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Happiness Guest House

Close to the action

What we say: 3.5 stars

Phnom Penh is a lively city with an underrated nightlife — if you like to be near the action, Happiness Guest House is a short stumble to where it’s all happening. A five-minute walk to Central Market and just two blocks from the late night section of Street 51, Happiness is a good base if you like to be slap bang in the middle of the city.

Beers straight ahead.

Beers straight ahead.

Happiness Guest House is actually two buildings opposite each other on the (nominally) one-way Street 51. The larger building has 20 air-con rooms over three floors and the Happiness MiniMart downstairs, while the smaller fits in just 16 rooms on four floors; single rooms (with ensuite bathroom) are $15
while doubles or twins, also with air-con, are $17. The rust and salmon paint job makes them both difficult to miss, no matter how many cheap jugs of Angkor beer you may have enjoyed.

It was all they had in the paint shop ...

It was all they had in the paint shop …

The hallways and the rooms are well-kept and reasonably clean, although some of the rooms in the smaller building have an unpleasant damp smell in the rainy season. All twin rooms in the larger building have a private balcony; unfortunately the smaller building’s balconies are pretty tiny, allowing just enough room for a smoker to hunch under the air-con unit. If you can make it up the stairs, the larger building has a small balcony ‘garden’ with interesting views across the city.

Worth the walk?

Worth the walk?

Rooms come with a small fridge, television, WiFi and air-con, plus hot water in the bathroom. The showers are standard issue and the mattresses are a bit saggy, but both do their job. Many of the rooms feature wood panelling that may make you want to crack out the birch twigs and speak in a Swedish accent: consider it sauna chic! Rooms come in single, double and twin varieties, and it’s worth checking a few, as sizes and views vary. One touch sure to be appreciated after a night in Pontoon or the Heart of Darkness is the blackout curtains, keeping that pesky sun away until you make it downstairs for a Royal D in the minimart. Unfortunately, they don’t block out the noise of motorbike horns.

It's like a sauna in here!

It’s like a sauna in here!

Due to its central location, Happiness is surrounded by cheap eateries, travel agents and bars, and is a good roosting place for night owls. Lack of communal space means it’s not a sociable backpackers, but meet fellow guests on the stairs and you can easily hotfoot it to a drinking establishment nearby. If you really want a backpacker hangout, head for Happy 11 Backpackers or Eighty8 instead, or if you’re planning on an early night, we’d suggest looking further afield in Tonle Bassac.


Make a reservation online now

Contact details:

8 and 169-171 Street 51 (corner with Street 130), Phnom Penh.  T: (023) 212 356 
Email them at: happinessguesthouse@yahoo.com

What we were quoted

Type of room Low season High season Notes
Sgl air-con private b'room 15 USD 15 USD
Dbl air-con private b'room 17 USD 17 USD

Added to Travelfish on: 10th September, 2013
Last visited or updated on: 12th March, 2014

Last reviewed by:
Abigail has been stoned by villagers in India, become an honorary Kenyan tribeswoman, sweet talked border guards and had close encounters with black mambas. Her motto is: “Live to tell the tale.”
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Happiness Guest House
8 and 169-171 Street 51 (corner with Street 130), Phnom Penh. 
T: (023) 212 356 
happinessguesthouse@yahoo.com

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