Style and substance
28 Street 184, Phnom Penh T: (023) 215 151
Set across more than half a hectare of prime real estate in central Phnom Penh, The Plantation hides behind a white wall on Street 184, spitting distance to the Royal Palace, National Musuem and cafe chic Street 240. Rooms are at once functional and stylish, with crisp colours punctuating an otherwise serene neutral palette. You won’t get the personal attention of the smaller hotels in the capital, but if you like anonymity and efficiency with a dose of chic, and your budget stretches this far, The Plantation is a fine option.
Previously the Ministry of Labour, the front building dates back to the 1930s and now houses reception and the business centre. The hotel’s 70 rooms are then stacked in three separate buildings behind, two of which overlook the very tempting 20-metre swimming pool, flanked at one end by the main restaurant and on both sides by little cabanas for two. Squirrelled away as you enter reception to the left is a second 12-metre pool and an attached bar, with a top-notch gift shop as well.
Tastefully designed standard rooms cleverly make the most of their slightly compact space — the bathroom is open so make sure the friend you’re travelling with is a good pal (though the toilet door closes). The rooms have spotless tile floors, Khmer silk throws, good-size desks, comfy four-poster beds, free WiFi, LCD TVs, safes, small garden terraces and walk-in cement showers.
Pricier rooms offer more space and are perched poolside. Our only gripe — it’s minor — is that the curtains don’t quite completely cover the windows; we also had a lot of mossies hiding away in the open cupboard in our ground floor room (may just be a seasonal thing).
Service in the pool cabanas can be sleepy, but is excellent elsewhere in the property. We tried to order a pizza in the poolside restaurant but the ovens weren’t working properly; a pasta dish satisfied our riced-out appetite instead.
At least six different room types are offering, beginning with a single superior with no view that can be snared for $85 when they offer a promotional deal, or a double for $95, through to a deluxe double with a pool view for $180. Agoda rates were similar when we stayed here but it’s always worth checking. We think the pool-view rooms are a little over-priced and there's better value to be found elsewhere in the city.
If The Plantation seems a little too large, the nearby Pavilion, part of the same group of hotels, delivers the goods and is a little more intimate; we found a particularly personal welcome at TEAV in Tonle Bassac, if you don’t need to be near the palace quarter, and it was quite a bit cheaper, too.
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.