Not content with upgrading the Shinta Mani Hotel from a humble 18-room inn to its photogenic 39-room reincarnation in 2012, founder Sokoun Chanpreda and Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley realized they could improve the lives of even more young Cambodians through hospitality while expanding the Shinta Mani brand into something more family oriented. So across the street they went, converting a nondescript three-story lodging into something much swankier. Art Deco touches on the exterior create an alluring first impression, enhanced by the striking double-height lobby with its unusual Buddha, best discovered by yourself rather than described. The dining room extends to a lushly landscaped courtyard and serves budget-friendly fare throughout the day. Past the courtyardâ€™s soaring palm trees is the hotelâ€™s centerpiece, a 20-meter-long swimming pool ringed by cushy padded loungers for soaking up the tropical sun between Angkor temple visits. Khmer-inspired design details vie for attention with pillow-top beds inside the 63 spacious guest quarters, which also come with generous-size bathrooms and bijou balconies overlooking the pool or gardens. The money you save on the reasonable rate would be well spent at Shinta Maniâ€™s twice-monthly Made in Cambodia market held just outside, and at Analot, the shop through which the Shinta Mani Foundation promotes indigenous design in support of local charities.
OumKhun St.; 855-63/761-998; Shinta Mani Resort website; doubles from US$100
See more from The Luxe List 2013