Pricy but swish
Stylish, modern and a little bit hip, Patio Urban Resort is designed for those who want to combine sleek comfort with proximity to one of Phnom Penh’s better areas. A little pricier than others, the design-inclined may well be happy to overlook this. Tucked down a small cul-de-sac just off Street 51 by Wat Langka, Patio has a gorgeous rooftop swimming pool, and it’s worth noting that this isn’t the party end of Street 51, although there are plenty of popular bars and restaurants within a two-minute walk.
The rooftop infinity pool is the hotel’s biggest selling point, a place where city sunseekers can lose hours topping up their tan and tower-spotting. The view includes pagodas, the Independence Monument and several nascent high-rises, and it’s particularly pretty at night. If you’re after a proper swim though, you might be disappointed — this is more for relaxed cocktails and dipping. The pool is narrow and deep with loungers that you can launch yourself off straight into the water. Crossing the stone bridge is something of a trippy experience, as long as you don’t actually trip. If you’re not staying here, the day rate for using the pool is $10, and we can thoroughly recommend dropping in for an evening sundowner too.
The Elephant in the Kitchen restaurant serves food between 6:00 and 23:00, but late risers take note — breakfast is only available until 10:00. It looked fabulous though on the day that we visited. Dishes are reasonably priced, with a choice of Khmer mains, Asian tapas, pizzas and pasta from about $4.50. Drinks are a different matter — $2.50 for a Coke or $5 for a litre bottle of water feels like someone got over-excited with the profit calculator.
WiFi is available throughout the hotel, although it’s strongest in the public areas, with three computer consoles for those travelling unplugged. The sixth floor Petal Spa offers traditional Khmer and oil massages and you can order in to your sunlounger by the pool too. The front desk arrange day tours with a car or tuk tuk, as well as onward travel options, although you will get cheaper prices by doing the legwork yourself.
The 45 rooms are accessed by a fancy touch screen lift, a luxury missing in many Phnom Penh hotels. The standard single rooms are big enough for a solo traveller, but located on the side of the hotel with a view of a wall. Superior and deluxe rooms are twins or doubles; some come with narrow balconies which aren’t really worth the extra cash. Rooms feature firm platform beds, sleek black tiled floors, and clean, well-stocked bathrooms, all embellished with plenty of black distressed tiles, geometric art, polished concrete and natural wood to comply with Asian boutique chic style. Somehow, though such features should be overly masculine and oppressive, they combine in such a way that’s stylish and open-feeling.
Rack rates are pricy, starting (during high season) at $90 for a standard single room and $140 for a deluxe double with a private balcony, both including breakfast. You’re likely to get a better deal by checking the hotel’s promotions on their website or looking at online booking sites. If you’re staying more than one night, the low season rates may well be further reduced.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 11th February, 2016.