In February 2024, I checked into the Park Executive Suite and Rooftop Garden Suite at Park Hyatt Siem Reap. Set along a busy intersection within the heart of downtown Siem Reap (and having the distinction of being the only luxury hotel in the vicinity), the 104-room property is less than an hour away from the new Siem Reap–Angkor International Airport which launched in 2023. Nearby attractions include the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat as well as Old Market and Pub Street, the city’s nightlife hub.

Nearby resorts include Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Shinta Mani Angkor and Bensley Collection Pool Villas and Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort.

The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Luxury hotel offering immersive Khmer experience in central Siem Reap.

The must-dos (if any): Have breakfast and dinner at The Dining Room, have a cup of Khmer coffee at The Glasshouse, enjoy an evening Apsasa performance at the Courtyard, go for one of the hotel’s curated experiences (visit a traditional rice noodle maker’s residence, go on a Cambodian rice wine making adventure).


Formerly the glamorous Hôtel de la Paix which opened in 1957 which was an iconic Siem Reap landmark, the hotel was renovated and rebranded as a Park Hyatt in 2013. Designed by Bill Bensley (who is also responsible for the distinctive visuals of Capella Ubud, Shinta Mani Wild, InterContinental Danang and Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai), the property pairs classic, monochromatic Art Deco looks with Cambodian flourishes. A stone statue of a graceful Cambodian dancer greets you in the entrance foyer among other parts of the hotel, while black-and-white artworks of Siem Reap monuments such as Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple adorn the walls of the corridors and guest rooms. Elsewhere, flashes of lotus pink pop around the resort, from plush seats and cushion covers to overhanging lanterns and fresh flowers at the dining tables. 

Past the reception area and discreet check-in counter, a central open-air courtyard sees a grand ficus tree standing on an island in the middle of a pond, with sandstone bowls at the four corners of the waters serving as torchères after dark. At night, traditional Apsara performances are held for the enjoyment of those enjoying a traditional Khmer meal at the restaurant The Dining Room as well as those having tipples at lounge space The Living Room, both of which offer al fresco seating. During breakfast hour, the Courtyard also plays host to retail and flower stalls, a coconut station as well as a booth which offers complimentary 10-minute massages. 

In terms of wellness, the hotel offers a lap pool on the ground level and interconnected pools along with a jacuzzi area on the third level. Both the fitness centre and the spa are accessible via the third level.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap External Facade
External Facade (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).


Boasting its own private plunge pool and outdoor relaxation area, the spacious 99sqm Park Executive Suite on the ground level plays it all Cambodian residential with glossy dark wood textures and artworks depicting Siem Reap monuments on the walls. A sliding door separates the bedroom and living room area. The minibar offers beers and various canned and bottled beverages, while the pantry is stocked with Nespresso coffee and teas from American company Harney & Sons. 

The bathroom offers separate vanities, with an ensuite bathtub and an enclosed rainfall shower area. Bathroom amenities are Bergamote 22-scented from Le Labo.

The Park Executive Suite is classified as a premium suite under the World of Hyatt loyalty programme.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Park Executive Suite
Park Executive Suite (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).


Boasting its own sprawling outdoor garden deck with a sunbed, the 152sqm Rooftop Garden Suite is massive. The living room has a variety of artefects on display for that luxurious residential feel, has a large central sofa area with coffee table that could easily host an international summit, and there is an additional dining table that could double up as a work station. There is a powder room, a kitchen with a pantry, a large refrigerator (this bar ain’t mini) and even a wine fridge. The pantry is stocked with Nespresso coffee and teas from American company Harney & Sons, while the minibar comprises Cambodian spirits such as Seekers Mekong Dry Gin and Vodka as well as Samai Kampot Pepper Rum along with bottled beers and beverages. 

One has to traverse the outdoor garden deck to reach a separate standalone zone comprising the bedroom and bathroom. There are two distinct walk-in wardrobes, and the bathroom offers separate vanities, an ensuite bathtub and an enclosed rainfall shower area which has access to a cavernous outdoor shower space for your liberated rooftop rejuvenation rituals. Bathroom amenities are Bergamote 22-scented from Le Labo.

The Rooftop Garden Suite is classified as a specialty suite under the World of Hyatt loyalty programme

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Rooftop Garden Suite
Rooftop Garden Suite (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).


During my stay, I embarked on a Full-day Angkor Wat Experience which started with a sunrise visit. The objective was to catch the view of the sun emerging from behind the silhouette of Angkor Wat and, if you are extremely lucky, capture the mirror image of the UNESCO World Heritage site in the reflecting pond in front of the waters happened to be calm during your visit. The early bird truly catches the worm, and there was already a sizeable crowd gathered by the waterfront – the best vantage point for the money shot –  by the time we arrived. Access to the temples starts at 8am daily, and we had the opportunity to explore the temples before the bulk of tourists started arriving in the late morning.

We had a Khmer scholar accompany us on the temple tour, and no Wikipedia page entry (though a tremendously helpful supplement) can substitute the guided explanations from someone so intimately versed in the temple’s story, from its transition from a Hindu to a Buddhist temple and the widespread looting which led to many statues missing their heads and hands to the magnificent Angkor Wat Equinox which happens twice a year. I climbed one of the uppermost temple’s notoriously steep staircases – legend has it that the steps were built steep with a 70-degree incline because paradise is not meant to be easy (and to leave). Both the ascent and descent were heart-pumping affairs, with the latter being a clutch-railing-while-crawling-down-and swearing situation. (Not for the faint-hearted, I tell ya.) 

After a short break back at the hotel for breakfast and a rejuvenating shower, the Full-day Angkor Wat Experience resumes. The next stop was the Bayon Temple, which is set in the heart of Angkor Thom, the capital city of the Khmer Empire. The Bayon Temple is quite the intriguing, mysterious structure from afar, comprising 216 large, enigmatic smiling faces on the sides of the temple’s various towers. I was particularly drawn to the tall walls of the temple’s outer gallery, the entire length of which showcases sculpted depictions of historical events and scenes from the Angkorian Khmer era – think Chinese merchants at work (yes, you can tell they are Chinese); a naval battle on the Tonle Sap between Khmer and Cham forces; village life consisting of open-air market trade, pig slaughter and grilling skewers (!); animals in a forest; and even a cockfight. (My Park Executive Suite has on its wall an artwork featuring a reproduction of some of the above-mentioned scenes.)

The final stop of the Full-day Angkor Wat Experience was Ta Prohm, which gained international fame after its appearance in the 2001 Angelina Jolie film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The ruins are notable for the extent of damage caused by the upward growth of trees, and the sight of the gargantuan roots imposingly coiled around the temple’s surfaces makes you think that you’re at the heart of a portal where spirituality and temple has fused together with Mother Nature.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour
Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

Guided by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Pisith Theam, the “Taste of Cambodia” experience commenced with a quick tour of the Old Market, the oldest Khmer market in Siem Reap where locals shop for fresh vegetables, seafood, and meat. Next, we were driven in a traditional tuk-tuk to the nearby Preasdark Village to a fifth-generation family home where Num Banh Chok (Cambodian rice noodles) are produced using traditional methods. I was invited to try operating a hand-crank stone mill (fantastic cardio, mind), and at some point I found myself sitting on a seesaw-esque wooden cantilevered contraption such that my weight forced a mound of rice dough on the other end of the cantilever through a sieve which was placed over a pot of boiling water.

“Would you like to try?” I asked my travelling companion. “I think the noodles come out faster with someone of your weight,” he responded a little bit too quickly, and I immediately regretted that second Prawn Omelette with Rice I had that morning.

After the noodles were ready and folded for sale, we were escorted to an open-air dining hut for a simple but delicious meal of Num Banh Chok (Cambodian fermented rice noodles in coconut-based fish curry), a traditional sticky rice cake served with minced meat as well as Nom Akor (steamed rice cake) prepared by the family. Chef Pisith shared that, prior to the family’s participation in the hotel’s culinary tourism programme, their family house was not unlike the open-air structure where we had our lunch, and that the family’s current brick house was only recently built. That revelation made me realise that my tourist-centric educational trip to the village was part of a much, much larger and meaningful thing. 

Our final stop of the day was at the Fair Trade Village, the city’s only permanent handicraft market which honours authentic Cambodian arts, crafts and traditional techniques. We were invited to a pottery session to try making a ceramic bowl, but alas I was not so much Demi Moore in Ghost as I was Help Me More. 

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Taste of Cambodia Experience
Taste of Cambodia Experience (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

During my stay, I also managed to check out the intriguingly-named Sra Sor Rice Wine Adventure. Also guided by Chef Pisith, we travelled to the rural Kokkhnoat village where we learnt how a local family produces Sra Sor (Cambodian rice wine), a process that involves fermentation, distillation and lots of steaming. My first sip of Sra Sor was straight from the tap, prior to any bottling, and it tasted fairly roasty, like if sake romanced hojicha.

After we purchased some bottles of Sra Sor, we took a short walk to Baray, a nearby enclave comprising ancient rectangular reservoirs. The hotel team had prepared a basket of savoury bites and set up a picnic table. Prior to digging in, the hotel’s head mixologist gave us the opportunity to make our own cocktails using Sra Sor as the main ingredient, and we sipped our own concoctions and noshed on snacks while admiring the calming and beautiful sunset. It was surreal, private, and so magical.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap Sra Sor Rice Wine Adventure
Sra Sor Rice Wine Adventure (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Sra Sor Rice Wine Adventure Baray Sunset Picnic
Baray Sunset Picnic, Sra Sor Rice Wine Adventure (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

The full list of curated experiences at Park Hyatt Siem Reap can be found here.


Breakfast is a semi-buffet affair at The Dining Room, which offers both al fresco seats facing the Courtyard as well as indoor seats in a refined setting. Aside from cheeses, cold cuts, pastries, fruits and fresh juices (there is a customisable juice station), guests can enjoy a la minute dishes such as Pancakes (caramelised banana, seasonal fruits, mango compote, maple syrup), Egg Benedict (choice of ham or smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce, english muffin), Bay Moan (grilled marinated chicken, vegetable pickles, chilli dressing, steamed rice), Bor Bor (rice congee, choice of fish or chicken, ginger, spring onion), Num Banhchok (rice noodle with fish curry broth, water lily, green papaya), Kuyteav Teok (flat rice noodle soup, choice of beef or chicken, bean sprouts, saw leaves) and Khor Ko (slow cooked beef shank and tomato, choice of baguette red onion or egg noodle, red onion).

My favourites were the well-executed Prawn Omelette (red onion, spring onion, chilli soy sauce, steamed rice) and the smoky Lot Char (wok fried rice noodle with beef, fried egg, bean sprouts, chives), both of which went excellently with the restaurant’s scorchingly spicy but very addictive chilli paste. The French Toast (palm sugar caramelised pineapple, coconut ice cream) also deserves special mention, evoking dreams of pineapple tarts long after Chinese New Year season has passed. I was pleased tha the restaurant offers Khmer coffee, available in a small serving or in a tall glass served with condensed milk (the latter sustained me in the absence of my daily Singapore Kopi C).

Park Hyatt Siem Reap The Dining Room
The Dining Room (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

Beyond breakfast hours, The Dining Room offers Khmer set menus and French dishes, and at night, guests can enjoy live cultural performances in the Courtyard, including the graceful Cambodian Apsara dance. On the Western side of things, there are dishes such as Seared Scallops (asparagus, semi dried tomato, red onion confit, potato mousseline, pesto cream sauce), Crab Cake (pomelo, asparagus, red radish, lettuce frisée, remoulade sauce), US Beef Ribeye (Angus beef, grain-fed), Australian Grass-fed Beef Tenderloin and Grilled Half Lobster (arugula, raclette cheese sauce, charred lemon). The Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib (Korean soy sauce marinade, baby potato, chestnut, carrot, mushroom, steamed rice, kimchi) was hearty yet dreamily luscious, while the Wagyu Beef Sirloin was another firm favourite.

The Dining Room offered several set menus inspired by Khmer cuisine (e.g. “Battambang Unfiltered”, “Flavours of Kampot”). From the various menus we tried throughout the stay, highlights included the appetising Nibeans Bonkea Kampot (spicy prawn salad, crispy vegetables, white fungus mushroom, fresh herb, roasted peanut, lime-kampot fish sauce), scrumptious Bai Kdang Teok Chrulok Natang (braised minced pork, prawn, Khmer capsicum, coconut milk, kaffir lime, fish sauce, natang sauce with crispy rice), the moreish Somlor Machu Bonkea (prawn sour soup, waterlily, Cambodian sour fruit, caraway leaf), Amok Sach Trey/River Fish Amok (curry paste, coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, noni leaf served with steamed brown jasmine rice) as well as the comforting and familiar Chhar Sach Ko Lok Lak (wok fried beef striploin, crushed pepper, onion, local cresson served with steamed jasmine rice). The Cambodian take on Mango Sticky Rice, Bai Domnerb Sang Kja, Svay Tom, featured the fragrance and creaminess of pandan, while the Num Akor/Steamed Rice Bun (coconut milk, palm sugar, roasted sesame, grated fresh coconut) made me think of similar steamed and simple childhood treats back in Singapore.

While the Living Room may be the hotel’s default cocktail destination, it is the Dining Room which serves the Vesper Martini, a chilled, spirit-forward classic which was by far my favourite cocktail from the hotel.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap The Dining Room
The Dining Room (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

Dressed in cheery shades of yellow and bathed in natural light, the French-inspired The Glasshouse is great for coffee, sweets and casual bites. Chef Mina’s Korean Haemul Bibimbap (sautéed prawn, scallop, calamari, cucumber, lettuce, assorted vegetable, fried egg, crispy Korean seaweed, soy bibim sauce, steamed rice) and the Seafood Poke Bowl (seared tuna, shrimp, salmon roe, local crab meat, avocado, edamame, cucumber, wasabi dressing, steamed rice) were suitably wholesome yet did not compromise on punchy flavour, while the Korean Spicy Fried Chicken (cabbage salad, homemade radish pickle, peanuts, spring onion, steamed rice) may have been tamer than expected but still hit the requisite Korean fried chicken notes. My favourite dish was the Seafood Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (scallop, prawn, broccoli, garlic confit, arugula) which, despite lacking the usual spice I seek from aglio olio, was packed with umami.

Their desserts were also fairly commendable – the Tiramisu Crépe (mascarpone cheese, amaretti cookies, espresso cream, dark chocolate, cocoa powder) smoulders you in creamy, decadent joy, while the Dark Chocolate Pecan Tart was so pleasing that even my dining companion – a critical curmudgeon that is difficult to please – was full of unbridled praise for its winsome charms.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap The Glasshouse
The Glasshouse (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).

The beautifully appointed lounge bar space The Living Room offers a variety of Asian specialities such as Seafood Amok (prawn, calamari, river fish, curry paste, coconut milk, noni leaves, steamed brown rice), Pad Kra Pao (stir fried minced pork, holy basil, chili, spring onion, fried egg, steamed rice) and the hearty and delicious Mapo Tofu (minced pork, black bean paste, ginger, spring onion, steamed rice). They also offer international dishes such as Cheeseburger (beef patty, caramelized red onion, crispy bacon, capsicum, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, cornichons), Classic Carbonara (pancetta, garlic, egg, parmesan cheese) and Australian Angus Beef Rib Eye (garlic confit, green pepper).

The Living Room is also the hotel’s key destination for tipples, offering signature cocktails such as Lemongrass Gin and Tonic (Seekers Mekong gin, lemongrass, lime wedge, mint leaves, tonic water), The Angkorrian (Samai Gold rum, tamarind juice, fresh lime juice, palm sugar syrup), Samorn-jito (kampot pepper rum, mint leaves, palm sugar, lime wedge, green pepper, soda) and New York Sour (Evan William Small Batch Bourbon, lime juice, sugar syrup, red wine). Pro tip: they have a wicked 5-7pm daily happy hour menu, and all the cocktails I listed above are 50% off.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap The Living Room
The Living Room (Park Hyatt Siem Reap).


The hotel is beautifully appointed with fantastic hospitality, and its dining concepts have plenty to offer. However, the most notable aspects of my stay were the various curated experiences that gave me unique access to aspects of Cambodian culture that I would otherwise not even know about, and I was impressed by the property’s close relationship with the community, which goes far beyond vendor/client. The experiences were enjoyable and very accessible in terms of cost in comparison to comparable cultural experiences offered by luxury resorts in other cities.

If you are ever in the city, Park Hyatt Siem Reap is highly recommended.

Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Sivutha Boulevard, Siem Reap
Cambodia, 17252


Shawn is a full-time lawyer based in Singapore. Neither a professional critic, blogger nor photographer, Shawn is simply somebody who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. When Shawn is not premature ageing and turning his hair further grey due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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