If I were to be perfectly honest, the Park Hyatt Siem Reap was the main reason why I wanted to visit the city of Siem Reap in Cambodia. There is at least one direct flight from Singapore to Siem Reap each day and the two airlines that operate these flights are SilkAir and Jetstar. Despite being significantly more expensive, SilkAir was the obvious choice for me - the flight timings are a lot better and I would pick a full-service airline over a low-cost carrier any day.
I was slightly surprised at how everything looked so new in the international terminal of Siem Reap International Airport (REP). In fact, I have previously written about the rather impressive Plaza Premium Lounge here so you should definitely check it out if you are flying out of REP. As soon as I cleared immigration and picked up my luggage, I met up with a Park Hyatt Siem Reap representative out front who promptly took my bags and escorted me to the car. Now a lot of people do not actually know this but the Park Hyatt Siem Reap actually enjoys one of the best locations in the city - it is just a short 20-minute drive from the airport and it is within walking distance to Pub Street which is a great place for food, entertainment and drinks. If you are planning on checking out various attractions around the city, the Angkor Archaeological Park is just located 8km away.
Once the car pulled up by the main entrance of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap, my luggages were quickly taken out from the trunk of the car and I was swiftly escorted into The Living Room. Luxury hotel enthusiasts will definitely recognise the iconic design by world-renowned Bill Bensley. Personally, this is not my first stay at one of his hotels and I am personally quite a fan of his. One of the friendly staff came by to collect my passport for registration and I was given a welcome drink as well as a cold towel to freshen up in the meantime. I really love the elegance in this space - it is filled with plush sofas and there is even a ridiculously cheap happy hour in the evening (but more on this later).
My reservation here at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap was for the Rooftop Garden Suite. Located on the top floor of the property (you actually have to take a flight of stairs to go up to your suite), the Rooftop Garden Suite measures 152sqm in size and it features a massive living room, an outdoor private garden as well as a bedroom with a bathroom to win you over. If you are traveling with family or a group of friends you may be better off booking two of these ‘connecting’ suites since it gives you a greater residential feel - both suites share the same entrance located on the lower level.
A good proportion of the total suite is taken up by this massive living room - there is a seating area where you can watch the TV (which comes stocked with a range of cable and satellite channels) as well as a separate dining area in the event that you order yourself some room service (or bring some street food back into the comfort of your own suite).
In case you cannot quite get a feel of the living room size, here is another photo from a different angle that will help you process. To be very honest, I would have preferred it if some of this space was allocated to the bedroom or the bathroom instead. However, with that being said, the Rooftop Garden Suite is extremely popular with families traveling with children since it leaves them plenty of space to run around.
As part of my welcome amenities, I received a bowl of fresh tropical fruits (got to love mangosteens!), some dried banana chips, tapioca and potato chips as well as a bottle of red wine.
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap has only 104 rooms (of which, 13 of them are suites) so every guest here on property is getting plenty of staff attention and personal space. The Rooftop Garden Suite also comes with a separate pantry area where you will find a full-size refrigerator as well as a separate entrance into the suite. There is also a powder room located by the entrance of the main door so if you have guests over (and you should!), they do actually need to walk through your bedroom to get to the bathroom.
The Powder Room here in the Rooftop Garden Suite is a half bathroom and it comes with a toilet as well as a separate sink - I like how there are two doors here that separates the powder room from the living room and then the toilet from the powder room itself.
One of the greatest things about staying in the Rooftop Garden Suite is this outdoor space that you get - you will be able to enjoy the beautiful weather in the comfort and privacy of your own suite. It is however worth noting that if it does rain during your stay, getting from the bedroom to the living room is no easy feat if you wish to stay dry - there is a small sheltered area but feel free to grab the umbrellas in your suite instead.
There are plenty of spaces within the property to work away those ugly tan lines that you are going to get from hitting the Angkor Archaeological Park as well as the various temples but nothing is quite as private as your very own garden. If you really enjoy the tropical heat, you may also wish to shut off the air-conditioning and open the doors in the bedroom as well as the living room up.
The bedroom itself is quite straightforward and honestly like I have mentioned earlier, I wish some of the living room space was ‘transferred’ here instead. For a suite that is 152sqm in size, the bedroom does feel a little small. There is a small sofa located by the side of the room which is perfect for reading in the afternoon (when it is too hot to be walking outside). There is also a ceiling fan in the bedroom if you prefer the tropical heat over air-conditioning (I am good with the latter since I grew up in this heat).
The Rooftop Garden Suite comes with a really comfortable king-size bed as well as a bedside reading lamp if you prefer to sit on the bed instead. There are also a number of buttons by the side where you can control all of the bedroom and bathroom lights so you can easily drift from reading to sleeping mode. If you need to charge your devices, there is a number of power outlets located by the sides of the bed for you to power up your battery-hungry devices.
Those traveling as a couple will also be pleased to find not one but two walk-in wardrobes. There is just so much storage space in here that it will actually be possible to hang up all your clothes for a two-week stay (with plenty to spare) easily. You will also find the safe where you will be able to keep your valuables in here in one of the walk-in wardrobes.
The bathroom is also designed to have both his and her sinks - they are both fairly similar but you will find a shaver on one side and items like cotton pads in the other. I really like the adjustable mirrors behind each one of the sinks since they are great for you to get ready before heading out.
The Rooftop Garden Suite comes with a deep-soaking bathtub that is big enough for two adults. The bathroom that is connected to the bedroom also comes with a separate toilet and shower area (there are in fact, two shower areas - one indoors and one outdoors). There is also a TV here in the bathroom so you can catch up on your favourite channels while taking a nice soak in the tub (trust me, the tub is going to do you wonders in this heat).
Unlike my previous Park Hyatt experiences, bath amenities here at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap are provided by the Saigon-based Cochine which smells lovely. While I do enjoy the Le Labo ones that most Park Hyatts seem to use, the Cochine-branded ones feel and smell extremely premium. Honestly I was not familiar with this brand prior to the stay but I now want my house to smell like this all the time!
As I have mentioned earlier, there is also an outdoor shower area here in the Rooftop Garden Suite which provides a great showering experience especially in the morning. The water pressure could have been stronger but I absolutely love this and it reminds me of the time where I stayed at the beautiful Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas!
If you make it back to the Park Hyatt Siem Reap on time, there is a ridiculous happy hour promotion (50% off!) that runs between 5:00PM and 7:00PM each night at The Living Room (yes, this is the area where you have checked in to the property!). Most of the signature cocktails are priced from USD 7 to USD 10 before tax so you are paying a ridiculously low price after the 50% discount (and I believe I have earned some World of Hyatt Points from these expenses as well).
The Living Room feels very different from how it was like in the day time - I love the darker and more homely vibe that it exudes once the sun has gone down. While the cocktails could have stronger in my opinion, you can’t really fault them when you are paying so little money for it. Once happy hour is over, feel free to leave the property and head out to Pub Street which is located just minutes away on foot.
Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I am not an easy person to deal with when it comes to bar-hopping (or anything for that matter). Pub Street may look trashy or dodgey at first glance but it is actually a great area where you will find quality restaurants, bars as well as entertainment options. I did get a number of peculiar offers for services that I was not particularly interested in but other than that, I really enjoyed the buzz and energy in the area. If you are looking for a nicer place to hang out, check out Miss Wong Cocktail Bar which is located probably just 5 minutes on foot.
I got up fairly early the next morning since I have already booked a private tour with a guide to take me to a few of the must-see spots in Siem Reap. If you are planning on catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, the Park Hyatt Siem Reap can prepare takeaway breakfast boxes (which you can then eat along the way) if you give them ample notice - just let them know the evening before! Sadly, I am never that motivated to see anything for that matter so I got up after sunrise and made my way down to The Dining Room for breakfast.
Breakfast runs from 6:00AM to 11:00AM daily but as I have mentioned, alternative arrangements can be made if you need to leave the property early (before 6:00AM). Consistent to brand standards, an a la carte menu is offered here at The Dining Room during breakfast and what really impressed me was the commitment to sustainability. The eggs used here are sourced from an organic farm in Siem Reap and the vegetables are provided by Happy + Co farm - most of the breakfast ingredients are both organic and sustainable!
Both the Eggs Benedict as well as the Truffle Scrambled Eggs were excellent but my personal favourite would have to be the Bor Bor which is a rice congee (choice of chicken, pork or fish) that is served with ginger, spring onion, lime and chilli — absolutely delicious! Coffee is also of a high standard here so you do not have to worry about being served crappy brewed coffee (unless that is your kind of thing) - ask for a cappuccino and thank me later!
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap has two swimming pools on property and considering how there are only 104 rooms and suites here, you will never run out of personal space here. My personal favourite is the Saltwater Pool which is located next to The Dining Room. While the actual pool may not be as big as the freeform pool, it is idyllic and seems to attract only adults mostly. This is also a great spot to spend an afternoon in if you wish to enjoy a good paperback or a few drinks by the pool.
If you would like to get some actual swimming done, you may be better off at the freeform pool which has both an outdoors as well as sheltered (indoors) area. This pool is located next to the spa (which I highly recommend for massages) and there are plenty of seating areas by the pool - there are even daybeds in the indoor area which are very popular amongst hotel guests.
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is a great property that participates in the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program and in fact, while I was staying there, the hotel was still running a complimentary 3rd night offer for stays until 31 October 2018. It is uncertain whether this promotion will be extended or renewed for 2019 but even without it, the comparatively low room rates here (alongside FHR benefits) make this an extremely attractive property to stay in when visiting Siem Reap. The location of the property is perfect for you to visit the famous sights, check out Pub Street or simply stay in. The quality of food here is great and the service is excellent - if you are looking for an affordable luxurious property to stay in Siem Reap, the Park Hyatt Siem Reap is probably your best choice.