Rambutan Resort

Rambutan Ln, Krong Siem Reap 17259, Cambodia

Dutchman Dirk de Graaff left a demanding consulting position in Hong Kong to become a hotelier in Siem Reap, falling for Cambodia’s natural beauty, smiling residents, and laid-back way of life. He ran the first gay-friendly guesthouse in town before opening two hotels, a boutique hotel and the more upscale Rambutan Resort, a 16-room property, where he’s successfully re-created the traits that led him to the country in the first place. The simple but stylish rooms employ local, natural materials, with custom-made, chocolate-brown and white-flecked sugar-palm beds (of eco-friendly wood), brightly hued silk lamps, and private outdoor terrazzo soaking tubs. Modern Asian art—including comical pieces by Chinese artist Yue Minjun—adorns the walls. A lovely slate-and-stone tiled, tree-shaded pool anchors the property, its cascading water feature lending a meditative quality.

And though Rambutan’s flair is more than enough reason to stay, it’s the exceedingly personable staff that makes it a true standout. Guests are welcomed like old friends (many are on return visits); the affable check-in crew and servers artfully walk the line between doing their jobs and making time for a chat. De Graaff invests in his team—providing scholarships to further their careers in hospitality, for instance—and their mutual affection for the place shows.

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