For our three days stay in Siem Reap I checked out all 4&5 * hotels on the internet and Tripadvisor site. Based on the reviews, location and because of the fact that we prefer the old charm over minimalistic and modern properties in places steeped in history like Siem Reap, we decided to book the Raffles Grand Hotel. Via the American Express Platinum deal, the price of the room included: Buffet- breakfast; one buffet-dinner for two persons, guaranteed late check-out (4.00 pm), one Spa treatment (between 10 am- 5pm) for half price and an upgrade (which we didn't get, although the hotel was only half full).
We had arranged an airport pick-up and after arriving at the hotel, we were greeted with great warmth, got a cold towel and a welcome drink and were checked-in very quickly and efficiently. The hotel-manager came by to welcome us personally.
We went up to our room, a de luxe state room in the old (main) part of the building, in the lovely 1930-th wooden elevator with iron bars and brass buttons. Walking down the stone-tiled corridors in the main building seemed like walking down a hospital corridor
The room was very nice and richly decorated with a small balcony, overlooking the pool. The beds were among the best we ever slept in in a hotel. The only downside was the bathroom: Very, very small and very dated; no separate shower and to step into the bath was rather tricky. The toilet was squeezed in between the sink and the bath. Quite disappointing and unexpected and certainly not in line with the $360, ++ a night price tag!
However: I have never seen so many amenities in a hotel-bathroom!
Over 50 TV channels: Many English, French, German, even Dutch; Internet was not free of charge.
The dinner buffet was good. An abundance of choice and exquisite taste. However: As there were only about 10 guests in the large restaurant, which was brightly illuminated and therefore not very cosy, we felt a bit forelorn.
Buffet breakfast was one of the best we ever had. Endless choice and eggs cooked, scrambled and fried to your liking. Freshly squeezed juices and fruit in abundance.
The service was second to none. The valet at the door greeted us by our name; whenever we took the elevator up or down, someone jumped in to help us and asked us how are day/evening had been or what our plans were for the day.
The restaurant staff was exceptional in every way, so was staff at the pool
We were however a bit disappointed by the concierges and the staff at the reception: Somehow they couldn't remember our name or room number and the third day, when we made an inquiry at the concierges desk; the concierge (whom we had spoken a few times before) even asked us if we were guests of the hotel!
Housekeeping was impeccable. We had the distinct impression they came to check the room every two hours or so: Every time we came back in the room, the wastebasket had been emptied and again clean towels. The fruitbasket was replenished may be three times a day.
Via the hotel we had arranged for a driver and guide. Our guide, Hahn, was absolutely the best. He showed us all the beautiful sites, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom with it's Bayon, Elephant Terrace and Lepracy Terrace and (not to be missed:) Ta Prohm. Everywhere he pointed out the best spots to take pictures, was very knowledgable, spoke English very well (so did our driver) and told us so much about the history and about his own experience during the dark period of the Khmer Rouge. We were very impressed! We visited the floating village in lake Tonle Sap and the local markets of Siem Reap.
Our overall feeling and impressions of the public areas of the hotel, be it the lobby, the lounge, the main restaurant and the bar in the basement were mixed: Everything made a rather sterile impression, both in the day time, but certainly during the evening, when everything was too brightly illuminated. Too bad, because we had hoped for and expected the warm, colonial touch with perhaps some French influences.
We really missed the possibility of having cocktails or dinner outside on a terrace, as many hotels have.
The lack of atmosphere (greatly missed) was however very much compensated by the warmth, friendliness and the impeccable service of the hotel staff.
Nonetheless: The Raffles Grand Hotel, the Grand Old Lady of Siem Reap, is highly recommended. It is situated in it's own large grounds and the location is by far the best (opposite the Royal Residence and the National Museum is around the corner). Walking distance to the modern shopping mall and the Victoria Angkor Hotel, which still has the old colonial touch and feeling.
Service is second to none: Exceptional and warm and most of all: Genuine.
New hotels are being built all over Siem Reap. Fortunately: The Old Charm will remain in hotels like The Raffles Grand hotel d' Angkor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since the early 1930s, a visit to the ancient temples of Angkor has been synonymous with a stay at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor. Located in the heart of Siem Reap, a mere 8 kilometres away from the majestic Angkor Wat, this leading Siem Reap luxury hotel offers convenient access to some of the most intriguing ruins of the temple complex. The luxury Siem Reap hotel offers personalized pampering at the award-winning Raffles Spa, as well as an array of fine dining choices, from exotic Khmer cuisine at the Restaurant Le Grand to the Elephant Bar where fine wine, champagne and cocktails, including the signature Airavata is served. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, opt for private dining at one of the magnificent temples of Angkor. Spread over 15 acres of beautifully landscaped French gardens, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor exudes old-world Cambodian grandeur infused with the best of modern comforts. An elegant cage elevator, the township’s very first, adorns the lobby and continues to gracefully ferry guests as it did since the hotel was first established. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Raffles Grand Hotel d Angkor
- Raffles Grand Siem Reap