Above All

Latitudes team

14 June 2019

To get the feeling of really dominating a city is a rare experience. Rosewood is well known for offering the utmost luxury to its guests, but in Phnom Penh it takes another dimension…

Unlike Bangkok, Phnom Penh doesn’t display that many tall buildings and towers and the opportunities to overlook its beauty are rather scarce. To be allowed to drink, dine and sleep in such higher grounds, with stunning views of the Khmer emerging capital at your feet, offers unique moments.

Rosewood Phnom Penh is located within the 187m high Vattanac Capital Tower, which takes the form of a rising dragon oriented toward the east and offers unobstructed panoramic views of the city and its famous Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. Situated on the top floors of this unmissable landmark, the hotel’s design mirrors the structure’s respect for the rich culture and the forward-thinking mindset of the vibrant capital.

Rosewood Phnom Penh is an intriguing celebration of a sense of place,” says hotel General Manager Michael Parker. “Its design gracefully draws together the threads of history, nature, culture and modern luxury in Cambodia.

Bar is Hight

Designed by Melbourne’s BAR Studio, with two restaurants created by Tokyo-based Bond Design Studio, the interior of the ultra-luxury hotel aims to capture the essence of the country with a blend of Khmer architectural aspects, the country’s French colonial heritage and Cambodian craft techniques, all embraced by a subtle classic-meets-contemporary style.

The concept is one of a carefully curated, contemporary mansion – one which tastefully weaves together prevailing sensibilities and the refinement of ancient Cambodia,”says Stewart Robertson, BAR Studio director.

Influenced by the country’s tropical climate and lush foliage, interiors are cooling, with dark timber, travertine marble and neutral tones interlaced with brass details, smooth leather and shimmering mosaic tiles. The shady retreats in the capital’s old town are replicated in the hues of the décor with rust- red highlights echoing the city’s red rooftops and vibrant Poinciana tree blossoms.

The arrival experience immediately sets the tone for this urban sanctuary. An aged copper canopy shelters the porte cochere, framed with artisanal carved timber panels that merge modern technique and traditional motifs. Guests pass through a series of rammed-earth wall fragments, each rising over six meters high. These were created to capture the spirit of ancient Angkor temple walls overgrown by jungle and also the lush, tropical feel of a colonial manor garden.

Guests enter an intimate and elegant lounge situated on the 35th level, featuring sleek travertine walls framing city views. The hotel’s public areas proceed as a series of fluid, serene spaces, each with unique function and personality, dotted with recreations of Cambodian animal gods and temple guardians as contemporary wire sculptures.


But the Wow! effect reaches its peak when you enter your suite, where the breathtaking views, the tasteful setting and the numerous attentions and surprises instantly make you feel spoiled. From the finest selection of art books to flip through in the comfortable sofa, to the sweet delicacies waiting for you here and there, like these samples of delicious éclairs from the in-house patisserie, from the latest issue of Latitudes to the laundry bag on which your first name has been embroidered.

Contemporary-classic furnishings and tactile materials – dark wood, brass and mosaic – highlight the 175 guestrooms and suites of the hotel. The residential style includes large, round, window-facing tables that double as dining or work spaces, inviting guests to soak in vistas of the city skyline and Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, and shelves of art and eclectic accessories to peruse. Fine details represent centuries-old-Cambodian craft techniques, including custom-designed fabric panels and ikat-patterned carpets.

Throughout the public and private spaces of the hotel, an eclectic assembly of Cambodian- inspired accessories and authentic artifacts is reminiscent of the treasured collection of an avid traveler on display in a private home. The work of Hong Kong-based SV Design, the gathering blends contemporary aesthetics with aspects of Cambodian culture, in pieces such as woven baskets, ceramic sculptures, metal artifacts and lacquer, with bronze and silver finishing and unexpected hints of color and modern lines.

Final Cuts

Among the sky-high dining options, including Brasserie Louis, where one can savor French and Cambodian cuisine, The Living Room and its homely atmosphere perfect for light dining, social mingling and business tête-à-têtes, or Iza, the lively Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, we choose to go to the very top of the building at newly open Cuts to indulge in an exceptional Snake River Farm American Style Kobe beef steak!

Finally, let’s head to the incredible sky bar Sora. Perched on a cantilevered terrace from the 37th floor, it provides the highest and ultimate decor in Phnom Penh.


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