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Hôtel de la Paix

Address: Sivutha Blvd.

Neighborhood: Taphul Village

City: Siem Reap

Phone: 011-855-63-966-000


Expert Review

In Siem Reap, the small Cambodian city near the historic sites of Angkor Wat, resides a handful of seriously stylish hotels. None is more striking than Hotel de la Paix, designed by Bill Bensley, who's celebrated for places like the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But what makes this hotel more than just an ultra-chic stopover close to Angkor's ruins is its connection to its surroundings, and the low-key, sensitive way the hotel's management gives back to the still desperately poor community. Hotel de la Paix's sister property, Shinta Mani, operates a working hospitality school, and La Paix sponsors the Sewing Training Center, orphanages, and a program providing bicycles to schoolchildren. The hotel's top-rated restaurant, Meric, is headed by a Lyonnais chef who initially came to Cambodia to teach professional cooking to locals. He speaks fluent Khmer and creates haute cuisine out of traditional Khmer ingredients - from regional spice pastes to the notoriously fragrant durian fruit.

Stays at the hotel offer a blissful mix of cultural immersion and comfort. The 107 rooms have modern decor with intricately carved wooden headboards and terrazzo soaking tubs in generous-size bathrooms. Contemporary Asian design influences every detail, from the soft silken pillowcases to the natural fragrance of fresh flowers. Duplex spa suites incorporate curving staircases that rise to a loft space with massage tables, a private outdoor garden, and a small plunge pool. The hotel's three-story spa is reached by a bridge, over a semi-enclosed pool, which extends into the gardens. The hotel offers an iPod upload of music and a guided audio tour of Angkor Wat. Hotel de la Paix has partnered with the One Hotel group and McDermott Gallery to open AHA, Cambodia's first wine bar serving Khmer and European small plates on The Passage, a fashionable pedestrian alley. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

Tags: moderate | smart luxury winner | great value | trendy

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