Avani Angkor — Siem Reap, Cambodia
As the Foreign Correspondents Club, the former Siem Reap residence of the French colonial governor had long lured travellers looking for a nostalgic bolthole to go with the outsized Angkor ruins, but even its die-hard fans admitted that the building, originally designed by Gary Fell, was beginning to look a little dated – even for a town whose MO and fortunes are based on antiquity.
But after a year-long spruce-up, the good news is that the property is very much back in the game as the FCC Angkor.
Managed by the omnipresent Avani Hotels & Resorts, the 80-room hotel was reworked by the Phnom Penh-based Bloom Architecture and Bangkok-Based interior designer Malee Whitcraft, its familiar white washed façade now leading into a sequence of classically retro public spaces anchored by lush landscaping and two saltwater pools, alongside Cambodian accents of woven textiles, hand-etched friezes, and bedframes carved from raintree timber.
The newly minted Scribe Bar is a two-level cocoon of cossetted greenery whilst head chef Philippe L’obry sends out Khmer crowd-pleasers like seabass steamed with watercress, basil and water lily leaves, and river fish marinated in coconut milk and curry paste.
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