Road to Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
(5 star hotel)
#9 of 294 hotels in Siem Reap
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 review
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The Best at Angkor Wat

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 15, 2013

Do you want to be treated like a king and visit one of the wonders of the world? Well what better place to begin than at the King’s guest villa. Situated in Siem Reap is one of Aman’s resorts, Amansara, only ten minutes from Angkor, Cambodia’s world-renowned archaeological park. Formerly the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk this 12-room hotel will allow your fantasies come true.
Your experience of a lifetime begins on your arrival at the airport, where you will be greeted by one of Amansara’s staff and whisked to the hotel in a 1960’s Mercedes limousine. As you alight the limousine at the hotel the hotel manager, Toby Anderson, greets you as a cool lemongrass-scented face towel is presented to you by one of the Amansara family. While sipping a welcome drink by the pool or in the library Toby outlines your personal itinerary for your stay. Amansara’s itineraries have been scheduled to avoid the main tourist times, thus on many occasions you are alone and have time for exploration, photography and contemplation. As you enter your suite with cool grey terrazzo floor, dark timber and ivory walls, the quiet resonance of the Lama’s chant immediately gives one a peaceful and harmonious sensation. The suites offer a combined sleeping and living area in an open plan setting. The king-size bed, writing desk and sofa are on an elevated platform above the large soaking tub and twin vanities. The shower features a full-length glass window wall overlooking your private courtyard and pond.
The provincial capital of Siem Reap is a small town, population 85,000, and the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It encompasses hundreds of temples and temple ruins including Bayon, Banteay Srei, Roluos and the legendary Angkor Wat. There are so many temples to see, so a personal itinerary, depending on your length of stay and your personal preferences is essential so that you obtain the optimum time on your outings. Amansara will have a personal itinerary organised and presented to you on your arrival. If you have a special place of interest, advise Amansara when making your booking and the Amansara family will organise it prior to your arrival.
Angkor Wat is architecturally astounding, with its optical effect in a category with the Pyramids of Egypt and Machu Pichu in Peru. Built in the mid 12th century during the reign of Suryavarman II this one-kilometre square temple is a three-tiered pyramid crowned by five towers rising 65 metres from ground level. At the height of Khmer dominance in the area, Suryavarman II constructed Angkor Wat in the form of a temple-mountain dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Angkor gets crowded in the afternoon, as most visitors want to visit and admire the sunset. The early morning is an ideal time to visit, as it is usually an idyllic time for contemplation and photography.
Banteay Srey loosely translated means, ‘Citadel of the Women’, is the only temple constructed with pink sandstone and has the most intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple. Built in the 10th century its colours are best before 10:30am and after 2:30pm. It is situated 38 kilometres from Siem Reap and the journey gives one an insight into rural Cambodian life. On the way back from Banteay Srey stop at one of the palm sugar manufacturers. Here you will see how palm sugar is made, the same way for centuries.
Thirteen kilometres to the east of Siem Reap are the Roluos group of temples. This group is where Hariharalaya, the first major capital of the Angkorian era Khmer Empire. The Preah Ko style monuments were constructed in the 9th century and served as the Khmer capital for 70 years. Although the temples do not have the visual impact of Angkor Wat, they are worth visiting as one gets an insight into the origins of this great kingdom. The journey from Amansara is in a renovated military jeep, complete with wicker-basket cooler and guide and the return journey takes you through back roads and villages to enjoy rural Cambodian life.
Other temples worth visiting are Ta Phrom, well known for the trees growing from the temple walls and the giant carvings of faces, Bakong and the Terrace of the Leper King for their artistic quality and carvings.
Do not forget to visit Siem Reap. Take one of the hotel’s remorks, Cambodian Tuk-tuk, to explore the town with its French colonial-era and Chinese architecture that gives it an old-world charm. There is a wide range of restaurants, pubs and shops. Experience ‘Aspara’, traditional Cambodian dance performances, visit craft shops, Psar Chas the Old Market and mingle with the locals.
On your arrival back at Amansara, once again another cooling scented towel, a swim in the pool, and a cool drink poolside before taking your bath, which has been drawn, filled with lotus flowers and the incense and candles are ready to be lit. Soaking up the ambiance with the Lama’s chant softly in the background as you reminisce the day’s discoveries is an ideal pre-dinner respite. Amansara regularly has guest speakers who talk on the culture, architecture and history of Angkor and the Khmer. On my visit Sophea presented an informal dance demonstration and talk with one of her associates. Whilst enjoying our pre-dinner drinks Sophea explained and revealed the intricacies of Khmer dance. Having lived through the turmoil of the Khmer Rouge regime, joined the military, danced for the Government, had secret French lessons when they were forbidden, travelled to Paris to teach with Princess Bopa Dewi, the daughter of King Sihanouk, worked for UNESCO and runs a restaurant, Sophea has crammed a lot in her 38 years. She dreams of the future, “I want to teach the Khmer people that they must love their country, show my people we have Angkor, we have trees, the people, they must learn that, I must explain and help the poor people.”
Breakfast in your room, by the pool or in the dining room – the choice is yours. All meals at Amansara are à la Carte and the room rates include breakfast and lunch/or dinner. The menu changes every day and diners are offered a choice of Khmer or European menus. The quality and service is what one would expect from Aman Resorts, superb. All drinks at the bar are available all day and are also included in the room rate.
Every evening a small “turn-down” gift is placed on your bed, a pleasant small reminder of Amansara and Cambodia.
Amansara offers their ‘Top 10’ (apologies to David Letterman), a detailed list of their favourite excursions exploring the sights and sounds further afield.
A trip to Amansara would not be complete without one of their ‘Treatments for Mind, Body and Soul’. After immersing yourself into the ancient culture of Cambodia, after touching the spiritually of this country and its people, past and present, after travelling dusty roads under the hot tropical sun, give yourself the time to relax and contemplate the beauty and depth of what you have experienced. Place yourself in the hands of an Amansara masseuse and enjoy one of the dozen treatments, either in the privacy of your suite or by the pool. Before your treatment begins one is offered the “Music Menu”. You choose what type of music you wish to listen to as you transcend into another world – Amansara World.
There will be one thing that you will not enjoy at Amansa, and that will be leaving, but Amansara ensures that even this will be cherished, as Toby presents you with a book on Angkor before you embark on your journey to the airport in the comfort of their Mercedes limousine.
Since writing this article in 2004, Amansara has added another 12 rooms, each with their own private swimming pool.

Unique Quality: Not just a hotel - it's an experience
It is expensive, US$1,500 per couple per night, but it is worth it.
Includes half board, lunch & dinner you have the choice of either French or Cambodian cuisine, free 24-hour bar, free pick up and drop off to the airport.

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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

  • Amansara Siem Reap
  • Amansara Hotel Siem Reap

Address: Road to Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Amenities at Amansara

  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Free High Speed Internet

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