Opened in 1932, the Raffles Grand d’Angkor has survived all the vagaries of recent Cambodian history and has hosted luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and the Clintons. It remains both a heritage landmark and a truly grand luxury hotel with state-of-the-art amenities.
The Raffles is one of Siem Reap’s major landmarks, half way between downtown and the Angkor Archaeological Park, facing the Royal Gardens in the leafy French Quarter and close to the Siem Reap River.
Address: 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Style & character
The Grand d’Angkor is the old dame of luxury hotels in Cambodia. The main building is a huge colonial edifice, likely to be noticed by anyone who spends more than a day in town. The hotel certainly lives up to its grand exterior – the lobby exudes colonial flair as does the very swish Elephant Bar. Nods to the hotel’s history can be seen everywhere, from beautiful 19th-century prints of Cambodian life in the marble floored hallways and the original wooden elevator in the lobby, to the dedicated gallery featuring John McDermott’s seminal photographs of the Angkor Ruins.
Service & facilities
Service is formal, uniformed and very prompt without being intrusive. Facilities are straightforward and excellent — the pool is the largest in Cambodia. Guests can use a well-equipped gym and there’s a top-of-the-range spa with six treatment rooms. Once a week, there’s a wine and cheese workshop for budding sommeliers and the hotel also offers cooking classes to its guests.
The classical dance Apsara performances, watched while enjoying a sumptuous Cambodian dinner, are probably the best in town.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
- Tennis court
The rooms are compact and faultless. Dark-wood floors, historic prints on the walls, immaculate antique furnishings including retro desk lamps and huge comfortable double or twin beds with views over the Royal Gardens or the pool make for a relaxing stay, helped along by all the expected modern facilities such as air-conditioning, a safe, minibar and coffee machine. There’s always fresh fruit and the orchids are a nice touch. The bathrooms are small but spotless.
Food & drink
The Restaurant Le Grand is one of the best places in town to sample Khmer cuisine, handed down from chefs who worked at the Royal Palace. The atmosphere is ‘almost formal’, but the Cafe d’Angkor, in a bright air-conditioned room, is a more casual option. If it’s not too hot or wet, guests can enjoy a wide variety of Asian and Western dishes – everything from local noodle dishes to gourmet burgers, on the patio overlooking the pool.
Traditional afternoon tea is served in The Conservatory, which also overlooks the pool and the garden. Breakfast is buffet-style, with sparkling wine and plenty of Western and Asian options including a great selection of yoghurts, smoothies and juices.
The best place for a pre-dinner drink is the atmospheric Elephant Bar with its extensive wine list and humidor that might make guests think the French were still ruling Indochina.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The hotel provides wheelchairs.
The pool is a definite draw for kids and the hotel can provide babysitters.
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