Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor Creates New Immersive "Journeys" for Guests

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Cambodia’s Siem Reap has unveiled a series of “Curated Journeys,” offering guests new ways to experience the region’s culture and history, along with a new on-site resort program. These “Curated Journeys” include a “Bespoke Temple Dinner;" a “Lost Civilisations of Angkor by Vespa” tour; “Meet the Elephants of Angkor;" “Khmer Culinary Discovery;" “Siem Reap Art Tour;" and “Reflections of Angkor.”

The “Bespoke Temple Dinner” offers a dining experience set within the ancient temple complex of Angkor. The scene is set with torches casting shadows around the ancient relics of the Khmer Empire. The meal is inspired by the hotel’s original 1936 menu first served in this setting, and the evening’s entertainment includes a performance of traditional apsara dance.

“Lost Civilisations of Angkor by Vespa” includes an off-the-beaten-track chauffeured ride on the back of a motorbike through the Angkor Archeological Park. The adventure explores areas not easily reached by foot or too narrow or overgrown with forest to access by car. The journey begins at dawn to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, followed by a picnic breakfast at the edge of the temple complex. Highlights of the tour also include Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Thom and other lesser-known architectural marvels.

“Meet the Elephants of Angkor” takes guests to the foothills of Kulen National Park, home to a sanctuary for the last remaining elephants of Angkor. This educational outing includes hands-on experiences with the animals. After the encounter, guests will enjoy a picnic curated by chefs at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. The cost of the experience is donated to the elephant sanctuary for the conservation and protection of the area’s community forest and endangered wildlife.

“Khmer Culinary Discovery” involves a nighttime tour of Siem Reap’s popular restaurants. The excursion is curated by local culinary expert Evi-Elli, and includes a welcome drink, an art gallery tour, a three-course meal at three destinations, transportation by tuk tuk (a traditional rickshaw) and a souvenir to bring home.

The “Siem Reap Art Tour” offers an insider’s look into the community of artists and ateliers in the city. The outing is guided by Robina Hanley, curator of the tour. Hanley has been working with local artisans for more than two decades. Alternatively, “Reflections of Angkor” presents an opportunity to enhance one’s photography skills while discovering hidden gems at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor. This cultural exploration is led by veteran photographer and curator Régis Binard.

Additionally, the new onsite resort program comprises seven experiences, including “The Untold Stories,” an encounter with the hotel’s resident historian, Mouth Saravann, to uncover the vestiges of the past through a history tour of the hotel. “Sommelier Sessions” include an intimate class with the hotel’s resident sommelier, Eat Socheata, who shares insights into terroirs, seasons and grape varietals in a sensory journey of the world of wine.

Further, “The Art of Lotus Folding” delves into the secrets of hand-folding lotus leaves and outer petals into decorative blossoms. “Legendary Libations” is a masterclass on the Singapore Sling, first served at Raffles Hotel Singapore in 1915, and its newer (more local) iteration, the Angkor Sling. The “Royal Residence Tour” is hosted by the hotel’s Resident Curator Pat Sambo, who introduces some of the renowned Angkorian leaders who shaped modern Cambodia. “Rise with the Sun” is a mindful yoga session, and during “Spiritual Awakening,” guests receive a monk’s blessing with fragrant jasmine water and special chants. The ceremony is performed under a pagoda bell that was unearthed after the war and gifted to the hotel as a symbol of peace.

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