Sep 11 2012
Although we feel that calling any establishment the Fancy Guest House might be overstating the case, this little Phnom Penh gem does have something that can be tricky to find in budget accommodation — it’s squeaky clean. You get the feeling that dust and grime long since gave up the fight and moved on to somewhere with less fastidious management.
A block and a half from Kandal market, and less than 10 minutes’ walk to riverside and the National Museum, the location is an untouristy area but with the sights easily reached. As well as being a stickler for spotlessness, owner Mr Phannak will happily arrange day tours, recommend restaurants and book onwards tickets for you, all for a couple of dollars commission.
There’s no restaurant on site, but the mini-mart in reception should satisfy most munchies. It’s a short walk to riverside or nearby Street 172 for a choice of eateries and bars, such as Laughing Fatman and Dolce Vita. Local coffee shops and street food sellers are on hand if you feel like being a little more adventurous.
There are three categories of room at Fancy Guest House, but each comes with a comfortable double bed, air-con, cable TV, a fridge stocked with free drinking water, a hot shower and WiFi. Balcony rooms are provided with that wonderful phrase “tea and coffee making facilities” (so, a kettle, some cups and some sachets, then). The cheapest rooms — they’re $15 to $20 — are in the middle of the building or at the front, with limited views. Rooms at the back are quieter, but the balcony rooms, at $25, are worth spending the extra on, especially if you have a few days in Phnom Penh and want some down time. Sit in your private box and watch the theatre of a typical city street, sipping on your inclusive cuppa.
It’s not a surprise that Fancy Guest House has long-term guests staying for months at a time, as well as plenty of return visitors. For that reason, it’s a good idea to book ahead to secure one of the 20 rooms. In case you don’t have a reservation and you’re turned away, you won’t have to carry your backpack far to go cheap and cheerful at Happy 11 Guesthouse or pay a little more at Sundance Inn.
Fancy Guest House
169B Street 15, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 2, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 21 1829 / (016) 943 219
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Tags: Fancy Guest House