The Independence Hotel at Sihanoukville is offering a specialtwo-night Valentine’s package for $504 in a promotion that lasts until February 25.
General Manager Yin Yin Aye says the eco-friendly 35 hectare property offers an ideal place for lovers to take quiet strolls by the sea.
The package includes a candlelit 4-course dinner at the Sunset Terrace restaurant, a sunset cruise on The Independence Hotel’s own boat, as well as a couples’ spa treatment at the Jouvence Spa, which is run by Thai spa specialist Nim Bunkaree.
Couples get to stay in the Premia Villa, adjacent to the main hotel building, very private and close to the sea, according to Aye.
The Jouvence Spa, which just opened in November of 2011 at Independence Hotel, offers memberships for 40 per cent discount on $80 per month and $600 per year, including the use of the swimming pool, gym, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, table tennis, tennis court and the hotel’s private beach.
“Members can also they can get special discounts for laundry, foods and beverages, and room rates at a 50 per cent discount,” Aye said.
Spa Manager Nim Bunkaree said the Jouvance slogan is “body and soul in harmony with nature”.
“We are going to build a yoga place and if you are here, it is not only for massage, but also for the private beach, and we will have more activities like yoga and meditation. Our concept is a natural environment spa with men’s and ladies hot and cold Jacuzzi, steam and sauna. We have quite complete facilities.”
The Valentine’s package includes a one-hour massage for couples together, including a honey milk bath in a private massage suit with its own bath.
“Even in our changing room you can feel something natural,” Bunkaree said. “We prepare for couples to enjoy the honey body massage together side by side.”
The dinner includes a glass of wine for each couple and a romantic gift for the lady.
There’s also a VIP turn down service, also with a gift, and complimentary late checkout at 2pm.
In a separate deal without the overnight stay, the Independence Hotel is offering a “Romance Ritual” package available for $70 per couple at the Jouvance Spa.
The 90 minute couples treatment starts with aroma therapy, foot massage, dry brush massage for cleaning the skin, candles, soft music and aroma-infused side-by-side massage.
A dinner-only package is also available for romantic couples. The $75 package includes a 4-course dinner at the Sunset Terrace, including a glass of wine for each, a romantic gift for the lady (a silver bracelet) and a rose on the table.
“We have three options for romantic couples,” Aye said. “Massage only, dinner only or the whole package.”
“This is really private and you can hide away from the crowd. This is very romantic and we can also organize a private dinner on our private pier under the hut.
Aye, who has been serving as General Manager for the last eight months, says the busiest time of the year is December, January and February. The slowest is June through September.
“We also promote wedding packages, at the beach, and we can organise official signing ceremonies as well. Ceremonies can be held at the beach,” she said.
The Independence Hotel has added a number of new facilities in recent years. Whereas the original building, constructed in 1963 with some interior design work done by King Sihanouk himself had only 52 rooms, today the Independence Hotel complex has a total of 113 rooms.
Since the start of renovations in 2005, three sea pavilions have been added, plus two sets of pool villas.
The pool villas are the most exclusive and luxurious rooms on the property with private swimming pools, steam rooms and big terraces and cost $1,200 per night.
Aye, who is originally from Myanmar, said the hotel has been busy for the last few weekends, with big bookings during the Chinese New Year.
She said some of the customers prefer to stay in the higher floors of the original building because of the spectacular views from the rooms and reputable history.
Others like to stay in the sea pavilions and villas. Rooms in the main building start at $180, and in the pavilions start from $240.
Aye said many guests of the Independence Hotel are international, from Germany, France and America.
She said many diplomats from Phnom Penh’s embassies come to stay, and often come back.
“We offer the special rates for the local people and expats that are coming,” she said. “We have a seasonal rate and a low-season promotion. The rate is much lower for people who live in Cambodia, and we have a special rate for locals. We treat them as VIPs and are very generous with upgrades for repeat customers.”
Last October, the Independence Hotel welcomed a new Executive Chef, Dun Sophol, who has been running training programs and additions to both the Asian and Western menus.
“We do a seafood barbecue buffet when the hotel occupancy is high, and we highlight Asian food. We also have very good Cambodian and European food.”
Aye said private parties could easily be organised and functions with barbecue buffets, right on the private beach, which may now be accessed from the hotel level by a newly installed outdoor elevator.
The Valentine’s package can be viewed on the Independence Hotel website at www.independencehotel.net.
Aye says great care has been taken to make the Independence Hotel an eco-friendly place.
“We maintain the forest and the trees. Even though we have built the villas, we try not to touch the trees and keep them naturally inside the villas.”
A new outdoor elevator enables guests to walk from the main building, and go to beach level and the sunset terrace.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]