Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stylish by design

My bedroom and incredibly comfortable double bed at the Shinta Mani
A couple of pictures of my room at the Shinta Mani Hotel in Siem Reap. Marpha and her team looked after me particularly well for two nights this week, as I made a lightning-quick visit to take part in tour guide training ahead of the rapidly-approaching tourist high season. We did a similar workshop in Phnom Penh a few weeks ago. The Shinta Mani actually reopened its doors in June, after a year of renovations, designed by architect Bill Bensley who was behind the original Hotel de la Paix. It has 39 contemporary designed 4-star rooms as well as their Kroya restaurant, spa and a working foundation and development center, through which they do great work in providing hospitality training and opportunities for disadvantaged rural kids. They in turn offer great service in the hotel and restaurant, as I witnessed myself. It's a model that works splendidly. They've just agreed to take over the Royal Bay Inn, which sits just over the road, and within a year expect the Shinta Mani Resort to open up. Bensley has been called into design that as well, having just completed the design for the new Park Hyatt, which will rise from the ashes of the de la Paix. It's all a bit incestuous in Siem Reap. Nevertheless, my stay was very comfortable, a bed to die for, a shower that I wanted to slip in my carry-bag and take home with me, the food was excellent, service great and all in all, an intimate place to stay whilst in temple-town. 
An alcove and a photo of Ta Prohm temple is directly above the double bed

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