#TBT: REVIEW – Hotel – La Rose Suites, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Stay: 19 to 20 March 2016
Room: Pool View Suite
Size: 45 sqm (300 sqf)
Per Night Average: ~AU$200
Address: 4B, St. 21, Tonle Bassac, Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh
Phone: (+855) 23-222 254
Content of this Post:
I had spent a night, a week before in Phnom Penh at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, a perfect beginning to my journey. A night at La Rose Suites, would end my visit to Cambodia.
Just so you know, there are two properties in the La Rose brand, both in Phnom Penh. One is La Rose Suites, and the other is the 4 star La Rose Boutique Hotel & Spa. The decor of both is similar, but there is a difference in price, location, property and room size. The suites has 25 rooms, and the Boutique has only 10.
Booking & Price
We booked via our travel agent, and later had to change things, as my husband was a late cancellation, and couldn’t make this leg of the trip. We needed to reduce the stay to 1 night with 1 person staying. We had booked at a non-refundable rate, but the hotel very graciously refunded the charges for the two nights we cancelled.
The Hotel is not far from the Independence Monument and embassy district. It’s a little over a half kilometre from the Royal Palace, so the tree lined location is pretty good.
Location & Arrival
You arrive at the hotel via a long covered garden corridor with the hotel pool on your right. There was someone to help me with my luggage, and I was soon checked in and directed to my room.
The corridors are nicely decorated, and have feature door surrounds. The corridors are a little on the thin side, and the plinths with sculptures and other decorative obsticles don’t help with that.
This was swiftly done using my printed itinerary as evidence. I don’t remember lifts. I think the stairs were the only access to drag my bags up. Staff were very welcoming pointing out where breakfast would be served (downstairs).
The welcome letter points out that the hotel supports a charitable initiative: Pour un Sourire d’Enfant to bring the ‘miserable children’ out of the misery of raking through Cambodia’s stinking rubbish dumps. The language is a bit clumsy but given the poverty of Cambodia, an aim to be lauded and financially supported.
It’s a large room with all that is needed, including a seating area and desk as well as a bed, side tables wardrobe and TV console. Actually, on second thought, it could have done with a more relaxing place to sit – a lounge would have been a welcome addition. The desk was to the right of the entrance, with the bed, seating area, wardrobes and bathroom to the left. Straight ahead and a little to the left was a lovely window with views down to the pool.
My room faced west, so it attracted glorious sunlight, but unfortunately with the accompanying heat in the afternoon. Fortunately the room was airconditioned, although the outlet (see image above), did tend to provide a cascade of cold air to the feet when in bed.
Beautiful polished timber floors, a canopied and curtained bed, and some sharp black and ecru check. What is not to like?
The bed was a little softer than I was expecting, but still had the ‘Asian hard’ feel that you expect in this part of the world. Power sockets, usable bedside lamps, phone and note pad were all present.
The only downside was that the light switches were on the power cords, which I never find as convenient as when they are located on the actual lamp. On the upside, there were little swan-necked pinpoint reading lights located above the pillows either side of the bed. Very useful.
The decor was the ubiquitous images of Angkor Wat and surrounding temples, in this case, Ta Prohm – otherwise known as the ‘tomb raiders’ temple, featuring trees growing within the walls and roofs of the ruins. I know its picky, but I would have gone for one large colour shot rather than this triptych.
All the woodwork has been stained to mimic the reddish brown of tropical mahogany. The contrast with the white walls was stark. Maybe an off white would have been more successful.
The bedroom was large with lots of space. However it didn’t feel cohesive, or as if the space was well used. I loved the two seats either side of the coffee table, and the view outside to the lush gardens surrounding the pool, but would have really preferred a lounge, to well, ‘lounge’ on.
I fully approve of the wooden floor and lack of carpeting. It adds to the cool.
There was a small fridge in the bureau, below the TV. I don’t have any images of its contents, unfortunately. Drinking water was provided, along with a very tempting bowl of fruit on the coffee table which included sweet lady finger bananas, an apple, those sweet Asian mandarin style citrus, and the visually spectacular dragon fruit.
The desk offered tissues, water, hand cream and a portable bluetooth speaker – all very useful.
The lamp, with a weathered wood base was arresting, but not entirely to my taste.
The seating area adjacent to the window was convenient, offering enticing views of the pool, 5 levels below, however, I would have preferred a lounge or padded chair to relax in.
This was one of Cambodia’s concrete/terrazzo triumphs, especially the black bath. However, this terrazzo never looks entirely clean, and tends to hold stains. Not really what you want in a bathroom. It makes you realise how good tiles are at projecting hygiene and cleanliness. Knai Bang Chat in Kep, had a similar concrete treatment, with similar results.
The basin, with its draining racks worked a treat. The shower was efficient, but the bath, which I tried briefly, was a little short, and not particularly comfortable.
There were enough towels for me – but this would not have been enough if two people occupied the room.
Overall, the bathroom was small, but well thought out with everything I needed. The bath was disappointing.
Public Areas – Breakfast
The Banana Tree Restaurant also doubles as a breakfasting area. It’s located downstairs, effectively in the basement with the same white and dark wood and fabric theme of the other public areas of the hotel. It wasn’t unpleasant, just a little stark, or maybe that was the lighting.
The public spaces come with an Indochina aesthetic and touches of the ubiquitous Angkorian Apsara dancers.
Breakfast was à la carte with both asian and western options. Satisfying but not inspired.
I spent an afternoon in the hotel, relaxing after an enjoyable week of birthday partying with friends down in Kep. This was going to be my few hours rest before heading to hectic Hong Kong and gambling Macau with my husband.
I spent some time on the phone and with reception staff organising to have my jeans returned from Raffles. I’d left them there the week before. They were delivered promptly, and I used my remaining US currency to (probably) overtip the motorbike driver who returned them.
I don’t think I did the hotel justice. I spent my time in the room, napping in the afternoon, and recovering the hours of sleep I had lost the week before. La Rose Suites was more of a weigh station for me between destinations and meeting up with my partner.
Service at the hotel is friendly and professional. The majority of the uniformed staff are trained by PSE, a non-government organisation which provides underprivileged young people the hospitality skills. The constant smiles from staff are a great tonic for the weary traveller.
Summary Stylish, large rooms with four-poster beds and friendly staff