Lose yourself in Jaya House River Park, a temple to elegance along Siem Reap river
On the banks of the sleepy Siem Reap river, this new resort is a stylish and sustainably minded hideaway from the bustle of downtown – and just a five-minute ride from the ruins of Angkor
> OLD AND NEW
Festooned with lush hanging gardens, the 36 elegant rooms and suites at this swish property are spread out over a three-storey structure that pays homage to the ancient temple of Prasat Thom in the Koh Ker temple complex. With its almost pyramid-like appearance, the design inspiration is also apparent in a grand entrance pavilion, as well as its pillars and terraces. Fittings and décor are a different story, however, referencing a variety of periods: there’s Angkoresque stone statues as well as an Art Deco monochrome colour palette, while portraits of Cambodia’s swinging 1960s singers adorn the walls.
> RELAX, RETREA T
Rooms are spacious – the smallest are 38 square metres – with private balconies and patios, espresso machines, organic teas, plush beds and huge bathrooms with outdoor rain showers. You’d be wise to request one of the four light-filled Junior Pool Suites, however, with your own plunge pool. Although it’s a new resort, some serious landscape design has been invested in its gardens. It sports two saltwater swimming pools fringed by sugar palms, ferns and frangipani trees. The bigger pool is located on the resort’s outer edge and is clearly its piece de resistance, lined in glittery silver tiles.
> TO THE RIVER
Jaya House is just a fiveminute drive from the ruins of Angkor, and there’s much to explore around the resort’s Enkosai neighbourhood. A block south is the leafy École Française d'Extrême-Orient campus, a French institute that for over a century has been a major actor in the restoration of the Angkor monuments and is well worth a visit.