The Story of Snowbell @ The Bridge

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:

snowbell @ the bridge


The three friends,

WeChat Image_20181031115354


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:

snowbell @ the bridge



And 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:

hand drawing hotel designcorridor and lobby receptionlarger unitlift lobby


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:

WeChat Image_20181031141807


They found some, and made presentations and had sold them the hotel idea:

WeChat Image_20181031150545


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:

WeChat Image_20181031145505


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:

WeChat Image_20181031142736

And sold them the hotel idea.


With the money, they invited some French friends to make the ceilings more diverting:

WeChat Image_20181031140300


It’s October now, and they finally have this:

sdrcofWeChat Image_20181031140620snowbell @ the bridge

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.

[hotel]Tatami Japanese Style Bedroom

japanese tatami style bedroom

260cm * 260cm

Space optimization of extremely small guestroom.


This design idea came as a desperate rescue solution to the narrow nature of the bedroom. We were given a bedroom of 260cm * 400cm (excluding bathroom) in size and a 160cm*200cm double bed must be fitted in. Considering that if a conventional queen-size bed is to be placed in the centre of the 260cm width, there will be a 50cm space away from wall to each side, making the room look sorry and ungenerous. Eventually we had this idea of having an entire platform of wooden structure rising up 30cm above floor, with wooden skirting along the walls. The effect appears spacious and comfortable.

Development in reality, updated Jan., 04, 2017:

minimalism tatami designimg_3632img_3637