Tuesday, October 22, 2019

In the shadows of Angkor

May 03. 2016
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The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living
Nestled along Charles De Gaulle Street, Le Meridien Angkor has been designed to mimic the temples of Angkor. An appealing mix of European and Cambodian styles, the hotel features four buildings set around a quiet courtyard that’s ideal for garden and social meetings. And, as guests will be quick to discover, Le Meridian Angkor is far more luxurious than the stone temples just down the road. 
No other hotel is closer to the ancient monuments than Le Meridien Angkor. Presiding over a prime stretch of Charles De Gaulle, the main street that leads right to the Angkor War, its proximity means that guests need less than 10 minutes to travel to the much-visited Unesco World Heritage Site. In fact it’s so near that you can cycle from the hotel. Le Meridien Angkor is also an easy walk to Angkor National Museum – the hotel’s Unlock Art partner in the ancient capital.
An oasis in hot and dusty Siem Reap, the hotel’s grounds boast lotus ponds, palm trees and sprawling tropical gardens. Step into the spacious lobby and you leave the chaos of Siem Reap behind. The high-ceiling lobby area is comfy and appealing with the courtyard offering a view of the garden.
Le Meridien Angkor houses 213 rooms and nine suites. Guestrooms eulogise the colonial style with white-washed walls, wooden floors, exotic statues of ancient kings and wooden ceiling fans that lazily move the pleasantly cool air.
My room is wonderfully spacious, which I know from experience is a much-appreciated feature of all Le Meridien properties. There’s a long table set against the wall – perfect for my laptop and cameras, as well as a king-sized bed and sizeable sofa and small table. I unpack in a hurry, promising myself I’ll tidy up though when I return to my room later in the day, I find there’s no need, as the housekeeping staff has already arranged the clothes I left lying around in a neat pile. 
The restroom is also spacious, and the bathtub the best place to be after a long day exploring the temples of Angkor in the sun. 
The pool too is a good place to chill after a day of sightseeing. Inspired by ancient Khmer architecture, it’s surrounded by delicately manicured gardens and lily ponds. 
On-site restaurant, L'Angelo, serves up modern Italian cuisine paired with fine wines. The menu includes pasta, steaks, burgers, salads and steak stroganoff. But it’s the hotel’s all-day dining eatery, Angkor Royal Cafe, that earns the most praise, transitioning smoothly from breakfast buffet, to a contemporary lunch bistro and finally to a casual dinner spot. 
With colonial sensibility and plenty of luxurious treats, Le Meridien Angkor is the best choice for anyone wanting to be closer to the temples of Angkor.
High point: A luxury hotel with everything guests need to escape the heat and dust of Siem Reap. 
Low point: Le Meridien Angkor might make Air France’s crew – who have traditionally stayed at Le Meridien – miss the artistic and fashionable statements at other Le Meridien hotels.
Pay for it: US$105 per night for on-line booking at www.StarwoodHotels.com. 
Find it: Charles De Gaulle Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Call it: (+855 63) 963 900
Browse it: www.StarwoodHotels.com.

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