Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
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Travel Blogs from Siem Reap
Today we visited the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom, which is totally encircled by a moat. It has many temples scattered over an area much larger geographically than Angkor Wat. The city has five monumental gates decorated with stone elephant trunks. We visited three of the major sites of Angkor Thom, Bayon, and The Terrace of the Elephants ( …
We said good bye this morning to our Raffles Hotel in Phnom Phen. We actually had to use a side exit as the Foreign Minister of France and the Prince of Japan had arrived for the cremation ceremony for King Sihanouk and security was heightened. Metal detectors were set up at the front door and there were numerous French security with shoulder …
Today was amazing! We started early this morning and even caught the sunrise as we were headed out for some temple viewing!
We began the day at Bayon Temple. This was possibly the most incredible temple I have ever experienced. It was built in the late 12th/ early 13th century as the official state temple of the …
Today we visited Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple complex and religious monument in the world. It was absolutely breathtaking. We left the hotel around 8:30 a.m. to head to the temple and it was already pretty crowded. Luckily, we had already gotten our passes yesterday, so we were able to enter right away.
This morning we had breakfast at our hotel before boarding the bus from Port Douglas to Cairns to meet our plane. Our flight today was seven and a half hours long. I'm beginning to really enjoy this plane. It's like a little home in the sky. The flight went by quickly and before we knew it we were landing.
We landed this afternoon in Siem …
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TravelPod Member ReviewsRaffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor Siem Reap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor Siem Reap
Grand Angkor What?
My wife and I just returned from a week long stay in Cambodia, including 4 nights at the Grand hotel in Siem Reap.
I would strongly recommend May as a time to visit. It can be very hot although we live in Bali so are familiar with tropical climate and were lucky on this trip because the rainy season had come early with heavy rains several days before our arrival, which cooled things down. Angkor is getting very popular now that the region can be visted safely again and the joy of the low season, basically April through September with rain usually from June through September, is the lack of visitors. We were able to experience the true beauty of many temples in total solitude and to experience the sound of total silence. Unusually, especially for us Asian hands, not even the sound of cicadas. The side benefit is that the room rates in all the hotels are lower at this time and the hotels are also less crowded. Incidentally, most tourists visit Angkor Wat in the late afternoon to "See" the sunset, which is actually nonsense because when facing the temple from the front main entrance which, of course is to the East, the sun sets behind you. Especially with this in mind, we recommend that it is well worth the pain of getting up early to watch the sun rise behind the temple and, again, to be totally alone in the experience.
Regarding the Grand Hotel, my wife and I have stayed in most of the finest hotels in the world and we would definitely include this amongst them. We read the earlier reviews with some trepidation before we left and can now only assume that all of the problems aired in these reviews have been fixed. The rooms are not the biggest or the best for sure, but there are architectuaral limitations in renovating such an old property. Remember that there are only 132 rooms, which fill up quickly during the high season but, during our stay there must have been only about 10 rooms occupied. This is not to support or justify predatory pricing but, at the end of the day, supply and demand applies also to the hotel business!!Our conclusion was that earlier reviewers must either be totally jaded (And should probably stay home) or else have no sense of romance. We loved this hotel and found the staff to be quite extraordinary at all levels. The fine dining restaurant was simply superb. The pool is almost Olympic size and the other facilities are also excellent.
On balance, we thought that this hotel was the best value for money also. We would recommend FCC for dinner also, but not Shinta Mani (ordinary) or Amansara (ordinary and highly overpriced). For information, the locals call Amansara "The prison hotel" because of the high walls and constantly locked gates!! In our view we made the correct decision not to stay in this Aman property, although we love them and highly recommend them in Bali, because the room rate of USD750 is not worth the price when you will be out most of the day exploring.
We would highly recommend the Grand hotel to anyone who has a sense of history and romance.
Grand old hotel
This is a lovely , very well maintained old property. Our room (suite) was very nice but with poor lighting in both the room and bathroom. This is not all that unusual in Asian hotels. The pool was excellent. The restaurant was very good. But, best of all were the people. The staff was attractive, friendly and very attentive. This is really a lovely oasis to which you want to return after a hot days touring.
Not too great
We stayed at the Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel due to the reputation of the Raffles chain. However, the hotel fails to live up to the standards set by the Singaporean name sake.
The look of the hotel is great. Rooms are well decorated and the swimming pool is exceptional.
The food is very standard fair. I recommend journeying outside of the hotel for lunch and dinner. We went to Victoria Angkor Hotel for Lunch and Dinner.
The service is horrible. No one speaks English at a level that is useful for the guests. Many of the guests were frustrated with the staff members. We always had to refer to the Singaporean staff to get something done.
In addition, many of the staff are not very informed about the services offered at the hotel. For instance, I was directed to four staff members before someone was able to tell me when the Apsara Show at the hotel was taking place and he provided me with the wrong date and time.
For a luxury hotel, I was very disappointed. The hotels that I visited were all very nice and new, so if you are intending on visiting Angkor Wat, you should really look at other options.
Such a grand place
This is a beautiful grand hotel. Many celebrities have stayed here-Jackie O, Grace Kelly and etc. There are pictures of them in the bar area. If you are into Heritage hotels you will really like this place. There is the main older wing and the newer one. They are basically the same. I would have prefered to stay in the more historic wing-but it was full when we were there. They have a beautiful old elevator/lift in the lobby.
In the price of your room-meals are included. They have two different restaurants, the formal Cambodian French fustion place and a general buffet. The fusion restaurant is fantastic. The general buffet is nothing too special. They have a really nice pool. Gamalan musicians play around the pool at night. The Amarita spa is very overpriced.
A few nights a week, the hotel has an outdoor dinner with Cambodian/Apsara dancers in front of the hotel. This is a lot of fun.
The service at the hotel was really good. There is a desk near the reception where they can confirm your flight reservations.
There are so many hotels of this caliber in Siem Reap that are much cheaper-so unless you are going for a splurge or the experience, it's probably not worth it. But you should definately come to the Cambodian French restaurant for dinner no matter where you are staying. Also, make sure you make a reservation (that includes hotel guests)-it's very popular.
Resting on its Laurels!
Staying over thirty hotel nights a year in all ranges of hotels from basic to luxurious, we made a conscious decision not to "penny pinch" and "go all out" at this hotel. This hotel has consistently received some of the top ratings in Asia and we were excited to immerse ourselves in a hotel experience with such a rich historic legacy. However, we were disappointed and ended up checking out early.
The price is (truly) top dollar and for that one expects a level of service, sumptuous quality and rich ambience that is second to none. Admittedly the pool area is attractive, the hotel has easy access to town, the food is good, the legacy is rich, the service is attentive (but cold), but the overall experience left much to be desired.
In short, we stayed in the higher ends rooms that were austere making them not particularly comfortable or welcoming and were connected to corridors that were very noisy. The beds were basic and the showers randomly fluctated between boiling hot and cold. The gym in the hotel was dated and worn along with the pool furniture that was more akin to a hotel at a third of the price. Even though a meal plan was included it did not cover the price of one entree in the higher end restaurant and we had only one of three restaurants available as our first choice upon arrival.
Siem Reap and Angkor is incredible, but it is becoming discovered. With all the new hotel builing, this hotel can no longer rest on its laurels. We ended up with much better value at the Hotel Sofitel at nearly half the price.
We stayed there for 3 nights recently. I am a business traveler who spends over 200 nights in some of the great hotels in Asia, and I'm sorry to say this is not one of them. I think the only reason we tolerated this hotel was because Angkor Wat was truly amazing, and the fact we were out of the hotel early every day and returned late.
To be fair the hotel is on beautiful grounds, garden, pool, etc. And the lower level staff are genuinely polite, helpful, sincere, and always smiling. But the room is what I would consider a 3-star level at best for Asia. I understand Siem Reap is not Bali or Phuket, but at least they could have used better bedding, made sure the shower water does not turn hot and cold so much (and I stayed in the new wing, wondering what it's like in the old wing). I nearly scalded myself twice during my stay. I think if you're a senior person with slower reaction this could be very dangerous. I reported this situation to the management and was promised they would look into it. But I never heard back from anyone and the next day exact same thing. It must be something that's not fixable.
Many minor problems also made me not want to return to this hotel. For example on the day of arrival we were told that the only restaurant open for lunch had no tables left indoors, even though it was 2/3 empty we were told "all the tables had been booked by tour groups". Mind you it was 34 degrees Celsius that day and outdoor was just not acceptable. They did finally made room for us indoors after much complaining. But I find it hard to believe a resort hotel would treat their guest this way. Not like the Raffles I've heard of in other cities.
Even though we didn't stay at other hotels in town on this trip, we did try the Sofitel lunch and compared to the Raffles buffet lunch it was much better in quality and selection, at about the same price (maybe even a bit less). Sorry Raffles, you're not so grand in Siem Reap.
Great Hotel/Bad Company
As other reviews have said this is a great place.
We stayed here for about a week. The building is beautiful and the Staff are charming and brilliant. However no-one wants to leave a country and then feel you've short-changed the people you visited.
I would advise anyone to stay here. However the managment of the Raffles group is not so good. The staff are paid about 80 US dollars a month. Visitors are changed (as happens elsewhere) a service change (say when you order a drink).
As the service is so great you are happy to pay this. However none of this goes to the staff (it all goes to the hotel). Recently all of the staff were fired because they requested (in accordance with Cambodian law) that they receive the sevice charge. Even institutions such as the normally not leftish US-based Republic Institute came out in support.
Cambodia is a poor country, and if this Hotel is great it is because of the wonderful people who work there. As a guest of the hotel it has tarnished my experience to find out the above after rather than before I visited.
I would highly recommend this hotel, but when visitors pay Cambodian staff for being great they want the money to go to them, not some company based in Singapore.
Truly Wonderful Raffles
Spent 4 nights here from Boxing Day - worth going just for the dinner around the pool that evening. Hundreds of candles on lotus leaves around the pool, 4 foot high ice carvings every 6 feet, superb buffet, children's Christmas choir - all set in the gardens in this sublime 1920's restored hotel.
The little wrought iron lift in the lobby is so quaint and although you don't really need to use it, you just have to because it is so gorgeous.
We stayed in a Landmark Room, the decor of which was very much in keeping with the 1920's theme.
Staff, food, service, tourist information, everything - wonderful and totally in keeping with what we have come to expect from Raffles Hotels.
Siem Reap was on our list of places to visit before we die and it really was everything and more than we expected. The Cambodian people are a delight although the realisation that the war has only been over such a relatively short time is very apparent when you see the number of land mine victims.
The temples which are a "must" - Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, Banteay Srey & Ta Prohm gives you a good overview of the different styles. A helicopter ride gives you a great aerial perspective of the sheer size of the temples. The silk farm is well worth a visit as is the floating fishing village at Tongle Sap lake.
Shop at Les Artisans D'Angkor - best quality and the money goes back to the locals.
Try to get to the "Khmer Kitchen" restaurant (down a little alley to the left of the Soup Dragon in Siem Reap town) - worth the effort to find - the best food ever and so reasonably priced.
Great Hotel.Much better than the Sofitel.No comparison.Grand old Colonial hotel that transports you back to the days of the grand tour.Great service and Locaction.Very nice pool.Average food but breakfast is very good and included.The ruins are one of the worlds best sites and compare with the Pyramids,Jerusalem and Rome for impressiveness.However what really makes a trip to Cambodia worthwhile are the people.Thailand is known as the land of smiles but Cambodia should be named the land of laughter.Despite their extreme poverty these people are some of the nicest in the world.
Go to Cambodia this is a sfe hospitable country and its tuly an awesome destination.
Ideal accommodations for Angkor Wat
Beautiful colonial-style property, just a short drive away from the temples of Angkor Wat. Impeccable service ... you dont even have to stand at the counter to check in ... they seat you and serve you drinks while they do the paperwork for you. Top-notch restaurants in the hotel ... excellent breakfast buffet featuring a combination of Western and Asian cuisine. There is a Western restaurant and a Cambodian one available for dinner ... I strongly recommend the Cambodian one which was fantastic! Only drawback which can't really be blamed on the hotel ... certain times of year this area is plagued with mosquitos. When you leave your room for dinner, ask them to come in and spray your room (they usually do it anyway, but it doesn't hurt to let them know). That way the bug spray smell has time to dissipate before you return. And don't leave your doors or windows open in the evenings, or more mosquitos than they killed will just wander back in. All-in-all a fantastic experience!