns were required. It remains, as far as I have found, the best in Siem Reap and a snip at US$2 – very good value compared to an otherwise pricey cafe menu – which means even the traveller on the tightest budget can afford a little taste of luxury.
To stay somewhere with an alternative style but of a similar class to Park Hyatt Siem Reap, consider historic and traditional Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor, or the lush gardens and charm of La Residence D’Angkor. If Bill Bensley’s modern style is your thing and you’re after a hip city retreat, then Shinta Mani Club and Shinta Mani Resort, though a step down in hotel class, may be worth a look.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap
T: (063) 211 234
F: (063) 966 001
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