Sometimes colonial-style architecture can seem a bit much for contemporary Phnom Penh. Although the style once dominated Southeast Asia, as we move forward into this millennium, fresh designs and style ideas are beginning to present themselves.
Alexis de Suremain has worked with his wife on a number of projects in Phnom Penh but said the Blue Lime hotel is something different. "We wanted to come up with something that was a little more attractive to people in the region," he said. "Something which would be more Phnom Penhish, but also more modern and that would give more space to creativity."
One of the foremost design characteristics of Blue Lime is its concrete furniture. Day beds around the pool and guesthouse furnishings are fashioned from concrete,. The industrial texture created is offset by tropical plants and silk cushions.
The concrete theme is also represented in the overflow swimming pool; heavy geometric pedestals function stylistically and serve as seats and places to put drinks.
All of the rooms have various views of the city, the higher floors have views overlooking the many different rooftops, and from the top floor you can see the Royal Palace and the museum.
"From here you are connected to the rest of the city," said de Suremain, "It's Phnom Penh whether you like it or not."
To get to Blue Lime, de Suremain explains, "you go through a small narrow street, which is very Phnom Penhish, and then you see the neighbors; they might be hanging their laundry out and then somebody downstairs might be talking to somebody else - it's the life of the city."
MELANIE BREW/PHOTOS BY TRACEY SHELTON