One of the most iconic hotel properties in Cambodia, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has reopened after a refresh and the reports are favourable.
Fondly called La Grande Dame de Angkor, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, has been welcoming travellers to Siem Reap, Cambodia, since 1932. Designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard in a style that combines Khmer art and furnishings with Art Deco influences, the Grand Hotel first opened with just 63 rooms, all with private bathrooms, unique for the time. From Charlie Chaplin to Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama a host of celebrity guests have enjoyed the hospitality here.
The property, along with its sister heritage hotel, Le Royal, in Phnom Penh, was taken over by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in 1997 at the invitation of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk. After a thoughtfully planned restoration in 2019 and the pause in travel during the pandemic, the historic Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has finally opened its doors once again and eager loyalists are thrilled with the transformation.
Old is gold, but shinier
Returning guests will notice that the famous façade and entire exterior of the hotel now shines white, rather than its former cream-beige hue which was the colour of French colonial architecture across Indochina.
The guestrooms now feature lighter and brighter interiors as well as the addition of Segafredo coffee machines, USB charging stations, and Simmons pillow-top mattresses. The French windows, which swing open to views of street scenes or the plantation-style grounds of the hotel, have been upgraded, and each room now has a writing desk and vintage rotary telephone, thanks in part to the added floor space created by removing cabinets and replacing them with built-in wardrobes.
Dennis de Groot, General Manager, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, says, “It is a magnificent feeling to bring this enchanting hotel back to life.” According to him, “The Grand Hotel is a national treasure, and its storied history is testament to Cambodia’s colourful past. It was originally built as a rest stop for archaeologists and adventurers seeking to explore the ancient kingdom of Angkor Wat. As we prepare to celebrate the hotel’s 90th anniversary this year, we are delighted that this hotel can continue to set the standard for luxury hospitality, where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends, and return as family.”
Traditionalists can rest assured that the hotel’s original teak and wrought iron cage elevator remains, as does the vintage ambience of the Elephant Bar and the checker-tiled lobby, which over the decades has witnessed a guest list of royalty, film stars, writers, and artists.
The new is an exciting hat-tip to the past
Named after the year that Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor first opened, 1932 is the hotel’s latest signature restaurant, proudly inheriting the honour to serve traditional Royal Khmer cuisine for a unique dining experience.
Another fresh addition to the hotel is the Raffles Marquee, an elegant events centre situated within 15-acres of lush French gardens that plays host to everything from Khmer performances and fashion shows to wedding receptions and business conferences. This fully air-conditioned marquee offers a truly unique setting for sophisticated events in the enchanting town of Siem Reap.
Do more with Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
Within the resort grounds, guests can take part in on-site activities including receiving monk blessings, taking Angkor Sling masterclasses, indulging in botanical and culinary garden tours, and an insightful walk with the hotel’s resident historian.
To allow guests to explore more of the fascinating destination, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor offers an enticing series of Raffles Curated Journeys and Resort Programmes designed to infuse local experiences with worldly elegance.
- Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is situated a mere 20-minute drive to the doorway of the UNESCO Heritage temples of Angkor.
- Guests can explore the ancient Angkor Archaeological Park on an iconic Vespa, before being one of the first travellers of the day to enter the temple.
- Embark on a local tuk-tuk tour for a journey through the Silk Road of Angkor, visiting the beautiful Banteay Srei Temple and Golden Silk Farm.
- Food aficionados can taste Siem Reap on an exclusive Culinary Hidden Gems foray.
- Shopaholics can browse through Siem Reap’s Kandal Village neighbourhood with the assistance of a Raffles Butler.
- Culture lovers can enjoy a majestic performance of Cambodian dances in the Apsara Terrace.
At a glance
Address: #1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay, Siem Reap, Cambodia | Website: Raffles Siem Reap | Room categories: Seven | Restaurants & Bars: Six | Cuisines: International, pan-Asian, royal Khmer | Tariff: Rooms at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor start at USD 350 per night.
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