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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anantara Resort and Spa: An Oasis in the Center of Siem Reap

Anantara, which means without end or without limits, has a philosophy that would attract any traveler. It is group of resorts that has always strived and maintained to bring the rich local culture of a certain place to all their properties. It is no surprise that they have been successful in their expansion around the world. When I saw that they had a property in Siem Reap, I could not help myself. I had to book it.

The Anantara resort and Spa in the charming town of Siem Reap is a sublime retreat if you decide to visit the legendary Angkor Wat. Looking like a grand Khmer villa, this resort makes you feel like true Khmer Royalty.

When we arrived, our driver sporting a huge smile picked us up in a sleek Lexus SUV. Aside from the usual cold tower and drinks, he immediately offered us Ipads with a menu of their services.

I did not expect that the hotel was actually located along the main road of Siem Reap. You would never think that is the case as soon as you step inside. Anantara transports you to a world that allows you to clear your thoughts and helps you prepare for days of temple hopping. 

Welcome drinks that came with some tasty local delicacies. 

I have always been a fan of handwritten notes. In a world that has become a bit impersonal, simple things such as this or snail mail make my day.

Our Khmer-inspired room. 

I didn't know that rambutan was also a local fruit in Cambodia.

The mirror and sink were separate from the tub and the shower area. 

Our relaxing balcony. All of the 39 well-appointed rooms and suites in Anantara overlook the outdoor saltwater pool.

This was the only way to start mornings in Siem Reap. 

The saltwater pool is too inviting so better save a day (or half a day) for lounging here.

What I like about this property is its laid-back atmosphere. You don't feel overwhelmed or intimated even if you aren't a frequent traveler.

I was temped to sit in the middle of that greenery and meditate.

Anantara's cute version of a reindeer. 

We had our first taste of Khmer cuisine here during breakfast. 

My first bowl of noodles in Cambodia for this trip.

The beautiful courtyard was our view.

Other Amenities:

Anantara has a wonderful spa that is also open to non in-house guests. I had a complimentary one-hour massage here that made me drift to dreamland.

A gym is also available but I think walking all day while exploring the temples would suffice. 

Our Anantara stay may have been short (we transferred to Shinta Mani Club. Click THIS for the post. ) but it gave a good lasting impression. We were able to experience Khmer hospitality and service that left us craving for more. I always tell people this kind of travel is not really cheap but if you can, go for it. Life is meant to be enjoyed. 

Maldives or Hua Hin, next?

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