Further back at the rear of the hotel property, is a lap pool. I took a few shots here for the story I was shooting. A huge stone wall separates the pool from the rest of the property; since it is at the edges of the hotel grounds, it didn’t seem to be as popular as the pool closer to the entrance and the restaurant, but it is still an appealing and peaceful space.
The pool area is very hot and is lined with bamboo trees. There is an attendant who brings an umbrella, towel and drinks, and anything else you might crave. In order to get to the pool, guests walk along one of the outdoor hallways lined with potted orchids on pedestals.
The dining room at the Amansara serves very good food, both Khmer and Western selections (here they call it “Home” food strangely enough, and the local food is simply listed as “Khmer.) Go with the traditional Khmer breakfast! Here are a few examples of some of the Khmer offerings:
-sour fish soup with pineapple and lotus
-minced pork and fish in banana leaves
-grilled beef skewers with crushed lemongrass
-steamed fish with coconut cream and fresh nyoa leaf
-stir fried mixed vegetables with garlic and oyster sauce
-For Dessert: stuffed sticky rice flour with yellow bean curd and crushed sesame seeds
Presentation is delicate and enticing; service is attentive, and the ingredients are fresh….most guests will certainly be exposed to ingredients they do not often eat, such as the lotus.
All of the staff, with the exception of the GM and manager, is Cambodian. The Aman resorts take a lot of interest in their employees, and they support many local social programs as well. In a way they are activists within the community, lending support to many of the most serious issues facing modern Cambodian life.
The hotel offers many excursions for exploring “the sites and sounds further a field” according to the information left in each room. Some of these trips include:
The Art of Khmer Cooking
Phmon Kulen hidden mountain temples
There is a lot to do here beyond visiting Angkor Wat (which of course you must do!!) Siem Reap is tiny and easy to explore, so you will certainly want to explore beyond its limits. Amansara is a refreshing retreat away from the crowds, dust and heat; it is a hideaway that truly makes you love the country even more…
If you do want to go off site for a good local meal, head to Khmer Kitchen. It has not atmosphere, but that is part of its appeal…the food is authentic and varied, and it is a great way to sample the local fare beyond the Amansara. Sincerely, there are not too many local options, but this is definitely a good one!