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Bric-à-Brac Battambang Wins Top Boutique Hotel

December 18, 2018 Accolades No Comments

Bric-à-Brac in Battambang, Cambodia was named the top boutique hotel and villa in Cambodia by Sovrin magazine, the kingdom’s leading design and fashion magazine equivalent to Vogue.

This is the second consecutive Sovrin win for Bric-à-Brac’s deluxe three-room hotel, and adjoining alfresco Libations Bar and eccentric Boutique gift shop.

Located in Battambang’s colonial heart, Bric-à-Brac is run by two Australian Sydneysiders, who decamped there five years ago. Competing with the kingdom’s best, their lodgings in the hinterlands of Northwest Cambodia are creating a new benchmark.

Bric-à-Brac beat out other properties in Siem Reap and Kampot — all vibrant tourist destinations compared to laid-back Battambang. The city is an “on-the-cusp location” according to Travel & Leisure magazine, and considered by UNESCO for its French colonial architecture, and a repository of Khmer culture. Best of all, Cambodia’s second largest city feels more like a village or town, and is only a 2-3 hour drive from the glories of Angkor Wat.

Bric-à-Brac shares its award with Villa des Palmes in Kep and The Pavilion in Phnom Penh. Serendipitously, two other award winners in Battambang — Miss Wong bar and Jaan BaI restaurant — are all on the same St 2 block as Bric-à-Brac.

The Sovrin winners were determined by its magazine editors nominating “best places” frontrunners in each category, with the ultimate top three award winners announced in the magazine’s December issue.

The property is featured widely in overseas press, from Hanya Yanahigara for Travel & Leisure (“eclectically decorated” and “exuberantly curated”); to Condé-Nast Traveler (“stay at boutique hotel Bric-a-Brac in the colonial quarter”). The Bangkok Post earlier featured the property under headline “Mekong Region’s Boutique Hotels Raise the Bar”. Lonely Planet calls Bric-à-Brac “swish” and “bijou” while Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice rates the property twice in their top 25 Cambodian hotels: for best small hotel and most romantic hotel in the kingdom.

“Beneath the quirky Bric-à-Brac Hotel lies a streetside bar perfectly positioned for watching life roll by in the heart of Battambang’s colonial district,” glows Discover Cambodia magazine, when it awarded its Best in Cambodia Editor’s Choice award.  “Libations Bar brings a slice of France to northwest Cambodia.”

Proprietors are film-set stylist and cookbook author Robert Carmack, who is classically French trained, and partner Morrison Polkinghorne, both an artist and passementier who creates tassels and interior embellishments for historic home renovations. Morrison’s lotus art exhibition hung recently at prestigious Amansara in Siem Reap, and mid ’19 is heading to Bangkok’s leading gallery Serindia, near the Mandarin-Oriental. His restoration tassel work for Sydney’s Vaucluse House premiered last year in that mansion’s elaborate drawing room.

“All in all, our backgrounds allow us to create a sumptuous living space tempered by our quest to re-invent the colonial French experience”, explain the couple.  Their focus has been on bespoke service and top sleep comfort, making not only Battambang a destination, but equally Bric-à-Brac.

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