Cambodia is one among our favourite international locations on the planet. We’ve been visiting for over 20 years now. It has all of it: unbelievable nature, implausible structure, tradition, and beautiful folks. Unfortunately, it additionally has a unhappy current previous. However, it appears the darkish days are over, and the longer term seems to be promising.
for us, Le Relais de Chhlong is one among a handful of inns that actually convey the essence of a place. The lodge is greater than a attractive constructing with nice service. It is a part of the previous, current, and way forward for Cambodia.
You will journey in time and expertise what the nation is all about. That is, journey with class and luxury. Everything within the lodge is of top of the range and beautiful style. Not solely that, however they provide no matter you possibly can presumably want. No, this isn’t one other luxurious lodge. It’s a tour de power through Cambodia.
France thought of Cambodia one among its lesser colonies. Its sources got here from taxing Cambodians. They paid the very best taxes in Indochina and have been the least developed. Thus, the revolution of 1916. At that point, France discriminated in opposition to the locals. Only the French may have firms and energy. To a lesser extent, the Chinese.
A really rich Chinese Khmer household constructed the principle home in 1916. They made cash exploiting the world’s sources, primarily timber. Some of the grandest palaces in Paris have been constructed with Cambodian wooden. In the Forties, the French Governor moved to the home. You can see ads and photos from these occasions within the lodge.
If you’re into historical past, we advocate you learn At the Helm of Indochina: My History as Governor General 1940-1945 by Jean Decoux. After the warfare, the property fell into oblivion. Then, as the remainder of the nation, it suffered the brutality of the American invasion. You can see within the foyer photos of the property in ruins.
The lodge is on the principle street that connects Phnom Penh to Kratie Province. Some sections of the street are in good situation and a few should not. In any case, it is best to cowl the 120 miles (200 kilometers) in roughly 4 hours. Kratie Town is simply 20 miles (35 kilometers) additional east.
From the lodge you may also go to Siem Reap, some 190 miles (300 kilometers) away. We did that however determined to cease for a evening in Kampong Cham to verify the unbelievable Wat Nokor. It proved to be a good resolution. Then we stopped in Kampong Thumb to go to Prasat Sambor Prei Kuk.
The buildings are set in a splendid backyard instantly over the Mekong River. You open the gate, and there you’re on the sandy financial institution of the river. You can stroll on to the middle of city very quickly. The similar street takes you west to a temple and a small forest.
The compound has three buildings: the unique two, and a new elegant one. The reconstruction of the principle buildings took a number of years to finish! The foyer and customary grounds are in the principle home, overlooking the river. Plush sofas and unique antiques enhance the foyer, which opens to a veranda.
The façade of the principle home is within the so-called Austro-Hungarian Baroque fashion. However, it incorporates supplies and strategies which have been fashionable at the moment. You can see French Second Empire traits within the eclectic decorations, iron cresting on the roof, and bracketed balustrades. It was all about exhibiting wealth and luxury.
However, the constructing adapts completely to the tropical climate. Tall ceilings, huge corridors, and massive balconies maximize airflow. Even to today, the lodge is cool and contemporary. A grand staircase results in the second ground, the place the rooms are. The different unique constructing has extra rooms and a couple of seating areas. The new constructing resembles colonial structure.
As lovely because the buildings are, we now have to say that the gardens took our breath away. We are speaking about coconut, mango, banana, and previous centurion rubber bushes, a small teak plantation, and aromatic flowers. In truth, the concord between the buildings and the gardens is great.
Comfortable lounges with stylish umbrellas encompass the massive pool. We spent hours having fun with contemporary juices by the pool and beneath beautiful bushes. In the evenings, we had wine whereas chatting with the supervisor within the foyer and listening to French music. You may also play pool subsequent to the bar.
We loved the complimentary bicycles. Since we’re a bit tall, discovering comfy bicycles within the area can typically be tough. We had a nice time exploring the world with our bikes. Finally, the lodge can prepare transportation to Kratie, Phnom Penh, and past. The supervisor and the employees communicate excellent English, so we chatted with out a glitch.
The rooms at Le Relais are in a class of their very own. Big and with tall ceilings, they characteristic premium four-poster beds and vintage furnishings. Since we work on-line, the vintage desk got here in helpful. What could possibly be higher than working with views over the Mekong River? Enjoying your favourite drink within the privateness of your individual balcony.
All of the rooms include a spacious balcony. Ours had comfortable teak lounges excellent for studying. Not solely that, however an unique tin fan hanging from the ceiling saved us contemporary all day lengthy. Of course, we had modern-day conveniences, like a flat display screen TV and a silent AC.
We discovered that native ladies made the fragile linen and silk cushions that enhance the rooms. The sizable bogs include a bathe and a tub with unique claw toes. Counters are manufactured from marble, and the facilities are top-notch. The new constructing has massive rooms excellent for households.
Without a doubt, the lodge’s restaurant is the perfect within the province. In truth, we had a number of the finest meals in Cambodia right here. The restaurant occupies the entrance of the principle home and extends to the big veranda overlooking the backyard. The bar is subsequent to the pool desk.
The chairs are comfy, and the lighting and music excellent for a relaxed night. Though the menu on supply will not be in depth, each dish we had was scrumptious. They focus on each Cambodian and French delicacies. We imagine they supply their merchandise domestically as a result of all the things was contemporary and attractive.
A particular point out goes to the breakfast. The bread and low have been pretty much as good as in a prime boulangerie in Paris. To be sincere, we are not any wine specialists, however we discovered a good collection of each purple and white wines. What we do know are cocktails and juices! All have been completely made.