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Amansara, Siem Reap 

Road to Angkor
Siem Reap
Tel: 800 477 9180 (toll-free)
Tel: 855 63 760 333
view web site ›'s insider take:

This modernist guesthouse, commissioned by King Sihanouk in 1962, is the place to stay in Siem Reap. Like most of the Amanresorts, Amansara is intimate, luxurious, and relaxing. When you arrive at the serene compound—likely in the hotel's 1965 Mercedes limousine—you'll be welcomed "home." The concept sounds gimmicky at first, but with just 24 suites (half clustered around the slate pool; the others, each with a plunge pool, flanking a grassy courtyard), a staff that has mastered the art of hospitality (leave muddy sneakers outside your door, and they'll be scrubbed clean), and a pervasive "as you wish" attitude (no need to make dinner reservations—the kitchen's ready when you are), it does start to feel like you own the place. In the suites, an unembellished design of dark wood, ivory fabrics, terrazzo floors, and a subtle bas-relief wall decoration makes for a meditative space—one that's best for couples, given the open plan (the soaking tub is within view of the king-size bed) and glass-walled shower open to the private courtyard. The highlight of staying here, however, is entrée to Amansara's exclusive temple excursions—you'll be outfitted with a private guide and remork (moped-powered pedicab) driver. Hotel manager Siddharth Mehra enables guests to see the Angkor sites in as adventurous a way as they can handle: by motorcycle, by balloon, by helicopter, you name it. Want to dig deeper into the local culture? The library is stocked with books on Khmer civilization; scholars and artists give house talks and performances; the spa utilizes Cambodian techniques and products; and both Khmer and Western menus are available in the dining room. The tariff at Amansara can be breathtaking (rooms start at $750 per night, not including the compulsory half-board charge of $100 per person, per day); yet when you're welcomed back from a sunset outing by smiling staff proffering chilled, lemongrass-scented towels, and find intricately folded lotus blossoms floating in the bathtub, you have to admit, it's a pretty magical place.—Updated by Lynn Suhrie

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
"An experience we'll never forget." The former guesthouse of King Sihanouk is "an oasis in a humid city." Classic '60s-style chalets have "sleek, modern rooms" with timber, ivory, and private courtyards. The Dining Room, with 23-foot-high ceilings, offers Western and traditional Khmer cuisine. "Staff are incredible. After a hot day of touring, we returned to a cool bath prepared in our room."

(24 suites)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 93.0
  • Design: 95.3
  • Food: 81.4
  • Location: 95.3
  • Rooms: 95.3
  • Service: 97.7

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008

Amenities: Pool, Spa

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