Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Le Royal Phnom Penh

The Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh is a grand colonial era structure adapted to the tropical climes of Indochina. High ceilings and open airy spaces are reminders of a time when air conditioning was not a feature of hotel design. Since Raffles refurbished the original 1920 design, Le Royal has all the modern conveniences the renovations in the mid 90s successfully retained the best of the original. There are dedicated personality suites in the old building that are outstanding.

Restaurant Le Royal
Once sleepy Phnom Penh is an increasingly active place and Le Royal is the perfect sanctuary after busy days exploring the city. The interior courtyard features two good-sized pools (one for adults only) and lush gardens. The staff and service are impeccable in keeping with Raffles rigorous standards. The main restaurant, Le Royal serves very good French food for dinner and the Monivong Café serves a good buffet breakfast outdoors in the morning along with lunch and dinner.

Andre Malroux Suite
Le Royal is a short walk from Wat Phnom in the embassy area of Phnom Penh and overlooks a broad boulevard with manicured gardens. The riverfront along Sisowath Quay, the location of many restaurants and bars, is ten minutes away on foot. The city’s other major sights are a short tuk-tuk ride away. Hotel Le Royal is located in an area designated by the French as the original centre of the colonial government so many of the city's notable structures are nearby. The large new US Embassy is also nearby.

History has happened here. Charlie Chaplin, Andre Malraux and Charles de Gaulle were among others who have stayed here. Sydney Schanberg and Jon Swain (of Killing Fields fame) were also here along with many other journalists covering Khmer Rouge activities in the 1970s. A drink at the famous Elephant Bar is a must; the Champagne glass used by Jackie Kennedy for her Femme Fatale in 1967 is on display; her lipstick stains are still present. Exciting and historic!

Boulevard Daun Penh- Looking From Malroux Suite
Raffles Hotel Le Royal is truly a historic colonial Grande Dame and shouldn’t be missed when in Phnom Penh. It’s a wonderful place to stay.

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