One of Southeast Asia’s most iconic heritage properties has recently opened its doors again for the first time in almost three years.
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor first made its debut in 1932 as La Grande Dame de Angkor. For almost 90 years, the hotel has welcomed travellers worldwide and celebrities – from Charlie Chaplin to Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama - to the heart of Cambodia.
In 2019, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor underwent a delicate makeover before the global pause in travel. Guestrooms were refurbished with lighter and brighter interiors and fitted with Segafredo coffee machines, USB charging stations, and Simmons pillow-top mattresses. The French windows, which boast views of the hotel’s green surrounds or street scenes, were also upgraded, and each room now features a writing desk, vintage rotary telephone and built-in wardrobes. Bathrooms were also elevated with new Italian tiling and rain showers. All that remains the same are the traditional ceiling fans and the stunning views of the Royal Gardens or the resort’s iconic pool.
“It is a magnificent feeling to bring this enchanting hotel back to life,” said General Manager Dennis de Groot. “The Grand Hotel is a national treasure, and its storied history is a 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 a family”.
Returning guests will discover that the famous façade and entire exterior of the property now is frosted in white rather than its former cream-beige hue, which was the colour of French colonial architecture across Indochina.
1932, the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor’s latest signature restaurant proudly inherits the honour of serving traditional Royal Khmer cuisine for a memorable dining experience.
Another new addition to the hotel is the Raffles Marquee, an elegant events centre located within 15-acres of lush French gardens that hosts everything from Khmer performances and fashion shows to wedding receptions and business conferences. With air-conditioning, the marquee offers a unique backdrop for sophisticated events in the charming town of Siem Reap.
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is just a 20-minute drive to the UNESCO Heritage temples of Angkor. The hotel offers a thrilling series of Raffles Curated Journeys and Resort Programs, incorporating local experiences with worldly elegance. Guests can explore the prehistoric Angkor Archaeological Park on an iconic Vespa. Embark on a local tuk-tuk tour for a trip through the Silk Road of Angkor, visiting the stunning Banteay Srei Temple and Golden Silk Farm. Food enthusiasts indulge in the local flavours of Siem Reap city on an exclusive Culinary Hidden Gems, while shopaholics wander Kandal Village accompanied by a Raffles Butler, and culture lovers can enjoy a performance of Cambodian dances in the Apsara Terrace.
There is an offering of onsite activities within the resort grounds, such as monk blessings, Angkor Sling masterclasses, botanical and culinary garden tours, and a tour with the resident historian.
Designed by French architect Ernest Hébrard with an approach that blends Khmer art and furnishings with Art Deco influences, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor first opened in 1932 with 63 rooms with private bathrooms - a revelation in its time. In 1997, the hotel, along with its sister heritage hotel, Le Royal, in Phnom Penh, was assumed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International at the invitation of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk.
The move to reopen on 1st June comes as Cambodia lifts all major travel restrictions. The country was widely praised for its handling of the pandemic and its effective vaccine program.
This year, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor was recognised by US magazine Travel + Leisure as among the top 500 hotels in the world.