Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Photo courtesy of Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor
Belmond La Résidence d’AngkorOn the tree-lined banks of the Siem Reap River, in the heart of the bustling tourist town of the same name, a walled compound harks back to a more refined era. Its sloping terracotta roofs, louvered doors, and teak and basalt accents draw on both traditional Khmer and French colonial architecture. The grounds are lush, filled with large-leafed tropical plants and brightly hued flowers that shade lounging residents from the intense sun and perfume the steamy air with sweet fragrances. Wooden pavilions offer breezy resting spots, where a refreshing hibiscus tea, or something stronger, never goes amiss; when the heat gets too intense, the most refreshing respite is a dip in the turquoise pool. By evening, traditional dance and musical performances accompany gourmet Khmer dinners.
What’s most impressive about the Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor is that it was built only in 2002 (and completely renovated in 2016) and yet has managed to cultivate a feeling of Old World elegance. The rooms in this all-suite property are outfitted with the latest in modern technology and luxury, yet the atmosphere is one of Khmer tradition and refinement (think hand-woven silks, locally made crafts, and original art). The decadent spa, too, feels like a more modern sanctuary, even though its treatments use traditional methods and locally made products; guests are also greeted with a choice of housemade soaps for their room, and sent home with extras as a gift, demonstrating the hotel’s consummate hospitality.