My family and I booked late for our Chinese New Year escape from Shanghai. We’d book our flights to Siem Reap and planned to visit Angkor, but hadn’t chosen a hotel. We had lots of recommendations from the expat community as Cambodia is a popular destination, but we found most places booked. I found Angkor Palace online while looking for a room that would accommodate our family of four. And, since our 13 year old daughter is now considered an adult by all hotels in Asia, it can be difficult to find a place that will accept 3 “adults” and one child in a room. We found that the Angkor Palace has several villas and the Bird of Paradise villa perfectly fit our needs. The stand-alone villa had two huge suites connected by a large living/dining room. Each suite had an amazing bathroom complete with soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor showers, double vanities and spa-quality amenities. The place clearly has been recently updated because it was fresh, current and beautiful. The room for the children had a huge platform bed with two queen size mattresses that our girls loved. The master came with a very large king bed. Excellent linens and although mattresses were firm, they were not nearly as hard as some we’ve experienced when traveling in China. The room had three deck areas – one out front, one out back overlooking the property’s lake and then out back we had a deck area and a lovely private pool.
The room was not the only thing special about our stay at the Angkor Palace. We booked the “Villa Escape” package that included several meals for the family (2 dinners, 1 lunch, 1 tea and breakfast daily), wine and champagne in our room, spa treatments and an English speaking tour guide and van for three full days. The Angkor Palace didn’t disappoint on anything the promised. I have to admit, after living in China for the last two years and traveling throughout Asia, my strategy is “low expectations” for resorts. But, my family decided this was better than our holiday stay at the Ritz Carlton in Maui, club level. That was our “high water mark” for facilities and service to date. But, the Angkor Palace provided us with much more personal service, outstanding food, wonderful spa experiences, a marvelous room and outstanding facilities complete with a large, freeform swimming pool with bridges, an island and plenty of tropical landscaping to complete the experience.
The personal service begins at airport pick up. Once at the hotel, you are welcomed by name and escorted to a sitting area in the lobby where their attentive staff brings you fruit drinks, cold cloths and welcome scarves. They took care of everything while we were enjoying our drinks. They escorted us to our villa and oriented us to the resort facilities. I assumed the personal service would have stopped there (and I would still have been wowed), but we were greeted by name in the spa and restaurant that day. The morning manager at the busy breakfast buffet welcomed us personally every morning and even packaged breakfast for our girls who preferred breakfast in bed. He did this daily for them and ensured my husband and I were taken care of as well.
The meals also far exceeded our expectations. We LOVED Khmer food in general. But the hotel food was outstanding. We were served a 6 course Royal Khmer dinner one evening with each course being better than the last. Even my very, very picky 9 year old enjoyed trying the different food. The flavors were rich and exotic without being overwhelming. We had a wonderful experience at both lunch and our set dinner. Service is friendly and competent and the food was outstanding.
Our tour guide, Mong Kheang also made our experience special. He, like most of his Cambodian compatriots, had a big smile on his face all the time. Everything was “no problem” and he worked hard to ensure our needs were met and that the entire family had a good time (which can be difficult with our girls in tow). He was not just friendly, but very knowledgeable of the temples and area. I am sure you could get around Angkor without a guide, but he really made the experience more interesting by helping us understand their history and culture. He also arranged a visit to a floating school on Tonle Sap lake so the girls could give out the many school supplies they brought from the US. That was their favorite stop on the entire trip.
Thank you to Sokah, our personal and friendly concierge and the entire management team for making our stay so special. We were escorted out by the management team and the hotel manager gave us a gift on their behalf. He was sincere in his and his team’s appreciate for the opportunity to serve us. I think that is what made this experience so unique.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the heart of ultimate luxury and bask in the splendor of elegance at Angkor Palace Resort & Spa, the perfect base to explore the legendary Angkor Temples and undiscovered treasures in Cambodia. The only international 5-star resort designed and built by a Cambodian architect, its décor and furnishing reflect the finest in Cambodian architecture, befitting royalty and dignitaries. Nestled invitingly within a spacious 11-hectare estate, the lush resort offers you the serenity of a secluded retreat whilst ensuring you are provided with every possible convenience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Soluxe Angkor Palace, Resort And Spa
- Grand Soluxe Angkor Palace Hotel Siem Reap
- Angkor Palace Hotel
- Angkor Palace Resort