Villa Langka – An Urbane Oasis in Downtown Phnom Penh
We stayed at the Villa Langka during our first few days in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh at the behest of a good friend and employee of an NGO that has an office on the country’s southern coast. She called it, “a little oasis” in the center of this busy city, which is the perfect way to describe walking off the dusty streets and into this lush sanctuary with small white buildings and abundant greenery surrounding a chilly, turquoise pool.
At $30-$45 per night, this place is a steal with minimalistic, white-washed rooms and pops of color in a red cabinet or a small green wall detail. Conveniently situated equidistantly between the main roads of Pasteur and Preah Norodom, so tuk tuks are readily available, the hotel keeps a 24/7 security guard outside on sleepy Street 282.
The showers could use a little love, but they are sizable, and I quickly forgot about some of these minor non-issues as the room actually got cool. You can lounge by the pool with a banana smoothie after a hot morning of sight seeing or mingle in the bar area with an Aussie sauv blanc and fresh shrimp and avocado spring rolls in company with the NGO-workers and other expats that keeping coming back for the reliable WiFi and a pleasant place to browse, meet and read.
Bottom line: BUY
Raffles Hotel Le Royal – Dropping In!
After a sweltering walk by the Royal Palace, along the Tonle Sap River, around Wat Phnom and through the Central Market, we were in need of some revival. We gave a quick salute to the U.S. Embassy next door as we dropped in to The Elephant Bar at Hotel Le Royal in uptown Phnom Penh, which houses many of the city’s diplomats and bureaucrats.
The French colonial space is elegant yet cozy, with areas you can choose to partition with taupe curtains if desired, an old pool table with mahogany scoreboard included, fresh fruit juice mixed at the bar (kick optional) and many details of les elephants that are fun but classy. Refueling at this revival was just the right amount of luxury to wet our whistle and keep us humming all the way home.
Bottom line: BUY