A royal-built exclusive hideaway

Yet another creation of prolific 20th-century builder King Norodom Sihanouk, Amansara has had many different names over the years. When it first opened in 1963, it was christened Villa Princière, its modest yet stylish low-rise buildings welcoming members of the royal family and their guests.

In the 1970s, it became Villa Sokha, before it was devastated by war, then the 1980s saw a slight rebirth as Villa Apsara, before abandonment in the ’90s. By the time Aman arrived in 2002, there was not much left but a shell, though an extensive and painstaking restoration was made using old photos as reference, resulting in the return of the 1960s glory years.

Modern design elements bring it into the 21st century, as do a new lap pool, spa and gym. However, the mystique remains — after passing through an unmarked black gate, you are welcomed at the original reception building, while the K-shaped pool still provides a refuge after a day spent touring the ruins of Angkor, before a dinner under the dome of the resort's distinctive circular restaurant.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The VIP treatment starts at the airport with a pick-up in a vintage 1965 black Mercedes limousine, which transports you back to Cambodia's heyday. (The vintage vehicle also will return you to the airport when your trip comes to a close.)
  • Amansara’s Pool Suites add an extra layer of seclusion to an already-discreet atmosphere, akin to having your own private temple courtyard.
  • The location is hard to beat, with the ruins of Angkor only a short journey up the road and the quiet heart of Siem Reap just a short walk (or remorque trailer ride) from your doorstep.
  • While a meal in The Restaurant — as the stunning circular dining room is called — is memorable, dinner at the resort's Khmer Village House by Angkor Wat is stunning.
  • Take advantage of the hotel’s exclusive tours to the Angkor temples, where a yoga or meditation session can be arranged.

Things to Know

  • A stay at Amansara means traveling in style, from the vintage jeeps that take you on a countryside tour to the fleet of black remorques ready to ferry you into town.
  • The Siem Reap hotel regularly hosts visiting scholars, who offer workshops and lectures on everything from architecture and music to history and local culture.
  • Everything is possible to arrange here, from a helicopter ride out to remote ruins to a private dinner on a luxury boat — the concierge can make it happen.

The Rooms

  • The calming color palette of the common areas extends to the interior design of the rooms, with layers of white, gray and brown contrasting with bright green foliage.
  • There are three suite types to choose from: Contemporary; Courtyard, which come with a private garden area; and Pool Suites, which have their own own 322-square-foot plunge pool.
  • One of our favorite features of Amansara's incredibly chic design are the subtle sandstone reliefs found on the walls, which pay homage to the temples of nearby Angkor.

Nearby Attractions

  • The Angkor temples are only a 20-minute drive from the luxury hotel. If you're there for sunrise, enjoy breakfast at Amansara's Khmer Village House.
  • For a spectacular show, book ringside seats at Phare, The Cambodian Circus, where extremely talented youths put on an unforgettable acrobatic performance.
  • Tonle Sap is Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. Explore its floating villages and mangrove shores on one of the resort's Amanbara lake boats.

Fitness classes
House car
Outdoor pool
Getting There
Charles De Gaulle, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
REP (16-22 min)  
Check Availability