Raffles Le Royal Hotel began getting in the mood for Christmas at the beginning of December, with the smell of cinnamon lingering in the lobby.
Every Sunday since then, a Khmer children’s choir has been present for guests to enjoy afternoon tea along with Christmas carols, Raffles’ director of sales and marketing, Gareth Walters, says.
“Christmas is really all about family, and putting on an exciting program that both expats and Khmer people in Phnom Penh can enjoy,” Walters says.
“We have our festive brunch, with a big focus on families, at Café Monivong, including fine wines and buffet options.”
Restaurant Le Royale will offer Ecuyer Trenchant, which Walters describes as “a bit like tableside carving”, from the ancien regime, which dates back to the 18th century, flambé (fired) in a French style.
Then, at 1:30pm on Christmas Day, December 25, Santa Claus, riding on Sambo the elephant, will arrive at Cafe Monivong.
“Santa Claus will be giving gifts to all the children and a special Christmas children’s room will be set up for brunch with movies and excitement for the kids,” Walters says.
For New Year’s Eve, a huge poolside party is planned with about 150 guests.
“We have very limited space, and we’ve already sold about 70 seats, so this will be a case of booking early. We’ll have circus acts, stilt-walkers, hoppers, trapeze artists and live cooking stations and a large, five-course entertainment extravaganza around the pool,” Walters says.
At the same time, dinner will be being served at Restaurant Le Royal – a sitting limited to 55 people.
“At 11:30, everyone heads towards the conservatory, and that’s where the countdown takes place.
“Everyone will get complimentary champagne for the midnight toast, and at midnight Ritchie and Phil will sing Auld Lang Syne.”
The party will continue at the Elephant Bar with champagne and selections of whisky.
“On New Year’s Day, if people haven’t already drunk enough, we have a world tour of sparking wine in Rest-aurant Le Royal, with a six-course menu with a different sparkling wine from each course, from France, Italy.
“The menu on New Year’s Eve is all going to have edible gold for a golden, prosperous new year,” Walters says.
People can call 023 981 888. for reservations.