Come for the nearby sunset view
Bokor Mountain, Kampot T: (033) 683 9999
Looking like some monstrosity from the communist-era Soviet Union, the 550-plus room Thansur Bokor Highland Resort doesn’t exactly scream a warm welcome upon arrival. Not to worry though, as you aren’t staying here for the ambiance but rather the unforgettable sunset view from a nearby cliff.
As you pull into the grounds of the giant Chinese-designed and -contructed hotel, you can see they are set for expansion. Along with the main hotel, a number of additional buildings are set around the area. Some look occupied while others still appear to still be under construction despite the property being open since 2012.
A beautiful fountain and decorative stairway at the hotel building entrance makes for a good photo op — it’s probably the nicest feature of the hotel exterior. Unlike the famed old casino that Bokor is known for, the Thansur Highland Resort was not built with a view and don’t expect any beautiful scenery from your window.
The lobby is opulent, with large stairways, a posh oval-shaped bar and pastry counter in the middle, plus decorative red curtains draped all around the pillars and stairwells. The central bar isn’t a bad place to grab a drink in the evenings and listen to the melodic live performers playing their versions of a number of Khmer and international hits. They also make a mean cappuccino.
You have two room styles to choose from. Standards are US$65 weekdays and $US80 on the weekends, and come with one or two beds (which are small). Suites only have one large bed and will cost you $110 during the week and $125 at weekends. Both include a free breakfast buffet for two.
The rooms are comfortable if a little impersonal; pretty but lacking in charm. Rooms have a nice flat screen TV, small desk area with a mirror, central air-con and an in-room safe. The bathroom is modern and sleek with a large shower. Linens are basic white, but high quality, and combined with the comfy bed you should have no problem getting a good night’s sleep. Near the beautifully crafted wooden closet you’ll also find a small table with some free water bottles, a water heater, instant coffee and some tea.
The area is quiet, with nothing else to see around, bar the reason to stay here: the sunset view from the cliff just around the corner. It really is an impressive sight and makes staying at Bokor Highland overnight worth every penny. From April to October the sun will set behind the cliff, but the rest of the year you can watch it set over the ocean.
After enjoying the stunning sunset, return to Thansur Highland for some fun at the hotel. For a little night time entertainment, head to one of the three small casinos scattered throughout the hotel, a KTV bar, or disco. If looking for something a little healthier, visit the spa, sauna or gym instead.
Overall the hotel is reasonably priced for what you get and, as long as you are relaxing in the lobby, you certainly feel that you are in a luxury hotel. Most travellers here are wealthy Khmer and Chinese; staff still speak a reasonable amount of English. If there were alternatives on Bokor, we might recommend staying somewhere else, but since Thansur Highland is currently the only kid on the block, well… we recommend staying here. Trust us, the sunset will make it all worth it.
By Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.