The Pavilion Hotel Phnom Penh

by Anna Buckley

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I stayed at this gorgeous hotel, The Pavilion, in 2012. It was the inspiration for the place where Christina began her first venture in Cambodia.
This is the foyer of the restored Colonial era mansion.
It was unbelievably good value and think it cost around $55. per night. Little did I know it would be the backdrop for an upcoming novel.

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Like the book, we ate drank and swam in the shady courtyard, a true sanctuary from the hot and busy streets of Phnom Penh.

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My bedroom, filled with a mix of antique and new furniture, came with its own private courtyard. I remember sitting outside at night, sipping on a gin and tonic, serenaded by cicadas and listening to the sound of monks chanting at a nearby temple.
On this cold Melbourne winters day I dream of being back there. This is a little of what happened on Christina Maxwell’s last night there…

By 9 o’clock I’d all but forgotten my original plans, it had been such a wonderfully unexpected night, when suddenly he walked in. My heart skipped a beat. He looked worn out, tired, his suit jacket crumpled, his stubble back.

‘Hi Philippe, long day? Would you care to join us?’

In true Southern style Calvin stood, introduced himself and shook his hand. Next Philippe greeted me with two kisses and said, ‘Vous êtes très belle.’

I couldn’t be mad. We had no plans and he’d said I looked beautiful. He took off his jacket, unbuttoned his shirt, rolled up his sleeves and began to relax. Casual, rugged Philippe returned.

We drank and swapped stories of our various adventures until the bar closed. Calvin and Philippe had much to talk about and I was tired. I thanked Calvin for the lovely dinner, said goodnight and went to my room. It seemed empty, I felt alone. I realised I may never see Philippe again.

‘Hi, you return?’ said Philippe, smiling.

‘Yes, I remembered it was your last night, I wanted to say goodbye, and what a pleasure it’s been meeting you. Will you be leaving early?’

‘Six in the morning.’

He got up.

‘I have enjoyed your company very much as well. Maybe we will run into each other again someday?’

He embraced me tenderly and I felt a sudden sadness. Rashly I slipped my keys into his pocket.

‘Yes, I hope we do.’

Where does your mind travel to on cold winter days?

Anna Buckley Books

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The Lost Woman series follows the sexy adventures of Christina as she makes her way through a world of new media, design, fashion,  travel, and … men.
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