Esquire (UK)

A River Runs Near It

In Cambodia, the perfect location for a fashion shoot, and an escape

- By Dan Choppen Left, from top: the resort’s 35m salt-water pool is a calm oasis away from bustling Siem Reap; guests can retreat to suites with private terraces

Searching for a tropical backdrop for our spring/summer cover shoot in the May/ June issue, Esquire headed to Cambodia. At our location in Siem Reap, we left the bustle of the city’s congested main road to find the discreet gates of the Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, situated along the banks of the Siem Reap River. Entering over a small wooden bridge, surrounded by ponds with lotus plants and carp, we found respite from the city’s mobbed streets and buzzing mopeds.

The large open lobby is the anchor point for the hotel’s three dining options: Circle, the main restaurant serving traditiona­l Khmer cuisine; the appropriat­ely named Martini Bar, decorated with the vibrant artwork of Belgian artist Christian Develter; and the tranquil poolside restaurant, Ember.

Tall trees and exotic plants guard the perimeter of the inky salt-water pool, watched over by an Angkorian lion. Meanwhile, the idyllic Kong Kea spa offers treatments including a full body Khmer Herbal Healer massage.

The majority of the hotel’s rooms horse-shoe around the 36m pool, with balconies offering the perfect setting for a nightcap. For the intrepid, the Belmond is situated only a short 20 -minute tuk-tuk ride from the extraordin­ary Angkor temple complex.

Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor,

River Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Double rooms from £270;

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