Grand d'Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap - review by Rusty Compass
Siem Reap | hotels guide

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Grand d'Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap

| 02 Apr 2012

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Grand d'Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap
1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum Siem Reap, Cambodia
+855 63 963 888

Map

Price guide: Around US$300 and more

Our rating
Location
Design
Ambience
People
Facilities
02 Apr 2012

The original luxury French colonial property in Siem Reap, the Grand d'Angkor Hotel has been receiving international travellers since the 1930s. It’s unrivalled for history, luxury, grounds and location.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

History

The Grand Hotel d’Angkor is the only hotel to witness and survive Siem Reap's wild shifts of fortune since the 1930s.

At its opening in 1933, the Grand was host to a vanguard of well healed adventure travellers as word spread about the wonders of Angkor.  In the 1960s Angkor’s appeal was undiminished and the world held an additional fascination for the newly independent kingdom of Cambodia and its idealistic, eccentric Head of State, Norodom Sihanouk. The Grand prospered again.

Cambodia,Grand Hotel D'Angkor,hotel,Siem Reap
Photo: Mark BowyerRaffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

By the end of the 1960s Sihanouk’s vision was shattered by a war encroaching from across the border in Vietnam. The tourists disappeared and the Grand fell into disrepair. By 1975, the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia and occupied the hotel. In the late 70s, invading Vietnamese forces also took up temporary residence here.

As peace returned to Cambodia in the early 1990s, the Raffles group took an interest in the renovation of the hotel and in 1997, the newly renovated hotel including additional wings opened as the Raffles Grand d’Angkor. It was Siem Reap’s first luxury hotel and remains one of a handful to this day.


Location

Excellent serene location on the main road to the Angkor temples overlooking gardens to the Royal Residence. 15 minutes walk or 5 minute by tuk tuk from Siem Reap town.

Cambodia,Grand Hotel D'Angkor,hotels,Siem Reap
Photo: Mark BowyerRaffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

Review - architecture, ambience, people

The original hotel was designed by French architect Ernest Hebrard in the 1920s. Hebrard was the architect behind many of Indochina’s most striking buildings - including the Hotel Le Royale in Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese History Museum and the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both in Hanoi.

The Raffles’ refurbishment in the 1990s included new wings of rooms - sympathetically built with the original structure - and added Siem Reap’s largest and most enticing swimming pool set in lush gardens.

Cambodia,Grand Hotel D'Angkor,hotels,Siem Reap
Photo: Mark BowyerRaffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

The building interior is attractive if a little tired and the same goes for the original rooms. Recently redecorated suites indicate that as with the Raffles Le Royal in Phnom Penh, decor changes are coming.

Raffles has not yet achieved the effortless warmth that is present in some of the other hotels around town both in its category and below. This is no reflection of the staff - more the spaces they work in.


Still, no property in Siem Reap offers the combination of history, extensive facilities, stunning grounds and spot on service that does the Raffles.


Brief -
The Raffles Grand has pretty much everything - 35m pool, landscaped gardens, spa, health club, library, complimentary wifi and more.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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