Published on October 13th, 2011 | by Ozlem Avcioglu0
Amansara, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Amansara, the former guesthouse of King Sihanouk, is situated on the edge of Siem Reap just 10 minutes from the entrance to the Angkor Wat. Set in a garden compound, the 24-suite resort has the ambiance of a private home and is the ideal base for travelers seeking to explore Khmer culture and the majestic ruins of Angkor. This former royal retreat was built by French architect, Laurent Mondet, in 1962 for King Sihanouk to accommodate visitors unable to stay at the royal residence nearby. Quintessentially ’60s in character, it featured cool, low-slung chalets spaced around an irregular-shaped swimming pool and a shady lawn.
Dignitaries like former French President Charles de Gaulle, Jacqueline Kennedy, former Yugoslavian President Josep Broz Tito and actor Peter O’Toole graced this architectural gem in its heyday. Amansara suites have similar in design. Each enjoys an open-plan setting with finishes in terrazzo and timber, as well as outdoor courtyards.