Cambodia is a country we love, especially Siem Reap with the Angkor temples nearby. Having first visited in 2009 we’ve always been keen to return and discover more temples! With our new base in Asia it was high on our list once again. Thanks to our new travel media partner Cox & Kings we had the opportunity to sample the Victoria Angkor hotel and a guided tour of the famous ancient temples.
The Victoria Angkor is a perfectly positioned hotel next to the lush green Royal Gardens in the centre of town. It’s grand entrance with 2 vintage cars parked outside is definitely a great mood setter and after a long days travel overland it was great to finally relax in the peaceful lobby area. Cox and kings had kindly organized a massage treatment for us both in the hotel’s spa too, more on that later. The hotel has 120 rooms with 9 suites, all with a blend of local Khmer design, french colonial architecture and modern hotel living. A recipe that seems to work well. The ground floor rooms also have a private sun bathing area with a high, well pruned hedge all around.
Arriving around 9pm, the hotel was quiet and relaxing, we were given a quick tour on our way to our room, around the very inviting pool and the pretty trees all around the central courtyard, many of which had columns of lights hanging from their branches. Our room was on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the pool. A modern styled room with a very large bed that I would have gladly jumped in to had I not been so hungry! So we thanked the porter for bringing our luggage up and headed straight to the restaurant.
The are 2 main restaurants, L’Escale and Bistrot De Siem Reap as well as the bar and outdoor dining. We opted for the outdoor dining experience where a few hotel guests were enjoying the warm evening climate of Cambodia. Sometimes an air conditioned indoor restaurant just isn’t as inviting as embracing the Asian heat and watching the occasional Geko clinging to a wall while you eat. The service was as warm as the climate and the food equally satisfying. Our early start the next day for our tour of the Angkor temples meant an early night for us too and our huge bed made sure we slept well. We awoke at 6:30am and had a quick breakfast down at L’Escale where a large buffet greeted us. It’s almost addictive to get the ever ready chef to whip up your favourite Omelette and the free-flow champagne was a little treat we couldn’t resist.
A tour of the Angkor temples
We spent around 10 hours on a wonderful private tour of the more remote temples in the Koh Ker region. In a fully air conditioned mini-van with our own personal guide. For a full review visit our tour of the Angkor temples with Cox & Kings post.
Time for a massage
After a long days tour of the Angkor temples and spending a few hours bouncing around in a mini-van, one thing we really needed was a massage! We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience the Victoria Spa at the hotel. After a quick dip in the amazing pool in the centre of the hotel we showered and went to the spa where the staff greeted us with smiles and warm welcomes. We were shown to the treatment room where two massage tables awaited us. I enjoy massages especially when you get to experience them with your partner. We were both fairly tense from the busy day and early start but the surroundings alone soon chilled us out. A fairly dark room with no windows, dim lighting and the ever present ethereal music relaxed us. Laying on the massage beds, looking through the hole, you see an ornate pot filled with flowers and leaves, the aroma of lavender wafts up towards you and I must say it’s far more interesting than staring at a floor, which is usually the case.
As for the massage, it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Wonderfully relaxing, yet firm enough to feel it’s making a difference. After a while I tend to feel as though a masseuse is concentrating on one limb for too long, not so with this massage. We both felt suitably pampered and they were experts at finding the knots that needed attentions. A good massage treatment is always a balance of relaxation, comfortable surroundings and occasionally some manageable pain!
Our stay at the Victoria Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap was short but very sweet. I only wish we could have relaxed in our room for a little longer but the beautiful temples of Angkor are too much of a temptation. Thankfully after a hard day’s touring there’s an inviting pool, a relaxing massage and tranquil surroundings to come back to.
Cox & Kings
Cox & Kings, the longest established travel company in the world, offers tailor-made private travel and escorted small-group tours to a range of destinations spanning the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.
Call UK: 0207 873 5000 or visit coxandkings.co.uk