T RADING on a name reminiscent of the international hotel chain, the Sharaton is a gleaming new hotel behind Wat Phnom on Street 47. It opened with a lavish ceremony on Nov 12 presided over by Tourism Minister Veng Sereyvuth and San Kheng.
An L-shaped construction, the seven-storey, 112-room Sharaton is luxurious. It is owned by Sino-Khmer tycoon Teng Boon Ma's Thai Boon Rong company , which developed the Olympic Market. "It cost $5 million to build," said Vasan Jotikasthra, the general manager.
Ascending the marble stairs, the visitor enters a shiny beige marble interior, filled with natural light from large windows enhanced by chandeliers. Some 150 staff members, resplendent in gray suits and pink ties, rush forward to help.
There is a business center, two coffee shops, and the Casa discotheque and karaoke bar guarded by two soldiers. There is no conference room. Guests desiring to keep fit can visit a rooftop swimming pool, complete with bar, which has views across to the river.
They can start limbering up before they plunge into the pool by running up the stairs, as the hotel has only one small lift. But the wait or the walk for guests booked into the $130 deluxe rooms on the seventh floor will be rewarded. Rooms on the east side enjoy spectacular river views and those on the west look across to the Royal Hotel .
Each room measures 28 square meters and is decorated in elegant soft beiges with blondewood fixtures, sofas and wine-colored bathtubs. There are IDD telephones, minibar, satellite television, laundry and dry-cleaning. Singles start at $100, doubles $112, plus 10 percent tax and service.