Amansara was originally built in 1962 as a guesthouse for visitors of King Sihanouk, and as such many famous dignitaries once graced the building, including Jackie Onassis and Charles de Gaulle. Amansara’s 24 open-plan suites, 12 with private plunge pools, have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto light-filled garden courtyards with cushioned banquettes.
In the French Quarter of the city (home to a royal residence) and only a 10-minute tuk tuk ride from the Unesco world heritage site of Angkor, the hotel is well placed for sightseeing and short promenades up the Siem Reap river to the area’s busy and lively bars and markets.
Address: Road to Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Style & character
With exposed stone and clean lines, the modernist influence on this building is unmistakable, and the low level chalet style architecture is unimposing on its leafy location. The more recent fixtures and fittings subtly complement the architecture – nothing is showy, grand or brash – and the net effect of all of this is an all round feeling of tranquility. Away from the main dining room and lounge, most of the communal areas are in large outside spaces, but both the low capacity and the design allow for corners of privacy. All in all the sense is of being somewhere personal – almost as if you are in a house you have rented for yourself.
Service & facilities
Multilingual staff mean Chinese, French and English can all be spoken at the drop of a hat. The guides from the hotel really shine – they can get you to the right parts of Angkor Wat at the right time – which for most people will be the sole reason of their visit (though there are other worthwhile trips, including to the floating villages).
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
Simplicity is the aim of the game in this all suite hotel. Dark wood furniture and otherwise all white decoration and furnishings sit in an open-plan room flanked on one side with a wall of glass leading on to a private terrace (with pool in the 12 pool suites). As with the communal areas, there’s space and privacy here – though it has the modern hotel curse of having the bath in the same room as the bed. Cambodian products such as a silk sarong and local fruits are used in the room and, along with books and information on the Angkor temples, add a sense of place to an otherwise minimalist environment.
Food & drink
Guests can taste a traditional breakfast of Nom Ben Chok (noodles in fragrant light curry) at the hotel’s Village House outpost which overlooks the Angkor moat. Back at the main site, the Cambodian end of the menu is a colourful introduction to the cuisine of the country – one that is set apart from Thai with a distinct lack of spice but doesn’t skimp on flavour. Western tastes are also well catered for.
Access for guests with disabilities?
All of the hotel is on one level, and the few steps are made accessible for guests with ramps as needed.
Yes. Nannies, special menus and family-tailored excursions are all on offer.
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