Construction began yesterday on the Sokha Hotel Group’s 600-room luxury resort in Siem Reap – right next door to Angkor Wat.
Named the Sokha Siem Reap Resort, both company and government officials were out in force at yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, talking up the perks of the new complex located in an area reserved by the Ministry of Tourism for hotel development, next to Cambodia’s best-known historical temple complex.
“After receiving an official permission from APSARA Authority this year, we held the groundbreaking ceremony, and we will start to construct our resort today,” said Heu Heng, deputy director-general of Sokimex Group, referring to the authority that manages Angkor Wat.
Heng declined to reveal how much had been invested in the mega resort.
Spanning 23 hectares of land and located just 4 kilometres from the centre of Siem Reap, the resort will feature three five-star hotels complete with pool, gym and conference facilities, capable of catering to up to 1,5000 people at a time.
“For the decoration, we will follow our Khmer traditional style mixed with some modern style in order to make it different and gain more attraction; especially the construction planning is followed to APSARA Authority’s advice” Heng said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The resort will be built within the City of Culture and Tourism of Angkor Hotel Zone, a 1,000-hectare area next to Angkor Wat allocated for luxury development and designed to reduce the burden of mass hotel growth within city limits, according to the APSARA Authority website.
Last year, Siem Reap welcomed more than two million foreign tourists – an increase of about 10 per cent from 2012, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.
So Mara, a secretary of state at the ministry, said that the resort would be an economic boon for a province already on the up.
“I think it will attract a lot of tourists when it starts to open, and we expect the number of visitors to Siem Reap will continue to rise,” he said.
Mara added that the new resort would also prove to be a rich source of much-needed local jobs.
The new mega resort marks the company’s sixth major tourism construction development in the Kingdom, Sokha Hotel Group’s Heng said yesterday.
APSARA Authority could not be reached for comment.