The December opening of Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra (26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd., Sangkat Tonle Bassac; 800/763-4835; doubles from $147)—the first international luxury hotel in more than a decade—signaled a new era for Phnom Penh. All 201 rooms are classically designed (marble-top tables; ceiling fans), while the lobby evokes colonial grandeur with marble floors and an outsize chandelier. On especially warm days, guests can cool off at one of the two large outdoor swimming pools on the 10-acre grounds. Along the city’s riverfront, three-year-old Quay (No. 277 Sisowath Quay; 855-23/224-894; doubles from $85) is a stylish alternative, with its Modernist décor and panoramic views of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Guest rooms have Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs and granite-clad bathtubs—be sure to ask for one of eight facing the river. A short stroll away, River 108 (No. 2 St. 108; 855-23/218-785; doubles from $85) is the most recent addition to the city’s burgeoning boutique hotel scene. Silver velvet chaise longues add a glamorous touch to the 12 spacious guest rooms, several of which have private terraces. Coming in December: the Plantation (No. 28 St. 184; doubles from $60, including breakfast), in a colonial-era building behind the Royal Palace.
T+L Tip: U.S. dollars are accepted in Cambodia—make sure you have plenty of singles and no bills bigger than $20. Change is made in riel, though at upscale establishments, you can ask for dollars.