First published on 29 Jun 2012. Updated on 11 May 2013.
Best international brand
Le Méridien Angkor
As the only Starwood property in Siem Reap, Le Méridien provides everything you’d expect from the global five-star hotel brand – top-of-the-line hospitality, accommodation and services. It makes an immediate impression with its cavernous, three-storey lobby, 213 rooms and huge grounds, complete with a massive field and a palm grove which can be hired for private events. It’s also the closest hotel to Angkor Wat itself, on the north end of town, giving you an edge in the morning tuk-tuk race to the site. Dining Don’t miss the themed chef’s menu at the Angkor Royal Café, which features a new central ingredient every month – July’s is ‘Fruits of Angkor’. The pool Most Siem Reap hotel pools are an extravagant affair, and Le Méridien’s is one of the grandest. Inspired by Khmer temple designs, it has fountains and large water garden enclosures, as well as an overhead bridge which leads to a connected lap pool near the spa for those who just want to swim. Rooms start at US$145++/ $184++ per night. See www.lemeridienangkor.com.
Best for a French colonial setting
La Résidence d’Angkor
With a wood-filled decor, shuttered windows in the lobby, traditional carvings and more, La Résidence d’Angkor offers a relaxing, riverside refuge with a French-quarter feel. Each of the 62 rooms complements the colonial feel, with antique wooden furniture, picturesque mosquito netting over the beds and a wide terrazzo stone bathtub. Dining The Dining Room features contemporary Khmer cuisine with a French twist, as well as Khmer dance and music performances every other day. We recommend the Khmer Discovery option, which provides a range of options to try – don’t miss their take on the beef loclac (pepper beef). The pool Accompanying the riverside atmosphere, La Résidence’s long pool is nestled amid lush, leafy foliage, and decorated with fountain statues and carvings – almost like coming across a temple in the jungle. Nearby, their Kong Kea Spa offers a full menu of treatments as well as a calming bamboo garden. Rooms start at US$285++/ $362++ per night. See www.residencedangkor.com.
Best for tour groups
Sokha Angkor Resort
Part of the Worldhotels deluxe collection, this five-star Cambodian hotel brand launched in 2004 with its flagship beach resort in Sihanoukville. It has won numerous tourism awards for its gaudy, Khmer-styled 276-room Angkor Resort, located in the centre of Siem Reap. Notably, it’s the only hotel in town that can directly book passes to Angkor, which is useful for tour groups, and also runs the Angkor Balloon – a large, bright yellow tethered helium balloon 1km west of Angkor Wat that offers a bird’s-eye view of the area. Dining Out of the Sokha’s five in-house dining options, we recommend their fine-dining option Le Chanthou, helmed by a Cambodian chef, and offering both Western and Khmer specialities. The pool The centrepiece of the resort is clearly the stunning deep-blue saltwater pool featuring twin temple-like towers, both two storeys high, with waterfalls cascading into the deep end. Indoors, there’s also a steam room, sauna, hot tub and gym. Multi-night packages start at US$99++/ $125++ per night. See www.sokhahotels.com.