Phnom Penh’s newest five-star hotel provides a stylish base in the heart of the Cambodian capital.
Mirroring the rapidly developing capital where old and new collide, the 247-room Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh — the brand’s first hotel in Cambodia — seamlessly melds past and present. The property features a stunningly restored colonial villa backdropped by two modern towers that rise 10 and 14 stories above leafy Street 178 in the city’s heart. Inside, the design sees accents of French-colonial charm and minimalism woven with nods to ancient Khmer architecture and the revered temples of Angkor. This is punctuated with bold splashes of color in the form of contemporary art by Canadian-Cambodian street artist FONKi.
All accommodations are located in the towers, which feature three styles of suite and nine room categories. We stayed in a King Palace View Deluxe, a 49-square-meter space decked out in soft, soothing tones with views across the nearby Royal Palace and confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure ample light throughout the day, while a supremely comfortable king-size bed guarantees a good night’s sleep. Our large marble bathroom boasted a deep bathtub and separate rain shower.
Food-wise, the Hyatt Regency brings some welcome additions to the local dining scene. Overseen by British chef Richard Bias, the all-day Market Café serves a globetrotting selection of dishes in a glass-roofed courtyard. The afternoon tea here is a must-try, taking diners on an exquisite culinary journey across five courses paired with tea-based mocktails and cocktails. Next door under the wooden beams of the colonial villa’s upper floor is The Attic, an elegant, leather-accented venue for handcrafted cocktails, cheese, and charcuterie. Alternatively, guests can start their evening on a high note at the 14th-floor FiveFive rooftop restaurant and bar, where a menu focused on seafood and meat is served alongside striking panoramas of the city twinkling below.
Whether checking in for business or leisure, there are plenty of spots to unwind after a day of work or play. On the third floor sits a large outdoor swimming pool, bar, fitness center, and private cabanas flanked by an oasis of tropical green. Another standout is Jivapita, a Khmer-inspired spa complete with a Himalayan salt room (855-23/600-1234; hyatt.com; doubles from US$198).
This article originally appeared in the March/May 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Hitting a High Note”).