Recently, my wife and I traveled to Cambodia and spent a few days in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. During our trip, we had the opportunity to stay at the Park Hyatt in Siem Reap using a Free Night certificate that comes with my Hyatt credit card. In short, the hotel is very nice and we thoroughly enjoyed our short stay – although given all the great options in Siem Reap I can’t say it’s someplace I would pay the cash rate for.
The Park Hyatt is in a very central location of downtown Siem Reap, just a couple of blocks from the famed “Pub Street”, night markets, the hip village of Kandal. Everything you could need and want is within walking distance of the hotel, which itself is situated on the corner of two busy streets.
To get to the Angkor Temple Complex, Siem Reap’s main attraction, you will need transportation as no hotels are within walking distance of the archaeological park. However, tuktuks and taxis are inexpensive so the location of the hotel is prime for all other activities.
Arrival & Check-in
As mentioned, the hotel is situated on a busy corner but is very easy to identify. We arrived via tuktuk from our other hotel and were dropped at the curb.
The entrance (seen in the above photo) leads to a small round seating area with beautiful orchids and plush seating chairs. This is an ideal place to wait for your ride to arrive away from the weather and harassment of tuktuk drivers outside.
From there we were led to the check-in area, which is part of the “Living Room” bar and restaurant. There we were given a small menu from which to choose our welcome drinks as well as a cold towel to refresh ourselves after dragging our bags through the mid afternoon heat.
We chose a ginger & mint infusion and lemongrass ice tea, both of which were delicious.
We were told that our room wasn’t quite ready yet (we arrived early than the standard check-in time) but that it would be within fifteen minutes. We were advised to leave our bags, which would be transported to the room for us, and to finish our drinks or stroll around the property which we did. Within about ten minutes, though, our room was ready.
We were escorted up the elevator to the third floor where our room was situated at the end of the hallway.
Because we were using a reward certificate and I have no status with Hyatt, our room was a standard room with King bed, which measures 376 square feet and is elegantly decorated in Khmer art decor. Below are a series of photos of the room and its amenities:
Directly above the coffee machine is the tea set, coffee cups, and glasses as well as some local snacks for purchase.
Moving to the bathroom, which was relatively small but nicely laid out.
The room was very nicely decorated and they made a great use of the space. Despite being a “standard” room, it really felt like an upgrade. The bathtub was excellent and all the electronic controls were a nice touch. If you want to see how “the other side” stays, read One Mile At a Time’s review of the same hotel, where he stayed in one of their Garden Suites!
There are a couple of restaurants, a bistro cafe, and a bar at the hotel. However, as lowly non-statusers with Hyatt, nothing except for the bottled water, fruit, and macaroons were included with our stay and because the food out in the city is so good and inexpensive, we didn’t bother to eat at any of the on-property establishments. Rest assured, though, that their offerings are likely of high quality.
Here are some photos of the “Living Room” and surrounding areas, where breakfast is served and most of the dining takes place:
Pool & Gym
One of the highlights of this property is the pool area(s). There are actually two pools, one salt water lap pool with limited seating at the lobby level, and another more grand pool near the spa on the second floor.
To get to the main pool area, you must go to the second floor and down a couple of hallways. Once through the doors, though, you’re in a private oasis of comfort. There were very few people here both times we visited, and it was a nice escape from the stuffy and overbearing heat of the city in the afternoons.
There are several seating nooks, which allow for both an open concept design as well as some privacy with the aid of strategically placed plants. The area isn’t very large, but it feels quite expansive with all the features in place.
The only downsides to the pool area were that you could still hear a lot of the noise from the street below as well as a faint odor of sewage that wafted by every few minutes. This might have something to do with the construction that was going on outside the property, but nevertheless it killed the mood to an otherwise perfect area.
We didn’t enter the spa for any treatments which, after seeing a sample of the treatment menu below, was a wise decision. The prices were five or six times what they would be outside the property, and there are some excellent spas in Siem Reap.
I did, however, take a peek at the gym which is just behind the pool area. It had a decent amount of equipment, including some freeweights, which would be enough for a good workout. I didn’t actually use the gym, though, as I had just completed an ultramarathon a couple of days prior and was still recovering. Normally, though, this would have been an acceptable gym for my needs and seemed to be one of the few hotels in the city that actually had such a facility.
Rates for our room at this hotel are $285 per night, which is much more expensive than most properties in the city. This was a good use of our free night certificate from the Hyatt card (which has a $65 annual fee and I literally keep it for this one benefit), but I probably wouldn’t stay here for cash under normal circumstances because we get very few amenities without status.
Even without things like free breakfast that status would get us, having the excellent pool area to relax in as well as being walking distance to everything in town that we wanted to see made this a very nice stay. Like with many luxury hotels, they charge an absurdly high premium on things like food and transportation, so we simply did not participate and instead ate incredible food in town and took tuktuks everywhere for pocket change.
If you have free night certificates or some Hyatt points to burn (or have status), then this hotel is an excellent choice in Siem Reap. If not, don’t despair, there are many other good options in the city.