Review: Plantation Hotel, Phnom Penh colonial glamour

Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend hang out or a place to put the folks up, Plantation Hotel is one of the finest recent additions to Phnom Penh’s flourishing boutique hotel scene.

Plantation Hotel Phnom Penh

Plantation Hotel offers a tranquil escape from Phnom Penh’s hectic streets.

Expats can tell you that the architecture of Phnom Penh is a hodge podge of gracefully run down colonial mansions, stylish 60s homes that still feel contemporary, and the post-conflict abominations that cropped up as employment and wealth flooded back into the city after UNTAC’s arrival in 1992.

The Plantation Hotel is a wonderful example of how all three periods in the city’s history can be harmonized, bringing out the best of each.

Central location

Located on Street 184 in the pleasant precinct surrounding the Royal Palace, Plantation is the 6th property in the boutique hotel portfolio of Alexis de Suremain.

The hotelier has been operating hospitality businesses in Cambodia since 2004 and in this latest offering his experience and good taste are evident. Beautifully refurbished, the former government building was initially constructed in the 1930s and eventually housed Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor. Slated for demolition in 2011, the original structure was saved by de Suremain and with its new lease on life as a hotel strikes the right balance between classic service and fresh surrounds.

Plantation Phnom Penh Poolside

The Plantation’s “poolside menu” is available at both pools, on the roof top terrace, and in your room

In the surrounding streets you’ll find art stores, boutiques, cafes and bars to suit any taste or budget. There’s also the National Museum and Royal Palace for tourists who are keen to get cultural.

Pick of the rooms

The perfect oasis for harboring visitors from home, double rooms start at a reasonable price of USD 65 (although they can often be found cheaper on Agoda).

Plantation Phnom Penh room

A Deluxe Twin room sleeps 3 and will set you back USD 120.

Basic rooms are equipped with air conditioning, mosquito nets and a safe, in addition to other standard amenities.

Deluxe options are more spacious and may offer a balcony or direct access to the pool as well as a breakfast buffet. There are a large number of ground floor rooms catering to those with mobility issues. Or in my case, to sate my desire for direct access to the 20m guest-only pool.

Plantation Phnom Penh pool

The main pool is secluded from non-guest areas and surrounded by private cabanas. The poolside restaurant is within casual waving distance and can ply you with tasty snacks and cocktails all day.

The stand out accommodation choice that is sure to please luxe travelers is the 200sqm apartment suite. Equipped with its own jacuzzi and spacious entertaining areas both indoors and out, you’ll never want to leave.

Hotel facilities

With two pools available to guests (one is not accessible by outsiders visiting the hotel) and a full service spa you can’t avoid indulging in some relaxation during your stay.

Phnom Penh Plantation

Pool, bar or restaurant? What does it matter so long as you like to swim, drink or eat?

For those with one eye on the Blackberry, the hotel provides free wifi access throughout the common areas and in all rooms, as well as meeting room facilities. Go let off some steam in the gym after your conference call and then meet up with travel companions at the poolside bar to ease into the evening.

What to eat

When you’re ready for a nibble, choose from the two quality restaurants located on site or wander out for anything from Latin American to Indonesian cuisine and everything in between.

In house, the poolside restaurant serves up international cuisine including soups, sandwiches and pasta. Prices start at $4 for appetizers and $6 for mains.

Patterned tiles at Phnom Penh's Plantation

I may be a sucker for patterned tiles but those with more refined taste will enjoy the range of delicious modern Khmer dishes being served up at Plantation Restaurant.

For a more refined dining experience head up to the elegant Plantation Restaurant on the first floor of the hotel’s colonial era entrance building. The contemporary Khmer dishes will leave you unable to resist a return visit.

Take me there

Plantation Hotel was recently received a TripAdvisor traveler’s choice award for 2013 and is a member of the Childsafe Network.

Click to book your room on Agoda or, if you have specific requirements, you can contact the hotel directly on +855 23 215 151.

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