Boutique hotels have become increasingly popular with travelers. They often have distinct personalities reflecting the local culture, history, or a specific theme, setting them apart from traditional chain hotels. Boutique hotels are often designed with a keen eye for detail, from the décor to the amenities. This creates a luxurious and sophisticated atmosphere appealing to those who value aesthetics and comfort. And as the name suggests, they have fewer rooms, which allows them to provide a more personalized guest experience.
In Cambodia’s northwest region, Siem Reap does “boutique” very well. It offers unique and personalized experiences focusing on sustainability, wellness, and preserving the local culture and environment. Here are six fantastic boutique hotels for travelers seeking the most memorable and authentic Siem Reap travel experience.
1. Treeline Urban Resort
Treeline Urban Resort sits on a tree-lined boulevard overlooking the languid Siem Reap River just a few hundred yards from the Old Market and downtown area.
Leading Cambodian architect Hok Kang financed, designed, and built Treeline. The 48 deluxe rooms and suites exude a minimalist and contemporary vibe. Sustainably sourced native timber combines with stone features and locally handmade soft furnishings to create a place of serene, laid-back luxury. Art is part of the aesthetic, with dedicated spaces from the lobby, central courtyard, and beyond showcasing collections of contemporary art and dramatic sculptural pieces.
The sustainability theme flows into the resort’s three restaurants, where carefully sourced local producers supply the freshest ingredients. Treeline’s eateries also boast impressive plant-based menu options. Brown Coffee, famous for starting Cambodia’s café revolution, is immediately adjacent to the resort and a must for your espresso-style caffeine hits.
The onsite SURI Spa incorporates Southeast Asian massage traditions with Ayurvedic influences to help guests find their bliss. The exclusive rooftop CANOPY Bar and infinity pool offer all-day snacks and beverages. It is also perfect to watch the sun go down amongst the treetops overlooking the Siem Reap River.
Pro Tip: I particularly like the “Deluxe Living” guest rooms for their first-floor location overlooking the resort’s green and soothing inner courtyard garden. They are the only rooms with balconies allowing guests to combine outdoor and indoor living.
2. Viroth’s Hotel
Viroth’s Hotel sits in the central Wat Bo area of Siem Reap. It is just a few hundred meters from the river and neighboring Treeline Urban Resort. Opened in 2015, Viroth’s Hotel is a 35-room stylish, modern retreat taking its design from the modernist movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s. The vintage Mercedes cars in prime position at the hotel’s entrance add to the retro-chic feel.
The guest rooms balance stylish detailing with trendy design. They are decorated with chic interiors, vintage furnishings, modern amenities, and hand-picked artifacts. Tiled floors, a generous light-filled terrazzo bathroom, and spacious private terraces complete the picture.
The hotel’s palm-fringed central courtyard with a 65-foot saltwater pool is the place to be. Alfresco poolside dining is available from breakfast to evening. A glassed and air-conditioned space complete with linen-clad tables is also open. International dishes or a seasonally inspired Khmer menu are available in both settings.
Sokkhak Spa is the Khmer name for tranquillity with treatments, including revitalizing facials, beautifying wraps, and soul-soothing rubs. Other facilities Viroth’s offers include a functional gym and a library for that quiet escape. Oh, and those vintage cars out front are for your airport transfers.
Pro Tip: Pick a guest room overlooking the pool for the best outlook and the bonus of a bit of people watching, if that’s your thing.
3. Jaya House River Park
Situated on a tranquil section of the river just 6 minutes from downtown Siem Reap, Jaya House River Park mixes style and a social conscience. It is Cambodia’s first plastic-free hotel.
Jaya House Managing Director Christian de Boer, with two other local business operators, initiated the “Refill not Landfill” project in 2016. The goal: Replace one-use plastic water bottles with refillable ones while providing easily accessible refill stations. Now well established in Siem Reap, the program has also spread internationally.
Inspired by 1960s Cambodian Modernism, Jaya House’s 36 spacious rooms and suites all feature a balcony or terrace overlooking the tropical garden. The four Junior Pool Suites have open-air plunge pools. The guest rooms showcase soothing neutral tones, tactile local fabrics, high thread-count linens, and artisan touches. The sparkling bathrooms feature Jaya House’s range of organic toiletries.
Jaya House’s all-day-dining restaurant serves a variety of Khmer cuisine, classic Western dishes, and a plant-based menu. River House Spa therapists are ready to calm your senses and restore your mind, body, and soul through a range of specialist treatments. Two pools are available for relaxation, including one lined with sparkling, solid silver tiles, which looks even more spectacular at night.
Pro Tip: I particularly appreciate the standard room rate inclusions. Sure, breakfast for two is typical. Add daily laundry service, 60-minute spa treatments per person per day, complimentary mini-bar, on-the-house tuk-tuk rides to town, and airport transfers.
4. Heritage Suites Hotel
Heritage Suites Hotel is hidden in a lane just a short walk from the river and promises genuine Cambodian hospitality with European luxury. The property is a short 5-minute tuk-tuk ride from downtown Siem Reap.
Six Heritage hotel-style rooms are available, though, I recommend one of the 20 spacious suites. Ten of these suites come with their own plunge pool. These private havens exude retro cool and come with high ceilings, skylights, small private gardens with rain showers, Khmer design elements, and modern amenities. Each suite even has its own steam room.
At the resort’s entrance, the colonial-era main building houses the Heritage Restaurant and bar with a menu fusing international and local cuisines in a refined manner. The poolside Bamboo Bar offers cooling drinks, cocktails, and light snacks, and is a calm green setting for those sundowners after a day out exploring. The onsite Heritage Spa signature treatments promise the ultimate pampering and wellness experiences.
Heritage Suites’ in-house travel agency can organize all your Siem Reap excursions. They even have a boat on Tonlé Sap lake for sunset cruises or other day trips. The hotel’s two vintage Mercedes are ideal for airport transfers and add extra style for those personalized day tours.
5. Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang
Phum Baitang is modeled after a Cambodian village and set within 20 acres of lush gardens and palm-tree-lined rice paddies complete with water buffaloes. This all-villa luxury resort features 25 private terrace villas and 20 pool villas. These generously sized wooden villas are designed to capture the rustic charm of traditional Khmer farmhouses. Although, these “farmhouses” come furnished with hand-picked antiques, elegant linen, enormous oval tubs, and inviting daybeds on the terrace.
The villas are separated by working rice fields. These paddies are harvested three times a year and guests are welcome to join the harvest. Long timber walkways connect each resort area with complimentary bicycles for guests’ use on the grounds. The freeform 50-meter (about 164 feet) saltwater pool is great for lounging or laps and it offers excellent views over the rice fields. Spa Temple, styled with Angkor-era design elements, offers seven treatment bungalows, a sauna and steam room, and a small but well-equipped gym.
Bay Phsar (informal) and Hang Bay (fine dining) are the resort’s two restaurants and offer locally-inspired flavors and international favorites. The Sunset Lounge, a 100-year-old Cambodian farmhouse, is ideal for those spectacular Angkorian sunsets. Furnished with comfy rattan chairs, it offers traditional and innovative cocktails, fine wines, vintage liqueurs, and premium cigars.
Phum Baitang is a 15-minute tuk-tuk ride from downtown Siem Reap.
6. Anantara Angkor Resort
The all-suite Anantara Angkor Resort resembles a modern take on a regal Khmer villa. Its 39 expansive and elegantly comfortable suites cluster around a central courtyard and an inviting 18-meter (about 59 feet) saltwater pool. Suites successfully combine Khmer design elements with state-of-the-art amenities, handcrafted teak wood furniture, rich textiles, and unique local artwork. They also come with the resort’s one-call-service concept delivered by Experience Butlers.
Chi is the resort’s all-day dining restaurant. It offers an international buffet and live cooking stations for breakfast, while organic, farm-to-table, progressive Khmer cuisine is provided for lunch and dinner. Anantara’s Dining by Design concept offers guests an especially curated Khmer dining experience in a sculptured courtyard accompanied by an Apsara dance performance. Spice Spoon cooking classes are also available.
Drawing inspiration from centuries of local know-how, Anantara Spa offers indulgent treatments to soothe aching muscles after long days of discovery. The resort’s Experience Butlers are ready to help you maximize your time in Siem Reap. Be it a tailored range of Signature Experiences, like guided tours of Angkor Archaeological Park with their Temple Guru or private market tours with their Streetwise Guru.
Anantara Angkor is a 15-minute tuk-tuk ride to Siem Reap’s Old Market area. The airport is just 10 minutes away.