Guest Blog – See You in Cambodia!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When I received the following letter from my Australian friend Verona, I knew that I must post it on my blog! It’s not every day that a friend writes with the title, “See You in Cambodia” in the subject line. Verona and her darling husband Douglas are adventurers-at-heart and though I’ve only known them a short time I’m certain Vee is my soul mate! Sometimes ones paths need only cross for a few brief months in order to be friends for life! Verona is living my dream – abandoning reality as she knows it and opening a hotel in a far away exotic locale! Someday I hope to follow in her footsteps (opening my own B&B;) but in the meantime, I plan to live vicariously through Verona and her husband’s wanderings! I hope that Vee will take time out in the coming months to keep Antiques Diva Readers updated on her wonderful divalicious journey! Verona and Douglas, best wishes for mountains of success to rain on you and congratulations on this exciting move! We’re with you all the way!

Much Love,
The Antiques Diva™

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Dear Antiques Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It’s not every day you buy a hotel in a tropical paradise. And although I’m still pinching myself in disbelief, that’s exactly what my husband and I have done. After years of moving around the world with the corporate giant, this next move is our own making. After being located in South East Asia for a time, we decided that was where, one day, we would retire. So when out of the blue the opportunity to purchase a small hotel on the South West coast of Cambodia presented itself my husband and I threw caution to the wind and signed on the dotted line.

We have bought a 19 room boutique hotel with bar, alfresco dining terrace and rooftop Jacuzzi pool due to open December this year – how cool is that? It’s in Sihanoukville, formally called Kampong Som, and right by Orhheuteal Beach with pristine white sand spanning for miles and gentle rolling waves protected by the sheltered Thailand Gulf. Every evening is blessed with a perfect sunset enjoyed with something cool and refreshing in our hands while sampling freshly caught seafood grilled in the sand before us.

Of course, this idyllic dream may fade some when the reality of running a hotel kicks in; trying to placate guests, running out of ice, power cuts and air conditioner break-downs and training staff who can barely speak English, but we’re confident we’ll take it all in our stride and soldier on! Although there are a number of hotels in Sihanoukville already they are mainly backpacker huts or expensive 5 star resorts, so our moderately priced 4 star pad with the best managers in town will be a nice addition!

So I say goodbye to my good friends in Holland and wish you well in your own dreams and maybe we’ll meet up on a sandy beach one day in a small place called Sihanoukville.

All the best,
Proprietor, Coolabah Hotel

Why did my Aussie friend call her hotel The Coolabah Hotel? After the line in “Waltzing Matilda”, of course! The unofficial Australian national anthem sings,
“Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a Coolabah Tree….”

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

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  • What a wonderful adventure and in such a beautiful locale. Best wishes to your friend.
    **sidenote: I would also love to run a B&B.; I think the most appealing part for me would be designing the rooms with wonderful fabrics and antiques.

  • Thanks for your comments Phivos, Contessa and Kelli! Sorry I’ve been “out of pocket” – I just returned home this morning from a wonderful month in the USA and am a little behind on responding to comments! Apologies!

    John, thanks so much for stopping by and I can’t wait to check out your blog… I’m dying to go to Bali! It’s on my “must do” list!

    Lastly, Dear Anonymous who heard through the grapevine that I am moving — it’s all true! I move to Berlin on Jan 27th and though I’m sad to leave Holland I can’t wait for the next adventure to begin. I’ll maintain my tour service in Holland, Belgium and France – and will be expanding with a new tour company in Berlin this Spring/Summer! As for the blog, I’ll continue to write it as I have and will add it stories of more adventure.

    All my best,
    The Antiques Diva

  • How awesome is this! Congrats and best wishes. This Contessa always dreamed of owning a B & B but never had the chuzpah to do it. I'm very jealous. Show then all how it's done!