Independence, Sihanoukville Cambodia, Phnom Penh and The South
The Independence Hotel is an analogy of Cambodia’s recent history. In 1962 it was built as a symbol of the post-independence boom of both the country and Sihanoukville itself. By the mid-seventies it had been abandoned and for the rest of the century it was left to squatters. It has now been restored, reflecting the 21st century tourist explosion in Sihanoukville.
While staying in the 7 story hotel, which sits on top of a headland overlooking Independence beach, the long driveway and the forested grounds contribute to a feeling of seclusion. The hotel offers 52 good size rooms all with ocean views of varying quality and are split into superior, deluxe, executive suite and presidential suite. The superior and deluxe rooms are similar but the deluxe rooms are higher up and thus have more impressive views. Rooms do feel a little dated they but the location makes up for it.
The hotel has a good sized pool, an adequately equipped fitness centre and the usual array of restaurants and bars, including a beach bar/restaurant. There is a complimentary three times a day shuttle service into Sihanoukville. It is a short walk to a 300 metre stretch of private white sand beach, part of the long and quiet Independence beach. From here you can hire kayaks or take in a spot of fishing, while the history room gives you a sense of its glorious past.
The Independence hotel is a quiet and relaxing place to soak up the sun, sand and sea that is on offer, while it is close enough to be able to explore the bustling town and beaches of Sihanoukville itself. You may find you’ve stepped back in time going to this hotel, but it offers comfortable accommodation in a great position.
Last visited and reviewed by Matt Brazier, Dec 2012.
Deluxe - This is our first really 'upmarket' category. It might be a beautiful tiny hotel with very limited facilities or a 5* resort hotel with all the trimmings; but any hotel in this category will be a well-run establishment with very comfortable rooms, a strong service ethos and excellent food.
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Our guide, Mr Rous Ry was so well informed and so passionate about Cambodia that he transformed the holiday. I now can't even imagine trying to understand Angkor Wat without his explanations of the history of Hinduism, Buddhism and the Khmer empire. He also took on board that I am interested in old industrial processes and this helped with visits to an old fish paste factory, a blacksmith, a pottery, a brickworks and various railway sites. This was all done with a charming sense of humour and enthusiasm.