Belmond La Residence d'Angkor

River Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia Book from US$321

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Warm wood and lush plants abound at this Khmer-style hotel, offering comfort and hospitality in abundance
Standing across the road from the Siem Reap river, with the old town a short stroll west, Belmond La Residence d'Angkor hits all the right notes. Lush tropical gardens, delightful airy rooms, loungers encircling a cool pool, and resort architecture with Khmer touches that fits snugly in its place; you simply feel happy padding about its tranquil corridors and paths.

Skip over a tranquil moat and you enter a world of wood. An inviting lounge/bar spills out onto the swimming pool terrace, while an air-conditioned restaurant slips into the garden in clement weather. Most of the bedrooms horseshoe around the swimming pool, some with garden or neighborhood views, others overlooking the river or pool. All are restful and come with a private terrace or balcony. As for Angkor, guides and cars can be arranged, so pull yourself away from the tranquility and explore its endless majesty.

Highs

  • There’s a lively feel to the place, but it remains wonderfully intimate, and the hospitality and attention to your creature comforts is first-class
  • The saltwater pool surrounded by lush gardens and soaring palms is a pretty good spot in the middle of a city
  • Bedrooms are a treat, equipped with all the mod cons, lotions and potions
  • A 7-minute walk to nightlife and restaurants, a 20-minute drive to Angkor Wat
  • Fabulous spa featuring a range of spoiling treatments, a sauna and a steam room

Lows

  • Ye olde Angkor style may not be for the hip and sharply suited
  • The aim is mainly on first- or one-time tourists, with Apsara dances, monk blessings and other busyness jostling for your attention
  • Views from some rooms are obscured by dense vegetation
  • The hotel can get busy in high season so be sure to book in advance

Best time to go

Avoid March to May, the hottest season, also the least popular. The rainy season is usually over by end-November and the weather is relatively cool (but still hot) through to the end of February (making this the most popular time to come, thus the busiest). The paddy fields are at their lushest in the rainy season (June to October), which can be hot and muggy.

Our top tips

The nearby Wat Bo area is getting livelier all the time, with new restaurants and cafes springing up as a welcome alternative to the crush of the Old Market/Pub Street tourist ghetto.

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 62
  • Restaurant and bars (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 2 Jun 2016 - 19 Nov 2016
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Pool View Room

Rooms

You find everything you’d want of a good hotel room: lots of space, attractive design, excellent bathrooms, a private balcony and a real sense of peace. Interiors come with polished hardwood floors, white walls, padded sofas (that turn into extra beds), warm, jewel-coloured soft furnishings and minibars with surprising oddments like herbal rice wine. Kingsize or twin beds are smartly covered in crisp white linen.

The generous bathrooms are tucked behind a sliding bamboo door. Vast terrazzo tubs are just what you need to really relax, and the linen robes are great for lounging in. Lotions, potions and gewgaws abound.

The newer Residence Suites in the annex have their own terrace, but they’re awkwardly laid out and have indifferent views, so unless you need a lot of long bland space, drop down to a Garden View Room or Pool View Room: they’re all lovely and none are small. The Deluxe Rooms, set back from - but facing - the river may be best as you feel more connected to the life around you. Basically, the rooms are carbon copies; your only decision is what view you want.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

You get wood everywhere here, not least in the hotel's Circle restaurant, and it’s all rather beautiful. French windows open onto a shaded terrace, where breakfast is served from 6am (and snacks from 5am), so you can eat early before heading out to the temples. It's the usual Indochinese extravaganza: freshly squeezed tropical juices, platters of sliced fruit, cake stands packed with irresistible patisserie, eggs any way you want them, and as a special treat, you can assemble your own shake from a stand of fruit at the entrance.

Light bites are available in the Martini Lounge and pool bar. Like most places, the menu features Asian and western dishes: Caesar salad, fresh spring rolls, stir-fried shrimps or a burger. Lunch and dinner here are a cut above the rest. Dig into stuffed sea crab with a mild chilli sauce, chicken and lemongrass with jasmine rice, then caramelised banana with black sesame and shredded coconut. There’s evening Apsara dancing 3 times a week, too.

Ember is in the midst of the lush gardens and open all day for drinks and snacks, as well as for BBQ meats fresh off the grill.

If you want to eat out, head to the Wat Bo Road and surrounding streets; new Khmer restaurants spring up all the time and the quality is often good. Or cross over the river and head into the old market, and try Haven or Abacus for good French food.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit Angkor Wat, the principal temple of this ancient capital and the largest religious building in the world (it's surrounded by a 5km moat)
  • Ta Prohm where the roots of giant banyan trees hold temple ruins in their mighty grip as they soar towards heaven, is well worth seeing...
  • ... And Bayon, the state temple of Angkor Thom, where 216 giant faces are chiselled into the stone
  • Be sure to head to Banteay Srei for its wonderful pink sandstone temples and their exquisite stone carvings
  • The night market (a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride away) is full of great trinkets; at Artisans d’Angkor you can watch the stonemasons at their tasks and buy their work
  • Visit The Tonle Sap, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which floods with monsoon rains and teems with fish. It’s 10km south of Siem Reap and boat cruises plough their furrow, taking in the various floating communities
  • The hotel can arrange a number of activities: elephant rides, golf, quad biking and horse riding in the country
  • The hotel organises its own shopping or food tasting tours – a bite and a drink per restaurant and pudding back at the hotel
  • Relax in the Kong Kea Spa with its sumptuously appointed treatment rooms, private sauna and steam rooms, and zen plunge pool overlooking the bamboo garden. Yoga on request

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children are welcome at Belmond La Residence d'Angkor and all rooms are suitable for families.

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Residence Suites can fit an extra bed or baby cot and have a living area.The Deluxe, Pool View and Garden View Rooms can all either fit an extra bed or baby cot; some of these rooms can interconnect (on request).

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

The pool is not supervised and there is no secure fence.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Belmond La Residence d'Angkor