| Amansara lies in the former guesthouse of King Sihanouk. This classic sixties structure has been converted into a calm oasis on the outskirts of bustling Siem Reap.
King Sihanouk commissioned French architect, Laurent Mondet, in 1962, to build a guesthouse enabling visiting dignitaries to enjoy a cool and contemporary stay while allowing them to embrace the outstanding ancient ruins and temples within its jungle and rice paddy terrain. The ruins of nearby Angkor, clinging on in the clutches of forest and farmland are today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ranging from a cluster of bricks to the world’s largest single religious monument. Amansara, previously known as Villa Apsara, has had a fretful and fascinating legacy, though this splendid architectural gem, now meticulously restored and nurtured by Amansara, has maintained its spirit of intent. It rests as the ideal portal for discovering the incredible culmination of five centuries of Khmer civilisation, between 802 and 1220 AD, representing one of humankind’s most profound and long-lived architectural achievements.
This tranquil home offers a multitude of relaxing opportunities within its private garden enclave: a sultry curved slate swimming pool surrounded by bamboo and taupe cushioned loungers with a shaded pergola for alfresco delights; the Dining Room, previously the screening room of King Sihanouk, is both dramatic and outstanding with a cavernous seven-metre high ceiling and a well stocked walk-in wine cellar. The 24 suites are decorated in a classic Indochinese palette of cool grey, pristine white, dark timber and ivory with private courtyards and soothing water features with 12 offering private swimming pools. The Roof Garden, surrounded and shaded by trees, with mushroom hued cushions on low seating, is the ideal venue for relaxing by candlelight with pre-prandial drinks or, invigorating yoga sessions with the rising sun. The Spa, which has four immaculate treatment rooms in dark wood and fresh white, focuses strongly on therapeutic Cambodian techniques using organic products and faces an exceptional Angkor-inspired 43m sandstone bas-relief set above a green hand tiled reflective pond.
Every suite has access to its own custom fitted remork and driver, for personal expeditions into this rich and glorious land.
Rediscovery of Cambodia
With Angkor among the world’s foremost ancient sites, the town of Siem Reap is being developed to service the growth of international tourism, with numerous accommodations at all levels, cafes, restaurants and related tourism services. Traditional food and handicrafts markets have now been joined by the hustle and bustle of tourism-related commerce, making Siem Reap a beehive of activity. There are still places where Siem Reap’s verdant charm remains, especially along the banks of the Siem Reap River where the architectural richness of the town is at its best. From traditional wooden houses to colonial-style buildings and pagodas, it offers a glimpse of a Siem Reap rapidly fading.
Tonle Sap: South-east Asia’s largest freshwater lake and a unique geographical wonder for its flora and fauna.
Art of Khmer Cooking: Guests then enjoy their feast and relax in the countryside.
Helicopter Tours: Customised helicopter tours can be arranged for guests wishing to explore places farther afield like Preah Vihar and its surrounds, close to the Thai border. Within the Angkor park certain routes may be done on an elephant.
Temple tours and Cultural Walks
Cambodia lies at the heart of Indochina and is bordered by Thailand in the west, Laos in the north, Vietnam in the east and the Gulf of Thailand in the south. It is a country that, despite its relatively small size and large, dominant neighbours, has managed to retain its unique Khmer identity. Its cultural traditions predate those of Thailand and, unlike Vietnam, which expresses a marked Chinese influence, Cambodia’s cultural roots draw heavily from the Indian subcontinent.Amansara is a ¼ hour drive from Siem Reap airport and complimentary transfers are offered to guests on arrival and departure.
Road to Angkor, Siem Reap
Kingdom of Cambodia.
A cool, earthy and sophisticated palette of grey, white, dark wood and ivory washes all the suites with subtle elegance culminating in a distinct serenity that serenades its sixties conception and complements its distinctive and astonishing surrounding culture. The suites offer a breezy open-plan design balancing the tranquil sleep chamber with the subtle seating area on a floor of soft grey terrazzo.