Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Raffles Hotel Le Royal
What it is
A 1929 legend (Jackie Kennedy was here) built around a pool courtyard decked by fragrant frangipani.
What it isn't
Overly modernized. All guest rooms are a step back in time, fitted in French Colonial-meets-Khmer style.
What we think
Most hotels constructed decades ago have cramped, stuffy rooms better lost to history. Not Raffles Hotel Le Royal, where each starts at 344-square-feet and is fitted with towering ceilings, original marble-lined bathrooms and claw-foot tubs. Service is kind but not cloying; you’ll have 24-hour room service at your disposal, along with limousine transport to the airport and in-the-know concierges that are true experts on Phnom Penh. Don’t be surprised if staffers hand you a cocktail and a chilled towel to press to your forehead upon your arrival—it’s just that kind of place.
You're here because
You can’t handle humidity like this without a pool, and Raffles maintains a gem, surrounded by riotous gardens and pristine daybeds. Bonus: you can order whatever tropical cocktail you fancy at the poolside terrace bar.
You’re something of a Jacqueline Kennedy obsessive, so when you heard the on-site Elephant Bar tailor-made the Femme Fatale cocktail just for her in 1967, you beeline there shortly after check-in. Zonked, you belly up to the glimmering bar and order one—which is even more delicious than Camelot itself. And then you notice they serve not 10 but 110 different gins—reportedly the largest collection in Asia. G & T next? You know Jackie would approve.
Restaurants & Bars
Restaurant Le Royal - Executive business buffet lunch, dinner is Cambodian and European a la carte (specialize in guerdon table service)
Café Monivong - International buffet breakfast and dinner
Elephant Bar - One of Phnom Penh's legendary bars. Open for lunch until late. Serves light meals and tapas. Happy Hour 5-9pm. Outdoor terrace and garden
Writers Bar - Lobby bar
Two blocks from Wat Phnom, a 14th century Buddhist temple. The Royal Palace and National Museum of Cambodia—brimming with Khmer artifacts—are just nine minutes away by car.