A candlelit multicourse feast provides a magical way to soak up Cambodia’s architectural heritage.
History buffs bound for Siem Reap have a chance to impress their significant other through the newly launched private temple dining experience by Anantara Angkor Resort. Previously only available at breakfast — when staff members prepare a picnic spread of fruits, pastries, and drinks — the package involves an after-hours visit to a lesser-known archaeological site for a meal enjoyed in complete privacy.
This exclusive dinner takes place at the central sanctuary of an Angkorian temple in the jungle, giving guests plenty of time to admire the restored ancient statuary and ornate bas-reliefs around them. Dramatically illuminated with candles and ambient spotlights, the ancient structure can serve as a backdrop for a romantic milestone, perhaps a proposal or special anniversary celebration.
Travelers can choose between two venues: Prasat Kravan, a 10th-century sanctuary dedicated to Vishnu, and Thommanon, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, they will receive a traditional welcome from a drum-dance troupe as they walk down a torch-lit pathway to their table, where the meal is preceded by 30-minute cocktails and free-flow soft drinks, chilled juices, and canapés.
While guests dine on their choice of Khmer or Western fare at the temple grounds, stories of the Angkor civilization are brought to life by either apsara dancers or a high-energy theatrical performance. In addition to customizing the five-course menu, travelers can pick their preferred background music and table decor. A butler, private chef, and a full housekeeping team will be on hand to cater to their every need.
Anantara Angkor Resort’s Temple Dining package is priced at US$7,450++ for two, and is open to non-staying guests. The experience also includes transportation and temple entry fees.