Raffles Hotel Le Royal
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Travel Blogs from Phnom Penh
We couldn't come all the way to Cambodia and not visit the capital city so we went straight from school on New Year's Eve to Siem Reap's dinky little airport and boarded a Cambodian Angkor Airways (founded July 2009) propellor plane for the 40 minute flight.
It wasn't the most auspicious of arrivals. The open air baggage hall was a haze of …
Whilst the Italian woman from the day before had to be forcibly dragged back into the hotel lobby we had to be practically dragged out - we could definitely get used to this five star Raffles luxury. We all had received a cryptic message under our doors about not wearing our bike gear for breakfast in such a high class establishment. Most of us …
Getting to Siem Reap There are basically two ways of getting from Bangkok to Siem Reap. The first is to fly with Bangkok Airways. We looked into this and decided our poor budget couldn't cope so we decided on the second option which is to go over land on the coach to the border and then get a taxi of some sort on the other side. This sounds OK …
In the morning we took cyclos to the area surrounding the palace because the roads were closed to motor vehicles. A cyclo is a carriage for one pulled by a cyclist.
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It was once known as the "Pearl of Asia", and was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina.
We left Chou Doc by boat and traveled 4 hours up the river to Phnom Penh. When we arrived we were let off the boat to hike up to our bus through the cow patties....definitely not a Tauck approved dock! Porters were there to carry our luggage up the hill. We had to walk on a plank to get from the boat to land. However we learned later …
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- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
- Wheelchair accessibility
TravelPod Member ReviewsRaffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh
What a wonderful hotel in a perfect colonial atmosphere with outstanding service. We almost felt it was too much service...
Beautiful building, but the rooms in the old part are a bit noisy as they seem to have no noise protection at all. They are currently renovating it, so we assume this will improve. The pool, garden and restaurants are excellent. Very classy hotel that we highly recommend.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh
Gorgeous old hotel, but perhaps a bit too removed from it all
We stayed two nights at Le Royal. It is quite a pretty place, beautifully restored, with many charming touches. Breakfast was delicious, and the staff was uniformly gracious and warm. But while the hotel isn't far from many of the other spots in Phnom Penh that you might want to visit, it feels far. That is the point, I guess, but I ended up wishing that I didn't feel quite so cut off from the city around me.
(Had a friend staying at the Amanjaya, right by the river, and that is where I would stay if I were to go to Phnom Penh again. Not the same level of service and amenities as Le Royal, but a great location, and a spectacular room.)
We loved the Raffles! The restoration was well done and preserved the character of the hotel. The rooms were large and very reminiscent of an old colonial hotel. It was easy to imagine the journalists in the Elephant Bar during the Vietnam War. The pools were our favorite spot to relax after a long, hot day in the city. Breakfasts were very nice. One negative - the hotel did not meet us at the airport as requested, and it took over an hour to straighten out that mess.
A perfect three nights!
Upon our arrival at Phnom Penh airport we were met by our driver, the hotel's limousine service, who helped us to sort out our entry visa's, payment and immigration procedures, had we been left to ourselves it definitely would have taken us twice as long, this chap was worth his weight in gold and the smile never left his face! Smooth transfer to the Hotel, we were seated in the foyer, welcome drink, completed the registration forms and we were then escorted to our suite, the Khmer, overlooking the front of the hotel,which was extremely comfortable, light and airy, clean, furnished very comfortably and two bathrooms both with roll top baths perfect for a long soak, and perfect for us. During our stay of 3 nights we found the staff to be extremely efficient, charming and friendly, we dined in the cafe and the restaurant Le Royal, the food was delicious! I can also recommend the pastries from the Le Phnom Coffee Shop, superb! Enjoyed cocktails in the evening in the Elephant Bar and spent one lazy day by the pool, the hotel also has lovely tropical gardens We visited the Royal Palace and the Genocide Museum, the car/driver and guide was arranged through the hotel and we had absolutely no problems at all. We wished that we could have stayed longer! We found that the hotel had a great charm and a wonderful atmosphere, it was calm and relaxing and Yes we would recommend it and would stay there again and again!
We really enjoyed this hotel. Phnom Penh can be such a big ugly city, it was nice to come back to quiet, reserved sanctuary. The staff was attentive, the grounds were beautiful. We stayed in the original part of the hotel with the high ceiling, black and white tile. It worked, because of the town we were in. It wouldn't of worked if we were in a more cosmopolitan city. The hotel is defintely in the city but the city is so big we weren't really sure where the place to be was. Phnom Penh is probably the roughest city I have ever been too. There is a lot of begging, dirt, etc. I would only recommend seeing the Killing fields, and the high school and move right on to Siem Reap. Maybe a day or two but not much more then that. This is the same hotel that was filmed in the Killing Fields so there is a lot of history here. You can feel the history.
Aesthetically pleasing but otherwise very disappointing
Started well: on arrival were ushered to the sofas in the lobby to make ourselves comfortable and given complimentary drinks, rather than standing at the cashier desk to check-in. Hotel grounds beautiful, typical Rafflesian style which the group's hotels are famous for. Concierge very attentive, efficient and helpful with our travel arrangements to Siem Reap and recommendations.
Got worse: however at the Raffles all things come at +++ e.g. our flight bookings, internet use, taxi arrangements - premiums slapped on left right and centre. Two things to note here - 1. this is Cambodia, not London or NYC and 2. far more luxurious 5 star hotels which charge similar room rates do not charge extras on these types of guest facility.
Room a total let down, not particularly clean (smelled stale, recycled slippers from previous guests), very old air-conditioning system which was very noisy and the plastering/paintwork in the bathroom obviously slipshod and messy finish.
The bellboy who escorted us to our room was very indiscreet, he held on to our room key until my husband had put US$ tip in his hand.
Staff in the buffet restaurant very attentive (but this seemed to be catalysed by boredom e.g. folding my napkin everytime I got up from my chair, spooning food on to my plate at the self-service buffet) The quality of the food was very poor indeed - no taste and not fresh at all (ironic given that the hotel is owned by famously gourmand Singaporeans) and charged at Europe prices. I reiterate - Raffles or not - this is Cambodia, not US or Europe.
The hotel is on the one hand pleasing to the eye but I think it is overrated and sells itself on 'old world charm' which it no longer has. It also seems to attract some very dodgy looking expats - just glance around the Elephant Bar (which we avoided during out entire stay) or Lobby.
Great colonial hotel that has been sympathetically renovated. Good pool , and the Elephant Bar serves great 'Slings'. About 20 min walk into town where the best place is the Foreign Correspondants Club for beers and people watching!
Beautiful but disappointing
The hotel is beautiful and historical, but the service leaves a bit to be desired. I got there having made a reservation on a very popular online service, through which I requested an airport pickup. There was nobody to meet me at the airport, and when I finally found my own transportation to the hotel, they had no reservation on record for me. Fortunately, I had a printout from the Web site I booked through.
They were apologetic, but not apologetic enough. I was exhausted from traveling and it took nearly an hour to straighten out the confusion and check me in. Some gesture like a small hotel credit would've been classy. They also put me in a room where the smell of mosquito killing gas (which, according to a note from the manager, was environmentally sound) was evident and not pleasant. Lastly, it's just tacky for a hotel of this stature and expense to warn guests that they will be charged $100 for a lost key due to the expense of changing the tumbler. What happens if you accidentally break the furniture or painting in your room? Do you get charged for that too?
Nothing special to say about it. Nice colonial style, clean and without much to complain about except that the buffet breakfast wasn t really good, that the dinner had the taste of the liquid soap they used to wash the dishes, that the staff wasn t really efficient and that it is 50 times the price of the average hotel room in Cambodia. Still the best in Phnom Penh though. Hotels in Siem Reap are far better.
The Raffles is a luxury hotel with historical charm.
The service is so good that it is overbearing at times. The hotel has two pools. One of them is shallow and suitable for children. The hotel has a very formal and expensive dinner restaurant with excellent food. The location of the hotel is not central. You have to take a taxi to town.