The Angkor Wat temples, classical Khmer dance performances, nearby floating villages, and hundreds of restaurants, bars, and shops make the Cambodian river town of Siem Reap a great pick for a love-fueled getaway. Here are the area’s most romantic places to stay.
Supremely stunning architecture, beautiful and contemporary design, and a majestic central courtyard are hallmarks of the Park Hyatt, one of the finest hotels in Siem Reap. The 109 guest rooms are all elegantly decorated in both Khmer and modern decor, with high-end details such as Nespresso machines, wall-mounted media-hubs, and Italian marble bathrooms with sunken tubs. The one drawback, rooms lack a view or any outdoor space. Two swimming pools are on-site as well, along with a world-class fitness center, a fine spa with a yoga room and steam room, and several chic and upscale drinking and dining options.
Though it's small, the artful and luxurious Belmond La Residence d'Angkor has plenty of outstanding resort features: a garden swimming pool, a spa and fitness center, and two excellent restaurants, an atmospheric upstairs bar, an art gallery, and traditional Apsara shows. All 62 rooms are spacious and elegant and have a contemporary style with local accents. In-room amenities include DVD players, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs, plus balconies or patios.
This 26-room boutique hotel sits off a dusty road outside the town center, but it is away from the tourists and feels very local. The standard rooms are slightly subpar compared to other upmarket spots like Shinta Mani or the Victoria Angkor, but the suites are far more impressive: large, brightly colored private bungalows featuring open-plan bedrooms with roll-top bathtubs and personal saunas and stone gardens with hanging rattan chairs and outdoor showers (Executive Suites also feature outdoor whirlpools). All rooms come with free Wi-Fi and breakfast. The Heritage Suites's restaurant offers upscale Khmer and Western cuisine, and has special evenings such as jazz nights with happy hour cocktails, or Khmer barbecue nights with classical Apsara dance performances.
Surrounded by rice paddies and countryside, the upscale Sojourn Boutique Villas feels quite secluded, though it's only a 10-minute drive outside of Siem Reap. Ten contemporary rooms and villas feature Khmer art, flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, minibars, bath salts, and handmade organic soap. The Apsara and Terrace Villas come with large stone terrazzo bathtubs and indoor rainfall showers, as well as outdoor showers set in tiny private gardens. Villas have patios overlooking the garden, while Terrace Rooms have charming rooftop terraces.
Far from chaotic Pub Street and downtown, the boutique Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat is one of Siem Reap's most chilled-out escapes. The wellness retreat's 28 rooms are chic and spacious, with wooden floors and furniture as well as Khmer art, such as carved elephants and Buddha statues. All rooms have large, walk-in rainfall showers and lovely private patios overlooking small gardens. The resort's three swimming pools surround its thatch-roofed, open-air restaurant and bar.
One of the finest hotels in Cambodia, the boutique Shinta Mani Resort has 62 rooms, all of which feature minimalist design, custom-made iron beds, and handcrafted lights, plus rainfall showers and garden terraces. The Shinta Mani Resort boasts a large swimming pool in a sunny garden with sun loungers, where an attentive staff serves guests free water, coconuts, and ice cream. The resort has one restaurant, the Bai Tong, which serves Khmer and western food for lunch and dinner, plus free breakfast buffets for guests, and there is the Royal Lounge behind the pool area for drinks, although many prefer to go across the street to the sister property's Bensley Bar, which is far more cutting-edge and happening.