In fact, I’ll admit it, I’ve got a weak spot for luxury hotels with a history. Notwithstanding, I’m a fan of all fine hotels, in all categories (I don’t discriminate), but something about having a historical presence gives a hotel so much more character and prestige than if it didn’t. Knowing this, you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that I would be writing about Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been around for nearly 100 years and has existed through many key points of Cambodian history.
In this case, it all started back in the 1920s when this part of the world was known as French Indochina. It has always been a landmark in the city and thus has countless stories to tell. Personally, I was wondering why the hotel felt very familiar. I later learned that it was because it was designed by Ernest Hébrard who also designed Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi which I also stayed at and reviewed earlier this year!
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To begin with, my journey to Phnom Penh started with a short flight from Siem Reap where I had a magnificent experience. The flight too me only 45 minutes and was incredibly easy and painless. Upon arrival, I was met with the Raffles ground staff at the airport who brought me directly to the private luxury car transfer. I enjoyed relaxing, drinking water from glass (not plastic) and watching the streets of Phnom Penh pass by for about 30 minutes until we reached the hotel.
Arrival and Lobby
Later, when the driver pulled up to the front entrance, complete with red carpet and bellman to open the door, I felt like a king in an epic Hollywood movie. Once inside the beautiful lobby, I was checked in while sitting on the sofa and enjoying my welcome drink. This hotel had a rather stunning lobby, especially considering its age. Extravagant flower arrangements, chandeliers, lobby bar, plenty of staff, and beautiful carpets all made this feel very luxurious for me.
Single State Room Pool View
After my incredibly smooth check in at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, I was brought to my Single State Room Pool View. Upon entering this glorious room, I was immersed in a world of high-quality furnishings. The room was medium-sized, and felt quite comfortable, not too big not too small, just right! In addition, I loved the balcony with pool view.
In brief, the room was well-equipped and really not missing a thing. I liked the king size bed, with its super soft bedding, which was incredibly comfortable. One of the features I was quick to notice was the vintage style rotary phones. These were of course modern, but operated in a classical way. Neat! The classic flare brings you to another world and was perfect for taking a vacation. I noticed that there were USB charging ports in multiple places, universal outlets, a capsule coffee machine, tea kettle, stocked mini-fridge, and much more.
Of course I’d like to thank the team at Raffles for the lovely welcome amenity! Everything was super tasty, it was a mix between chocolates and Cambodian sweets.
Moreover, in the closet I found gorgeous bathrobes and comfortable soft slippers.
Specifically, I love when a bathroom is coated in marble such as the one in my State Room. The whole space was very bright and featured a single sink vanity, bathtub, shower stall, and window into the bedroom. The toiletries were by Algotherm and were unique in their fragrance, unlike anything I have smelled before! Once again, like everywhere at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, everything was of a very high quality. I noticed this in the way that the shower door closed and the strength of the bathroom fixtures. It was all super solid!
Courtyard and Pools
Furthermore, in the center of the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh there’s a huge courtyard. It had two large swimming pools, one is for children and the other for adults. These pools were surrounded by some of the most massive trees I’ve seen, some of which are older than the hotel! The service in this area was top-notch, like everywhere else at the property. Subsequently, after I came back from running outside of the hotel and going for a swim, the staff brought me a cold towel and cup of ice water for my refreshment. That was the moment I knew that this was a truly magical place. I love this luxury hotel!
Spa and Fitness
In addition, Raffles Hotel Le Royal has a beautiful spa and fitness center. Inside the spa are the relaxation areas that include a picture perfect hot tub, sauna, and steam room.
In particular, the gym was quite sizeable and was equipped with modern equipment, great for all types of workouts. I was truly impressed by the amount of equipment that was on offer. Some pieces I had no idea how to use them, but I will take that as a positive 🙂
Moreover, if everything else wasn’t enough to make you beam with joy, breakfast will surely put a fat smile on your face! First of all, the food I’ve had in Cambodia has been absolutely phenomenal. If you think otherwise, you’ve been going to the wrong places. At breakfast, guests can enjoy both à la carte or buffet options. No matter which you go for, there was a plentiful amount of variety. Each item tasted great and I didn’t feel anything needed to be improved (except maybe the dim sum sat for a bit too long but still tasted great.) Food heaven!
In conclusion, this was as good as it gets folks. Everything tasted great and was presented beautifully. They have all the traditional Western and Asian breakfast items you could ever want and then some. They even had kimchi which was nice and sour, just how I like it! Helps to balance my sweetness if you know what I mean.
As mentioned, Raffles Hotel Le Royal is about 100 years old and has seen a lot in its time. I had a lovely hotel tour where I got to see several of the notable suites where all types of famous people have stayed such as Charles de Gaulle, Jacqueline Kennedy, and more recently, Barack Obama. It was really interesting to hear of the importance of this property throughout history and I’m sure that you will find it interesting too.
The Elephant Bar
Furthermore, also inside Raffles Hotel Le Royal is a very famous bar known as Elephant Bar. Elephant Bar specializes in gin, and at the time of writing this article, had 140 varieties in their possession. I was told that they are expecting to add 30 more this year! During my stay I went for a special gin tasting program which you can join as well. I quickly noted that the staff were very knowledgeable and talented at their jobs. Elephant Bar even produces their own gin which I was sure to try. It was a lovely afternoon to say the least.
Specifically, when people ask me about my favorite luxury hotels, I often think of vintage luxury hotels that have stories to tell. Above all, after visiting Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I now have another top hotel to tell the world about. In conclusion, there were zero hiccups in the entirety of my stay. Moreover, I wish I could’ve stayed longer, to be honest. When it’s all said and done, Raffles Hotel Le Royal is part of the upper echelon of luxury hotels worldwide. It truly doesn’t get any better than this! In conclusion, if you really want to treat yourself, you absolutely need to stay at Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Happy travels!
92 Rukhak Vithei, Phnom Penh 12302
Phone: +855 23 981 888