Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has reopened its doors to guests after a six-month closure for renovations and refurbishments.
One hundred and twelve of the landmark property’s 119 rooms and suites have been fully refurbished, buttressing the intrinsic appeal of the property.
It is renowned for its classic facade, its expansive pool, a celebrated metal and timber elevator, and a guest list that runs from Charlie Chaplin to Jackie Kennedy.
“In the grand hotel, we’re custodians of an incredible historical asset,” said Raffles Cambodia cluster general manager Oliver Dudler.
“The careful restoration and refurbishments will enhance guest comfort by offering new modern amenities while staying true to our longstanding heritage and classically elegant ambience.”
Among the contemporary touches, spotlights have been added to brighten up the rooms, and power ports and USB charging stations have been fitted.
The French windows, which swing open to views of either charming street scenes or the plantation-style grounds of the hotel, have been upgraded, and each room now has a writing desk and vintage rotary telephone, thanks in part to the added floor space created by removing cabinets and replacing them with built-in wardrobes.
The greatest makeover is to the bathrooms, with all-new Italian tiling and fixtures, and separate rain showers.
The main difference that returning guests will notice upon arrival is that the façade and the entire exterior of the hotel is now painted alabaster white, rather than its former cream-beige hue which is the colour of Royal Khmer architecture across the country.
The Grand Hotel opened in 1931-2 with just 63 rooms, all with private bathrooms – a revelation in its day.
Its first visitors were treated to an interior combining Khmer art and furnishings with Art Deco influences such as black and white marble floors.
Many of those early guests were foreign archaeologists and explorers to the nearby site of Angkor Wat.
The property, along with its sister heritage hotel, Le Royal, in Phnom Penh, was taken over by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in 1997 at the invitation of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk.
The Siem Reap resort’s reopening comes two months after Raffles reopened its flagship hotel in Singapore following a two-year closure for renovations.