Where is it? More or less in the middle of Siem Reap, overlooking the river and next door to the royal palace. Already a hotel, in the mid- to late-20th century it became a journalists’ hang-out (although the building was never a foreign correspondents’ club, as the name might suggest, rather a member of the FCC hospitality group). A renovation by resort brand Avani has boosted the room count to 80 and added a cocktail bar, yet retained the property’s gentle ambience so that this two-storey boutique hotel feels at one with its surrounds. Just about everything – tableware, towels, toilets – was sourced in Cambodia. The finishing touches are being applied, and the revamp should be complete by the end of this month. Where are the guest rooms? Split between two wings, with 30 in the older part of the hotel. Each section has its own lap pool lined with grey-green slate and flanked by frangipani. The FCC group’s branding - its first property was a foreign correspondent's club, in Phnom Penh - is underlined in every room by a Bakelite rotary-dial telephone, analogue radio and manual typewriter (all in working order) while Khmer design sings from the ironwood shelves and bedhead, sheets woven by local artisans and brass geckos whose tails do duty as hooks in the bathroom. No art hangs on the walls but they are embellished with hand-drawn aphorisms (“Morals are the bridge, alms are the food”, for example) in Khmer and English. Wi-fi is reliable and there are a dozen or so satellite television channels, but seven-year-olds may find greater diversion hammering the typewriter keys or fiddling with the dial on a rather different form of wireless. Upgrade to a suite if you fancy a bathtub. What is there to eat? The fun starts at Scribe, an alfresco bar in the FCC’s front garden that was kick-started by British chemist-turned-mixologist Mark Lloyd. Up on the first floor, grab a table on the veranda of The Mansion restaurant and bar if the weather is cooperating. The menu does a hop, skip and jump around Asian and international cuisine. Sidestep the club sandwich and green curry at lunch or dinner if you will, but don’t on any account skimp on the croissants at breakfast. And then? Meditation, massage and the use of natural medicines are all part of the Cambodian way of life, so it’s no surprise to discover Avani has added a spa. Elsewhere in the hotel, a small gallery hosts works by Cambodian artists, and a clutch of boutiques stock authentic clothing, arts and crafts. And there are few better ways to kick back following a day’s temple-hopping or a demanding night’s research session on Pub Street than atop a lounger, in gesturing distance of the pool bar. What lies beyond the front door? Siem Reap is so small that it rarely takes more than half an hour to get anywhere, although the queues for Angkor Wat grow no shorter. A short tuk-tuk buzz away are three markets selling agricultural implements, fresh fruit and veg, and souvenirs both authentic and tacky. Mornings start early just up the street in the (public) royal gardens, with a merry, high-volume, no-holds-barred aerobics session that’s open to all for a handful of riels. What’s the bottom line? Opening rates – valid until September 30 – including breakfast for two and complimentary minibar, start at HK$850. CORRECTION: This article was updated on September 20 to remove inaccuracies.