Heartbreak Hotel.

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Kung-fu Hillbilly
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Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:03 pm

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The French colonial villa on Street 178 in 2014. Photo: Hemis/Alamy

August 2019
By Rupert Winchester


One morning, ambling down Street 178 — long and shaded with tamarind trees, stretching east to the Tonle Sap river, past the National Museum and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club — I passed a wonderful canary-yellow villa, clearly old, clearly much loved. Behind its high but not impassable fence, tuk-tuk drivers snoozed on the badly mown lawns, their plastic bags of soft drink hanging from the trees.

...... Most of the records disappeared into the maw of the Khmer Rouge regime after 1975. But the consensus is that the mansion was originally built as a royal villa between 1900 and 1910. Anecdotal evidence has the villa being constructed in 1905 as a residence for lesser royals,...

It was owned by an unnamed government official after that. During the UNTAC period (1992-93) it was the renowned Cafe No Problem, which was popular with UN staff. There was apparently a splendid wooden bar in the main room that served generous vodka tonics by candlelight and had huge pillows where you could sit on the floor at low tables.

.... A few months later, I was in a foreign property dealer’s office when a listing caught my eye. It was the same villa, which they were offering for sale for a staggering US$14 million.Having spent some time studying Phnom Penh’s property values, I knew that couldn’t be right. Despite its beauty and rarity, the villa was worth no more than about US$500,000. A bit of digging uncovered the truth — the building was being sold as a potential site for a new high-rise development.....

I sniffed a story, one that involved rapacious developers knocking down Phnom Penh’s colonial heritage in search of a fast buck. ... They told me about greedy developers who would knock down buildings on public holidays so no one could do anything until it was too late. They told me about how profit was king,

“Hello, Monsieur Chenevier … I wanted to ask you about the villa on Street 178. Can you tell me what you’re planning to do with it? Are you going to knock it down?”

“I strongly deny it. Why would we want to knock down our own building? If you say we will, I will sue you.” Then a click, as he hung up.

I was told, off the record, that the judge had accepted US$100,000 to swing the verdict Chenevier’s way, but the evidence at trial was so threadbare he was awarded a mere US$25,000.

Soon, a Hyatt Regency will occupy the site of the canary-yellow villa, now just a footnote to a story about how journalism can be suppressed by people with money.

full https://mekongreview.com/heartbreak-hotel/
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SternAAlbifrons
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:06 pm

Another great story from the Mekong Review. ^^
Don't forget to subscribe like i always do. (forget, that is)
Well worth the 5 bucks a copy anyway. Quarterly
Mostly a high-brow literary mag, but has a wide range of all kinds of interesting stuff.
A must for any serious student of Cambodia.

Published by a Vietnamese Australian, Minh Bui Jones, who has lived in Cambodia for a long time and still commutes here regularly. He was also the founding editor of The Diplomat.

Link below is to a NY Times profile of the mag
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/book ... ature.html
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Sweet Lemon
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by Sweet Lemon » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:19 pm

Why is no one giving Hyatt corporate any grief about this?
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SternAAlbifrons
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:39 pm

There are a few educated Cambodians who decry the destruction of Phnom Penh's architectural heritage, but i think even they know there is not a hope in Hades of ever protecting any building here.

Pity, those buildings could have been worth billions of tourist dollars to Cambodia's economy, forever.
Not to mention making it so much more attractive to live in the city
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by lin.chea-ronh » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:42 pm

:dragonchase:
Yes ,this real estate vultures killing the gooses that make the Golden eggs .
:stir: Be seeing you this weekend & doing some photo display ,c\o Jun Jun guesthouse .
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by phuketrichard » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:23 pm

lin.chea-ronh wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:42 pm
:dragonchase:
Yes ,this real estate vultures killing the gooses that make the Golden eggs .
And what pray tell, is this golden goose that the real estate vultures have killed?
You dont think all the new middle class khmers and the youth love all the fancy malls?
Its the khmers that are selling.
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by Anchor Moy » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:37 pm

phuketrichard wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:23 pm
lin.chea-ronh wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:42 pm
:dragonchase:
Yes ,this real estate vultures killing the gooses that make the Golden eggs .
And what pray tell, is this golden goose that the real estate vultures have killed?
You dont think all the new middle class khmers and the youth love all the fancy malls?
Its the khmers that are selling.
Some people like Lin see that Khmers are destroying their own heritage. The "Golden Goose" referred to here are the beautiful heritage Phnom Penh colonial buildings that are being destroyed because of the greed of land promoters and developers in Phnom Penh.
A shopping mall is a shopping mall, but once you destroy buildings that are old and symbolic, they are gone for good.
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by John Bingham » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:26 pm

That villa looks sad now. They propped it up to preserve the shell but there is nothing left of the original facade. It has an underground car park below it and a huge modern edifice surrounds it. The plan is for the old building (which will be completely rebuilt anyway, only a few columns remain from the old structure) to be the lobby for this modern glass building.



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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:16 pm

John Bingham wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:26 pm
... nothing left of the original facade.
The plan is for the old building (which will be completely rebuilt anyway, only a few columns remain from the old structure) to be the lobby for this modern glass building.
^^^ hilarious, sad, so true.

The Cambodian version of the ubiquitous "Heritage Preservation" scam - the facade charade.
Taken to another level here - the faked facade charade.
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Re: Heartbreak Hotel.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:21 am

Hyatt have announced the appointment of a general manager for the Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh which is expected to open later this year.

Herman Kemp to lead first Hyatt Regency in Cambodia
By TTG Asia
/ Posted on 13 January, 2020 9:30
Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh has appointed Herman Kemp as general manager.
Kemp started off working on cruise liners, with the Holland America Line. After which, he joined the hospitality industry, where over 12 years he rose through F&B and management roles at Le Meridien, Sofitel and Carlton hotels, all in The Hague, a city in Netherlands.

His first posting as general manager was with Aryaduta Hotels in Indonesia in 2012. Prior to his Phnom Penh move, Kemp was general manager of Park Hyatt Siem Reap for nearly four years.

Expected to open in 2020, the 250-room Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh will mark the first Hyatt Regency hotel in Cambodia.
https://www.ttgasia.com/2020/01/13/herm ... -cambodia/
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