Panoramic views across the whole of Siem Reap town, two bars, two food outlets, a grand, sweeping staircase, a swishy external elevator, live bands and DJs are all part of the exotic plan being cooked up at Siem Reap’s first dedicated rooftop venue, Sky River, scheduled to open on October 24.
The venue on top of the Angkor Trade Centre was formerly a rollerball park, but has been completely gutted and refitted, with each of the three floors, all external, reflecting a different ambience.
After being welcomed at the front doors of the Angkor Trade Centre, guests are whisked up via elevator to the first floor of the rooftop, which is home to a stage, barbeque pit, bar and huge covered and uncovered area where guests can eat, drink, dance and listen to music.
In the middle of the area, a gorgeous sweeping staircase elevates guests to a sophisticated white VIP bar and waiting area for the fine dining restaurant, which is on the next level.
The 40-cover restaurant will serve a mix of French and Asian cuisine, cooked by chef Sang Soeum who has worked in some of Siem Reap’s top hotels, including the Heritage Suites Hotel, Sofitel, and Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.
Specifically-engineered moveable screens will channel the cooling breezes on to guests and also protect them from driving rain.
Back downstairs, there will be live music every night from bands that are based in Siem Reap as well as groups that the venue will bring in from outside.
But co-owner, Michel Protchoukhanoff, a Frenchman who managed hotels in Paris before coming to Siem Reap to set up his own venture, is keen to assuage concerns about noise pollution that might be generated by the venue.
“We are right beside a pagoda, and wish to respect that,” he says. “I don’t want to push the sound, it has to be light.
“I want my customers to be able to eat and speak to one another and enjoy each other’s company. If not, they have to shout at each other like on Pub Street. I want to create something completely different.”