Review: Park Hyatt Siem Reap

November 15, 2016

To my knowledge, Hyatt is the only major international hotel chain in Siem Reap, though I did see the groundwork for a Marriott to be completed next year. It’s not as though the town is lacking proper facilities for tourists: ATMs are everything, and there are a variety of high end and cheap restaurants and hotels suitable for budget and business travelers.

I could have cashed in my free anniversary night for the Hyatt Visa at the Grand Hyatt in Bali, but as my time in Siem Reap was limited and Bali would be an extended stay with a friend, I decided it would be better to take advantage of the top tier Park Hyatt as a solo traveler and pamper myself for an evening.

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My last time in such luxurious accommodations was over a weekend in Paris, which taught me that I’m not exactly partial to five-star hotels; the staff are extra attentive to your every need and all know your name… after a few hours of that, I felt a little uncomfortable. I received similar treatment even before checking in to the Park Hyatt Siem Reap; as a Platinum Hyatt Member, the clerk escorted me to a plush setting area away from the desk where I was greeted by the hotel manager with a complimentary beverage and a short chat. So far, so good.

One advantage of traveling alone, as an elite rewards member, and for a short stay is the staff tend to be more willing to offer free upgrades. In this case, I was one of the lucky ones, and received a suite for my reservation.

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Although the tea selection wasn’t the same quality as that in Paris (I’m such a snob), the hotel seemed determined to just keep pushing perks my way: complimentary chips, fruit platter. The room was more than adequate.

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Seeing a Park Hyatt in a town like Siem Reap was really quite a shock. It’s one thing in Paris, with excellent infrastructure and very little contrast between indoors and outdoors, but in a like country like Cambodia, with motorbikes and tuk tuks running amok just a few meters from the main entrance, a five-star hotel seems out of place.

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Even though it was such a refuge when compared with other hotels and facilities in the area, I was still a little surprised to see tourists just spending their days at the pool, twiddling their thumbs across their smartphone screens and lounging in revealing beach wear. I guess if you have enough money to spend several hundred dollars a night for a hotel, you can take a day or two after hiking the temples to be lazy.

Despite the low cost of living in Cambodia, prices at the hotel were grossly inflated. You’d expect that with a minibar or spa services, but when I saw that laundry was $35 for a standard load – one hundred times what you’d pay walking across the street and turning it into a local service – I decided to abstain from any extras.

While I enjoyed my stay at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap and would certainly recommend it to anyone who isn’t concerned about breaking the bank, it just seems disproportionately expensive when compared with local hotels of the same quality.

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