The Angkor Archaeological Park preserves a literal lost city in the Cambodian jungle, and as such there are no lodgings to be found actually inside its boundaries. The area's hotels are instead found in the town of Siem Reap, about three miles away. Although Siem Reap was once dominated by cheap, simple backpacker-oriented guesthouses, the town now boasts a range of accommodations including solid mid-rangers and upscale, luxury establishments.
Regardless of where a visitor to Siem Reap choose to stay, they will need to ride a bicycle, take a tuk-tuk or board a tour bus for the trip out to Angkor. The question of hotel location therefore has more to do with what a guest wants out of Siem Reap rather than proximity to the Angkor Archaeological Park. The center of nightlife in Siem Reap is around the Old Market, located in the southern part of town on the riverfront. Past this, the main attractive feature of Siem Reap is its leafy riverfront promenade, which slices through the middle of town.
Bopha Angkor Hotel
The Bopha Angkor is a small, 23-room mid-range hotel situated on the east bank of Siem Reap's river, an area which is both centrally located and yet relatively quiet. The rooms have air conditioning, tile floors, wood ceilings, are decorated with local handicrafts and have mosquito nets in case any of those pesky insects find their way into the room. Fodor's praised the food in the hotel restaurant, which hosts a popular dance show every night.
Hotel de la Paix
Frommer's described the Hotel de la Paix as a chic, modern place where minimalism meets art deco, and gave it an "Exceptional" rating. The hotel is also a New York Times Pick for the area. The staff are friendly and the appointments both modern and thoroughly luxurious, with features like marble bathtubs and pre-programmed iPods. Fodor's labeled the Hotel de la Paix's spa facilities "excellent," but found cause to complain about the location, calling the street outside the hotel "dusty and noisy."
Shadow of Angkor I Guesthouse
This inexpensive, 35-room hotel is step-up from the bargain basement backpacker joints of Siem Reap. The original Shadow of Angkor (there is a second hotel in another part of town) is situated in a quiet, colonial building overlooking the town river, with a restaurant that is private and secluded while retaining a view of the river. The rooms are somewhat simple, and the cheapest are small and come without air conditioning. However, the rooms with air conditioning and facing the river are still a bargain.
- angkor thom image by Sammy from Fotolia.com