Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today (May 18, 2020): Top 10 best luxury hotels & resorts in Cambodia.
For many years, Cambodia’s reputation as a landmine-littered conflict zone drew nothing more than the most adventurous travelers. But that’s all a thing of the past, as the beautiful country is a rapidly becoming a popular travel destination in Southeast Asia. Most descriptions of traveling in Cambodia lead with words such as “tranquil,” “undiscovered,” and “authentic.” Those are all true, as there’s an unquestionable magic about this charming and alluring Kingdom. Part of that allure comes from its chaotic capital Phnom Penh, some of the best street food in the world, and low key tropical islands. Of course, the country’s real draw is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, an amazing architectural achievement unrivalled in scale and grandeur in Asia. In recent years, a string of fabulous properties has opened in the Kingdom and here’s my list of the 10 best luxury hotels in Cambodia.
There is more information (with trip reports & YouTube clips) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Leave a comment or take my poll below!
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10. RAFFLES HOTEL LE ROYAL, PHNOM PENH
Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been the premier luxury hotel in Cambodia’s capital city since opening in 1929. A restoration project has returned the hotel to its original colonial grandeur with five luxurious restaurants and bars on-site. Besides serving the Jacqueline Kennedy menu, Restaurant Le Royal offers Royal Khmer cuisine with menus crafted by the Royal Palace. The Elephant Bar has welcomed many legendary visitors; its signature Femme Fatale cocktail was created to mark Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1967 visit to Cambodia. Two swimming pools, set in lush, tropical gardens, provide welcome respite after a day spent exploring this vibrant city.
- Hotel website: Raffles Hotel Le Royal
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, a 30 minute hotel heritage tour, and a 60 minute massage for two).
- Review: read my review of Raffles Hotel Le Royal here.
9. BELMOND LA RESIDENCE D’ANGKOR
An intimate Khmer-style hotel, Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor sits by the tree-shaded river at the heart of Siem Reap and was one of the first luxury hotels to open in town. It is ideally located for Angkor Wat and the great Tonle Sap lake. The town’s colorful craft markets and lively cafes are a short walk away. The hotel lies in a tropical garden that encloses a swimming pool and lotus ponds to create a tranquil retreat. Traditionally-designed suites spread out among lush flora. Each suite features wooden fixtures in the typical Khmer style and many suites also have terraces with views onto the gardens. The Kong Kea Spa, the most spacious of its kind in the country, offers total peace and relaxation.
- Hotel website: Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and a 50 minute massage for two).
8. PARK HYATT SIEM REAP
Park Hyatt Siem Reap offers comfort and opulence in each of its 104 spacious rooms and suites. A luxurious home away from home that is strategically located in the heart of Siem Reap, this stylish contemporary hotel adorned with Cambodian art is near the airport, the renowned 12th century ruins of Angkor Wat temple and just a five-minute leisurely walk to the local nightlife scene. The hotel serves French and authentic cuisine from Cambodia at The Dining Room and a delectable array of desserts and light fare at The Glasshouse deli-patisserie. For utmost relaxation and rejuvenation, the hotel has two swimming pools and a selection of invigorating massages and treatments at the spa.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Siem Reap
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
- Review: read my review of Park Hyatt Siem Reap here.
7. ROSEWOOD PHNOM PENH
Rosewood Phnom Penh occupies the top 14 floors of Vattanac Capital Tower One in the heart of the Central Business District, providing an ultra-luxury hotel experience in the exotic capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Soaring 188 m (617 ft) into the sky, the iconic building takes the form of a rising dragon oriented toward the east, offering unobstructed panoramic views of the city, including the fabled Mekong River. The hotel features 175 rooms and suites, which rank amongst the largest hotel guest rooms in Phnom Penh. Dining options include a 120-seat bistro, a 60-seat lobby lounge, two specialty restaurants and a spectacular sky bar on a cantilevered terrace.
- Hotel website: Rosewood Phnom Penh
6. AMANSARA, SIEM REAP
Minutes from the sacred temples of Angkor, Amansara is a peaceful sanctuary on the outskirts of Siem Reap. A masterpiece of 1960s New Khmer architecture commissioned by King Norodom Sihanouk for his guests, today the residence houses 24 sleek suites, along with a soaring circular dining room and a holistic spa. The original pool has been replicated amid tranquil mature grounds, and many of the suites feature private plunge pools, adding to the introspective atmosphere. Custom-fitted remorks (rickshaws) and vintage Jeeps whisk guests and their private guides to Angkor, where Amansara’s Khmer Village House provides respite and rustic meals within the archaeological complex.
- Hotel website: Amansara
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and a 60 min massage per room).
5. SIX SENSES KRABEY ISLAND, KOH RONG ARCHIPELAGO
Enjoying a private setting on a tiny Cambodian island, Six Senses Krabey Island comprises 40 free-standing pool villas that blend into the lush canopy of trees. The private island is located 3 miles (5 kilometers) off Ream National Park in the Gulf of Thailand in southern Cambodia; remote enough yet not cut off from a country offering abundant culture and history. There are two restaurants, with snacks, refreshments and light meals presented poolside plus a deli complete with ice cream parlor. Six Senses Spa Krabey Island offers several ancient Cambodian healing traditions and multi-day rejuvenation journeys, Six Senses integrated wellness, detox, yoga and workshops.
- Hotel website: Six Senses Krabey Island
4. ALILA VILLAS KOH RUSSEY, KOH RONG ARCHIPELAGO
Sublime natural beauty abounds on the enchanting island of Koh Russey, which is part of Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. This private island resort is a tropical jewel blessed with stunning coastlines, dramatic headlands, powder-sand beaches and tropical forests, framed by the emerald waters of the gulf and the azure sky. Designed in harmony with these spectacular surroundings, Alila Villas Koh Russey is an ecological escape infused with Khmer culture and charm, where privacy, nature and local hospitality take center stage. The property offers 62 ultra-modern and spacious rooms & villas, a stylish spa, two excellent restaurants, and wide array of activities and excursions.
- Hotel website: Alila Villas Koh Russey
- Review: coming soon
3. SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, KOH RONG ARCHIPELAGO
Created with sustainability in mind, Song Saa Private Island reflects the undiscovered beauty of Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. It’s a place that breathes in time with nature, built from local materials, by local hands, and infused with local art and soul. An evolved tropical getaway with a pristine private beach, stunning sunset views, heavenly spa sanctuaries, world-class cuisine, and a preserved coral reef, Song Saa Private Island lets you detach from the world and tune into simple luxuries. With 9 overwater villas in addition to 18 garden and beach villas, this resort represents 5-star-plus luxury and a level of romance that you might not expect in Cambodia.
- Hotel website: Song Saa Private Island
- Other accolades: Song Saa Private Island also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most beautiful overwater bungalows, the world’s best honeymoon hotels, and the world’s best eco-friendly luxury hotels.
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
2. ZANNIER HOTELS PHUM BAITANG, SIEM REAP
Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang − also called ‘the green village’ − is the best 5-star luxury hotel near Siem Reap and one of Cambodia’s premier resort destinations. Set within 8 acres of lush gardens, lemon-grass meadows and rice paddies, this elegant retreat is a gateway to the Angkor World Heritage Site and numerous natural and cultural wonders. The property is home to 45 magnificent private villas made to resemble traditional Cambodian houses in plantations. The hotel also has two gourmet restaurants, a fabulous swimming pool, cigar & cocktail lounge, and an indulgent spa. Phum Baitang is managed by Zannier Hotels, one of my favorite boutique hotel brands.
- Hotel website: Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Classic Travel (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and roundtrip airport transfers).
- Review: read my review of Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang here.
Created by famous resort designer Bill Bensley, Shinta Mani Wild is a radical new ‘glamping’ hotel concept in Cambodia, combining world class hospitality and conservation. The property is located in an unprotected wildlife corridor connecting the Bokor National Park with Kirirom National Park, and aims to protect this 350 hectares river valley from poaching, mining and logging. Fifteen custom designed tents are perched over swift moving waters and waterfalls, providing a view and experience unlike any other resort in Asia. Each tent is meticulously designed to invoke the feeling of what it would have been like to be on a luxury safari in the jungles of Cambodia with Jacky O.
- Hotel website: Shinta Mani Wild
- Other accolades: Shinta Mani Wild also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best glamping sites.
- Review: read my review of Shinta Mani Wild here.
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Hi our dear The Great Expert ! Thank you for your impressive and detailed review for those who planning to enjoy Paradise in Cambodia ! Your recommendations and advice deserve attention to feel like you said : ” The allure Kingdom ! ” *** Your every video and review is like a sunrise, like a rill in the desert, like a smile from our Parents, like a kiss from beloved Woman ! Best regards , Vl’ado.
I can’t wait to get to Cambodia. We had it planned for this year but had to cancel due to the virus, so your post has made me look forward to when we do get to go even more
Cambodia is high up on the next destination list! Definitely wanting to splurge on the perfect accommodation so this list is superb!