Review - PH Siem Reap

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by jfhscott, Nov 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I am in Siem Reap. I won a skyauction deal ($65.night incl. breakky) for the (formerly Preferred Hotels The Sothea) Anantara Resort upon which I had to jump notwithstanding my Diamond status.

    But I did have lunch at the PH SR and report a few notes.

    Lunch was quite good - I has curried shrimp and an Angkor Beer. Tab with service came to $25. Steep by Siem Reap standards, but perhaps the only PH where a local beer is $4. (down the road, they were contemporaneously 35 cents). Service was lovely, and security appeared serious - their porte cochere has gates which may be closed is they so please.

    The interiors were pretty much serene, but I suggest the music in the "Living Room" could be quieter and with a slower tempo to fit the PH line.

    PLEASE be aware that this is not one's typical PH where one exits into a neighborhood as serious as the property. After all, its Cambodia, and serenity ends five feet from their porte cochere. It sits on along a main street, at a corner. Neighbors across from it include a gas station, a dumpy bank, 3 massage parlors, and a KFC (I cannot make this up). A Swensens is down the street. (Why are there so many Swensens in Asia but practically none in North America?). Equally, it is a 5 minute walk to Pub Street and its affilated streets collectively known as Pub Street, where there is a mix of backpacker quality and finer restaurants and bars. I do not think anyone need fear crime in between, but getting run over by a bicycle, moto, remork, car, or truck may pose its own threats. (memo to the Mayor of Siem Reap - stop spending money painting lines in the street - no one obeys them and you are wasting your money).

    Bottom line is that next trip, I'll do PH SR.
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Least expensive PH across the board has to be Chennai.
     
  3. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Didn't think of that one. The skinflint in me will have to make that next. Indeed, LH often has goos F availability to MAA.
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Thanks for the preview. As part of my Year-end Asian Escapade(tm), I will be staying 4 nights at PH SR, including 2 nights in a suite courtesy of the Chase Hyatt visa. I am looking forward to it and will be sure to report on my experience...:)
     
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  5. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    By all means (1) arrange for a private driver at least, if not a driver and a guide. (2) typical jet lag has always had me waking up at about 4:00 am on my first days. This is just fine, as the earlier you get out, the better. On my two days of "templing" I "templed" from 7 to 1. Particularly, have your guide get you to the most popuar temples FIRST, saving less visited temples for later. Such a strategy avoided the worst of the midday heat and, better, the crowds, which are far more oppressive than I anticipated. Also, at least I get templed out and if I do not break it up, they tend to all look the same after a while, and this does not do them justice.

    While I had anticipated throngs of young European backpackers, the prototype Siem Reap tourist seems actually to be South Korean middle aged budget tour group types. They are common at the temples (and very frustrating to negotiate around for someone who moves at a fast pace), but when I'd venture out into the city, they were nowhere to be seen - I solved this mystery when I drove past numerous Korean restaurants - one named Pyongyang Restaurant - on the National Road, seeing scores of tour busses.

    Its good you will get there soon - REP's annual enplanements keep rising, and the temples can accommodate only so many.
     
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  6. Price123

    Price123 Silver Member

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    Stayed here for 3 nights split into a 1 night and a 2 night stay. Hotel was beautiful, service good (although will improve with time) and we really enjoyed our stay.

    Review is below. Lots of photos at the links, but too many to post here.

    Lots of pictures and details on many room types on driven2travel.

    We also interviewed the GM Sholto Smith.


    After a quick and easy taxi ride, we arrived at the Park Hyatt and were shown to the Living Room for check-in. There seemed to be some delay, and I think there was some confusion that we had arrived a few days early (cleared up when we explained we were coming back and had just booked an extra night at the last minute). Unfortunately, our room wasn't ready straight away, but we took the opportunity to have a nose around this beautiful hotel.

    When escorted to our room on both stays, we were surprised to find ourselves in a Park Suite. We had actually tried to use a suite upgrade on this stay but had been told that there was no suite available. Luckily for us, someone must have cancelled. Although these suites are not huge (at 71 square metres), they utilise space well and we found that the room felt larger than it was. The bedroom and bathroom were similar to the Deluxe room, but a separate living room, small kitchen and guest cloakroom made the suite feel much bigger. There are many standard suites in Hyatt hotels without the powder room, which we feel is absolutely necessary if entertaining.

    Although our rooms faced the street (first stay on the 2nd floor, second stay on the 1st floor), we had no problems with noise, although we could hear the street from around 8 am each day (this added to our experience).

    Each room has a fresh fruit bowl, which is refreshed daily. Our one disappointment was the diamond amenity, which was a large portion of longan (which were already on the fruit plate), a bottle of Evian, some vegetable crisps and sweet biscuits. We love fruit, but feel that a more suitable amenity may be a cut fresh fruit platter and a local drink.

    Breakfast each day was wonderful - the hotel is rightly famous for its bread and the noodle soup dishes were also fresh and tasty. We ate dinner in hotel one night (thankyou Virtuoso) and were impressed - green mango salad, fish amok, stir-fried vegetable and a good wine list. However, for the area, the menu prices are somewhat expensive.

    The swimming pools in the hotel are beautiful, as are the central courtyards - this is probably the most picturesque hotel we have stayed in. Although the small lap pool on the ground floor wasn't open during our stay, the free-form 1st floor pool was never busy. Whenever we used the gym (Technogym equipment), we had it to ourselves - it is small but functional. Service in the gym was good - shortly after starting our workout, a tea-light was lit under fragrant oil to scent the room and chilled towels were available as well as plentiful water. During our stay, there was a promotion at the spa - $45 for 30 minute facial and 30 minute foot massage. This was enjoyable but could be improved with the use of hot towels during the facial and (from my point of view) better products e.g. June Jacobs, Comfort Zone or Espa instead of Pevonia.

    Of course, everyone visits Siem Reap for the temples - these are a must see, especially Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Bantreay Srei. However, there are other things to do to, such as the Bantreay Srei butterfly centre, the wonderful Phare Circus and some excellent, very good value food - try Cuisine Wat Damnak and Touich.

    We loved the Park Hyatt and can't wait to return. The GM had to step in at the last minute, but is doing a good job. The comments raised in the early negative reviews seem to have been sorted and the hotel is a true Park Hyatt in style and will soon also be there in terms of service.
     
  7. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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