Fans of this property’s last incarnation as the Hôtel de la Paix will appreciate the upgrades that its original architect, Bill Bensley, had the chance to “go back and improve.” He’s opened the three-level atrium to natural light, installed beckoning bathtubs in standard rooms in place of their large but uncomfortable predecessors, enhanced the ground-floor suites with private pools, added a family pool, and upgraded the glamour quotient in the Dining Room, where the menu is now as strong on Khmer classics as it is on Western fare, from hearty imported steaks to healthy grilled fish. Save room for the peanut-butter-and-chocolate fondant, best enjoyed in the lavish library filled with Asian artifacts and elephant-festooned ebony textiles, hand-loomed by artisans from the Weaves of Cambodia cooperative. Hyatt has wisely retained the staff whose sincere hospitality contributed to the old hotel’s reputation. Another sure sign of improvement is the homemade ice cream in the Glasshouse, which was good before but is now even more delicious thanks to training from Hyatt’s top regional pastry chefs.
Sivutha Blvd.; 855-63/211-234; Park Hyatt Siem Reap website; doubles from US$450
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