Raffles Grand Hôtel d’Angkor
1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Photo courtesy of Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
Raffles Grand Hotel d’AngkorOriginally opened in 1932 in the historic Royal Khmer compound, this landmark hotel was the first luxury lodging in the area, catering to those well-heeled adventurers intent on visiting the storied ruins of the temples at Angkor; everyone from Charlie Chaplin and Charles de Gaulle to Jackie O and—more recently—Angelina Joie have slept within its dramatic art deco walls. Though just a short walk or tuk-tuk ride to central Siem Reap, the hotel’s 15 acres of manicured French gardens, filled with more than 20,540 species of tropical plants, help make it a relaxing oasis—particularly after a day spent exploring the temples. The 119 rooms, suites, and villas—some set in the original main building, others overlooking the garden or pool—are a vision of dark louvered windows, ornate Khmer furnishings, luxe silks, marbles baths, and gauzy curtains, plus lots of gleaming woods; some have added perks like furnished terraces, high ceilings, or four-poster beds. The large central swimming pool is ringed by loungers, while the tucked-away spa has a steam/sauna, Jacuzzi, and six treatment rooms for the excellent regionally-inspired therapies. Both in-house and outside guests frequent the six drinking and dining options, which include the legendary Elephant Bar, the elegant Restaurant Le Grand (serving both Western and Royal Khmer cuisine) and The Apsara Terrace, an dinner/cultural dance show offered three or five nights a week, depending on the season. The on-site gallery and boutique showcase high-quality local goods.