The hotel was built the year after The Peninsula in 1929 for the comfort of wealthy passengers who disembarked off the steamship lines to view the newly discovered long-lost Kingdom of Angkor. Somerset Maugham stayed here (along with Coward he gets the prize for checking into the greatest number of Far Eastern five stars), as did Jackie Kennedy, Andre Malraux and Charles de Gaulle. We know this because in the tradition of grand Asian hotels they each have a suite named after them. The top suite is Le Royal Suite with a cream and red decor that reflects both French colonial and traditional Khmer style. When the Khmer Rouge ravaged the country the hotel fell into disrepair. Rescued by the Raffles group and now technically called Raffle Hotel Le Royal its dark wood floors and antique furniture are a return to the glory days. Phnom Pehn itself is still struggling as Ankor- tourists fly straight into to Siem Reap from Thailand and give the capital a miss.