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Five-star $50m Sofitel launch set

Five-star $50m Sofitel launch set

Doors to the US$50 million five-star Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel will open on
December 11, two years after the project was originally slated for completion.

The luxury hotel stands at 12 storeys high on four hectares of land on the site of the
former Royal Phnom Penh Hotel, in Chamkarmon district.

It will have 201 rooms, a spa, a sports club, swimming pool, Chinese restaurant and a
conference hall.

Construction on the project was originally scheduled to wrap up in 2008, but delays
related to breaking ground close to the Tonle Bassac pushed back construction, according
to the company.

Despite the delays, officials have issued a glowing report about the complex.

The new building was set to be a reflection of Phnom Penh’ s growing prominence
as “ one of Asia’ s great new destinations” , the hotel’ s area general manager Didier
Lammot said.

“ Phnom Penh generates an enthusiasm that we’ ve seen in the past for places like Vietnam
and the Maldives,” he said

“The hotel is opening as a grand manifestation of all that enthusiasm.”

Although the world economic slump had slowed tourism, the number of visitors to Cambodia was on the upswing, he said.

“As we look ahead to the next few years, Phnom Penh is likely to emerge as an attractive new venue among meeting and conference planners.

The destination is fresh and the ability to hop from here to Angkor (Siem Reap) is a major draw,” said Lamoot.

The project is being built by Phokeethra Resort and Spa (Cambodia) Company, which is backed by a consortium of Cambodian, French and Thai investors.

Construction began on the project in 2006. Now, more than 6,000 candidates have applied for work at the new hotel.

Ministry of Tourism officials welcomed the new hotel, adding it could become a major draw for big-spending tourists.

Prak Chan Dara, director of the Department of Tourism Industry at the Ministry, said he was a glad there was a new official five-star hotel in town, and said that the Sofitel had met the standards expected.

“It will be easier to attract VIP tourists to Cambodia with a hotel on the standard of Sofitel in Phnom Penh,” he said.

Attracting hotels to apply for star ratings is still proving troublesome in the Kingdom. Prak Chan Dara said that by the end of September only 37 of the Kingdom’s 456 hotels had registered for a star rating, and that another 39 had submitted the required documents.

The rating is mandated based on a sub-decree passed in 2004, but a fee is charged for the service.


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