The Angkor Wat temple complex – the largest religious monument in the world – is the biggest draw for tourists in Cambodia. To make the most of your visit, stay overnight in Siem Reap and enjoy a welcome retreat after a day spent walking and climbing on ancient ruins in the hot Cambodian sun. Read our guide to some of the best luxury hotels here – bookable on Culture Trip.
Located across the road from the Royal Palace, this historic hotel, which opened in 1932, is spread across 6ha (15 acres) of landscaped gardens with tropical foliage and a large swimming pool. A variety of restaurants and bars are available on site and lodgings range from luxurious suites to two-bedroom villas with personal butler service.
This former royal retreat of King Norodom Sihanouk, designed by French architect Lauren Mondet in 1962, was built to accommodate visitors unable to stay at the nearby Royal Palace. The grounds were abandoned during the reign of the Khmer Rouge (1975-79). In 2002, Aman bought the property and transformed it into an exquisite resort of 24 suites – 12 with private plunge pools – two swimming pools, a restaurant and luxurious spa.
Nature is a key feature of this resort. Situated along a quiet stretch of the Siem Reap River, a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride from the centre of town, the estate is brimming with trees and tropical plants. Each of the 36 rooms has either a balcony or direct access to the garden or one of the two swimming pools. The hotel pays homage to Siem Reap’s thriving creative scene with Eric Raisina-designed uniforms and works by local artists on the walls.
Shinta Mani teamed with designer and architect Bill Bensley to launch this upscale boutique in the French Quarter. Rooms are stylish, with clean lines and ceiling murals depicting Angkor. You can book sunrise tours of the temples or a trip to the organic farm run by the Shinta Mani Foundation. Come back to enjoy an evening in Bensley’s Bar, where the profits from the bottle of wine you drink are used to train a student at the hotel school.
Comprising 213 rooms, Le Meridien is situated close to the temples and, despite its size, offers a sense of calm. Fusing European style with contemporary Cambodian designs, the hotel has a large swimming pool, two restaurants, a lobby lounge and bar, and a spa and fitness centre.
The Park Hyatt, in the centre of Siem Reap, still manages to be an oasis of calm despite the hustle and bustle outside. The focal point of this 107-room hotel is the central swimming pool and water garden. More upmarket suites have private garden terraces and outdoor baths.
Heritage Suites Hotel may be a short drive out of town, but lashings of sophisticated charm makes it worth the effort. The colonial façade hides six rooms, while 20 suites sit among lush tropical gardens to the rear of the property. The resort is also well-known in’ town for sizzling jazz sessions, which take place every Thursday night and are open to outside guests.
Catering to the golf lovers, Sofitel’s Siem Reap property offers 238 rooms and suites, each oozing French sophistication laced with contemporary Khmer charm. A large swimming pool is surrounded by manicured gardens. A restaurant and bars serve food and drinks throughout the day and night.
The Culture Trip Travel Team contributed additional reporting to this article.