French elegance, colonial style and a warm Cambodian welcome come together to ensure any stay at the Sofitel Phnom Penh is an exceptional experience. We felt like celebrities as we were met in the car park, whisked inside and offered a cool glass of wine, which we sipped while drinking in beautiful views.
The vast reception area captures the essence of the capital city’s colonial past with carved wood, relaxing sofas and the most incredible chandelier as a centre piece. The front of house staff are fantastic and cocoon you in comfort during the check in process.
This is a big international hotel, and the lobby is always buzzing with guests coming and going from various sightseeing and shopping expeditions. The concierge team will expertly arrange a trip to discover the history of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, book a local speciality restaurant (crickets anyone?) or hire a tuk-tuk for sightseeing around the city.
A top tip: mix it up with some high-end retail therapy at the large Aeon shopping centre right next door. The hotel is fairly central, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the Royal Palace and Central Market.
What’s on offer
The high-rise hotel boasts 200 rooms and suites. The city view from our Club Luxury room was fantastic, particularly at night; the large bath and super comfy bed perfect
after a long day of sightseeing. Rooms are simply designed with hard wood floors, pale cream walls and locally-inspired prints. As well as the mod cons you would expect to find, there’s a Nespresso machine and bathroom amenities from Lanvin.
The hotel also has a large outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, a gym, tennis and squash courts and a kids’ club, perfect for families wishing to relax. La Boutique on the ground floor offers a collection of exclusive souvenirs, arts and crafts. Check out the Artisans’ D’Angkor concept store showcasing Cambodia’s finest handcrafts from silk fabric to incredible sculpted pieces of art.
You’ll be impressed by the size and friendliness of the hotel’s So Spa which has 10 treatment suites, several with showers that double up as steam rooms. Despite its size, there are no central thermal facilities, however, and the only pool is on the ground floor of the hotel.
Dark wood dominates the reception area and the relaxation room, which has comfy lounge chairs and mood lighting. It is also here where manicures and pedicures take place.
The treatment menu is as varied as it is interesting, with some even dedicated to children.
Tell us about your treatment(s)
We tried the Ethnic Fusion Massage (90 minutes, £60) and loved sipping a glass of lemongrass water and using a cold towel while waiting in the spa’s reception area, which was also scented with lemongrass.
My treatment began with a scent test from a trio of fragrances: lemongrass (relaxing), Chinese orange (detoxing) and ginger (energising) followed by a relaxing foot wash.
Lying on the bed, the massage that followed was long and flowing, with a blend of medium and deep pressure. After my back, neck, shoulders and legs were sufficiently supple, I turned over so that the front of my legs and arms could receive the same treatment. A wonderful way to spend 90 minutes.
Combining French and Cambodian influences, food is a big story at Sofitel Phnom Penh – and it doesn’t disappoint.
Traverse the four corners of the globe each evening, with Western and Asian cuisine served at La Couple, Italian at Do Forni, Japanese at Hachi and Cantonese at Fu Lu Zu. A must-visit is Chocolat, a delightful patisserie and chocolate café – we dare you to resist. For a night cap, Le Bar in the lobby is always busy with live music and the occasional Karaoke session (this is Asia, after all).
Who do you think would like it?
Families: There’s a kids’ club and a dedicated spa menu for children.
Solo travellers: This hotel is great for those travelling alone, as it’s both lively and centrally-located.
Breakfast is a smorgasbord of flavours from around the world.
Relaxing by the pool: Phnom Penh is a crowded city, so the pool is the perfect spot to relax after a day sightseeing.