- Introduction, Positioning Flight to New York, and the Hilton JFK
- British Airways First Class Lounge, New York JFK
- Cathay Pacific First Class, New York JFK – Hong Kong
- The Pier First Class Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City
- Park Hyatt Saigon
- Lunch at Pho Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City
- Vietnam Airlines Business Class, Ho Chi Minh City – Danang
- Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa
- Vietnam Airlines Economy, Danang – Siem Reap
- Park Hyatt Siem Reap
- Angkor Wat and Other Temples
- Dragonair Business Class, Siem Reap – Hong Kong
- Turbojet, Hong Kong Airport – Macau and the Sheraton Macao Hotel
- The Venetian, Fernando’s, and the Ferry to Hong Kong
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Harbor View Suite
- Bo Innovation, Hong Kong
- Amber Restaurant, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – New York JFK
- American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge and New York – Washington National
Let me start by saying I made a pretty big strategic mistake. I hadn’t spent much time investigating how to get around Siem Reap before departing for Asia, and I wanted to make the arrival at night as easy as possible, so I simply emailed the hotel for airport pickup.
Sometimes it can be a reasonable value although almost always much much pricier than ‘locally’ arranged transport (whether in a city with public transportation, or just dealing with an airport cab). Sometimes I find good value, actually, for instance when priced right and when the car will have internet and I’ve traveled for a full day and need to catch up on work — and if the car ride is going to be about an hour I can get enough done that I can just go straight to sleep when I hit the hotel.
In this case it was a very short drive to the hotel. And the airport transfer price was ludicrous at US$50.
Why is that ludicrous? A pre-arranged car can be had for $12 even.
Still, if the spread were closer, having a hotel pickup can be nice the way a driver and guide can be nice in an unfamiliar city — I often think of it as hiring one tout to keep away the others. If I were a first-timer in Bangkok I might even want a guide, if only to keep away all of the scammers pretending to be police telling me the tourist sites are closed (but who can direct me to a tuk tuk who would be happy to give me a tour… to a jewelry shop).
But I didn’t even get that because the driver spent the entire trip to the hotel trying to sell me on his services as a guide visiting the temples during my stay. Seriously? I’m paying $50 and getting a sales pitch? Let that be a lesson to us all..
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is reasonably priced for a Park Hyatt (although Park Hyatt Chennai must be the cheapest) but is impossibly priced for Siem Reap.
Rates often hover ~ US$190++ per night, although get higher when near capacity.
Now, this is hardly among the priciest properties in town. It doesn’t come anywhere close to Amansara. The Raffles is generally more expensive. Among chain hotels though you’ll find better pricing at the Le Meridien.
There are numerous local boutique properties that can be had for far less, both in town and closer to the temples. A friend’s Journey’s Within Boutique Hotel, for instance, is outside of town (and nearer temples as a result) and offers free internet, free cell phone use with local SIM card, free tuk tuk into and back from town each evening, as well as complimentary laundry, breakfast, and minibar sodas – all for less than the Park Hyatt but more than what modest accomodations chage in the area.
Nonetheless I was specifically interested in the Park Hyatt, and have been since Hyatt was first announced to be taking over and renovating the old Hôtel de la Paix.
And all that said, I found this to be a fantastic hotel with great facilities, a very convenient location, and outstanding service.
On arrival I was taken into the bar to do a seated check-in, rather than to the front desk. While normally quite pricey there, your cocktail during check-in is complimentary. I found the ambience to be how I imagine 1930s colonial.
The welcome menu (click to enlarge):
Disappointing to many dear readers, perhaps, I had only a soft drink.
From there it was up to my room.
I had confirmed a suite at booking thanks to the generosity of the Hyatt Gold Passport program.
Not quite done decorating?
From the winowd I could see all of the action right smack in the middle of town at night.
Diamonds receive complimentary breakfast in the morning, buffet plus the ability to order hot items off of the menu as well. They bring you a bill, but then take the charges off the bill.
The restaurant is off of a courtyard area in the center of the hotel, and I took my breakfast outside each day.
The first two of three days I took it at the tables directly outside the restaurant. The third morning those were all full, so they set me up across the courtyard at a table outside the bar.
Here’s the menu (click to enlarge):
The restaurant inside had plenty of seating, but outside was quieter and generally more pleasant.
The buffet was certainly extensive enough, although not impressively so for the region.
The soups for me were a highlight.
And especially the Khmer fish curry noodle soup.
The hotel has a small pool area that never seemed busy.
And inside, shops and a gallery that were also not well-trafficked.
Ultimately I had a fantastic stay. I really liked walking out of the hotel and right into the middle of town. I liked retreating to my suite, which was a great value for the price, and of course including daily breakfast I felt like I got my money’s worth even though it’s expensive for Siem Reap.
At category 4 (15,000 points per night, or 7500 points + $100 if cash and points are available) it’s too many points for a $200 room in my view. Although the numbers make more sense if you’re trying to stay at the property when pricing jumps over $300.
I think this is a really good hotel, in a city with many, many options to choose from.