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“style over substance”

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Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Ranked #5 of 272 Hotels in Phnom Penh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 7, 2011

I was looking forward to staying at this hotel after reading some of the reviews. Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations. We had previously stayed at the Park Hyatt in Saigon, and La Verandah in Phu Quoc, so had up until this time had wonderful hotel experiences.
On the surface the hotel looks impressive, but it is exactly that - surface.
There are virtually no hotels now that do not offer free wi-fi, but the Sofitel does not. They charge $3 US an hour to log on which is pretty ridiculous when all most people want to do is check their emails and get off. Also almost every restaurant or cafe in Phnom Penh or Saigon offers free wifi for the price of a coffee. So for the hotel you are staying at and paying good money for not to provide that service seems pretty petty and ungenerous. They are also doing themselves a diservices as it meant we had to go out to restaurants in town to check our emails when we might have eaten at the restaurants in the hotel.
The water pressure was pulsating a lot while we stayed there. My husband said it was the result of an inadequate pump, but I'm not absolutely sure that was the case. The temperature was never hot enough.
There was little if any artwork in the rooms, and what there was was very tacky and minimal.
The pillows were extremely thin feather down and very uncomfortable.
The walls and floors were thin and we could hear people walking above us and moving next door.
The tv was volume limited obviously for the above problem.
There were no long mirrors in the main area of the room.
The cleaners moved my things when they were cleaning and did not put it back, they had placed it on a shelf out of the way, but it took me ages to find it again.
A cleaner was "inspecting" our room when I came back from the pool, but was not "cleaning" anything and had the tv on when I had turned it off before I left. She apologized, turned it off and left the room.
There was no regular door man to advise of tuk tuks or prices. Most other hotels will organize a tuk tuk, and suggest a price that is reasonable. There seemed to be no-one with this particular job and on one occassion I asked the man who was there how much we should pay to where we were going, he said he didn't know. Then when I tried to negotiate with the driver they were both laughing at me.
The pool is in a wasteland. Its a massive pool, but at the back of the hotel and there is nothing pretty around it, but wide open expanse of building sites everywhere. It is also mostly unattended.
Overall this hotel is claiming to be what it clearly is not - 5 star. I expect much more from a 5 star hotel in this price range.
It is 3 star pretending. It is all show and no substance. You do not leave feeling that you have been a valuable customer, you only feel that they have had the last laugh.
Additionally this hotel is in the middle of no where. You cannot walk out of your hotel and go to restaurants, cafes, etc.
I hated it and tried to change hotels but because we'd booked through a company we could not.

Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
4  Thank lanihannah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2011

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

I am truly disappointed to read your review online and I am so sorry that your experience was not up to your expectations. I understand the hindrances and frustrations you have been through and we apologize for these occurrences.

The benefits of our location, style and overall comfort are comments we get time and time again since our short history, as well compliments to our team for overall cleanliness and excellence in service.

Thank you again for your very important feedback that has been shared with the entire executive team and we look forward to have the chance to welcome you again and to enjoy the many ongoing updates to our hotel.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally before your next visit at H6526-GM1@Sofitel.com

With best regards,
Frederik Deman

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1,113 - 1,119 of 1,390 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2011

The hotel is immaculately clean and being new everything is in good order. The staff are excellent, very friendly and my first name was used throughout my 4 day stay. The hotel has excellent facilities, the Spa was good and efficient, with well designed individual spa rooms. Although I did not try all the restaurants, there was a choice of Japanese, Italian, Chinese and Buffet Style. The food in general was excellent, fresh and well prepared, the buffet had a good selection, although still offering "low cost" food items like pastas and noodles, not much high end selection like steaks, lamb, lobster, oysters etc - however they do offer special evenings buffets with more selections. I used the limousine service to and from the airport as well as for half a day, this was an excellent option and well worth the cost. The room service was very good, quickly prepared and well presented, I was disappointed with the "real" Italian pizza" which lacked any flavor and was like eating cardboard (not that i have eaten cardboard before). As with some other comments here, the location is still developing and there is a lot of building work in the area, it is not an easy location if you wish to walk out directly on to the street in to the city center. My only real complaint was that why does such a new hotel not design adjoining room doors that are sound proofed? I could here every word from the next room, very disappointing, so make sure your room is not adjoining. This is a wonderful hotel and I am sure in a very short time will be the best hotel in Cambodia, I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank s_pearceHoChiMinh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2011

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

Thank you for posting your review online as we take your feedback seriously. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to improve and at the same time we are delighted to hear your desire to return.
I have shared the details of your experience with the entire hotel, including our Italian Chef, and apologize for the disappointment with our ''real Italian pizza''. We will use your feedback to ensure that a similar occurrence does not reoccur.

Thank you again and do not hesitate to reach out to me personally before your next visit at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

With very best regards,
Frederik Deman

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Reviewed May 29, 2011

We felt very welcome in this beautiful new sofitel. The staff was more then friendly, the food superb and the atmosphere was warm and inviting.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TecLine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2011

Dear Madame,

Thank you for sharing your experience!
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and our food. As well your positive comments on our Ambassadors is much appreciated, it really makes the team feel good when their contributions are recognized.

We look forward to having you as our guest in the future.

With best regards,
Frederik Deman

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Reviewed May 27, 2011

We stayed at the Sofitel in the capital of Cambodia for 3 nights. This hotel is brand new, it just opened 3 months before our stay (May 2011), and is definitely the best hotel in Phnom Penh. Sofitel did a hell of a job with this wonderful property, and the management of the hotel an incredible job into training his Cambodian staff into luxury service!

The hotel feels like a small cozy village where you can walk around, a bright and huge lobby, 4 restaurants (delicious food and an amazing breakfast buffet), 2 pools, 2 gyms, tennis & squash courts, 2 shops (one with souvenirs and one with chocolates)...what did I forget? We spent half a day at the pool and even got a 15min complimentary foot massage!

If you are staying in Phnom Penh, spoil yourself and go to the Sofitel, and you will regret if you only stay 1 night!!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jean-Baptiste007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2011

Dear Sir,

Thank you for sharing your experience! We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and our complimentary foot massage at the hotel pool. Our Ambassadors enjoys it when we get a positive review because it reinforces that they did a good job and like working here.

We look forward to having you as our guests in the near future.

With warm regards,
Frederik Deman

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Reviewed May 24, 2011

This was the final stop on our tour of Vietnam and Cambodia and having been told en-route how good the hotel was my husband and I had high expectations. We were NOT disappointed! O.K. the red carpet that was out was not for us (only the Vietnamese Prime Minister!) but we felt like royalty from the minute we arrived. Whilst the checking in process was being carried out , we sat and enjoyed a complimentary drink and were greeted by the Manager -Frederik Deman who invited us to contact him personally should anything not meet our approval. Throughout our entire tour we stayed in 5 star hotels and although the others were great, this was the cherry on the top!

Having enjoyed the city tour we could not wait to get back to the beautiful pool and enjoy a swim and cold beer served by very attentive staff. In addition, we both took advantage of the free leg and foot massage which was very relaxing and carried out by two gorgeous young ladies from the Spa.

As this was the end of our trip, we had had our fill of Asian food and as the hotel room was so comfortable and relaxing we ordered room service which arrived promptly and was delicious. Breakfast was an absolute delight, the choice amazing, scrambled egg cooked to order and delivered to the table. I cannot fault this hotel for comfort, service and facilities. The staff without exception were friendly, helpful and made us feel so welcome. Although there is quite a bit of development work underway around the hotel and across the river, this did not impact upon us at all. I can only imagine in time the outlook will improve and become more attractive.

We were at the hotel on Easter Sunday and the staff had arranged an Easter Egg Hunt after lunch for all the visiting children that were dining with their parents. Great fun to watch!

If only we had more time we would have loved to have stayed longer and ventured out on our own but that will have to be next time.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gill541208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2011

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

Thank you so much for your genuine positive feedback and to learn that Sofitel Phom Penh Phokeethra was your favorite 5-star hotel during your holidays in Vietnam and Cambodia.

We are delighted to know that you found your stay memorable and that you enjoy returning to stay with us. We are also happy to know that the complimentary spa treatment you received at our hotel pool were a soothing experience that assisted you to relax and enhance your stay with us.

We all look forward to welcome you back.

With warm regards,
Frederik Deman

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Reviewed May 17, 2011

Short stay and first one in pnh disappointed by the size of the hotel and the coldness of the reception hall a few pieces of furniture lost in an empty hall and only a few points of flowers and plants, efforts have to be made to attract and keep European clients who need authenticity. Rooms comfortable, wide, clear, food very good but service in breakfast restaurant needs to be improved, clients waiting for the fruit juices. Numerous staff seems to be a little bit lost, needing to be managed. Good Italian food in the restaurant.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Llachinoise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded May 18, 2011

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback! We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and are delighted to hear your experience within our Italian restaurant Do Forni. We do apologize for the hiccups in our service of the breakfast and have taken the necessary measures in our all-day dining restaurant. We will use your feedback to ensure that a similar occurrence does not reoccur.

Thank you again for your very important feedback. We value your business and look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

With best regards,
Frederik Deman

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Reviewed May 16, 2011

I would recommend this hotel for the room and staff up at the A Club. But not for the restaurants, our food took forever and was not worth the wait. Don't order the French onion soup! It was the saddest excuse for a soup I've ever seen. That was too bad. The rest of the food was just ok, nothing to write home about.
Location is a little out of the way. The hotel is so far into the compound, it is not conducive for quick walks outside. There is nothing nearby should you decide to come out for a bite at night.
I want to give special mention to VUTHY, the very sweet/polite and charming waiter at the Club on the top floor. Look for him, and discover for yourself true Cambodian hospitality through him. :)
LOVE the Francis Francis machines in the room!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank cwuthrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FDeman, Resident Manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, responded to this reviewResponded May 18, 2011

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

Candid and thorough critiques are certainly very much appreciated by our team. The benefits of location, style of the room and overall comfort are comments we get time and time again as well as compliments to our team for overall hospitality and excellence in service.
I have shared your review with our Executive Chef and our Director of Food & Beverage and your feedback is greatly appreciated as we continue to adjust and improve. Thank you so much for your feedback on Vuthy, our Butler on the Club Millesime, I've passed this on to him personally and it is truly awarding to see that we please so much our guests.

I look forward you will give us the opportunity to welcome you back very soon to offer you our undivided attention.

With very best regards,
Frederik Deman

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Additional Information about Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Address: 26 Old August Site, Phnom Penh 12101, Cambodia
Phone Number:
Location: Cambodia > Phnom Penh
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Phnom Penh
#2 Romantic Hotel in Phnom Penh
#4 Spa Hotel in Phnom Penh
#4 Luxury Hotel in Phnom Penh
#4 Family Hotel in Phnom Penh
Price Range: $191 - $326 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 5*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Hotel Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is set riverside amongst landscaped gardens in the old quarter of the city, neighbouring the largest Mall in Cambodia, Aeon Mall. This stunning well located 12-storey colonial style hotel is close to key attractions, embassies and the central business district. Along with 201 luxurious rooms and suites with Mekong or Bassac river views, this 5-star hotel offers an array of chic restaurants and bars, an upscale spa, two swimming pools, a sports club and the finest conferencing facilities in Cambodia ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel Phnom Penh

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