ASIA STAYS OF DISTINCTION
- The Amandari, Ubud
- Peninsula Hotel, Beijing
- Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong
- Lake Palace, Udaipur
- The Peninsula, Shanghai
- Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
- The Palace, Tokyo
- The Imperial Hotel, Delhi
- Raffles Hotel, Singapore
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok
- Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai
- Amanpuri, Phuket
- The Amansara, Siem Reap
- La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang
- Gems of South East Asia, 10 days
- Amazing Angkor Wat, 3 days
- Angkor Wat in Depth, 4 days
- Koh Kong, 3 days
- Phnom Penh Stopover, 3 days
- Sihanoukville Stopover, 4 days
- Cambodia Showcase, 5 days
- Classic Cambodia, 9 days
SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES
- Cambodia and Vietnam Explorer, 14 days
- Cambodia Revealed, 11 days
- Essential Indochina, 12 days
- Highlights of Indochina, 13 days
- Inside Vietnam and Cambodia, 21 days
- Laos and Cambodia Experience, 14 days
- Temples of Angkor, 5 days
STAYS OF DISTINCTION
- The Amansara, 3 days
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Cambodia Stays Of Distinction
THE AMANSARA, SIEM REAP
- How To Get There
- Accommodation & Facilities
- Travel Idea
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.
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.
The airport at Siem Reap receives international flights and there are numerous ¾ hour flights each week from Bangkok which are operated by Bangkok Airways. From Singapore, Jet Star Asia flies to Siem Reap each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. SilkAir also has regular services from Singapore. The flight takes approximately two hours and 10 minutes.
The return flight takes a little longer as it may be routed via Phnom Penh, the capital. International air services are also scheduled from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang in Vietnam, Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Seoul in South Korea. Domestic air travel is mostly to and from Phnom Penh. However, there are flights frequently scheduled to smaller Cambodian towns.
Amansara is a ¼ hour drive from Siem Reap airport and complimentary transfers are offered to guests on arrival and departure.
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. The bathrooms, clear-cut in white and dark wood are luxuriantly spacious with deep soaking tubs and generous twin vanities and an enclosed courtyard featuring a soothing water garden.
A secretly placed, additional lap pool languishes invitingly behind a vast stone clad wall, a feature, echoed throughout the resort and land, of hidden treasures and wondrous surprises.
Amansara has 12 Suites, similar in design, featuring an open plan setting with finishes in terrazzo and timber. Colours are muted and earthy. Entry is to a combined sleeping and living area that contains a large writing desk and a king-size bed.
Adjacent is a dressing area with hanging cupboards and drawers. The lounge has a large sofa, an informal circular dining table and chairs. Beyond, and leading down a few steps, is the bathroom which opens onto a light-filled courtyard featuring a water garden and cushioned banquette. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors offer views of the courtyard which features a small water garden. Each suite is air-conditioned, with ceiling fans and a music system.
Twelve Pool Suites feature a private six by five-metre swimming pool and are fronted by additional private dining areas.
The Dining Room, near the swimming pool, is a focal point of the property and unique in design. It is circular in shape with a soaring seven-metre ceiling and has an informal ambience for dining or all day lounging. The menu offers both traditional Khmer and Western cuisines and features the freshest of seasonal produce. The dining room also features a walk-in wine cellar where guests may make their selection.
Guests may also dine and snack poolside, or enjoy their in-room complimentary minibar that offers a range of healthy alternative herbal drinks as well as the usual favourites. The Roof Terrace offers a seasonal alternative spot for early evening drinks or lunch, with cushioned seating and low tables shaded by trees. It is also an ideal place for yoga or quiet contemplation, especially at sunrise.
The Library provides a range of coffee-table books, travel guides, novels, magazines, daily newspapers and complimentary Internet access via a Mac. Also on offer are a range of audio CDs, board games and a comprehensive collection of reference books on the Angkor temples and Khmer civilisation. house talks
Amansara works closely with knowledgeable sources in Siem Reap to invite visiting scholars for informal house talks and excursions to places of special interest. These sessions offer a close-up look at Angkor and Cambodia through the eyes of specialists in subjects as diverse as history, archaeology, architecture, satellite imagery, dance, culture and even puppetry.
The Gallery provides a variety of handwoven silks, lacquer-ware, jewellery, local handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs.
Four treatment rooms, each with an attached relaxation area and private steam bath and shower, are available to provide guests with a range of massage and beauty treatments using Cambodian techniques and natural products. All the treatment and relaxation rooms look out onto a reflection pond that is set against a 43.2m sandstone relief. swimming pool
Most of Amansara's suites are set around a central, grassed courtyard. At one end of the lawn, adjacent to a shady pergola, is a 17.5m swimming pool with sun deck. A 25m by 5m lap pool is also available closer to the pool suites.
Wireless broadband connections are available in all resorts accommodations and public areas.
Angkor is a fascinating blend of exquisite stone carving and jungle. It was the culmination of five centuries of Khmer civilisation. A series of temples and incipient cities surged and ebbed over this vast 20,000-hectare complex, reaching a pinnacle in the 12th century under the Devaraja (God King) Jayavarman VII who brought a measure of permanence in the form of his fortified, walled city of Angkor Thom. Jayavarman VII was responsible for driving the Cham out of Cambodia following which, in a dramatic break from tradition, he introduced Mahayana Buddhism as the official, state-sponsored religion. He then embarked on a series of building projects on an unprecedented scale.
The creation of Angkor Thom and its associated constructions ended the tumbleweed rambling of Angkor to ensure its secure place in history.
The vast archaeological park of Angkor is a sprawling monument to the golden age of Khmer civilisation. Perhaps the best-known and most enduring image of this period is Angkor Wat (or temple city, from the Sanskrit nagara, or city). This funerary temple with its intricately carved quincunx of towers was the centre of Khmer Hindu tradition for much of the 12th century.
The towers soar skyward creating the impression of a 'temple mountain' symbolising mythological Mount Meru, the centre of the universe. Angkor Wat's exterior walls are wrapped in extensive bas-reliefs. Of particular interest is the panel depicting the 'Churning of the Ocean of Milk'. Angkor Wat is best viewed at sunrise or sunset.
3 day Itinerary
Day 1. Arrive in Siem Reap.
Welcome to the home of Angkor Wat. You will be met by Goway's representative and transferred to the Amansara via private transfer. The balance of the day is at leisure. Either relax at the resort or take a remok to a nearby night market for some souvenier shopping.
Day 2. Angkor Wat sightseeing.
Today includes a full-day of temple exploration. In the morning, you will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom - last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips. PJ de Beerski wrote of them; “godliness in the majesty and the size, mystery in the expression.” Continue to visit Thommanon, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in it’s natural state since its “ re-discovery” by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. It is one of the largest temples at Angkor, dedicated in 1186. Historians have long since noted its mystical charm.
In the afternoon, visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story. The most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is located on the east wing. In it the Naga serpent, is twisted by demons and gods to spurt out the elixir of life. Enjoy Sunset over the temple complex. (B)
Day 3. Siem Reap to your next stop.
Today is at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. If you can, why not stay longer? See links for other ideas. (B)
Join any day.
Please request the prices fore the dates that suite you.
Airport transfers by private car, two nights accommodation in either a suite or pool suite, meals as shown by BLD, full day sightseeing tour by private car and guide.