New and unusual styles of accommodation are popping up every day in the Kingdom, with one boutique hotel in Siem Reap town offering the chance to stay in a cylindrical pipe bedroom.
Phy Sophov, founder of Ring Boutique Hotel, located one kilometre from the town’s famous Pub Street, told The Post his hotel offers a quirky experience for those who are bored with traditional hotel rooms.
“Ring Boutique Hotel is a uniquely designed boutique hotel in Siem Reap. To make you feel different, we have built our rooms stylishly designed in the shape of a ring, with a beautiful mural covering the entire wall,” he says.
All 26 rooms – single, double and family rooms – are constructed with a rounded pipe featuring a bed, modern bathroom, a small living room and an individual mural on the wall.
The name, he says, came to him one day when looking at his hands.
“I didn’t want to name it Pipe Boutique or Drainage Boutique since the names were already used in other resorts or local people didn’t like how low-class it sounded and would be embarrassed to tell their friends and family they were staying here. But one day, while I was thinking about the name, I twisted around my engagement ring and I knew that it would be Ring Boutique,” he says.
Sophov, an English graduate from Norton University, had been working as an English teacher before starting his hotel.
“In 2013, I thought about a stylish shaped boutique that is unique from the others in town. I wanted to make a living space in a rounded shape and thought of the idea to build a pipe room. At that time I didn’t see any service like this in Cambodia,” he says.
But lacking capital, it wasn’t until he got the backing of his uncle in 2015 that Sophov finally started working on his pipe hotel. By that time he had competitors in the form of Kampong Speu province’s vKirirom Resort and Koh Rong’s The Pipes Resort.
“I did not have experience with design, so my friend helped design the pipe with a floor plan. My uncle agreed to give me a plot of land and invested money,” the 35-year-old says.
Finally opening his pipe boutique hotel on August 2, 2016, Sophov used his two competitors as inspiration, seeing things he could do better.
“If I did not see what they had been doing in those resorts, I would have followed the same path and built rooms with an inconvenient atmosphere for our guests,” he says.
Instead of creating a room with just a bed in the pipe, Sophov’s hotel has made a separate bedroom with enough space for a small living room, also equipping the space with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and a private bathroom.
“I saw that a pipe room with no air-conditioning does not work well with the warm temperature, even though we are on a hill. Sharing a bathroom and toilet is also not a good option, especially for local guests. We also planted more trees to cool down the sunlight shining into rooms,” he says.
Sophov has plans to make his hotel even more eye catching by stacking pipes on top of one another in a pyramid shape.
“Of course it will cost more than building a normal structure, but we want to do it to attract people’s attention,” he says.
Ring Boutique Hotel is located on Funky Lane in Siem Reap town’s Steung Thmei village. For more information, you can visit their website (www.ringboutiquehotel.com) or call them directly (063 766 267).