Peaceful, serene and pamperingly simple, this is a very special place, just 15 minutes from Siem Reap”
Surrounded by precisely nothing, the 45 generously spaced villas need to provide all the comforts of an isolated cottage, and they do: gorgeous untreated wood, natural fabrics, whispering air-conditioning, lovely antiques, and a fully loaded smart TV, plus either a lovely terrace or a plunge pool on your private lawn. And you’re just 15 minutes from Angkor Wat.
- A rewarding sense of being one of the few, not one of the many
- Gorgeous design, and views over the rice paddies as far as the eye can see
- Attentive, discreet staff dressed in immaculate white linen, and a lovely English general manager
- Space for everyone: couples, friends, solos and families
- Environmental awareness
- You’re in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you’re cut out for serenity
- The paddy fields get hellish hot, and the young trees don't yet provide shade or privacy. You’ll need those pristine white umbrellas
- Not cheap but it's a one-off
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Resort
- 45 rooms
- Restaurants and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Yoga lessons
The stilted villas approximate - rather than copy - Cambodian farmhouses. Walls are untreated hardwood on the outside but concrete on the inside for comfort and noise protection. Double shutters make double-sure.
Inside everything is made of natural materials, though the sheets are top-of-the range. Tall ceilings with exposed rafters make the spaces feel even bigger than they are. Each room has a smart TV, espresso maker, sofa, desk and antique cabinet. Stylish bathrooms come with mod cons, lotions and potions, stone his 'n' hers sinks on either side, and a big half-egg bathtub.
We slightly preferred the Terrace Villas because of their lovely raised decks overlooking the fields: a great place to relax. The bigger Pool Villas have a little manicured lawn and private plunge pool.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
There are 2 restaurants on site. Bay Pshar dishes up a vast breakfast buffet (included in the room rate) and simple lunches. Hang Bay near the entrance is the only public air-conditioned space, with ‘fusion’ cuisine at night: it can be opened to the elements. Alternatively, guests can shop for their own ingredients on-site and get a Khmer meal cooked for them in their villa - the rice will one day come from the resort’s own paddies.
The pool bar serves drinks and juices all day, while the magnificent Cigar & Cocktail Lounge is set in a 100-year old authentic farmhouse, for a whiff of the Joseph Conrad.
Further afield, the Bo Street area of Siem Reap has a range of restaurants. Barrio is a great if unprepossessing French place run by an old-school Frenchman who’ll give you a free glass of rotgut if he likes you. Good Khmer restaurants abound in the heart of town.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Room service
- Explore the majestic temples of Angkor with a dedicated guide (or go it alone; they tend to be dolts so buy a decent guidebook instead). The hotel also offers a Vespa tour of the temples, which could be sweaty fun
- Or take a helicopter ride to really appreciate the enormous size of the temple complex in its forested setting
- Go walking in Phnom Kulen National Park, with its rivers, forests and stunning waterfalls
- Don't miss Tonle Sap, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which floods with monsoon rains and teems with fish. It’s 10km south of Siem Reap and boat cruises plough their furrow, taking in the various floating communities
- Feel all Apocalypse Now by being driven around the outback in a vintage Vietnam-era jeep
- Play golf at the Angkor Resort course designed by Nick Faldo (nope, us neither)
- Back at the hotel, take a Khmer cooking class, drink cocktails by the enormous pool, or try the A-Z of treatments in the spa
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Helicopter rides
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
The resort has a dedicated kids' club in a corner not too close to the adult recreation areas, and Cambodians are very good with children. That said, no kids were present during our visit, and perhaps it's not for the very boisterous. The resort is all about peace.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
All villas have a kingsize bed and space for 1-2 baby cots or rollaway beds.
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The kids’ club offers a range of activities including arts and crafts, water play and cooking classes. Children can also take part in an Angkor discovery tour and rice-harvesting activities.
Kids' menus in the restaurants
Kids Activities on site:
- Swimming pool
- Games and toys
Kids Activities nearby:
- Angkor Wat
- Boat trips
Families Should Know:
Dengue fever exists in southeast Asia, and the sun beats down hard for most of the year
- Airport: 10 mins' drive (Siem Reap)
- Shop: 10 mins' drive
- Hospital: 20 mins' drive (Siem Reap)
Phum Baitang is a lengthy trundle outside Siem Reap, in an area of farmland and sleepy, indefinable out-of-town businesses. Traffic in Cambodia is slow, so calculate 15 minutes to get to civilisation and the entrance to the temple complex.
Fly to Siem Reap International Airport (38km), or head to Phnom Penh (335km, also in Cambodia) and then take a connecting flight or travel overland. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
The hotel offers free airport transfers from Siem Reap (10 mins).
It's possible to take a ferryboat or speedboat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap via Tonle Sap lake (4-6 hours), but choose your vessel with care. The crossing can be extremely rough, the boats overcrowded, and the lifebelts non-existent. Some of the slower cruises (2-3 days) are much more civilised.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Cambodia and getting around
- Siem Reap International 38.0 km REP
- Phnom Penh 335.0 km PNH
- Beach 520.0 km
- Shops 8.0 km
- Restaurant 8.0 km