May 19, 2011

Stylish events headed to Cambodia


Top MICE hotels from colonial to contemporary

For most people, Siem Reap is synonymous with Angkor Wat, the 12th-century temple complex and Unesco World Heritage site that boasts classical Khmer architecture. While MICE groups to Cambodia all include Angkor Wat at the top of their incentive list, Siem Reap’s hotels offer unique stays with an assortment of facilities to supplement a successful event.

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
The venerable grand dame of Siem Reap, Raffles offers a boutique and highly personalised experience with 120 guestrooms. Along with its sister property in Phnom Penh, all of its state guestrooms are currently undergoing renovations that retain its 1930s colonial charm yet with modern upgrades. Other special touches include butlers hand-picked by general manager Robert Hauck from long-service staff.
The property’s Apsara Terrace is ideal for dinners, as it overlooks the pool and can accommodate 80 people indoors with space for another 60 on its terrace. Its signature dining venue, Restaurant Le Grand, offers royal Cambodian cuisine and a distinctive wine cellar, and is available for lunches or meetings. As Raffles’s strength is its catering services, temple dinners or events for 200 at the Royal Garden across the street are easily accommodated. The Young Presidents Club has previously used Raffles for its gatherings.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort
A sprawling resort connected by bridges over lagoons, Sofitel offers a relaxed Southeast Asian atmosphere with plenty of amenities and distractions. The 238-room hotel includes the largest ballroom in Siem Reap, seating 300 in a separate building with its own driveway, as well as two smaller meeting rooms that seat 150 people and a boardroom that accommodates 12.
“The typical business group is around 150 to 200 people and they tend to stay three nights,” says Peter Lucas, Sofitel’s executive assistant manager. To keep groups entertained, 80 tuk tuks (motorcycle-drawn carriages that seat four to six) are at Sofitel’s disposal to take them around town. The hotel can organise poolside gala dinners, intimate cocktails at an open-air sala, or a round of golf at its 18-hole course where the Cambodian Open has been held since 2007. Past groups include Hyundai, Pepsi, Bosch, DHL and Ogilvy & Mather.
Le Meridien Angkor
The closest hotel to Angkor Wat, Le Meridien’s contemporary elegance was inspired by the geometric perfection of the temple complex. It offers 220 rooms, a conference corridor to one side of its lobby and the 140-seat Tara Room to the other side. As its Italian restaurant L’Angelo is only open for dinner, the 70-seat facility can be booked for private lunches and events during the day.
There is a wide range of outdoor venues for cocktails, dinners and events, such as its central Elephant Courtyard for 120 people, its Angkor-style pool for 180 and its Palm Garden where tents can be set up for banquets and shows. Prior events have included Cambodian village-themed dinners with palm sugar cooking demonstrations and customised lanterns.
“Most people want to be outside under the stars,” says general manager Gregory Anderson. “Palm Garden is our ballroom.”

Hotel de la Paix
The hip and arty Hôtel de la Paix contains 107 crisp rooms within easy walking distance of Siem Reap’s market district. Its design is modelled after the colonnades found nearby in the ancient temples, with surprises at every turn. Kandal, its main meeting space, can seat up to 121 theatre style, while a sunken Arts Lounge facing the street exhibits up-and-coming artists and can be used for an assortment of events such as its popular ice lounge.
The 60-seat Meric offers international and Khmer cuisine prepared in an open kitchen, with an outdoor terrace that features oversized dining swings. For performances, Fire Garden and Courtyard can host Apsara dances while under its Pergola dinner for 25 people overlooking its Fountain Garden can be arranged.
Angkor Palace Resort & Spa
A 259-room resort with on-site driving range and tennis courts, Angkor Palace exudes traditional Cambodian comfort immediately upon entering its breezy Khmer-style lobby. Its Royal Ballroom can host 120 for banquets, while the smaller Sunflower and Apsara rooms can fit 50 each.
The two-storey Soriya Restaurant features Khmer and western all-day dining, while poolside barbecues or cocktails can be easily accommodated. In addition, creative off-site outings such as gondola rides in Angkor Thom or visits to floating villages can be arranged. Angkor Palace has previously hosted delegations from Coca-Cola, Dupont, Toto and Philips Lighting.

No comments:

Post a Comment