In a busy city like Phnom Penh, Plantation is a haven in the truest sense of the word. Rooms are minimalist yet inviting, lotus ponds and lush gardens soothe the eye, and best of all, it has one of the best pools in town.
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On Street 184 which leads down to the Royal Palace, Plantation is a five-minute walk to the National Museum and 10 to the riverfront. It’s also a few streets from Street 240’s shops and cafés, and a 15-minute walk to the restaurants and bars of Phnom Penh’s BKK 1 neighbourhood, south of the Independence Monument. Most tuktuk journeys cost around $2 (£1.50).
Address: #28 street 184, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Style & character
A calming lotus pond welcomes you on arrival, and there’s a real sense of time and place. With many buildings dating back to the 1930s when they were used by the French, they’ve been carefully restored by architects and heritage experts, before opening as a hotel. Plantation feels modern and historic, spacious and intimate, with lush gardens and plants throughout. Its Pergola restaurant, lotus pond bar and a smaller pool are open to non-residents, and they often host photographic exhibitions around the lotus pond.
Service & facilities
Staff are friendly, helpful and jovial. They’ve cultivated a laidback ‘resort’ vibe and it’s easy to forget where you are. The highlight is the pool, surrounded by greenery with cabanas and loungers on either side, and a shaded bar and restaurant at one end; it’s certainly easy to fritter away a day. A new spa opens soon; on this visit, massages took place in a dedicated hotel room and proved good and reasonable.
There’s a Cambomania shop selling handicrafts, clothes and food products, and sculptures by Siem Reap-based artist Theam. Ask staff about day trips; hotel suggestions are interesting and promote ethical companies. Pick-ups/drop-offs in a vintage Jaguar can also be arranged.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
First category Superior Rooms at Plantation are superb, uncluttered in look-and-feel, but with warm colours, comfortable furnishings, and balconies. All have air-conditioning, ceiling fan and TV plus a a double bed, open bathroom and small balcony. The toilet and shower are separate but the open sink area adds a sense of space. The larger Deluxe Doubles have day beds while Deluxe Twins offer separate beds and a closed bathroom. Complimentary bottled water is replenished daily.
Food & drink
Plantation’s La Pergola Restaurant is a destination restaurant, with an air-conditioned section and open-air terrace. Inventive à la carte dishes include tiger prawn ravioli in a coconut lime emulsion, and honey-glazed duck with Kampot pepper sauce. For dessert, try milk cardamom chocolate mousse with sea salt crumble.
At the guest-only poolside bar and restaurant, try tzatziki with toast and sea bass ceviche, while the green mango salad with poached prawns and Thai basil chilli dressing is excellent. There’s a BBQ buffet on Saturday evenings. Cocktails include the signature Plantation, a vodka martini with passionfruit, lemongrass, coriander and ginger beer. Breakfast is a buffet affair, with an egg station, fresh fruits and Western and Khmer dishes.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Plantation has two wheelchair-accessible rooms, and a lift to all floors. All areas are accessible apart from the gym and La Pergola restaurant.
Yes - complimentary cots, children’s menu and babysitting; book in advance.
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