A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Phnom Penh hotels voted among trendiest in Asia

Top: The decor at Lebiz Hotel and Library, voted among the 25 trendiest hotels in Asia, includes murals like this one by Peap Tarr. Photo by Mai Vireak
Bottom: The Quay, which was voted 21st on the ”Trendiest Hotels in Asia” list, has suites with balcomies overlooking the Riverside. Photo by Mai Vireak

Phnom Penh Post
Monday, 26 March 2012

The Quay Hotel is located at 277 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. The Lebiz Hotel and Library is at 79F Street 128, Phnom Penh.

In yet another sign of the resurgence of Cambodia’s tourism industry, two Phnom Penh hotels were recently named among Asia’s 25 Trendiest Hotel by TripAdvisor.com.

The website, which features user reviews of hotels, tours and other travel services, has announced its 2012 Travellers Choice Awards for hotels around the world.

The 25 Trendiest Hotels in Asia category includes properties in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Japan.

Making the cut to represent Cambodia are the Lebiz Hotel & Library, ranked 13th, and The Quay, which came in 21st.

Yem Socheata, a reservation agent at The Quay, says the award is encouraging for the hotel’s 24 employees.

“Guests have told me that our hotel is quiet, romantic and different from others,” Yem Socheata says.

“We’re located close to the Royal Palace. The river is in the front of the hotel with a beautiful view. We try to make guests feel at home.”

The Quay is a quirky, 16-room modern building tucked into the riverfront.

Its eight standard-size rooms, which cost US $85 a night, have a large bed, a TV and a luxurious bathroom.

The remaining eight rooms, the Panorama Suites, have the same amenities but are bigger and have balconies facing the riverside, as well as a bathroom with a tub. These rooms cost $130 a night and offer simple, sleek design and seating area for TV viewing.

Guests are able to dine from the Spanish-themed menu in the ground-floor restaurant or enjoy cocktails on the rooftop, and wireless internet is free.

Closer to the city centre, the Lebiz Hotel and Library, which came 13th on the TripAdvisor list, boasts a unique leisurely concept and décor.

The four-floor Lebiz opened in August, 2010 near the city centre. What sets this boutique hotel apart is, as the name suggests, its library, with shelves stocked with books that guests can enjoy for free during their stay.

“Our guests always give us good feedback. They admire the design and cleanliness of our hotel,” says Julien Mousnier, the manager of Lebiz.

With only 27 rooms, this hotel certainly provides an intimate stay. Twenty single rooms include a deluxe king-size bed and go for $78 a night, while the seven double rooms include deluxe twin beds and go for $88.

There is free wi-fi, and breakfast is included.

Unique to the Lebiz is the series of murals that adorn the hotel’s walls.

Each floor has its own mural, a one-off design executed by comissioned artists including Phnom Penh-based graffiti muralists Peap Tarr and Lisa Mam.

The decor alone makes it tempting to grab a library book and stay in for the day.

“It’s an honour to be elected. We hope it will attract more guests,” says Julien Mousnier, adding that he will display the TripAdvisor trophy at the reception desk.

Although the awards may help put the local hospitality industry on the Asian map, Cambodia still has a way to go to catch up to one of its trendier neighbours – Thailand led the category with 11 of the 25 spots on the list.
To contact the reporter on this story: Roth Meas at roth.meas@phnompenhpost.com

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