There’s more than a touch of romance to this elegant boutique hotel in the middle of Phnom Penh’s smartest area, BKK1. If you’re after spotlessly clean, mid-range lodgings, then Hilary’s Boutique Hotel offers 26 beautifully appointed, classic Khmer style rooms, plus a pool, on-site restaurant and super-friendly service.
Creating an air of seclusion and getting away from it all, Hilary’s is tucked away behind a high white wall and has a home-style vibe despite the spic and span feel. The decor has a local emphasis, with for instance ornate wooden lounges in the lobby, silk curtains with lace netting — which you almost never see in Cambodia — and tablecloths. Everywhere you look rich Cambodian fabrics add a sumptuous touch to otherwise streamlined rooms.
The air-con rooms are spread across a three-storey, renovated 1960s-era villa and overlook a wide courtyard garden and pool area with plenty of greenery to create niche spaces in which to tuck yourself away. Try to go for an upper floor room as the ground floor room views are just of the neighbour’s wall. Down below, there are plenty of loungers, and if you’re in need you can ask for a poolside massage as well.
Amenities in the rooms are solid and generous for the pricepoint, including tea and coffee-making equipment, hair dryers, LCD teles and DVD players, robes, tubs and minibars.
The on-site restaurant looks a bit dry, and offers an array of standard guesthouse fare, both local and Western, such as lok lak, fish amok, fish and chips, burgers, steaks and pastas, though if you want to head out you’re a short hop from the Wat Lanka area, the Independence Monument and the vibrant Tonle Bassac district. On the other side of the road, Nataraj Yoga offers some excellent yoga classes if you want to really amp the relaxed vibe.
If you’re after something a bit funkier in the same price range, Sangkum rocks a 1960s look and has comparable rates over the other side of town near Le Royal, while nearby Willow offers slightly more expensive rooms with more of a traveller vibe in its lounge area.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.