Boasting the best views in Phnom Penh, Rosewood hotel’s sky bar Sora is the place to be seen, serving up a range of sumptuous drinks to compliment the unparalleled views of the capital. Words by Marissa Carruthers; photography by Enric Català.
For the last few years, Vattanac Capital Tower has dominated Phnom Penh’s skyline.
Measuring 188 metres, the 39-storey building shaped like a dragon’s back – although many have dubbed it the Angry Bird building – has long been on the lips of city dwellers.
Now, after 18 months of delays, the tower’s pièce de résistance has opened its doors to guests in the form of five-star hotel chain, Rosewood. Spread across the top 14 floors, the 175-room luxury property hasn’t reserved its sophisticated style that seamlessly blends vintage and modern to hotel guests alone.
In fact, some of its finer elements are open to the public, including Japanese restaurant Iza and the spectacular sky bar, Sora.
Perched on the 37th floor on a spacious cantilevered terrace, Sora undoubtedly boasts the best views of the capital – it is the highest building after all. High tables dot the space, private pergolas housing soft seating that cater to groups sprinkle the edge of the deck, and a large bar forms the centrepiece.
With the menu spanning 14 pages, there’s something to suit everyone.
Fancy a whisky? Choose from more than 80 varieties. If sake is more up your street, then there are 42 options on display. The wine and Champagnes take up three pages, while spirits, craft beers, soft drinks and cocktails make up the remainder.
It was sundowner cocktails that we were there for, and they didn’t fail to disappoint. Containing all of the classics, given a Rosewood contemporary Cambodian spin, there is plenty of creative cocktails to choose from.
First, we opted for the Pisco Aperitivo ($9). The delicate pink concoction comprises of Rinomato aperitivo, pisco, violette liquer, citrus and egg white. The well-balanced beauty sees the sweetness of the pisco complimented by the sour citrus and the bitter aperitivo.
The egg white adds a head of froth to the drink.
Next up was the Cambodian 53 ($13). Acting as the perfect sundown cooler, this concoction blends gin and absinthe with prosecco and cucumber. While on paper, it may look mind-blowingly strong, it is in fact tame, with the cucumber adding a refreshing kick.
We rounded off our sunset drinks with a Tiki ($11), served in an impressive tiki ceramic mug complete with the traditional Polynesian theme.
This delight is the definition of tropical, fusing rum, fragrant amaro Montenegro, sweet falernum with a hint of ginger, passion fruit and pineapple.
With top-class cocktails coupled with unparalleled views, the background beats of a DJ and tapas served throughout the evening, it’s easy to see why Sora has become Phnom Penh’s most sought-out spot.