Raffles’ Grand Tradition
Following in Raffles’ grand tradition of concocting exotic new cocktails, Kong Len, esquire, the bar captain at the iconic Elephant Bar in Raffles Hotel Le Royal, proudly presents to the bibulous among us the Fifth Pillar.
While infusing locally sourced orange skin and homemade orange bitters with Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin for 15 days, Kong roasted a blend of rock salt, kaffir lime leaves and orange zest. All the ingredients were then shaken and strained into a chilled martini glass.
Kong said he was inspired to support Cambodia’s orange and lime farmers and wanted to create a drink that offers the zesty twang of citrus with the refreshing botanicals of gin.
A visit to Phnom Penh is not complete without a visit to the famous Elephant Bar, an institution in the city and where the famous Raffles afternoon tea is served. The bar has a full range of wines, beers and spirits including one of Asia’s largest selection of gin with over 110 different gins.
The Elephant Bar first opened in 1929; early guests at the bar included Charlie Chaplin and W. Somerset Maugham. And, it was here in the 1960s, that the Femme Fatale was created especially for the visit of former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Happy Hour at the Elephant Bar, Raffles Hotel Le Royal, is daily from 4pm – 9pm with 50% off selected drinks.
Patrons may be sated with the knowledge that a percentage of proceeds from sales of the Fifth Pillar is donated to a local NGO, Sunrise Cambodia, which supports children and struggling families in rural Cambodia.
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In other news, Raffles Le Royal has also been voted Best Hotel in Cambodia by the readers of the prestigious DestinAsian magazine. The historical and iconic hotel, a must-visit for many a traveller to Phnom Penh, beat out stiff competition to scoop the award in the magazine’s annual poll.
“Originally opened in 1929, Phnom Penh’s Grande Dame is more inviting than ever thanks to a recent restoration project,” said the editorial. “Parisian-style all-day brasserie Le Phnom 1929 is a new addition to the culinary lineup, while the legendary Elephant Bar remains a popular haunt for afternoon tea and happy-hour cocktails.”
Each of the 175 rooms and suites at Raffles Hotel Le Royal underwent a full refurbishment as part of a meticulous one-year restoration project in 2019. Returning guests will immediately notice lighter and brighter interiors, accentuated by spotlights. Segafredo coffee machines, USB charging stations and Simmons pillow-top mattresses are among the new features that add modern appeal.
Meanwhile, traditionalists will be relieved to hear that the heart and soul of this vintage landmark hotel has been lovingly maintained. The hardwood floors have been polished to a squeak; the ceiling fans still whirl and the old brass rotary telephones continue to ring.
“We are delighted and honoured to receive this vote of confidence after such a challenging period with the pandemic lockdown and a major renovation on our hands,” said the hotel’s new general manager, Dennis de Groot.
Rooms and suites at Raffles Hotel Le Royal start from Bt11,800+++ (US$355+++) per night.
Source: Balcony Media Group.