Our first stop on our latest family adventure was Siem Reap and the hotel we chose was the Park Hyatt. This property used to be called the Hotel de la Paix but was bought and converted to a Park Hyatt in 2013. It is considered one of the nicest in the city. Prior to arriving, I had read many reviews of this property. There seemed to be a few service faux pas, but nothing that really concerned me enough to choose another option. But I wasn’t able to find a good review from anyone traveling with children. I hope to provide some of that insight here.
For those looking for a very high end hotel, I hear that the Amansara is the place to be. For those wanting a cheaper alternative that’s part of a hotel chain, I’ve heard good things about Le Meridien. But the Park Hyatt was the place for us given that it’s a Hyatt category 4 hotel so that meant that we could use our Chase Hyatt credit card free anniversary nights there. The annual fee on the card is $75 and the rooms were starting at $224 a night (pre-paid option). Since both my husband and I have the Hyatt credit card, we essentially paid $150 for our two nights there. Not a bad deal at all!
For starters, please do not consider hiring a car from the airport to the hotel. The drive was about 15 to 20 minutes (although the driver did tell us that earlier in the week it took him an hour and a half due to holiday traffic). Since we were a traveling party of 4 adults and 2 children, we hired a van for $10 (cars can be had for $7). Taxis at the Siem Reap airport are regulated so there is no haggling or feeling like you’re being ripped off (although we were asked several times during the drive if we needed a guide for the Angkor Wat temples the next day despite the fact that we told our driver that a guide had been prearranged).
Before we knew it, we were at the Park Hyatt and the bell hop was opening the trunk of the car to get our luggage out when we heard the crash… The bottle of Baileys purchased at duty free had just shattered into a million pieces… I wanted to find a straw… No use in crying over spilled Baileys so before we could mourn our loss, we were being offered welcome drinks and being checked into our rooms.
One thing to note here is that we were traveling with our two kids, ages 3 and 5. The Park Hyatt does not have a standard room that accommodates 4 people, however they were willing to make up the couch. The two kids and I slept in the king sized bed and my husband slept on the couch. It worked out perfectly. In the past (especially in Europe) we have had issues with two adults and two children in the same room, but we didn’t run into that issue at all in Southeast Asia.
Check in went relatively smoothly and shortly after handing over our passports and credit card, we were lead to our rooms. We found our room to be nicely updated in a modern art deco style.
After checking out our room, we were determined to plough through our exhaustion so we were off to the pool. It was early afternoon and there was not another person there. Did I mention that Siem Reap was hot? Luckily, part of the pool is completely shaded although the majority of it is exposed. My son really enjoyed getting cooled off. My daughter was still asleep after vomiting all over my husband on the flight from Bangkok (a story for another time…). Then everyone (except me – I had to take pictures, after all!) fell asleep in their lounge chairs.
Once the group was able to reclaim some semblance of coherence, we meandered back to our rooms for the evening. Our family of four decided to have room service since nobody seemed to have the energy to do anything else. But by the time room service arrived (about 30 minutes after ordering), everyone was asleep except me! What I remember about my solo meal was that it was a lot of food for one person, and even for four, it was pricey! That would be our last room service meal of the vacation…
The next day we spent the bulk of our time at the Angkor Wat temples. We found the location of the Park Hyatt to be perfect. It was quick access to the temples and it was right in the middle of town which made it perfect for walking to the night market that evening. Prior to arriving, I had read that the hotel was located on a busy street in the middle of the city. I was envisioning something like Bangkok where it was nearly impossible to cross at certain points. But I had overestimated the traffic in Siem Reap. It was not an issue at all and we liked being able to walk to things.
Soon, our two short nights at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap came to an end and we were off to Ho Chi Minh City. Our stay there was certainly a memorable one and if we are ever in Siem Reap again, we would not hesitate to return to the Park Hyatt.