Spotlight travel

Sipping Spotlight: Phnom Penh’s Elephant Bar

A hotel bar fit for royalty

If you’re ever in Phnom Penh and are looking for something with a history of elegance and sophistication,  then you can’t do any better than the panache at the Elephant bar in Raffles Hotel Le Royal.

Quite simply, a visit to Phnom Penh is not complete without a visit to the famous Elephant Bar, which arguably can be considered an institution in the city; not to mention the famous Raffles afternoon tea is served here.

Built in 1929 as the east wing of Hotel Le Royal, this bar boasts a history that would surprise casual drinkers. Wicker chairs and leather sofas bask behind high French windows and arched colonnades in true colonial style. The halls have been graced by royalty and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin; but perhaps most importantly, it was host to Jacqueline Kennedy in 1967 during her visit to Cambodia. In fact, the bar still lists a cocktail designed in her honour, the Femme Fatale, a blend of champagne, cognac and creme fraise.

the-elephant-bar

In addition, 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.

Now, all of this luxury does come with a hefty price tag, especially for travellers used to budget drinking in Southeast Asia, but the extra cost is absolutely worth it. And, to ease the burden just a little they do run a half-price Happy Hour every evening from 4pm until 9pm.

There is no better place for a cocktail in Phnom Penh than at the Elephant Bar; the atmosphere is inviting, the classic leather chairs are enticing, and the phenomenal cocktails are soothing. It’s an oasis in the city, and one you absolutely cannot miss.

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