The hotel Le Papillon D'or aspires to the epithet boutique. The advertising blurb describes it thus, "Where Asian hospitality meets Western comfort" within a 'private, luxurious and exclusive environment'. Adhering to the accepted definitions of "boutique hotel" and the superlatives used to describe the place, one has to conclude, that the Belgian couple who run this place have failed comprehensively. This is not your 'gadget' boutique hotel, neither is it a 'stylish' boutique hotel. The nine roomed building housing this bed & breakfast is purportedly an ex governor's mansion which has been refurbished. Unfortunately it has been done in the 'modern' cambodian style, which translates as, everything is covered in tiles. The walls and the floors are tiled. Curiously enough, the ceilings are tongue and grooved in wood giving the impression that the room is upside down. In the bedrooms it feels as though you are sleeping in a kitchen or toilet. Easy to clean but not cosy and certainly not luxurious, either by asian or western standards. The wood fittings are fairly roughly and clumsily finished and overly lacquered. The furniture in our deluxe suite was cheap and sparse and the windows barred. It was in fact not a suite but a large room with bathroom: They don't have suites! Our air-con barely managed to maintain a reasonable temperature and this was in the winter season. The small restaurant is actually the bar housed in a compact and bijou belvedere, with a spill over area in a contiguous small arbor, both sharing a prime view over the adjacent equally compact swimming pool. Personally, I don't want to share my belgian steak tartare with a dripping wet, bulbous, swimming trunk clad Russian tourist! To house the bar and pool they have taken over and converted the small front courtyard between the main road and the house porch which originally would have been the driveway around a flower bed. Therefore, no parking, leaving your car vulnerable outside in the street. A claim could be made that a security guard will look after your car but we all know that they remain awake all night, don't we! At least most ex-pats in South East Asia understand this. The location also leaves a little to be desired as it is not really close to any of the beaches or to the entertainment and shopping areas. So, if you don't have your own transport this will involve continuous haggling over how many dollars you are prepared to part with to get practically anywhere. We walked to the nearest beach and arrived hot and sticky and most definitely would not wish to do it in either the hotter or hottest seasons. I have a tendency to dress down whilst on holiday and I noticed that the hosts at this establishment seemed hell-bent on making a competition of it. Jeans, shorts, and T-shirts are not a terribly stylish attire for waiters and bar staff, far less so for "Boutique" hotel management. Breakfast gave a choice of American, Continental or English. On this point I must be fair and concede that the management being Belgian may well never have seen an English breakfast although a luxury hotel team should do their homework before making such a poor offering. The single small sausage, two thin rashers of bacon and eggs were of good quality and tasty but there was no black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, potato scones, hash browns or fried bread and so on! The (sweet) toast and watery jams were a disappointment. I cannot finnish without mentioning that they advertise a 'last person' bar, both in their literature and verbally in the welcome introduction. However, on the first night the bar was closed and mine host waltzed-off before midnight without even an offer of a final nightcap, explanation or apology. Poor show indeed! If you are used to staying in backpack hell then perhaps this place is your comfort zone as it is quiet and clean. To conclude; they may be confused in their terminology and actually be aiming for the "no frill chic' consumer fad, and in that alone they may just achieve!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Le Papillon D’or is a place full of serenity where travelers feel at home and feel like reborn after a cultural trip in Cambodia. The villa has 8 spacious rooms and a restaurant with Belgian specialties and Belgian beers. Spoil yourself with a relaxing massage next to the swimming pool and let all your stress go away. We warmly welcome you to have a pleasant stay in our hotel. ... more less