Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The capital’s Sundance kid

July 4 revellers can expect live music and a poolside BBQ.
July 4 revellers can expect live music and a poolside BBQ. CHRIS TYALOR

The capital’s Sundance kid

Harold Unland, 47, a native of Brownsville, Texas, had everything packed in containers and was ready to move back home after a seven-year stay in Bangkok, when he discovered Cambodia.

“I saw that it was a place that was easy to do business, was welcoming to investors, and because I’d spent my entire life in the US working in the hospitality business, I decided to set up a bar, restaurant guesthouse.”

That was 3 and a half years ago, and the result is Sundance Inn and Saloon: a 12-room budget hotel with comforts, a swimming pool and a bustling bar.

Sundance owner Harold Unland.
Sundance owner Harold Unland. CHRIS TAYLOR

Unland describes his bar clientele as “diverse – everyone from local businesspeople to backpackers.”

The Texan got his start in the hospitality business washing dishes at the age of 12 and first fell in love with Asia on a diving trip to the Philippines. In Phnom Penh, he narrowed his search for a location down to Street 178 because he could see that the exodus from the once popular backpacker area of Boeung Kak Lake – controversially filled in for a property development that continues to languish – was heading in the direction of a street that is now emerging as a mini Khao San Road.

“At that time, a lot of the property owners didn’t realise what was going on, but it was still difficult to find a property of the size I needed,” he says.

Unland’s search finally yielded a 480-square-metre family house that he took a long-term lease on and remodelled. With his 12 rooms almost permanently fully occupied, he is now planning to add an additional 24 rooms.

“Business grew fast – first via [the online booking site]Agoda, but now it’s mostly word of mouth,” he says.

To celebrate US Indepen-dence Day today, Sundance will be hosting a poolside barbecue party from early afternoon through the night, with live music, ribs, burgers, hot dogs and drink specials.

Sundance Inn and Saloon
#61 AB, Street 172, Sangkat Chey Chumneah, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, ​Tel: 016 80 20 90

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking