Two million people visit Cambodia’s Angkor temples each year, and the majority stay in the busy gateway town of Siem Reap. Now the family-owned Zannier Hotels group is offering a serene alternative among the rice paddies 10 minutes outside town. Phum Baitang is a 20-acre resort designed by the Paris architecture firm AW2 (which also did Six Senses Con Dao) comprising 45 stilted villas with antique furnishings, some with private plunge pools.
“Most of the hotels in Siem Reap are done in a colonial style,” says company founder Arnaud Zannier, who opened his first property, a ski chalet in Megève, France, in 2011. “The land we acquired is in the countryside, so we decided to re-create the traditional houses that farmers live in.”
Phum Baitang means “Green Village” in Khmer, and the resort has the feel of a small community. There are two restaurants, one of which is modeled after a local food market and offers made-to-order Khmer dishes; a spa with a yoga pavilion and a hammam; and a cocktail-and-cigar bar in a 100-year-old farmhouse transplanted from the countryside. There’s also a 180-foot-long pool where you can order a fresh fruit smoothie from a tuk-tuk that circles the property each afternoon—a welcome break from the temple crowds. Doubles from $285.