If it weren’t for the obvious exception of Angkor Wat, Raffles could and would probably qualify as Siem Reap’s most recognisable landmark. Opened in 1932, the grand colonial building evokes the glamour of a bygone era. And it’s no stretch to envision Charlie Chaplin sipping a Singapore Sling in the hotel’s gorgeous Elephant Bar.
The hotel oozes history, from the original wooden elevator in the lobby to the gallery featuring John McDermott’s iconic photographs of the Angkor Temples, to impromptu traditional dance performances in the expansive, marble-floored lobby.
We are endlessly impressed by staff who manage the formal-helpful-unobtrusive triumvirate, and Raffles do it with gusto. I was in the building five minutes and it seemed everyone from the manager to the pool boy knew me by name and was on hand ready to cater to my every whim. Step out for two minutes and you will return to a freshly cleaned room and folded clothes. It’s got to be some kind of necromancy.