Everyone should visit Siem Reap at least once in their lifetime. The town is a bit touristy, most restaurants not especially good, but it is unique and Angor Wat is a treasure worth visiting. Cambodia may be a developing economy but luxury hotels have sprung up and I count the Park Hyatt Siem Reap as one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.
In the interest of transparency, I state at the outset that this review has never been published before, but is from October 2013. It is part of my Star Alliance Business Class Adventure in Europe and Asia report. I outline in that post why I post older flight and hotel reviews.
This review will be picture heavy — in this case, the pictures tell a better story than my own narrative.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Check-In + “Living Room” Lobby + Happy Hour
We arrived by car from Phnom Penh late in the afternoon. After a long and bumpy drive, it was great to walk into a wonderfully eclectic yet luxurious lobby cooled by air conditioning. Rather than a large and impersonal front desk, there are a few smaller desks and couches that serve as check-in and check-out points. The lobby area, including a bar and outdoor dining section, is called the “Living Room”
The General Manager at the time, Sholto Smith, happened to be in the Living Room when we arrived and welcomed us to the hotel. He was GM of the Park Hyatt Melbourne when I was there earlier in the year and is currently GM of the Hyatt Regency in Perth. I don’t always meet GMs, but appreciate that Hyatt has engaging and friendly GMs that often start their careers at Hyatt and work their way up. A host warmly welcomed us and invited us to sit down on a pink velvet couch to check-in.
As mentioned, there is a bar in the back and we we were offered the beverage of our choice during check-in. We both had a glass of absolutely refreshing freshly squeezed orange juice.
Each evening we would return to the Living Room between 5PM and 6PM for Happy Hour. Already very reasonably priced cocktails were half-priced, making drinks just a few bucks (Cambodia uses USD). Not only were the drinks expertly prepared, they came with the most amazing spicy cashews, prepared in-house. Even if you do not stay at this hotel, you’ll want to stop by here in the evenings for the Happy Hour.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Guest Room
No room upgrade, but it was not necessary–look at the spacious room we had:
Hyatt Globalists can expect an upgrade, but we were there just weeks after it opened — a whole wing of the hotel was still under construciton.
It was comfortable, cool (hot and humid outside), and spacious. The couch was extremely comfortable for working and the view of the courtyard below very nice.
The bathroom included a sliding door over the bathtub that opened into the room, separate shower, and separate water closet.
Complimentary bottled water is available and replenished daily. We also received a nice bottle of red wine on our first night.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap “Dining Room”
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast each morning in the Dining Room. The first two mornings it was a la carte only, the last morning (Sunday) we found a buffet set up. Exceptional quality and everything you want in a breakfast.
One morning we sat outside. Though a beautiful setting overlooking an ancient tree in the center of the hotel courtyard, it was a bit warm:
A bread basket comes standard with breakfast. If you do not want one, speak up!
Although we ate in town for three of the four evenings we were there (we checked out very late the last night), we did have one dinner in the Dining Room. It’s difficult to describe it, but perhaps you’ll understand what I mean when I say we got what we expected. The food was very nice. Delicious in fact. I loved my fish. But unlike Happy Hour, it is much pricier than restaurants in town. Thus, it is great food in a beautiful setting, but at European prices.
The Glasshouse at Park Hyatt Siem
The Glasshouse appeared to be a very popular ex-pat hangout in Cambodia. Prices were reasonable, the atmosphere was great, and the food of high quality. Coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and great ice cream are available.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Private Tuk-Tuks / Taxis
Tuk-Tuks and taxis are very cheap in Siem Reap and the Park Hyatt does not want to keep you waiting. I learned that the hotel pays a number of Tuk-Tuks to wait at the foot of the hotel driveway so guests can quickly catch a ride. Price is all negotiated so keep in mind if you use the hotel-provided Tuk-Tuks the drivers will (correctly) assume you can afford to pay more and barter accordingly.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Service
Service shined at the hotel. There were a few staff members that struggled with English, but everyone went out of their way to be accommodating and service felt extremely genuine. On one occasion we walked out of hotel in the late afternoon to go into town. Although the sky did not look menacing, a few clouds appeared in the horizon. The doorman suggested we take umbrellas along and scampered away, returning with two large umbrellas. What sage advice — not more than an hour later the rain was pouring down!
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Pool / Fitness Center / Spa
The oblong pool is three things in one — an infinity pool on one end, a semi-indoor pool in the middle, and a beautiful outdoor pool on the other.
The fitness center is small but sufficient and a full-service spa is available. But see my advice on massages in the next section.
A poolside menu is available. We did not order anything, but were brought complimentary cold water and fruit skewers each time we went swimming.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Location
One of the best things about the Park Hyatt Siem Reap is its central location. While I am sure the Le Meriden is a very nice hotel, it is located out of town on the road to the airport. The Hyatt is so central you can walk to everything in town and the ride to Angkor Wat is very short.
Step outside of the hotel and you’ll be met with a busy street scene–
And if you look closely, many massage parlors. These are all “legit” and while you are welcome to pay the hotel 6x as much, why not get a $10/hr massage across the street? My brother and I went for a massage every day, sometimes twice, and were very satisfied with the quality.
I love the attention to detail at this hotel. Every part of the hotel exuded quality and it was tough to leave the hotel despite the incredible sights nearby. For example, common areas–
We truly enjoyed this hotel and look forward to returning to see how it is matured. Heidi has never been to Cambodia so I do look forward to taking her one day — maybe the kids too — and returning to this wonderful hotel.