Wall-to-wall oriental and occidental bric-a-bac – including even a leopard skin if you crane your neck upwards past the striking orange chandelier in the atrium lobby – make newcomer The Governor’s House something of a novelty in a city awash with tucked away “urban retreats”.
The theme is East-meets-West opulence with more than a nod at colonial-style luxury.
The building itself, which dates back to the 1990s, may not have claim to provenance, but it has been refurbished and tricked out with such sumptuous abandon – a Chinese apothecary cabinet here, a baroque coffee table there – a stroll through the hotel is a back-in-time journey into Indochine.
Inspired by the original Strand Hotel in Yangon, interior designer Alain Garnier claims to have envisaged his makeover of The Governor’s House as a film set. Each of the 13 rooms is individually designed and themed – think Le Petit Reporter, a Tin Tin-inspired “Paris attic room” or The Winston, which comes, of course, with a king-size bed.
The lobby features a tastefully low-lit bar area, while the banana and palm tree shaded front garden offers French and Khmer dining (an air-conditioned wine-cellar-like space inside is also available).
To the rear is a discrete swimming pool complete with a tiny waterfall. Whatever you might think of this colonial-era meets neo-Victorian opulence, cumulatively this unique hotel boutique makes an impression that is likely to stay with you.
The Governor’s House
Villa 3, Mao Tse Toung Blvd, BKK1, Phnom Penh.
Tel: 023 987 025