Let me preface this review with a statement of the obvious. We all have differing expectations based on prior experiences, budgets, personal standards and tolerance. I am in the military, so am quite accustomed to basic accommodation. However, when I am paying for four star accommodation I expect a certain level of cleanliness, services, and facilities. The Juliana did not begin to meet my expectations with regard to the first two criteria, and barely reached them concerning the final one. Having stayed in a number of four star hotels in Cambodia and Vietnam in the previous 2 weeks I have a reasonable feel for what one can expect. The bottom line is that four star in Indochina does not equate to four star in the west - and I am fine with that. However, when a hotel is as woefully substandard as the Juliana PP, I feel compelled to go to print.
First impressions were of a somewhat down at heel, rather dank building that was in need of redecoration. There was not the general freshness and cleanliness that we experienced in Siem Reap, HCM, Hanoi etc. Still, lets not judge too quickly. We were given a twin room, not a double as requested. No major dramas there, we can live with that but a little disappointing. The room, quite frankly, was dirty, notably the bathroom, which had a worryingly fecal coloured scum around the door frame and bath (see photo) - who knows? Most bizarrely, the painting of a sailing ship was upside down (see photo) - it was holding up a loose light fitting which it could not prop up when it was the right way around. Now we get into the whole financial side of things. I came away with the impression of an establishment solely driven by making money, doing everything as cheaply as possible, and charging the very upper limit of what they thought they could get away with from westerners who may still be under the misapprehension they were getting a bargain compared to home. Signs like "Do not replace the cans of drink with cans you have bought from outside or you will be charged" - they had been marked with permanent marker pen in case you did; and a price list for the frankly shabby guest extras such as slippers, dressing gowns, towels and bed sheets. I couldn't work out why anyone might wish to buy a threadbare bath towel, until my wife pointed out that it was a rather thinly veiled warning that if you nicked anything your credit card would be charged said amount. Frankly, it was insulting. Happy hour in the lobby bar was advertised as buy one get one free - but, as we were to discover, you could only be served your drink one at a time. This was clearly to prevent you buying one for yourself and letting your partner enjoy the second one, thus forcing you to buy one each. We would have drunk two each in any case, but it was the pettiness of the penny pinching that got to me. The evening buffet was sold to us as different from the lunch buffet - we should have checked - almost exactly the same to a dish. The carafe of house wine had come from a bottle that had been opened for days, but determined to enjoy a decent glass of wine we also bought a safe French Chardonnay. As it was sealed we thought it would be fine but I can only guess that it had been boiling in a dockyard for days or kept in a room without airconditioning because it had taken on the unmistakeable quality of nail varnish remover - no word of a lie, a sweet pear drops bouquet and a foul taste. I got the Italian next to us to try it to reassure myself that I was not just being picky. He said "This is not a good wine but I am not aware of the standards expected of Cambodian wines." When I told him it was French he almost fainted. As we went to check out there were no bellboys to take our luggage - they don't even appear interested in tips and we saw a fascinating notice which told us that, if we paid cash in dollars, then on top of the 10% tourist tax, and the 10% service charge we would have to pay another 10% for the privilege - see photo. Oh yes, and 5c per min for internet access - in a four star!
This is a pretty seedy concern aimed solely at fleecing tourists with as little capital outlay as possible. Perhaps most criminal of all, there is a total absence of managers in loco parentis to guide the untrained, albeit pleasant and charming staff. From top to bottom this place needs a total management consultancy review, focusing in particular on management and leadership, staff training, and business ethics. Give it a miss.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.