Aug 03 2012
Sadly lacking in Robert Redford lookalikes, at least Sundance Inn won’t break the bank like the Kid and Butch Cassidy did. In business for a year, Sundance brings a touch of good value originality to the Phnom Penh guesthouse scene.
On the up-and-coming Street 172, Sundance is two blocks back from the riverside and a brief tuk tuk ride to the Royal Palace and National Museum. Finding a driver won’t be an issue – there’s sufficient transport waiting in the street outside to make your life very easy. Close by eating and drinking options include traveller and expat favourites The Laughing Fatman and Dolce Vita. Quieter than being right on the river, the street retains a certain local charm with fruit sellers and street food vendors calling their wares.
Sundance certainly aims to entertain guests. The wooden floored bar-restaurant downstairs hosts weekly quizzes and you can demonstrate your misspent youth at the slate pool table. While there may be no waterfall to jump off, there is a small pool to dip your toes into on a sunny afternoon in the bijou courtyard out back. Free WiFi throughout is typically considerate, as is the computer terminal bar-side for the laptop deficient.
In fact, even if you have brought your own, you’re going to want to play with the internet accessed through the very large TVs in the bedrooms. Unusual just-for-the-hell-of-it touches like this is where Sundance diverges from most in its price range. Each air-con room is slightly different, but expect wide beds, brightly coloured sinks and a mixture of wood, tiles and concrete. In one suite, a corner tub sits cheekily in the bedroom, extra to the separate bathroom with a shower rose so enormous it was surely the subject of a bet. These are rooms designed for guests to laze around in. The cheaper rooms on the top storey are cosy without inducing claustrophobia, but an extra $5-$10 will bag you a suite with your own sitting room.
Sundance has a low-key friendliness which reflects the general ambiance of the street. Worth booking ahead to get one of the 11 rooms, it’s ideal for flashpackers who want a bit of comfort and easy access to the city. Proximity to the bar and the possibility of some night noise makes it less of a family option. Those who prefer to forfeit big TVs and interesting decor to save a few dollars should try Super Star Hotel or Last Home Guesthouse, a few hundred metres down the road.
We were quoted $25 for a double room and $35 for a suite as a walk-in rate, but check Agoda for an online discounted rate.
Sundance Inn & Saloon
61 AB Street 172, Phnom Penh
T: (016) 80 20 90
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