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The Plantation 3.0

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Lovely restored 1930s French building surrounded by gardens and lotus pond
  • Lots of paintings and attractive furnishings throughout the hotel
  • Two nice swimming pools, one surrounded by cabanas
  • Upscale French restaurant and poolside open-air restaurant/bar
  • Contemporary, stylish rooms with balconies, four-poster beds, and minibars
  • Great location central to food, drink, and shopping
  • Free breakfast with fresh fruits, breads, and juices
  • Bright fitness center and spa facilities 
  • Free Wi-Fi 
  • Shop with local handcrafts and foods

Cons

  • Standard Superior Rooms are small and have no real views
  • Some Deluxe Pool View Rooms' views are mostly blocked by trees 
  • A bit large for a boutique hotel and facilities can get crowded 

Bottom Line

The Plantation is a mid-range boutique hotel with 70 rooms clustered in several wings, hidden away from the street by artwork, lovely gardens, and two nice pools. Occupying a restored 1930s French building, the resort sits in the historical center of Phnom Penh, about a 10-minute walk from the riverside and close to plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. Rooms are contemporary and colorful with open floor plans and four-poster beds, along with free Wi-Fi and breakfast. There are an upscale French restaurant overlooking the courtyard and a poolside bar/restaurant serving all meals. The resort also has a fitness center and spa. While it's a bit large to be an intimate boutique hotel, The Plantation is still one of the better escape-retreats located in the heart of the city. Guests may also want to consider The Kabiki, a less expensive boutique hotel with just 18 rooms and a very quiet vibe. 

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Scene

An urban escape with a restored French-colonial building, fine art paintings, lotus pond, and lush gardens

The Plantation hides behind a low-rise white concrete entrance, which doesn't say much about what's inside, save for a nice colorful painting hanging by the entrance. Once through the cross-pattern wooden doors, everything changes, starting with a row of mythical stone lion statues sitting before the square lotus pond, with a large tree set in the middle. The open corridor around the pond is filled with Cambodian art paintings by local painters, all of which are for sale, and it feels like entering an art gallery as opposed to a hotel. Behind the courtyard is the main building, a restored yellow colonial French masterpiece that was used for administrative offices in the 1930s. It has an elegant open veranda with gray-and-white-patterned tile floors and stylish teak-wood furniture, which is actually part of the lobby and a nice spot to relax and enjoy the pond and surroundings. Once farther inside, the patterned floors continue, along with plush red chairs, paper lantern lights, and whirling fans. A narrow corridor leads outside to the lush garden, where most guests can be found hiding away in the private cabanas surrounding one of the swimming pools. The hotel really is an urban escape scene, with a mostly adult crowd, as the small rooms and quiet atmosphere favor couples as opposed to large families. 

Location

In the historic center, on a quiet street within walking distance of restaurants and the riverside

The Plantation has an excellent location in the historic center of Phnom Penh, about a 10-minute walk to the Royal Palace and the riverside, and close to lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. The hotel is on a quieter side street of the often chaotic neighborhood, so it doesn't see so much traffic -- not to mention that the front gate, lotus pond, and gardens keep out noise and make it feel more like a country hideaway. Other places of note either within walking distance or a five-minute tuk tuk ride include Wat Botun, bustling 240 Street -- known for its shopping -- and Monivong Boulevard, the main drag through downtown. The international airport can be reached in around 35 minutes by car.

Rooms

Small and contemporary with four-poster beds, flat-screen TVs, and narrow balconies

Rooms have open floor-plans and contemporary decor that's mostly white with bright yellow and orange accents, and dark-gray tile floors. All are air-conditioned and have four-poster beds with mosquito nets, as well as safes, tea/coffee facilities, minibars, flat-screen TVs, and narrow balconies decorated with potted plants and metal tables and chairs. One drawback is that the rooms are quite small, especially the standard Superior ones, which are 22 square meters and lack any real views. The Deluxe Rooms are slightly larger and have daybeds, while four of the Deluxe Pool View Rooms' views are mostly blocked by trees. Bathrooms are somewhat small and dingy, with concrete floors and showers hidden behind walls, while the toilets are in separate vestibules. Only the massive Rooftop Suite is different, with several rooms, large outdoor terraces with a hot tub and stone bar, two bathrooms, and space enough to host a party for around 30 people; however, the price tag for this one is four times that of the standard digs.

Features

Two pools, one in a lovely garden surrounded by cabanas; high-end French restaurant and poolside dining

The nicest features of The Plantation are its two fabulous swimming pools. The main pool is set within a tropical garden, and is surrounded by tree-shaded sun-loungers, private cabanas, and the Poolside Restaurant serving all meals plus cocktails. Another small, attractive pool with crimson-red loungers set against the yellow French house has its own bar; the resort lets outside visitors use this pool, whereas the main pool is only for guests. There's a small gym with wood floors and windows decked out in cardio machines and weights. The spa has eight colorful treatment rooms, and there's also a charming set of meeting rooms with space for 30 people. The main restaurant is Poolside, where a daily free breakfast is served, along with Khmer and international cuisine for lunch and dinner, and cocktails, coffee, and tea. For something a bit more elegant, La Pergola French restaurant sits above the front courtyard, and has an open-air deck and an air-conditioned indoor dining room with large windows. It's extremely romantic, and the standout dishes like duck confit and creme brulee are paired with fine wines, and worth a splurge.

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Address

184 28, Street, Phnom Penh 12000, Cambodia

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