Cambodia's One Hotel Angkor
Published: June 2009
By Christopher Cox
Ancient Siem Reap, a stone's throw from Angkor Wat, introduces a new way to design a hotel: with just one bedroom. <em>Christopher Cox</em> checks into the One to see if it offers singular service that lives up to its name
THE OVERVIEW Home to the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Amansara, and the up-and-coming Hôtel de la Paix, Siem Reap is no stranger to luxury. But the new One Hotel Angkor is putting a modern spin on the concept with something the town has never seen before—a one-room hotel. Think of it as your own stylish pied-à-terre. While the row house's wooden jalousies, potted plants, and thatched roof are straight out of a Graham Greene novel, the neighborhood itself is of the moment, with art galleries, a day spa, and owner Martin Dishman's funky lounge, Linga Bar, just across the street. 415/992-5431 or 855-12/755-311; www.theonehotelangkor.com; $250 a night.
THE PENTHOUSE The second story's shaded breakfast area overlooks the cobblestoned street; an open-air Jacuzzi is screened by yellow palms. There's also a queen-size day (or night) bed. Just mind the low-hanging ceiling fan.
THE SERVICE An alfresco massage?Done. A private car and guide to the ruins?No problem. The best caipirinha in town?Coming right up the stairs. Staff members are shared with the nearby Linga Bar, so there are occasional delays—but there are four of them to each one of you. »
THE MASTER BEDROOM A curvaceous, king-size platform bed, custom-made from phdeak wood, dominates the 320-square-foot space. We love the slide-out night tables built into the base of the bed, and the angled, five-foot-high headboard, which offers ideal support for viewing the 32-inch flat-screen television.
THE BATHROOM Everything is built for two: a doorless, three-foot-wide shower; a seven-foot-long step-in tub; and a vanity (set into the back of the bed) with deep twin sinks. Harnn & Thann's spa-quality lemongrass soap and aromatherapy shampoo are a nice local touch.
THE AMENITIES It's all about you in a one-room hotel. Guests are issued a complimentary mobile phone while in residence; order from any area restaurant (menus are provided), and a staffer will fetch your meal for you. Of course, certain services (such as turndown slippers and morning pastries) are automatic.
THE AREA The One is set on the Passage, a pedestrians-only lane between the souklike Psar Chas (Old Market) and rowdy Pub Street, in the heart of the former Colonial Quarter. For tranquillity, try Amansara; at the One, you're knee-deep in city flavor.
THE DESIGN Accessories are a mix of the international (iPod, egg chairs) and the indigenous (artisan Sopheap Pich's split-bamboo lamp; designer Eric Raisina's hand-loomed silk pillows). A side table-closet cleverly brackets the bed, though the drawers are a bit cramped. And the room's multiple levels could present an after-dark challenge.