The Pavilion Hotel

intimate urban oasis - phnom penh

How we contribute

The Pavilion is strongly commited to responsible tourism and fair general business practices, with social and ecological values. We are actively engaged in the following:

Urban Heritage Conservation

We believe that the best way to preserve old and interesting buildings - in a city with such thirst for modernization - is to have them generate sustainable revenue. We lease places with character and hold them for as long as possible by conducting profitable business activities within.

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In 2004 we opened Elsewhere, a natural fabric fashion design, bar and restaurant, then located on Pasteur street. This 1920s building was unfortunately destroyed in 2009 when did not manage to renew our lease.

In 2006, we restored Queen Kossamak’s villa, now known as the Pavilion.

In 2009, we restored what is probably the last Chinese merchant villa in Phnom Penh. The villa is now known as the Chinese House and hosts the Tepui Restaurant upstairs.

In 2010, we conducted a strong lobby campaign to preserve the “Ecole Professionnelle”, a 1930s warehouse near the port. It was also believed to have been an annex of the National Museum. Despite a photo exhibition held inside and strong lobbying efforts, it was demolished in March 2010 by a French investment company…

In 2011, we managed to save the front building of the former Ministry of Labor, now the reception and restaurant of the Plantation Hotel. The restoration was conducted with the help of French specialist Michel Verrot and architect Ivan Tizianel.

Preservation of Urban Green Spaces

With the Kabiki, the Pavilion and the Plantation, we now occupy over a hectare in the very center of Phnom Penh. Low density construction allows us to dedicate a very high share of this land to greenery, with lots of trees and over 45 different species of plants.

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We also use sugar-palm tree for most of our indoor wooden furniture. As it is a planted tree, using its wood does not contribute to deforestation.

Research on Solar Energy, applicable to hospitality

In 2006, we developed a unique gravity based solar water heater system, using locally available parts. After a year of research, tests and adjustments we installed this system in most of the bathrooms of the Pavilion, Kabiki, and Blue Lime. In 2009, we started a more ambitious research project, the development of a globally carbon neutral hotel concept, including solar powered air-conditioning and lighting.

Find out more: www.mekongbungalows.asia

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To avoid any physical and ecological impact on the site, we decided to go for a floating structure. When removed, this option leaves no traces behind and prevents using local people’s or wildlife’s living spaces.

With a strong energy saving objective, the project redefines the essential energy needs of a tourist in a tropical country hotel. Mainly, we restricted the air-cooling to acceptable limits, i.e. without affecting too much comfort:

  • air-cooling when really needed, 8 hours at night (guest out for daytime visits);
  • air-cooling where really needed, concentrated within the space of the bed's mosquito net (wasted outside).

Dividing the usage duration by 3 and the volume by 10 allowed us to consider the sun as a possible energy source.

In order to avoid using highly polluting deep-cycle batteries, energy is stored by cooling water reserves when the sun is shining. Cold water circulation is released at night inside the space confined by the mosquito net.

The river flowing under the bungalow also cools the air-conditioning heat-exchangers with a much higher efficiency than the air blown by the fan of a conventional external split unit.

A first prototype has been completed after two years of effort. We are now looking for a financial partner to further develop this project to an operating zero-emission floating hotel. It would be the first of its kind in Indochina.

Social Responsibility

Protecting the local people - be they our staff or from the surrounding communities - from the negative impact of tourism is also one of our highest priorities.

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All our hotels are committed to zero tolerance of sex-tourism. Specific warnings are posted on our websites, at the bottom of our emails, at the front gates as well as on check-in forms signed by our guests.

We partner with the NGO Mith Samlanh Friends and its Childsafe projects against sexual abuse of children and all our staff receive specific and regular training.

We encourage our guests to visit Mith Samlanh Friends restaurants and contribute to their efforts to assist street children through the “buy a brick” campaign.

Want to participate?

Look out for the Friends bricks in your room. Each brick you buy helps contribute to the building of training facilities.

Some useful links:

Other than that, along with good working conditions and wages, we offer to all of our staff the possibility to take foreign language and computer courses. Tourism is Cambodia’s main poverty alleviator contributing industry and we are proud to be part of it!

Cultural Promotion

When ever possible, we try to promote Cambodian culture and industry. We use locally produced goods, foods and decorative items. Our furniture is always locally made, none of it is imported. We also conduct a wide range of cultural activities.

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We run art galleries at the 240 Hotel and the Plantation Hotel, promoting local or regional artists. We have conducted numerous events at the Chinese House, including circus, contemporary and traditional dance shows, concerts, Cambodian martial arts performances, theatre, photo exhibitions and more.

The Chinese House activities have been restricted as a consequence of the noise we were imposing on our neighbours, but we are actively looking for another venue.