Sofitel – Phnom Penh

Excellent Hotel from Sofitel

Check-in was one of those rare good ones.    Rather than standing at the counter tapping keyboards and filling out forms like you are doing business, we were seated and offered cool towels and welcome drink.  The staff ducked off with our passports and conducted the check-in without needing us.     Finally a hotel that understands how you feel when getting off a flight. Visit the Sofitel Phnom Penh.

Being our first time in Cambodia we realised how much we like the people.   I know these Sofitel staff are the ‘cream of the crop’  but none the less they are just lovely.   There are many various restaurants in the hotel.   French, Japanese …. a great common-area Western style buffet, chocolate shop and more.

Sofitel Phnom Penh

Sofitel Phnom Penh

We were asked if we would like to pay an extra $90 a day to get access to the executive lounge.  We accepted that and it was well worth it.   A lovely breakfast daily, a-la-carte or buffet, and cocktails, wine and canapés in the evenings.    The afternoon ‘High tea’ wasn’t much… just loads of sweet cakes.   We enjoyed Simon looking after us very well with his always smiling friendly face.   Chris the German manager was excellent and always managed a good conversation.

Only one hiccup, I asked Chris about transport options visiting S21 museum, and the options were either he could arrange a metered taxi, or hire a car and driver for $45USD one half a day.   Being just a few blocks away I requested a taxi and that should have cost about $12 return.   We came out and found the car… no meter though.  I asked where is the taxi?  … but got no reply.   We were dropped at the museum and asked to be picked up in three hours at 5:00pm.  We were returned to the hotel and asked to pay $45USD for just 5 minutes in each direction.   I was so angry and I blew up.    From our room I called and left a message requesting the hotel manager to contact me.    Soon Chris rang and heard about what happened.   He sent a bottle of wine to our room compensate and I was satisfied with that.

We would head down to the lobby to the amazing live acoustic Cambodian band.  This became the highlight of our holiday.. see the short film clip I have added.   Wonderful people making amazing music that literally bought tears to our eyes…  we felt so happy.    The French restaurant also was amazing.    We particularly liked Mike and the friendly chef Steven even came out and discussed how we would like our meals in detail.

The pool was decent but not amazing.    It was nice and quiet without too many people and no children playing loudly etcetera.

Around the lobby we enjoyed chatting with Andrew.   He was very friendly and informative.   One day a motorcade of very expensive black limousines turned up.   They were Chinese or Vietnamese businessmen.  The Cambodians seem afraid of them, but I was not.

They parked a new Rolls Royce across the wheelchair ramp and I had my baby son in his pram.   As I struggled with his pram up the steps I hollered “Bit rude parking your car across the ramp don’t you think”.  They just stared at me with steely eyes.    As quickly as they arrived they disappeared.

Don’t miss out on the mall right across the road.  Head straight to the 3rd floor and you will find an amazing selection of excellent restaurants.  The Sofitel staff don’t of course tell you this.   I had inquired about surrounding restaurants, and also heard another guest making the same inquiry.  Doing their job you will be referred to a restaurant inside the hotel.

When checking out I found the executive lounge upgrade was more like $110USD.   Where I am from, if you have you pay it then you have to quote it, and that is the law.    We soon found in Cambodia they quote everything not including 10% service charge and 15% tax.    So 25% percent more than you are told it will cost you, that is considerable.