BY LAUREN RESNICK IN SIEM REAP
Tourism is flourishing in Cambodia, and in response, there are a number of delectable new boutique hotels to accommodate this influx.
Leading the way is the Alila Sothea Luxury Boutique Resort and it certainly has the ‘Alila’ sparkle. One of the top-rated boutique hotels in Siem Reap, the Alila Sothea, officially opened in April 2011 and has since provided the ideal luxury-for-less accommodation for its global visitors.
Why Siem Reap? For the humble tourist or adventure seeker, the option to explore breathtaking temples of the ancient Khmers by day and truly diverse cultural experiences, varied dining and bar scene by night, its one destination that is perfectly well rounded. It’s easy to see why this remote destination has flourished for tourism.
There has been a shift as high season approaches, with an increase in the Australian, Japanese, US and South American markets and an increase in European guests. Previously, the market was centralized around Korea and China.
“Alila Sothea stands out with its level of service, personal welcome of all guests by management, luxury complimentary tuk tuk service and a very active Chef discovering guests culinary tastes,” said Australian expatriate General Manager, Greg Williams.
Williams joined the Alila team this year, and has utilised his experience with resorts in Fiji, Maldives and Australia to bring out the best of Cambodia.
So, why is the property so different to other places he has worked in?
“The Hospitality and warmth of the Khmer people never ceases to amaze me, they are a naturally humble and generous people,” he said. “Managing a resort so close to such an amazing historical area is very rewarding – sharing tales of the resorts guests daily adventures and having the opportunity to experience them is a very special experience,” he said.
Alila Sothea draws its name from the beloved wife of a prominent local businessman who had the resort built as a tribute to Sothea on her 50th birthday – a story any romantic can’t help but love. The story in conjunction with the landscape provides the perfect backdrop to a romantic getaway.
Creating a delicate balance between intimate private spaces and lush open public spaces, the Alila Resort design offers a treat for the senses. The property has been created to showcase intimate gardens and modern water features in conjunction with Khmer artisanship subtly infused in its Architectural design.
Sothea oozes charm and prides itself on its hospitality. Creating that ‘point of difference’ and element of ‘surprise’, it is no wonder that Alila continues to grow as a global brand, and exceed expectations.
Lauren Resnick is the author of ‘Princess with a Backpack’.