La Residence, Siem Reap
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Located close to the Angkor Wat temples on the banks of Siem Reap River and just 10 minutes’ walk from town, La Residence is a perfect place to stay. The hotel has all the facilities one needs, including a boutique and a spa, and you could even have a private yoga session.
The door-man greeted us with hands pressed together, Namaste-style with a slight bow and grabbed our luggage. As we crossed a small wooden bridge across the goldfish pond into the foyer, another staff member mysteriously emerged with cold towels and a refreshing drink. Given the oppressive heat, it was most welcome at the time.
Inside, the high-ceiling wooden foyer of the hotel, built in Khmer-style, two staff members welcomed and directed us to a sofa beside an enormous teak desk, cut from a single giant tree. We sit back and admire the foyer's sidewall, covered with enormous relief of figures that we later saw at Angkor Wat.
Our deluxe room at the far end of a large swimming pool was large with living and bedroom. A large couch for relaxing; a bathroom with two oval shaped basins, terrazzo bathtub, matching floor-to ceiling wall and a good supplies of toiletries. A glass door opened into a small terrace surrounded by tropical plants with a view of the swimming pool. The sitting area had a desk, TV and a refrigerator. But it was the small details that made this room really special; like the lemongrass oil burner, flowers, fresh fruit and extra towels.
Our breakfast was either in the attractive wood-panelled dining room or outdoors. The choice was large from cereals, assortment of juices including coconut water, croissants on par with those found in Europe and freshly brewed coffee but what I liked most was a variety of local tropical fruits. The lobby restaurant offers good fine dining, and there are some great open sitting areas for drinks as well as to read, play chess, and have a conference.
A good place to relax after a full day at the temples is the swimming pool. A stone lion spitting water, guards the shallow end. Two sides of the pool are surrounded by lounge chairs while the rest with an assortment of tropical plants. Clean towels are laid on the sun beds and complimentary sunscreen is provided. While relaxing by the pool, waiters would come round every once in a while and surprise you with a plate of fresh local fruit - on the house.
One More Thing: After you have enjoyed your day’s exploration and hotel’s services, The Martini lounge is the place to go for a two-for-one happy hour drink. I take my lemon meringue and head to the lounge.
There are no direct flights to Cambodia from the UK, but good connections are available from major Asian destinations. You can fly with Thai Airways to Bangkok, Malaysian Airlines to Kuala Lumpur or British Airways via Hong Kong. From there you can take the budget airline Air Asia or Dragon Air. The total journey time, excluding transit, is about 15 hours. Phnom Penh airport is 30 minutes from the centre. Your hotel will pick you up.
From Phnom Penh you can take direct flights to Siem Reap, which now operates on daily basis. Direct one-hour flights are now also available from Bangkok. The hotel is 20-minute drive from Siem Reap airport.