Midweek Interview

Midweek Catch-up with Raffles Cambodia’s Dennis de Groot

This week, Raffles Cambodia’s acting general manager regaled us about his adventures hiking off the beaten track in Cambodia and somehow got lost just listening to him.

What’s your main goal for this year? 

Having both iconic Raffles hotels in Cambodia fully opened, and welcoming back world travellers.  

What’s your favourite thing about working in the travel industry? 

Being able to make a difference, and create lasting memories for both our guests and staff alike.

Our job is just so rewarding in every way; each day we have the chance to meet new travellers and listen to their stories, which in turn become new chapters in our story

How do you like to spend your free time? 

Discovering Cambodia by foot – hiking off the beaten track and seeing the natural beauty of this wondrous country.  

Have you managed to do any travelling since restrictions began to ease (domestic or international)? 

Yes, what better way than to discover a country like Cambodia by getting off the beaten track and discovering rural communities and seeing their resilience and the power of the community, even during the hardships of a pandemic.

I was also fortunate to be able to travel back home to the Netherlands to see my loved ones at the expense of coming back and spending 14  mandatory days in a random hotel. But it was oh so well worth it. 

What’s your favourite travel company, besides the one you work for?

Qatar Airways.

If you could invite three famous guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you choose? 

I would say that Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Barack Obama would have been special to have at the same dinner table. 

I’d also like to invite back some of the historical figures that have passed through Cambodia and the iconic Raffles over the years, such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin, Charles de Gaulle, Somerset Maugham and Andre Malraux. 

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the global pandemic hit? 

How people have come together, that even in days and times of extra hardship, we have stood by each other.  

What’s your advice for others in the travel industry on coping with the global pandemic? 

I have lived by the motto, “Stay positive” and test negative” throughout the pandemic. I believe we will come out of this stronger than before, and that a new era of travel awaits us all. 

What book and/or TV show can you not get enough of lately? 

I am very much enjoying The Serpent – it’s based on true events. 

Do you have any travel goals for 2022?

The world is my oyster when it comes to travel this year; so much has changed, and my family has relocated, so I would love to reconnect. It’s my ultimate goal to spend a Christmas altogether as a family this year. 



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