Sofitel is famed in the region for bringing life back to classic hotels of old Indochina, but in Siem Reap, they started fresh, with a project limited only by the designer's imagination. The lobby is an old-world Indochina replica with antique Khmer pagoda and a menagerie of overstuffed European furniture. Design and decor throughout nicely marry Khmer and French styles, with vaulted Naga roofs high above the sculpted central garden and tranquil pond area. The courtyard pool with swim-up bar is large, open, and fun -- great for kids, with a short river meander crossed by a small bridge. The spa is tops, and the private massage areas are uniquely resplendent with private bathrooms. Rooms are spacious, with dark-wood floors and rich touches like designer throw rugs and elegant built-in cabinetry. All bathrooms are large, with tubs and large granite counters. Spring for a superior room with a balcony and a view of the central courtyard: It's worth it. There's an Angkor theme throughout, but the statuary is not overdone and is quite pleasing in both common areas and sleeping quarters (unique in a town of gaudy reproductions of the sights). Be sure to take a moment, preferably near the magic hour of sunset (but any time will do) and take it all in from the island pagoda in the central pond.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010