I have to admit that Cambodia, much less Phnom Penh, was not at the top of my list for travel destinations, but I got to go and in many ways that trip changed what I am looking for in all my future vacations with its great mix of hospitality, culture, food and great value.
We arrived in Phnom Penh late and the drive to our hotel, the Pavilion, was not very informative because the city was largely asleep. We found the hotel charming with a distinct French colonial style, but not over done. Our room was clean, nicely appointed, and very comfortable. On our private patio was a small soaking pool that was a wonderful bonus particularly on hot afternoons when returning to the hotel.
Morning revealed lovely grounds, a beautiful full-sized pool and a very hospital staff. Not really knowing what to expect outside the big wooden gate we were delighted to find a vibrant, bustling city. Directly across the street is a Buddhist monastery, with a constant flow of orange clad monks coming and going. Around the corner is Street 240 with a number of boutiques and The Shop, a French influenced coffee shop full of French expats and fantastic coffee.
The hotel is very well located for walking, and $2 USD will get you a tuk tuk ride pretty much anywhere you'd like to go from The Russian Market, where the locals shop, the river front with shops, restaurants and the National Museum to the infamous Khmer Rouge prison, S21.
The Pavilion was a very comfortable base to operate out of and the staff was very helpful. The managers spoke English and good-naturedly tolerated our tendency to butcher Khmer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It all started when we fell in love with a hidden gem of French-Khmer architecture from the 1920s near Wat Botum, one of the most venerable and original pagodas in Phnom Penh. Renovation and remodeling were led with due respect for the character of a building which had been, as we learnt it later on, a private retreat for Queen Consort Sisowath Kossamak, the late King Sihanouk's mother. Opened on August, 18, 2006 with 10 rooms, The Pavilion has slowly expanded over the years, offering now 36 accommodations throughout three more period buildings that have been added to the property: "The New House", former residence of the chief veterinarian at the Royal Palace; "The New Villa", formerly the private residence of a Cambodian senator, and "The Sun-Pool Villa", our latest addition which used to be lodgings for diplomats based in Phnom Penh. Each one has its own style and atmosphere, with distinctive architectural features such as an elaborate wooden stairway, intricate iron wrought railings, etc… ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Pavilion Hotel Phnom Penh
- Pavilion Hotel Phnom Penh
- Pavilion Phnom Penh