Photo: Courtesy of Park Hyatt.
Siem Reap, Cambodia (Continued)Where To Stay:
Cambodia has long been a backpacker's favorite due to low costs. But, the destination is equally ideal for living it up, since your dollar stretches a long, long
way here. Park Hyatt Siem Reap
is a five-star property that lets you do just that, starting at $150 a night for a standard room. It's impossible to tell that you're located in the city center from inside the hotel, with the surrounding traffic drowned out by a flowing fountain and a tall canopy of palm trees. With Siem Reap's average temperature hovering around 90°F, the bright and airy courtyard — accentuated by Khmer les arts décoratifs
, colonial-style porch swings, and lithe Buddhist statues — is the perfect spot to cool off.
The rooms are rich in thoughtful details reflecting their Khmer heritage: The recession of clean, parallel lines seen on the ceilings and wooden furniture echoes the carvings found on the base of the Angkor Wat temples; A metal headboard in the shape of the Banyan tree — Cambodia's national symbol — hangs above the plush beds. Guests at the hotel will be able to get access to a salt water and freshwater pool, but the executive suites — with their display modern Angkor Wat-inspired artwork and a private pool shaded by fragrant frangipani trees — are the ultimate luxury if you're in the mood to splurge.TheDining Room
, the hotel's on-site restaurant, is a great jumping-off point to acquaint yourself with Khmer cuisine. It serves an excellent fish amok
, a sweet steamed curry that's become Cambodia's national dish. On Tuesday, Friday and Sunday evenings, the dining experience is further enhanced with a live performance of apsara,
a traditional Khmer ballet where the dancers are outfitted in gilded cultural costumes.