Trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia - April 2009
Review of Raffles Hotel Le Royal

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We stayed at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in mid April 2009. The room was booked online on the Raffles website and it was 165 USD plus taxes.


Our hotel in Phnom Penh, Raffles Hotel Le RoyalThe transport to the hotel in taxi was 9 USD and it took us about 15-20 minutes. The city was quite quiet as we arrived on New Years day (the Buddhist New Year that is) so there was not that much traffic. The façade of the hotel was standing out comparing to the surroundings as it looked well kept compared to some of the buildings around. The lobby area oozes of elegance and tradition and the hotel staff quickly led us to a sofa and asked us to sit down while they prepared the paperwork. We got a welcome drink and soon the papers were ready and we were led to room 307 on the third floor.


Bed at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhWhen entering the room we saw that the room was in line with the interior of the lobby. It was an old classic room with dark wooden floor and a huge carpet in the middle of the room. After staying at many modern hotels I have to admit that the hotel room was a bit of a disappointment. I guess I’m just used to the modern style! The room itself has a bed that was pretty comfortable, a couple of small tables, a couple of chairs and central furniture that contained a couple of wardrobes, the safe, the mini bar and a medium size CRT TV (with a good selection of channels). The walls were in light yellow and the curtains were light green. The room was facing one of the pools. A nice feature was the high ceiling which made the room feel a bit cooler.


Bathtub at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhThe bathroom was tiled in white and had a classical bathtub, a sink stand in the same style and a nice shower corner with a glass door. The sink was cracked by the way and it was leaking underneath. The amenities featured a nice series of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel and there was also a scrub to be used to rub of some of the dust after a long day of sightseeing in Phnom Penh. Apart from that there was a shower cap, a dental set etc.


Wardrobe at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhThe robes provided in the room were a bit of a joke for me. I’m not that fat or big but the robe was just tiny and maybe designed for a petite Cambodian body? It was also a bit strange that we only got one pair of slippers even if they noticed that we were a couple living in the room. While we are on the subjects of things that were not that great…the lighting in the room was not great. There should at least have been a proper reading light. The air con was adjustable in low/medium/high but even at low it was way too noisy and I would have liked to see a notch below low. It is also strange to see that a upmarket hotel like this did not have an iron and ironing board in the room as standard.


Pool at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhYou can get internet (both WiFi and cable) at the hotel and it was 10 USD for 3 hours of active use. The good thing was that it was for active use (hence you could be one hour online one day and continue using it the next day) but the process of getting access was a bit strange. I had to call the business center and they had to come to the room with the user name and password. As always I would like to urge the hotel to set up free internet for the guests as it is a great tool for travelers. The pool was nice enough and it is quite an oasis compared to the streets of Phnom Penh. The changing room was not that great as it was a tiny room with only a couple of shower rooms to change in.


Breakfast at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhBreakfast was very nice and featured all the stuff you expect from a hotel breakfast in my opinion. Bread, cereal, bacon, eggs, French toast, fruits etc. They even made up a special boost energy cocktail consisting of celery, cucumber, beetroot, oranges and carrots. The homemade orange marmalade was also outstanding and I would have loved to bring home a jar of that :-)


Be aware that the hotel is located a bit outside the center of town. It is only about a 5 minute walk from Wat Phnom so it was easy to walk if we wanted to. But when it is 35 degrees you get sweaty pretty fast so most of the time we did use a tuk-tuk to get around and we paid 3 dollars to get to e.g. the Royal Palace and it took only 5-10 minutes.


Bathroom at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom PenhI have mixed feelings about Raffles Hotel Le Royal. It is easy to see that it is a hotel with soul and tradition and they have kept the style in both the lobbies and the room. But coming straight from the new Le Meridien hotel in Siem Reap it was a bit of a “shock” to stay at an old fashioned hotel again. At the Meridien we got a few small things (such as marshmallows every night, fruit etc) that showed that the hotel went the extra mile for us – at Raffles Hotel Le Royal I didn’t feel that we got any extra attention. The location of the hotel is not optimal either as most of the activities takes place nearer to the Royal Palace and Sisowath Quay we had to take tuk-tuk every time we wanted to go out to eat or go sightseeing. So if I come to Phnom Penh in the future I will probably look for a hotel more centrally located.


Click to see more photos from Siem Reap and Angkor WatBack to index pageGet in touch if you have any questions