A beautiful hotel set in a classic 1950s/1960s villa, The Sangkum has 12 individually styled rooms with some of the most gorgeous furniture we’ve seen for a while. This place has everything a boutique hotel should, including a deep sense of individual style, personal and attentive service, and a certain refinement that lifts you out of the quotidian. Located just to the north of Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Wat Phnom in an interesting spot, there’s also a tasteful restaurant and a small, welcoming pool.
While the Cambodian government sadly appears to be not overly fussed about the disappearance of the unique architecture of the country’s “golden age” (which saw not just architecture, but arts and culture in general flourish) it’s great to see hoteliers embracing the era’s style in something new (though of course, saving the architecture and seeing this would be better). It’s called New Khmer Architecture, and this renovation really captures its happy essence. It emerged in the period running from 1953 through to 1970, known as Sangkum Reastr Niyum – hence the hotel’s name. (If you haven’t booked in to do a Khmer architecture tour — you must.)
Rooms come in four different styles, all with amenities you’d expect in the price range of $55 to $65 (suites are $170): safe, flatscreen TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, hair dryer and so on. Prices depend on room size, outlook and whether or not there’s a balcony; even if you don’t get a balcony though, the pool/restaurant is a lovely space to hang out in.
We love the non-deckchair-y chairs surrounding the pool; something about them suggests you’ll just be lounging for a moment, flicking through a few pages of a magazine before taking a dip or heading to the restaurant for a bite, because life, you know, it moves on and you don’t want to be sleeping when *that* happens!
While walking distance to Wat Phnom and the Post Office Square, the hotel is a short tuk tuk away from riverside and Street 240. If you do really need to be closer to the river but are happy to spend around this budget, we’d suggest The Plantation instead; if you want to be in the Tonle Bassac area, at this price point we’d suggest The Willow.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.