Siem Reap was once merely the gateway to Angkor Wat. Now it is replete with chefs and artisans offering original takes on tradition, from the Franco-Cambodian fare at Cuisine Wat Damnak (www.cuisinewatdamnak.com) to the ravishing lacquerware sold by Louise Loubatieres (www.louiseloubatieres.com) at her Hap Guan Street boutique. It’s admittedly hard to beat Amansara (www.amanresorts.com; from £823) – Norodom Sihanouk’s former country retreat, brilliantly run for years by general manager Sally Baughen, is a jewel in the Aman crown – but the latest addition to the vibrant hotel scene looks promising indeed.
Phum Baitang (www.phumbaitang.com; from £395), whose 45 villas (pictured) are strung across an eight-acre estate, is about 10 minutes away from both Siem Reap and the Angkor complex. The expected bells and whistles (morning yoga, full spa with 50m pool, cooking classes and rice-paddy dinners, all de rigueur to compete here) are all accounted for, but it’s the design – coolly traditional and supremely elegant, in neutral weaves, wood and stone – that looks set to impress most.