The first thing you notice when you walk through the doors of Governor’s House is the amazing array of antiques. It’s easy to see that Belgian owner and antiques dealer, Alan Garnier, has chosen to make his boutique hotel a living museum. The reception area has an antique cabinet from Versailles. Other parts of the hotel, including the rooms, house antique furniture from across Asia along with ceramics and other artefacts.
The building itself is 150 years old, a former residence of the governor, although it’s only been a hotel for two years.
Extensions and remodelling has created 12 unique bedrooms and an impressive triple height atrium. Funky bar area (try the Asian mojito), outdoor chill out zone, swimming pool and two dining areas complete the accommodation.
Each room is different, as is the furniture within. I loved my antique wardrobe and pre-Pol Pot era traditional Khmer desk. One room even had a desk which once belonged to Winston Churchill but a booking meant I didn’t get a chance to sit at it.
The bed was not antique. I’ve slept on some comfortable mattresses but I think this was the best one yet. The mattress gently cradled and cushioned me no matter which way I turned. Kind of like sleeping on clouds. Sweet dreams indeed.
The staff are incredibly welcoming and my name was written (and spelled correctly!) on the welcome chalkboard, which made it easy to meet fellow guests. Soft music plays in the public areas and seating on the balconies encouraged me to explore and relax as though it was my very own colonial mansion.
With only 12 rooms the hotel has high occupancy rates, mainly from couples and business travellers, with an increasing demand for twin and family accommodation.
With my love of history, I enjoyed being up close and personal to the history in the hotel and, from the elegant façade and the beautifully polished teak floors to the antique chairs, I felt right at home.
Governor’s House is a member of Secret Retreats (www.secret-retreats.com), a collection of boutique residences, hotels and boats throughout Asia and a brand that provides experiences for the discerning traveller.