Raffles Hotel Le Royal

Classic luxury in Phnom Penh

Once known simply as “Le Phnom,” Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been Phnom Penh’s defining word in opulence ever since its doors first swung open in 1929. Indeed, for many years this grande dame was the Cambodian capital's only luxury lodging and hosted everyone from royalty to celebrities. VIP guests over the years have included actor Charlie Chaplin, writer Somerset Maugham and style icon Jackie O.

Forced to close by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, it reopened 22 years later after extensive renovations as part of Raffles Hotels and Resorts, reclaiming its crown after a lengthy hiatus.

Today, it's still the go-to for Cambodian high society looking to host wedding banquets and celebratory balls, while the colonial wood-paneled Elephant Bar is a must for post-event drinks. This is also the best place in Phnom Penh to enjoy afternoon tea; the refined airs and immaculately attired staff practically transport you back in time.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • While all accommodations offer Old World luxury, the Landmark Rooms serve as a beautiful time capsule. The high-ceilinged rooms appear much as they did in 1929, including their enticing claw-foot baths.
  • In a growing city with busy traffic, Raffles Hotel Le Royal stands out for its central location amid walkable streets. After a sumptuous buffet breakfast, head toward the riverside on foot for a unique view of historic Phnom Penh.
  • Follow a day out touring with a G&T by the pool — the hotel boasts a collection of more than 110 botanical spirits.
  • A stay at Raffles Hotel Le Royal means it's just a short walk downstairs to one of the best meals in town. Signature dining room Restaurant Le Royal serves up an exclusive selection of ancient royal Khmer cuisine.
  • The luxury hotel's famed Elephant Bar is a destination (and it has one of the most generous happy hours in town, running from 4 to 9 p.m.). We recommend ordering the Femme Fatale, a cocktail invented for former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Things to Know

  • Along with being one of the most recognizable hotels in town, Raffles Hotel Le Royal also hosts the city's most famous weekend champagne brunch. Make sure you reserve a table early to partake.
  • While it can be fun to watch Phnom Penh start the day, be aware that if you stay in a room facing the streets, you'll also likely be woken up by the traffic.
  • Ask the concierge to organize a tuk-tuk to Central Market. A short ride takes you to the impressive 1937 art deco edifice, which is full of fantastic souvenir shopping.

The Rooms

  • Although featuring all modern conveniences, accommodations play up the 90-year-old hotel’s colonial heritage with wooden floors, ceiling fans and Old World furnishings.
  • Orientated around a quiet, tree-filled courtyard, the rooms and suites either face out toward the busy city or inward, where the center of attention is the inviting blue pool.
  • While Le Royal Suite is the historic hotel's largest, it's the four Personality Suites that stand out. Each is themed around a famous guest like former French president Charles de Gaulle.

Nearby Attractions

  • Just a short walk away from the Phnom Penh hotel is Wat Phnom, the hilltop temple the city is named after. After ascending the steep steps, enjoy a walk through the surrounding leafy park.
  • With its gleaming white hallways, upmarket shopping, fine-dining restaurants and luxurious cinema, Exchange Square (an eight-minute walk) makes for a great rainy-day destination.
  • Extending for nearly a mile south along the Tonle Sap River, Riverside Park offers the opportunity for a pleasant evening stroll as the sun sets over the city.

Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Getting There
92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
PNH (22-35 min)  
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