WHAT'S IT LIKE? The work of Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley is a mixture of designs and influences. The furnishings and colours are art deco, while the front entrance, flanked by sugar palms, resembles a temple. Stone statues of apsaras (female Cambodian dancers) stand tall along the ground-floor corridors and the Arts Lounge, which doubles as a lobby, is clean, modern and minimalist.
WHERE IS IT? Located on Sivutha Boulevard, a short walk away from the tourist-friendly Central Market, Old Market (where you can find stylish and Wi-Fi equipped eating places like The Blue Pumpkin) and Bar Street; 7km from the famed Angkor Wat landmark and 20 minutes from the airport.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 107 – including nine Duplex Spa Suites, five Courtyard Garden Suites, eight Garden Suites and a Pool Suite (pictured).
ROOM FACILITIES: Little touches in addition to the usual mod cons set de la Paix apart from the rest, although the fan-shaped service directory is a little impractical. All rooms feature king or twin-size platform beds, art-deco chairs, terrazzo soaking tubs and standing showers, handcrafted pewter lamps and toiletries in handcrafted copper bottles and boxes. There’s also a pre-programmed iPod in every room for music or narrative on temple tours.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The renowned Meric (Khmer for pepper) is an experience not to be missed. Café de la Paix is more informal, serving a selection of cakes, sandwiches and salads. The Arts Lounge is for interesting concoctions.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: All the rooms are Wi-Fi equipped. There’s also a boardroom with all the audiovisual facilities, accommodating up to 62 people.
LEISURE FACILITIES: A beautiful swimming pool with little nooks and crannies both on the ground and in the water, three-storey Spa Indochine with sauna, floral bath and outdoor treatments, and the Arts Lounge.
PRICE: Internet nightly rates in early December start from US$300, with private airport-hotel transfers and breakfast.
VERDICT: One for the stylish and service-oriented traveller.
CONTACT: Sivutha Boulevard, Siem Reap, tel 855 63 966 000, www.hoteldelapaixangkor.com
Thin Le Win