Oct 10 2012
As the rains are determined not to shirk their seasonal obligations, it seemed an appropriate time to visit the Monsoon Boutique Hotel in Phnom Penh. From its jazzy facade of wonky white metal to the leaf imprints on the stepping stone entrance, it’s clear this property, which opened in August 2012, hasn’t been knocked together in a hurry. The location is equally carefully chosen — two minutes’ walk to riverside and just around the corner from Old Market, this hotel puts you close to the action.
Stepping into the Monsoon Boutique Hotel is rather like entering an interior design showroom. There’s an explosion of textures and materials that could be over the top but somehow seems to pull together. Each of the 18 rooms — there’s a choice of balcony, double or twin — has a concrete-walled bathroom, water-hyacinth woven bed and custom-made wooden furniture. Black metal floor features, white stones, painted bricks, silk lampshades and flower murals conspire to create accommodation that’s bright yet cosy.
The room rate — we were quoted rooms for $34 to $39 — are inclusive of everything you’d expect at a midrange hotel: air-con, tea- and coffee-making facilities, safety box, fridge and a TV with 79 channels, in case the rain gets too much and you just want to stay in. WiFi is available throughout the hotel and two terminals are provided in the ambitiously titled “business centre”. The adequate complimentary breakfast (choice of continental or American) is served in the downstairs restaurant, which doubles as a bar and coffee shop.
The balcony rooms at the front of the hotel give you extra room but not much privacy, as there’s no divide between the two balconies on each floor. And when the building lights up at night, you may feel more on display than the shadow puppets in reception. The rooms at the back are quieter, as they don’t overlook the street, but part of the sound insulation comes at the expense of windows.
Those on tight budgets would do better at Diamond Guesthouse around the corner on Street 13, but for couples and business travellers with an eye for design, Monsoon offers reasonable value for money. If you’re a light sleeper or don’t need to be in staggering distance of the riverside bars, check out the Monument Hotel in the quieter Tonle Bassac district.
Monument Boutique Hotel
53-55 Street 130, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1, Phnom Penh
T: (077) 998 178
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