Back in 2020, when the world came to a standstill as we grappled with a very aggressive and lengthy pandemic, I was already daydreaming of the day I would get to walk through an airport again, step foot on a plane, and let the metal bird (and possibly my pilot beau) transport me somewhere. I would stare out of my living room window seat and gaze into the tree-filled mountains behind my house, particularly in the late afternoon when the sun would start to lower behind the mountains and give its last orange glow before letting the stars come out to play. I found myself giving in to those wanderlust feelings, and there were a handful of destinations that I began to yearn for.
One of them was Cambodia. I first visited Cambodia in September 2019, when the beau and I took an adventurous trip to Siem Reap at the beginning of our relationship. We got to visit temples, dine off the grid, and explore a new city and country for us both. I felt a special connection to Cambodia. I’m not sure if it was through the delicious Khmer cuisine or the impressive art, but I kept telling the beau that once travel reopened, I was hoping to return to Cambodia as soon as possible. Not only did we finally get to make that daydream come true, but we got to bring along our special VIP – our darling bean.
Our Hotel: Rosewood Phnom Penh
Rising high a few blocks away from the Mekong River is the elegant Rosewood Phnom Penh. The architecture is so impressive and stands out that I was able to point it out to baby bean on the flight in from Hong Kong. It opened just six years ago (which to me is still relatively new), and it was the perfect spot for our family to call home for four days. We were picked up by the hotel’s transport team in their luxury Jaguar (and they kindly provided a car seat for baby bean at the last minute because she outgrew her infant car seat just before we traveled!) and whisked through the lively, evening streets of Phnom Penh on our way to the hotel. We checked in to our Manor Suite on the 29th floor, which faced west and provided the best view for romantic sunsets over the city each night. Our suite was fully prepared for our darling bean’s arrival, with a large crib, baby bath, baby stroller, and baby toys all at the ready for her. It also featured a large living room, which quickly became baby bean’s play area to crawl and stomp around. To say baby bean was at home right away at the Rosewood Phnom Penh would be an understatement.
We started each morning at Brasserie Louis, with baby bean enthusiastically saying hello to all the staff and quickly befriending each and every one. There’s no sleeping in when you travel with a baby, but that was fine with us because it meant we got an early start to our days. The chef was kind enough to make baby bean’s favorite breakfast – scrambled eggs with a side of fresh berries, bananas, and dragonfruit – while the beau sipped on a cappuccino and indulged in Kuyteav (a traditional Khmer noodle dish), and mom sipped on breakfast tea and indulged in classic eggs benedict.
After an early morning of exploring Phnom Penh with baby bean, it was time for her morning nap. While the beau relaxed in our suite as baby bean slept for the next hour and a half, I journeyed to the Sense spa for a 90-minute wellness escape. It had been a minute since I got to enjoy a spa day, which has quickly become this mom’s favorite way to wind down after a chaotic week with a little one. While sipping on some ginger tea, I was able to select my oil for my 90-minute aromatherapy massage. I chose one of relaxation, since I had just recovered from influenza after our Italy trip at the beginning of the month.
I was brought to a beautiful spa suite for my treatment, which featured its own sauna and steam room. Had baby bean not been napping, it would have been lovely for the beau to join me for a romantic spa morning. It was so peaceful and quiet in the suite that I completely forgot I was 33 floors above the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh. Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed my relaxing full body massage that helped some travel tension in my shoulders and my scalp.
After my spa treatment, I met up with the beau and the bean at the large indoor pool. Baby bean was extremely eager to get in the water and splash around (those swimming lessons are coming in handy for my little mermaid!). I was extremely eager to order a cocktail and go for a refreshing dip. We were the only ones at the pool at the time since it was check out time for most guests, so it was a lovely hour of just our family enjoying the pool together.
Dinner time was a bit early for us because of baby bean’s bedtime, but that wasn’t a problem because Rosewood Phnom Penh has so many restaurants to choose from which made it easier on us to eat and get back to the room to rock baby bean to sleep. On our first night, we felt at home in Hong Kong as we dined at Zhan Liang. We happily devoured our dim sum, stir fried beef noodles (baby bean’s favorite), vegetable rice in lobster broth, and sesame chicken.
The next afternoon, after spending the morning taking baby bean to the Royal Palace just a 10 minute remork/tuk-tuk ride from the hotel, we ventured upstairs to Rosewood Phnom Penh’s Living Room for my favorite pastime – afternoon tea. It was a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon, so the view from the Living Room was impressive and we could see all of Phnom Penh and beyond. In the distance, storm clouds gathered, but for our afternoon tea date it was perfectly sunny with a few fluffy clouds. A pianist played romantic classics as the afternoon tea buffet began.
Since I suffer from many allergies, the chef was kind enough to prepare me something special for afternoon tea. I always appreciate this whenever we travel, especially since I always consider my allergies to be such a nuisance. But Rosewood Phnom Penh wasn’t fazed by my allergies at all and were happy to accommodate my restrictions. They also went above and beyond to make food for baby bean. She got to enjoy some special baby-friendly treats while the beau and I sipped our afternoon tea.
For our final night in Phnom Penh, we were excited to get to dine at Rosewood Phnom Penh’s romantic steakhouse Cuts. High on the 37th floor, we were the first to be seated for the evening which gave us the whole restaurant to ourselves for a couple of minutes. Outside, a storm raged wildly with bright flashes of lightning and heavy rainfall. Inside, a cozy fire crackled in the distance and wine glasses still sparkled even with the grey of the summer storm reflecting in the floor to ceiling windows.
While mom and dad sipped on glasses of wine and dined on a starter of burrata, baby bean was eager to dive into her garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed broccolini, roasted asparagus, and pieces of steak. Even with the storm outside, it was still a beautiful evening to mark our last night in Cambodia. Baby bean was asleep by the time the beau and I got to eat our chateaubriand, thanks to all the activities she did during the day.
After 4 days in Phnom Penh, it was hard to say goodbye to our home away from home. There’s so much to explore in Cambodia’s capital city, and we barely even scratched the surface with our visit. Getting to call Rosewood Phnom Penh home for a few days for our visit made the trip with baby bean much less of a hassle. Not only did the hotel provide more than just the necessities for her visit, but everyone at the hotel knew her name and said hello to her. She may be too young to remember this trip later in life, but she wasn’t too young to feel special and loved by everyone at Rosewood Phnom Penh. If you are planning on a romantic escape with a special someone or looking to bring your family on an adventure-filled trip in Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh is a wonderful idea and the Rosewood Phnom Penh is the perfect choice for your stay. We are already looking forward to the day we get to bring baby bean back, explore more of the city, and say hello to all her new friends at the Rosewood.
Thank you to the Rosewood Phnom Penh for partnering with us on this post and hosting our stay. Although we were guests of the Rosewood Phnom Penh, all opinions are my own.