Amansara (deriving from the Sanskrit "aman", peace, and "apsara", the heavenly nymphs of ancient Hindu mythology) opened in December 2002 in Siem Reap, the cultural heartland of ancient Khmer civilization. It is an ideal venue for exploring the Angkor complex and its surrounds. Amansara, formerly the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk, has been refurbished as an intimate 12-suite resort. Situated only 10 minutes from the entrance to Angkor, this private garden compound offers a homebase for travellers seeking to explore the culture and history of Cambodia. Amansara has the inviting ambience of a gracious home and is set in a private garden compound with mature, shade trees. The 12 suites, similar in design, feature 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, and 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. The bathroom contains twin vanities, makeup mirror, a large soaking tub and a separate shower and toilet. A floor-to-ceiling glass partition separates the toilet from the courtyard, letting in light and patio views. Each suite is air-conditioned, with ceiling fans, telephone (twin lines for Internet access), room safe and a CD music system. In January 2006, Amansara will greet the New Year as a 24-suite property, with the addition of 12 new suites, each with a private pool. Six suites each will be located on opposite sides of a grass courtyard. Larger than Amansara's 12 existing suites, the new pool suites will measure 80 square metres each. Courtyards in the new suites will have private swimming pools measuring six metres by five metres. A Spa Centre with private treatment and relaxation rooms and a 25m-lap pool will complement Amansara's intimate ambience as a house for guests exploring the legacies of Khmer culture and tradition.
- Road to Angkor
- Siem Reap
Amansara is a 15-minute drive from Siem Reap airport and complimentary transfers are offered to guests on arrival and departure.
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 an informal ambience for dining or all day lounging. The menu offers both traditional Asian and western cuisines and features the freshest of seasonal produce. The Dining area also features a range of books, a large map of Cambodia, and a walk-in wine cellar where guests may make their selection. Guests may also dine and snack poolside.
At one end of the lawn, adjacent to a shady pergola, is a 17.5m swimming pool with sundeck. Available in 2006, and hidden from view behind a six metre high wall, a new 5m by 25m lap pool will provide guests further opportunity for swims.
***In 2006, Amansara's new Spa Centre will be discretely positioned and accessed along a passageway paralleled by a long reflecting pool. Steps lead to an elevated reception area flanked by a glassed-in courtyard lawn centred by a single ancient tree. The Spa's foyer leads to three single treatment rooms, each with a private relaxation room, backed by glass walls overlooking a reflection pond. One double treatment room with private relaxation room will also be available. Baths, showers, a sound system, and treatments making use of natural products and traditional Cambodian techniques will provide the Spa a sanctuary-like feeling.
Siem Reap is a relatively small, flat town. Its size and informality make it ideal for cycling despite the erratic traffic. The resort stocks a range of mountain bicycles.
The gallery provides a variety of hand-woven silks, lacquer-ware, jewellery, local handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs, apparel and sundries.
Angkor is a fascinating blend of exquisite stone carving and jungle. It was the culmination of five centuries of Khmer civilization. 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. Angkor Wat (or Temple City, from the Sanskrit nagara, or city) is the best-known monument in this sprawling historical park. It was the main centre of Khmer Hindu tradition in the 12th Century. A variety of temple tours and cultural walks are available as part of the guest experience. Conducted early morning and late afternoon to avoid the sun and crowds, these outings focus on the Angkor Thom area and include Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and Bayon as well as excursions to Banteay Srei (the temple of women). Several other areas of cultural interest are covered as well. Amansara uses its own English-speaking guides who are well informed on both ancient Khmer history and modern Cambodian life.
The Amansara Suite is the resort's premier accommodation and boasts a generous courtyard.
Guest Review Highlights
- - Fine Dining on Site
- - High Speed Internet
- - Pool, Outdoor
- - Spa Facility
- - Biking, Touring
- - Shopping
- - Theatre & Museums
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