When one mentions of Siem Reap, Cambodia, its strong cultural and holistic values are often brought up. The temples, including the notable Angkor Wat are definitely on the lists of must-visit places but there are more than just historical buildings that Siem Reap has to offer. There are many luxurious properties scattered across the busy city, but Belmond La Résidence D’Angkor is the one that we found ourselves drawn to the most, thanks to a curated list of boutique hotels by Mr & Mrs Smith, the travel club for hotel lovers.
Belmond La Résidence D’Angkor is a green sanctuary, surrounded by tropical walled gardens that separate you from the bustling city. A 20-minute drive from the airport is all you need before you arrive at their welcoming gates. With big smiles and happy welcomes from the local staff, you’d know that the stay is going to be a pleasant one. They reopened in November 2016, after a complete refurbishment by leading international designers and architects, GA Design and Beyond Design.
With the verdant gardens on the banks of a tree-lined river, it feels as if you are in the middle of a secret sanctuary miles away from the city. Just a short drive from the hotel takes you to some of the world-known temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A quick 10-minute car ride from the hotel brings you to Angkor Wat. Siem Reap’s Old Market and entertainment district is just a five-minute walk from the resort. If you are up for food or people-watching from the local cafes, Kandal Village is the place to go to.
Discovering ancient temples is what Siem Reap is all about, but coming back to a well-furnished room matters just as much. There are a decent number of suites available at the Belmond La Résidence D’Angkor — 60 to be specific. This allows guests ample privacy to roam and relax in and around the premise.
We had the privilege to stay at the Garden Junior Suite, where their award-winning saltwater pool is literally at your backyard. The sliding doors open to a small lounge area with direct access to the pool from your room. This means added luxury but it’s also convenient as you don’t have to quickly scramble back to your room in drenched clothing.
Each of the suites is decorated with exquisite locally hand-woven jewel-toned silks, traditionally carved hardwood furnishings and bespoke artworks from contemporary Cambodian artists. The artworks have been created for each and every of the hotel’s suites, adding on to the authentic Cambodian character and local ambience.
You can choose to stay in and dine at any of their in-house restaurants — Ember offers organic Asian food with a Latin twist, while Spice Circle is where you can have your fill of authentic Khmer and Cambodian dishes. Cocktails and tapas are available at the Martini Lounge bar.
But take our advice: go for the Mystery Dinner Safari by Tuk Tuk. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows you to taste the best of Siem Reap in just one night. You’ll be taken on a tuk tuk to five different restaurants to enjoy one course per restaurant. These are specially selected by the hotel, and is different each time. Of course, it’s highly customisable depending on your preference and dietary requirements.
Temple visiting and exploring Siem Reap, Cambodia could be quite exhausting and the last thing you want to come back to is an unpleasant property. Belmond La Résidence D’Angkor is the complete opposite and you’ll actually look forward to returning for either a dip in the pool or soak in the suite’s enormous bathtub. It’s located right in the middle of the city and everything you’d planned would be just a few minutes drive (or walk) from the hotel.
In fact, if outdoor adventures are not your thing, this resort has everything you need to keep your time occupied — including luxury spa treatments, dining, lush greenery and more.