Hotel of the Moment

Amansara Cambodia

The new Amansara resort in Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat, is not like any Aman you may have visited. This walled compound, built for the Cambodian royal family in 1962, is more like a graduate-student house party than a luxury resort. It has twelve rooms and a dinky swimming pool, but it also houses an attractive library and conducts occasional lectures on aspects of Eastern civilization. The design is Asian Bauhaus: Rooms have polished cement floors, white linens, and streamlined, Scandinavian Modern furniture. The rooms' focus is the bathtub and two sinks on either side of a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking a furnished patio, which is unusable due to mosquitoes and traffic noise. You won't find the Amanresorts' usual outdoor shower, plunge pool, spa, in-room television, or lavish menu in the dining room (there are two choices at both lunch and dinner).

But Amansara does offer local transportation in chic, black motorized ramoks and guides to take you through Angkor. Still, the Sofitel Royal Angkor down the road is more comfortable, with a swell pool, spa, and three good restaurants. Only if you insist on the latest does Amansara fit the bill. Rooms, $675-$725, including breakfast, lunch or dinner, drinks, transportation, guides. On the road to Angkor; 800-477-9180, 855-63-760-333;

Hotel prices show high-season rates from the least expensive double to the most expensive suite.