I set out to post an old photo of the Grand Hotel d’Angkor. It’s another beautifully restored old colonial hotel I lucked out in seeing during its nadir.
When I couldn’t find a photo of the old Grand Hotel, I thought I’d post an image of Angkor Wat from the early 1900s. But the ones I found didn’t seem to differ from this photo I took back in 1991 (left) apart from being black and white.
That day I traveled to Angkor Wat was one of the most exciting I’d had up to then (and maybe even up to now). I flew from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and hopped on a van for the Grand Hotel d’Angkor. While I didn’t stay there, it was where I signed up for a half day tour of Angkor Wat.
After the tour finished, I returned to the hotel for lunch before heading back to the airport that afternoon. The restaurant had seen better days, as had the lobby and what else I could see of the hotel.
My mom stayed there in 1965 and I wonder how little it had changed since then. The hotel was quite the place to be in the mid- to late-60s, but then the Lon Nol government took it over in 1970 and it went downhill from there. Until, that is, Raffles bought the place in the late 90s and completely restored it.
I regret not taking a photo of the Grand Hotel when I had the chance.