The 5-star 201-room Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra has now opened its doors as the city’s first new debut in a decade.
Located in an upscale residential quarter just downstream of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace, and close to both the Australian and Russian embassies, the hotel’s debut introduces eight new restaurants and bars to the city, Southeast Asia’s first, Sofitel-branded So SPA and So FIT, as well as the top floor executive lounge, Club Millésime, and an 1,800-squaremeter grand ballroom anchoring one of the most ambitious new meetings venues in the region.The December launch immediately redefines the city’s upscale appeal, positioning the Sofitel as the most sophisticated new hospitality opportunity not only in Phnom Penh but in the region at large. The hotel’s emergence here, in one of Asia’s most compelling new destinations, is evidence of rising enthusiasm for Phnom Penh.
More than 6,000 candidates applied for work at the new hotel, buoyed by the brand’s reputation and the bold strokes of a USD 50 million investment by a consortium of Cambodian, Thai and French investors.
“For many people, Phnom Penh is one of Asia’s great new destinations, generating an enthusiasm that we’ve seen in the past for places like Vietnam and the Maldives,” said Didier Lamoot, General Manager of the hotel. “The Sofitel is opening as a grand manifestation of all that enthusiasm.”
Despite the recent economic slump worldwide, visitors to Cambodia have continued to increase, albeit by a small margin. In 2008, the country’s tourist authorities reported 2.12 million in-bound arrivals. In 2009, that number inched up to 2.16 million. Last month, the country’s Ministry of Tourism reported that in-bound arrivals were up 14% over last year, a pace that’s likely to accelerate with the development of the nation’s infrastructure.
The 12-storey hotel occupies four hectares in a prime, riverside location, near the British International School and amidst a burgeoning neighborhood of upscale villas. The airport is 15 kilometers away. Within five years, the city’s evolving centre is expected to be fixed right around the Sofitel.
Its fitness complex, the Phokeethra Sports Club, features tennis courts and squash courts, as well an outdoor swimming pool, a kid’s club and fitness equipment. Sofitel So SPA enjoys expansive quarters on the hotel’s third floor, overlooking the pool and the river.
Its five state-of-the-art meeting rooms, the magnificent grand ballroom and a 1,200-squaremeter pre-function space are set to tap a growing interest in Phnom Penh as a land of entrepreneurial opportunity. The Sofitel will deploy its InspiredMeetings programme in the new facility, setting the stage for events that coordinate dedicated personnel and technology and that deliver one-of-a-kind affairs, from intimate parties to large scale conferences.