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Rooftop rage for women

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Hilde Marie Kvaløsæter performing at the Soria Moria rooftop bar. Photograph: Oyen Rodriguez/Phnom Penh Post

Maybe it's just me, but when I think 'ladies night', all sorts of tawdry things come to mind; bad music, over-sweet cocktails and perhaps some sort of ‘cheeky’ Chippendale-style show – something akin to a hens night. But Tuesday Ladies Nights at Soria Moria boutique hotel are a far cry from all this.

Free manicures, pedicures and a glass of bubbly are the order of the day, along with live music in Soria Moria’s rooftop bar.

Hotel manager Kristin Holdo Hansen came up with idea four years ago when a group of expat women were hanging out in the rooftop bar. They were soon joined for drinks by several of the single female travelers staying at the hotel.

Hansen says, “They were having a really good time. Many of them met new friends, so we decided that this should be a regular event.”

She adds, “The Ladies Night is meant to be a special treat for all the wonderful women out there – travelers, expats and locals alike. The concept is really to create a nice atmosphere for ladies to come together to have a good time and feel pampered, with nice company of old and new friends.”

And who wouldn’t like the chance to be pampered while sipping bubbles and watching the sun go down? There is even a jacuzzi for guests to sit in and enjoy the views. General manager Sam Sokha says, “I think girls like beautiful things. It’s something we offer them. They always look happy when they come here.”

In the past Hansen has hosted such diverse things as tarot readings and themed nights, ranging from a red night with everyone wearing red and red drinks served, to a Christmas themed night with cookies, mulled wine and a gift swap.

Sometimes there are live music performances by the many artists passing through Siem Reap, and every so often the hotel will combine these  with a fundraiser.

The night is popular, attracting a varied crowd.

“We often have long term guests and many single female travelers staying with us, and sometimes they enjoy staying back at the hotel. So we like to make sure they have a good time," says Kristin. "At the same time they get the chance to interact with locals and expats living in Siem Reap. It’s also quite popular with volunteers and NGO workers.”

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