July 14, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Located in a prime urban location in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Hotel de la Paix fuses ancient Khmer influences with modern art deco design.
The urban gardens offer a oasis of calm and verdant beauty, steps from the city center and just seven kilometres from the famous UNESCO world heritage site of Angkor Wat.
But this hotel goes beyond the high level of service one would expect from a luxury property of this type–it services the local community as well. In an effort to offer support for the daily challenges and hardships faced by Siem Reap locals with limited opportunities, the hotel invites guests to connect with Khmer families with the goal of fostering cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity through tourism.
Through Hotel de la Paix`s links with international NGOs and local aid organizations, guests can make a direct contribution to those in need. The hotel arranges customized community-based activities such as rice sponsorship, educational support and mentoring programs.
Family with donated food for a month
Hotel de la Paix runs a sewing training center
Children receive donated school bags and equipment
The hotel also supports conservation efforts to save endangered Asian elephants. Asian elephants are at risk in Cambodia due to disease, loss of habitat, lack of safe and plentiful drinking water, and injury or death from landmines. Hotel de la Paix, the only hotel in Cambodia highlighting the plight of the elephant, participated this year in Elephant Parade, a conservation campaign that “shined an artistic spotlight” on the urgent crisis facing the elephants.
From May to July 2010, Elephant Parade placed over 260 brightly painted life-size elephants in the parks, squares, and streets central London. Each elephant was decorated by a different artist or celebrity. In support of the venture, miniatures of the elephants are available for purchase in the hotel boutique.
The Prince of Wales in support of the elephants