Published on : Thursday, March 30, 2017
Appealing to discerning travellers, Anantara Angkor Resort reopens as Siem Reap’s premier all-suite boutique resort and gateway to the heart of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Empire. Renovations to the suites, restaurants and common areas plus the addition of several amenities and services ensure that every step of the guest’s local immersion and high adventure are seamlessly navigated and masterfully personalised.
Anantara Angkor carves out a quiet nook in Siem Reap; bringing a retreat-like atmosphere to guests at its central location between downtown, airport and temples. Only a seven minute drive from the city centre, travellers can investigate a charming town of bustling markets, ambient riverside attractions and a French colonial quarter. Most notably of all, Siem Reap is home to the magnificent Angkor Archaeological Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Khmer ruins, including the Eighth Wonder of the World, Angkor Wat.
Each of the 39 suites have recently undergone a complete upgrade and are accented with teak wood trimmings and sandstone sculptures reminiscent of the famed Apsara dancers. Guests are invited to relive traditional Cambodian (Khmer) lifestyle through ample lounging space. Romance and relaxation abound between the bathtubs of the Premier Suites or the Terrace and Premier Terrace Suites with their private plunge pools. Lush greenery provides privacy, emulating the jungle-clad temples that still stand only a few minutes from the resort.
The prestigious Anantara and Sothea Suites feature a private garden, those on the second level a large balcony perfect for in-suite al fresco dining under the stars. The most luxurious of the suites, each provide a separate living area perfect for lounging in between local exploration. Indulgence overflows into the bathrooms with twin wardrobes and vanity units, a rain shower and water closet, and also an en-suite spa room with daily massage inclusion while the Sothea also includes a whirlpool Jacuzzi bath.
Aficionados of Southeast Asia and textiles will regale in the addition of a one and two bedroom Jim Thompson Explorer Suite. Boasting 178 and 235 square meters respectively, imported Thai silk will overflow throughout each suite, draping the furniture in bold colours and lustrous appeal.
Several automatic inclusions entice guests to choose the resort as its authority on local experiences, including chauffeured roundtrip airport transfers, Experience Butler service to create bucket-list adventures, unlimited private tuk tuk transfers to and from city centre, complimentary in-room minibar, plus exclusive in-suite spa treatments for the Anantara and Sothea suites. Two all-inclusive packages are also available for wellness and exploration enthusiasts.
Experience Butlers offer guests curated local knowledge unparalleled throughout the country. Butlers greet guests with a white lotus – a symbol of purity and enlightenment in Khmer culture, before whisking them to the Anantara Spa for a welcoming foot ritual. They remain on-hand to personalise each moment of the journey, from temple tours to jungle exploration and countryside visits for their guests. More than 100 uniquely created activities are on offer through the resort’s Discovery Guidebook, ensuring guests carry home enchanting memories of Cambodia.
Dining at Anantara Angkor is also refined with a new concept at Chi Restaurant and Bar. Offering progressive Khmer cuisine, ‘Chi’ derives its name from the Khmer word for ‘herb’ and indigenous herbs and spices are very much the hero here – flourishing in the resort’s garden, plucked fresh each day and woven into a thoughtful menu that fuses local sensibility with contemporary artistry.
Inside the restaurant, brass chandeliers recreated by master craftsmen depict the “chats” – or umbrellas in Khmer Buddhism – which are believed to offer divine protection to royalty. The restaurant’s recent renovation was executed to harmonise space with luxury, and perfectly sets an environment of upscale dining and evenings in Siem Reap.
Dining by Design journeys include a private chef and butler, a choice of connoisseur menus, and an enchanting courtyard setting. Opt for ultimate in local immersion by taking your dining experiences to hidden temples or countryside rice paddies – offered exclusively to Anantara guests. Foodies rejoice with Spice Spoons cooking class, an Anantara classic on local food expertise. Guests join Chef on his morning market reconnaissance to choose the freshest produce of the day and learn Cambodian-specific herbs, such as the world famed superfood moringa. Upon return to the resort, guests learn the intricacies of this lesser-explored cuisine at a private, open-air kitchen overlooking the resort’s picturesque central courtyard.
A stay at Anantara is incomplete without visiting the rejuvenating spa. Khmer massage is heralded as the front runner to Traditional Thai massage. The assisted stretching and body alignment was originally created to revitalise monks after long periods of meditation. At Anantara Spa it serves best to invigorate explorers after a day of quad biking through the countryside, trekking at Kulen Mountain or prepare journeymen for their next destination.
Anantara Angkor pays tribute to Khmer culture in thoughtful ways. A bird’s eye view reveals that it is shaped to resemble Angkor Wat. At ground level it is reminiscent of a grand Khmer villa, with a central courtyard pool inspired by an ancient royal bathing pool. Featuring naturally salted water, its therapeutic properties ensure no chemicals are necessary, thereby providing soothing relief to a sun-drenched or travel-weary body. Poolside service from Salt provides modern comforts.
The temples of Angkor are considered a must-visit destination, and Anantara Angkor is a respected authority in Khmer culture. Nestled only 10 minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage Area that includes the legendary Angkor Wat, no other 5-star resort in Siem Reap offers such a comprehensive destination experience, all while supported by the renowned expertise of the Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas brand.