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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Featured property: Chow Cafe/ The Quay Hotel

Featured property: Chow Cafe/ The Quay Hotel


The basic elements that make up this riverside restaurant and hotel are clean lines, subtle colours and organic details. The exterior is defined by a lack of obvious ornamentation, and even the lighting is recessed to hide the fixtures.

Manager Patrick Uong gives a tour. "Everybody calls it minimalist, but it's not minimalist; it's a modern design," he says. "You use what you need for functionality and create an openness of space."

High white walls are contrasted with stone, wood, silk and leather decor, creating soft, earthy elements in an otherwise stark atmosphere. The sweeping curves and arcs of the chairs and tables counter the modernist austerity of the room.

Modernism is not a style, it is an attitude.

– Marcel Breuer

One of the most impressive features of the structure is an open shaft descending from the rooftop terrace down four floors of hotel rooms to the ground floor, flooding the reception area with light. Combined with plate glass windows and doors, this adds a natural light element that works well with the modern design.
The hotel rooms are an excellent example of functionality and style within a small environment. Closet doors open and roll back to maximize space. Every element of the Quay's rooms serves both a design and functional purpose.

The rooftop terrace continues the modern theme,  with strong lines contrasted by sweeping accents and natural elements. It is a very clean, decisive style that works well in a city where clutter and chaos abound.


Melanie Brew/ Photos by Tracey Shelton



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