The main reason most travellers make the journey to Siem Reap is to visit one of the world’s foremost ancient sites, the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amansara, set in a garden compound is the former guesthouse of King Sihanouk with the ambience of a private home, is perfectly located just 10 minutes from the entrance to Angkor, 15 minutes from the airport and just minutes from the bustle of the town.

The Experience

Located near the main swimming pool, the circular Dining Room with its soaring seven-metre ceiling and shaded terrace is the focal point of the property. The menu offers both traditional Khmer and Western cuisines and features the freshest of seasonal produce. The dining area also includes a walk-in wine and cheese cellar where guests can make their selection, and a casual lounging area where they can help themselves to home-baked cakes on display. Guests can also dine at the Khmer Village House on stilts which overlooks a 10th century royal reservoir while feasting on Khmer dishes. This is also the perfect place for lazy breakfasts after an early morning exploring the temples, cooking class or a romantic candlelit dinner accompanied by live music. An early or late evening drink or private dinner at the roof terrace never disappoints.

A variety of customised house outings is available as part of the Amansara guest experience. Conducted in the early morning and late afternoon to avoid the sun and crowds, these complimentary outings focus on the temples surrounding Angkor Wat. Some of these utilise Amansara’s own fleet of remorks (moped-powered trishaws) each with its own Amansara driver and guide. For those who wish to venture further afield tailor-made, off-the-beaten-path excursions can also be arranged to suit individual interests and pace. For guests wishing to explore places farther afield, customised helicopter tours can be arranged. Closer by, Tonle Sap, South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake is renowned for the diversity of its flora and fauna and some part of this can be seen during a visit to Prek Toal a floating fishing village. The town of Siem Reap with its many shops and markets is a hive of activity and is flat in enough to explore easily by bicycle or on foot. Why not join one of the kitchen brigade and be led through the labyrinth passageways of the market, which teams with fresh produce, a visit to a noodle house follows to watch the preparation of fresh rice noodles.

Amansara works closely with knowledgeable sources in Siem Reap to invite visiting scholars for informal house talks and excursions to places of special interest. These sessions allow guests to have a close-up look at Angkor and Cambodia through the eyes of specialists in a diverse range of subjects. With so much to stimulate the senses around Amansara, guests may feel the need to relax and the curved swimming pool, with sundeck and loungers is the ideal place to do so. For the ultimate relaxation the spa offers a range of massage and beauty treatments using Cambodian techniques and Aman’s own natural spa product range while the roof terrace provides the perfect location for yoga or quiet contemplation.

The Accommodation

This former royal retreat was built by French Architect Laurent Mondet to accommodate visitors unable to stay at the nearby royal residence. Essentially 60’s in character it featured cool, low slung chalets spaced around a swimming pool and lawn. Today the accommodation at Amansara has been transformed into just 24 suites. Each offers a combined sleeping and living area that contains a large writing desk and king size bed. The luxurious bathroom has large soaking tub and separate shower. A comfortable sofa, informal dining table and chairs and a complimentary mini-bar with a range of alcoholic beverages as well as alternative herbal drinks and snacks completes the interior. Floor to ceiling glass doors open onto a light filled garden featuring a cushioned banquette. The courtyards of the 12 Pool Suites have the addition of a plunge pool.

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