It all started when three friends, Ming, Haijun and Ray, pottering around the crowded streets of Phnom Penh, in one of the cooler evenings of early 2018, saw this:
The three friends,
Sorry, this might be more business-like,
The three friends were impressed by the imposing mass of the giant building and by its shimmering glass curtain walls. So, they went up to have a look. They saw this:
They were further impressed.
Ming was a Hangzhou college Associate Professor with the Hospitality faculty, so they thought it might be a good idea to make a hotel out of it. Haijun is Partner at Tings & Associates, an architects’ firm based in Phnom Penh; and Ray came from finance backgrounds.
They went straight into the deal without much thought, as all Chinese businessmen nowadays in Cambodia seem to do, and business talks with Developer of the building took time. By March, they had reached a deal, acquiring the 28th and 29th floors for their hotel idea.
Keys were handed over, and they received this:
Rather primitive, they thought.
They went home to draw ideas:
And invited some Cambodian friends to help knocking the walls through:
And invited more Cambodian friends to cut the ceilings open:
The three friends found out that they had spent all their fund purchasing and constructing the units. Work wasn’t complete. They heard that the Chinese had got money these days, so they all travelled to Hangzhou to look for rich Chinese:
They found some, and made presentations and had sold them the hotel idea:
So they brought their Chinese friends to Phnom Penh and the Chinese friends brought their money.
Now the three friends had money and invited some Russian friends to make furniture:
And more Russian friends to make beds:
And they imported natural marble from Norway to make table surfaces:
Soon they found out that making high-quality solid wood furniture and Norwegian marbles cost too much money. They had to ask their Chinese friends for help again. They heard that people from Hainan had got money these days and they loved to invest in tropical countries, so they all traveled to Sanya, to look for rich Chinese.
They found some:
And sold them the hotel idea.
With the money, they invited some French friends to make the ceilings more diverting:
It’s October now, and they finally have this:
Snowbell @ The Bridge, a high-rise boutique hotel of 63 rooms and 12 executive suites, located in the 28th and 29th floors of The Bridge SOHO.