Viroth’s Villa

Street 23, Wat Bo Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia

If you’ve come to Siem Reap, you’ve already got architectural wonders on the mind. And though you’ll spend your days learning about a 1,000-year-old civilization, a stay at Viroth’s Villa allows a more recent era of Khmer creativity to be contemplated: the 1960s. The decade saw the arts flourish in newly independent Cambodia, most notably in the modernist New Khmer Architecture style.

Viroth’s Villa’s boxy, petite, two-story building is one of the Le Corbusier–inspired genre’s few remaining examples (there are others in Phnom Penh and Kep, on the coast), and its owners, Fabien Martial and Viroth Kol, went to great pains to honor its clean lines and honest aesthetic when renovating the dilapidated building in 2007. Rooms use local materials to modern effect, with dark gray tiled floors and polished terrazzo baths, woven water hyacinth mats, and teak doors. Decor is kept to a minimum—a single standing Buddha, a giant frond from an Elephant Ear palm in a vase—but expertly curated and placed, lending the property the feel of a Southeast Asian art gallery. The intimate, seductive style can also be found in the couple’s second, larger property, Viroth’s Hotel, a newly constructed 1950s-inspired space that opened in January 2015.

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