Postcard from…..Phnom Penh!

When thinking of visiting Cambodia, what comes to mind first is Siem Reap with its ancients sites of Angkor Wat.

Phnom Penh is the proud and bustling capital of Cambodia, a country that borders on Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. In addition it got a 443 km / 275 miles coastline with the Gulf of Thailand.

Phnom Penh’s main attraction is the Mekong river. The Bale Phnom Penh, a just opened contemporary boutique luxury hotel, takes full advantage of this majestic river.

The Raffles has been Phnom Penh’s Grande Dame since 1929. Its Elephant Bar is one of the world’s most famous watering holes.

Shortly, the Rosewood Phnom Penh will make its debut. The contrast couldn’t be bigger: The new hotel will be towering above the city with trendy design and a 37-floor overhanging bar.

So, why not combine Siem Reap and Phnom Penh?

Postcard from…..Bali!

On a recent trip to Bali we found a paradise with horrendous traffic, a stunning degree of environmental pollution and a seemingly never ending string of (cookie-cutter) hotel construction.

The about 30 hotels that we inspected and/or stayed at during this trip were generally good but contained some of the typical structural flaws. Alarming was the high degree of service deficits. Although I have to say that this is not a phenomenon that is exclusive to Bali!

TRUE 5 STARS has adjusted its selection of the best hotels in Bali accordingly. There are currently 21 beautiful properties listed with another two (Capella, Six Senses) joining in the first quarter of 2018. Our hotels feature between 20 and 156 guest rooms, so no cookie-cutter! Only two hotels have more than 100 guest rooms.

Make no mistake, Bali is still a paradise in locations away from mass tourism. In the Ubud area for example there are secluded hotels tucked away in the rainforest which still evoke the real Bali feel.

Beaches are not always good and clean. While we did like Jimbaran beach and parts of Nusa Dua beach we were not impressed with Seminyak beach.

Alternatively, the very south of Bali offers some stunning cliff locations including some of Bali’s most luxurious hotels. If you want to avoid the masses this is (still) a good option.

Great travels for 2018!