a funky friendly vibe
Super-smart style, a relaxed vibe and great staff are just some of the reasons this place was fully booked out the last time we went to take a look at it. The first time we saw it, it was one of those happy little accidents when we were looking for something else, but on stumbling in we were instantly taken with the snazzy little cabanas and air of elegant indolence around the pool. We had to go back.
And then we found that the friendly, funky vibe around the pool continued into the 19 well-designed rooms spread across three storeys. The air-con, hot-water shower rooms were compact but cool and we’d say this is one of the hotels that rode the crest of a wave of new-style boutique hotels in Phnom Penh, with its no nonsense polished concrete storage, bedside tables and bedheads softened by Khmer silk accents and Roman blinds. Included are iDevice docks, flatscreen televisions, DVD players, safe and tea and coffee-making facilities — pretty much what’s become standard at this price point.
This place reminds us just a touch of The Plantation, with its poolside shelters and Continental vibe, but on a smaller, more intimate, and slightly hipper scale and with a bit of a 1960s feel. Stopping for a cooling lime juice at the poolside bar, we watched the staff at work and were given a clean demonstration of efficiency, responsiveness and friendliness.
The location is quite close to the Independence Monument, though a five-minute tuk tuk ride to Street 240 and riverside. With many more hotels opening up further south in BKK1 though, this is probably a slightly better choice, as you’re well out of the way of the incessant drone of the tile cutters at work.
If this is about your budget but you’d like to try something a bit different, you don’t have to pay much more to stay at lovely The Sangkum, though that’s in the Wat Phnom neighbourhood. If bed linen is important to you, the most sumptuous we’ve found in town at slightly higher prices (though with no pool) is The Willow in Tonle Bassac.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.