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September 19, 2008

Siem Reap: Hotel Be Angkor

ESPA
One of Hotel Be's
art gallery-cum-guestrooms.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Located in a renovated shophouse alongside sister property the One Hotel in the middle of Siem Reap's nightlife district, the three-room Hotel Be is more casual than its neighbor but no less interesting. Guests access the hotel through Aha, a hip tapas café that also serves the hotel's breakfast and will deliver meals day into night. The three guest rooms are beautifully rendered, and decorated with works by Siem Reap-based artists. The Saffron Room, accessible by an interior bridge, is filled with the funky monk-themed artwork of Filipino artist Loven Ramos. Its sunlit living area features a Bose iPod docking station and stylish loungers, while double-glaze laminated glass provides soundproofing. Plenty of closet space and an expansive sunken rain shower enhance this room's good value. All accommodations come with modern essentials like Wi-Fi and a 32-inch flat-screen television; those in search of Siem Reap's low-tech offerings can tour the food market with a Khmer-speaking French chef.

When to go: December to March has the least rain (but the most tourists).
Which room to book: For lovers of sculpture, the Bamboo Room; painting, the Saffron Room; and photography, the Sepia Room.

Further reading:
* Hotel Be Angkor Web site
* The Angkor guide
* Hot List 2008

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