Siem Reap’s New COOL!

PHUM BAITANG

There’s a reason this chic retreat on the outskirts of Siem Reap is receiving serious attention from the worlds’ tastemakers and luxury globetrotters… because it is actually that good! Travel + Leisure It list 2016, Conde Nast Traveler Hot List 2016 (to name just a few) have all listed Phum Baiting (the second of Arnaud Zannier’s chic boutique hotel collection) as Siem Reap’s hottest new place to bed down in style.

CHECK-IN

I was fortunate to stay for three days while filming for my new travel project LUXHD Express recently and I couldn’t have felt more at home in these exotic surrounds. Think authentic Cambodian village design with impeccably stylish, sophisticated villa interiors all by the very talented Geraldine Dohogne that instantly calm and relax. Geraldine worked tirelessly to create the luxe retreat you see today and every piece has a place true to her unique vision.

Rattan thatch and clay tile construction create the stilted accommodations resembling the authentic homes of Cambodian rice farmers. It’s all very chic… the beds are swathed in French linen and sofas too, the bathrooms are generous in size and have that elegant paired back design I love so much… with PLENTY of space for the beauty regime!

Take a pool villa for the ultimate in luxe resort living.

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YOU HAVE TO EAT

Come also for the fab food at the resorts two restaurants Bay Phsar and Hang Bay where the menus feature Khmer curries and fish amok with lemongrass, turmeric and galangal, as well as Thai tom yum soup. Of course you can also enjoy your fresh minced pork & shrimp spring rolls poolside like I did.

HOT TIP: Make time for a Khmer cooking class too!

THE EXPERIENCE

You’ll be up early round these parts, yes it’s a 5am wake up call to see the breathtaking Angkor Wat at sunrise (but oh-so worth it) and I would suggest you stay at least five nights in Siem Reap to see as many temples as you can.

Beware… it can get very hot here (best and coolest time to travel is December – February) so you have to schedule your temple touring to early mornings only, this is perfect as you can be back at the hotel by midday for a delish lunch by the pool and a spa treatment in the afternoon in Phum Baitang’s beautiful Spa Temple (it’s also earning Design Awards galore!).

DESTINATION SUNSET

But … the highlight might just be your evening sundowners… enjoyed at the hotel’s Cigar & Cocktail Lounge… set in a 100-year-old Cambodian farmhouse that has been beautifully restored and it overlooks the property’s lush rice paddies. I promise this will be your daily destination after thrilling excursions to exotic temples and charming village visits.

Siem Reap is having its moment, but you must go now. It still feels like you are somewhere under the radar but also so fab. Reserve Phum Baitang with me and I’ll take care of your daily schedule and I’ll even share my very own restaurant and shopping hotlist.

*A very special thank-you to Geraldine Dohogne, David Ashworth and the entire team at Phum Baitang for hosting our fab stay and letting us feature Phum Baitang on LUXHD Express! I can’t wait to return!