Marriott enters blistering Cambodia market for first time

Angkor Wat sunrise at Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Siem Reap in Cambodia)

Marriott is coming to Cambodia—and not a minute too soon.

The hotel company is reportedly preparing to open the 233-room Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort in April 2017, in partnership with Cambodian-based Grand Lion Group. It will be the first Marriott International-branded hotel in the country.

The hotel will be 15 minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Archaeological Park. In June this year, the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) announced Cambodia as the 'World's Best Tourist Destination' for 2016, out of 29 candidate countries.

Dining and entertainment options will include a casual, all-day dining restaurant, a rooftop bar called The View with views of Angkor Wat, a grand ballroom and a lobby lounge. Recreational facilities will include an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center, as well as a full-service spa.

The Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort is one of three Courtyard by Marriott Resorts in Asia planned with a kids' club, too.

The hotel will be the first go-around with the Grand Lion Group, but not the last. The group also plans to open a $160-million, 250-room resort Marriott-branded resort in Cambodia's sea town of Sihanoukville. The hotel will be designed by Blink Architects.

"We are extremely excited and geared up for the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort in April. The Angkor Archaeological Park is one of the world's top UNESCO World Heritage Sites which continues to attract increasing numbers of international visitors. I am confident that the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort, an established worldwide hospitality brand, will play an important role in attracting visitors from far and wide. Our international guests, especially from Asia, USA and Europe, who are accustomed to the high service standards of the Marriott brand will be assured of the same levels at the Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort," said Lundy Nath, president and CEO of the Grand Lion Group.

On the Rise

Cambodia, particularly the resort town of Siem Reap, continues to draw hospitality investment and development. Demand for high-end accommodation is growing apace, and international investors are making moves. “The Cambodia luxury hotel market continues to enjoy notable expansion, driven by increasing international tourist arrivals and growing domestic prosperity,” Chris Hobden, surveyor at CBRE Cambodia told HOTEL MANAGEMENT last year.

Hotel investment is also moving beyond Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, with the coastal city of Sihanoukville a rising star, due to its secluded tropical islands nearby. Its airport will launch international services this year, with its first international flight arriving from Singapore.

‘’With the launch of direct international flights to Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s main coastal city and gateway to the country’s islands, we expect both the hotel industry and resort property market to enjoy increased occupancy rates and, in turn, an uplift in capital values,” Hobden said.

In September, an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation entered into a management agreement with Cambodian conglomerate Chip Mong Group for a 25-room Hyatt Regency hotel in Phnom Penh. Expected to open in 2020, Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh will be the first Hyatt Regency hotel in Cambodia.

“As Phnom Penh continues to become known as a destination for art, culture, tourism and business, we are confident that the globally recognized Hyatt Regency brand will resonate with business and leisure travelers visiting the country. Furthermore, we believe the hotel will play a vital role in the city’s development and will become a landmark in the city and a dynamic member of the local community,” said David Udell, group president – Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Meanwhile, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts was tapped last year by Cambodia-based property developer Vattanac Properties to manage the Rosewood Siem Reap, scheduled to open in 2019. It will be the second Rosewood property in Cambodia, following Rosewood Phnom Penh, scheduled to open next year and also owned by Vattanac Properties.