Review: Anantara Angkor Resort, Siam Reap – A peaceful retreat of Khmer proportions


Siem Reap has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. Though it’s open for tourism, direct flights to and fro are currently limited—which made it a perfect time to go now to avoid the crowds. Centrally located, Anantara Angkor Resort is the ideal choice from which to explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of Angkor Wat, picturesque Tonle Sap Lake, and charming town.


At First Glance
A quick Google search will show you that Anantara Angkor Resort is one of the best hotels in Siem Reap. Aligned with the look and feel of the town it’s located in, and that it’s set just a few miles away from Angkor Wat—the world’s largest religious monument and the eighth wonder of the world—the property’s concept is authentically localised; giving guests a sense of exciting immersion.

Modestly-sized, the resort has a boutique hotel feel but is physically up to international standards. Everywhere you look, there are Khmer-style design elements intermixed with colonial touches.


The Story
Anantara Angkor Resort is the only all-suite hotel in Siem Reap. It went through a full takeover and renovation by the Anantara Group a few years ago, and carves out a quiet nook in the high adventure, rapidly growing town it’s located in. The biggest draw to travel here is, undoubtedly, to visit the gorgeous temple ruins of Angkor Wat, and the cultural weight is palpable.

What is great here is the lush flora and lotus ponds that flow throughout the compound, giving guests a true back-to-nature experience amidst the historic setting. ‘Old meets new’ sums up the ambience perfectly.


The Abode
Upgraded in 2017, each of the 39 suites feature private balconies or terraces, fine Khmer silk furnishings, teakwood floors and trimmings, and sandstone sculptures. As far as the furniture goes, darkwood—often seen across hotels in Southeast Asian properties—abounds, from the bed to the living area and amenities.

Also read -  Review: Palazzo Versace Dubai - Where such luxury exists

Double beds in the Terrace Suite

Our Terrace Suite was spacious enough for two and practically fitted out. Located on the ground floor, floor-to-ceiling doors opened up to our hidden deck and decorative pool that faced the hotel’s courtyard pool, and is enclosed by tropical greenery. Even though the room was mere steps away from the lobby, foot traffic was light so there was always a sense of privacy and peace.

The suite’s bathroom is practical and modestly furnished

View of our hidden deck and decorative pool area of the suite

The Food and Drinks
The Chi (its name is derived from the Khmer word for ‘herb’) Restaurant & Bar—the hotel’s signature dining spot—serves modern Khmer cuisine with western influences. A buffet breakfast is served here daily, including egg, waffles and pancakes live stations. The kitchen also offers a private dining service called Dining by Design, featuring an al fresco setting under the Angkor Eye, a giant ferris wheel adjacent to the resort.

Guests can also opt to sip cocktails and tuck in to afternoon tea at L Lounge during the day, or enjoy light bites and refreshments at Salt, the poolside offering.

The setting for a private dining offering called Dining by Design

The Hospitality
Service is excellent. Most of the staff speak fluent English and it was easy even to communicate with those who weren’t as fluent. Special requests, like shoe cleaning after a muddy quad biking excursion, were happily met. Room service is prompt.

Fellow Guests
Families and couples.


Location
Wonderful with a quiet atmosphere. The airport is only 10 minutes away, and Angkor Wat just 20 minutes away by car. The town’s famous Pub Street and F&B spots are also only 10-15 minutes away by tuk-tuk, and guests can book these rides directly with hotel reception for US$5 each way.

Also read -  Service, Décor, and Luxury in a Las Vegas Wynn Tower King Suite

Angkor Eye, a giant ferris wheel for tourists to view the Siem Reap landscape, sits next to the hotel

For Your Consideration
As resorts go, have your mosquito repellent handy as the ones in Siem Reap were big and buzzing. Be mindful of tiny flies and insects appearing out of nowhere too. The hotel boasts a saltwater pool, which is lovely, but there were dirt particles and other suspicious substances constantly floating on the surface.

Floor-to-ceiling windows lead to the quaint outdoor space

Nail polish options were lacking at the spa, with only seven colours to choose from. When it rained, it wasn’t possible to sit out on the deck of the room. The bedside phone was also not working for our entire stay so we had to take calls from the bathroom phone.

Though the accommodations were upgraded in 2017, the bathroom could have benefited from another refurbishment as the facilities were dated. The layout was also a little unusual, with the bathtub in another sparsely-outfitted windowless room of its own.

The food prices at Chi Restaurant were excessive for what it was, as compared to the other restaurants in town, and even to other five-star hotel dining establishments in Asia.

The resort’s saltwater pool by night

The Noteworthy
By far the most outstanding thing was the hospitality. Upon arrival, guests are treated to a welcome foot bath—only, hotel slippers could have been provided post-bath rather than having to stuff our feet back into our sneakers. We also had a complimentary airport return transfer, courtesy of the hotel’s limousine service, with cold towels and bottled water on hand.

The Summary
Value for money, Anantara Angkor Resort is a practical and pleasant choice for short getaways to Siem Reap.

Amenities
Pool
Spa
Meetings and Event Spaces

Rooms
39

Staff
Polite and professional

Food & Drinks
Thoughtful

Bed & Bath
Practical

The Crowd
Families and couples

The luxe factor is:

8 Location
6 Rooms
9 Service
5 Breakfast
7
Tags from the story
,
Written By